Americans really, really love a chicken sandwich with fries.

By Travel + Leisure
July 24, 2020
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Since restaurants and bars have been closed for the last few months due to the coronavirus pandemic, people are faced with a difficult decision every day—to order in or to cook.

While some restaurants and bars have been opening up slowly for outdoor seating in some cities, people have been turning to take out more often as a way to give themselves a break from cooking.

DoorDash, an on-demand food delivery service, looked into people's ordering habits during the first half of 2020. This mid-year report checks in on popular food trends, nationally and regionally, how users ate through social distancing, cravings across the country, and more. This year, 2,000 Americans were polled for the survey on what they cooked, ate, and baked the most; the top food and drink they missed while restaurants were closed; the impact the past six months have had on vacation plans; and more.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey found that 70 percent of Americans have spent more time cooking over the past six months, and 47 percent agree that they're tired of it. As much as it can be a fun journey to learn to bake bread or try out different recipes, sometimes you just want a break. Of course, that's not always easy while social distancing. As for the meals they're cooking, 41 percent of respondents said they are most tired of cooking chicken, followed by pasta and microwave meals.

Comfort food in general was the go-to meal for respondents, too. Mac and cheese, shrimp tacos, pizza, iced coffee, queso blanco, cinnamon rolls, cheesecake, and breakfast burritos all saw an increase in the number of people ordering these items. DoorDash's survey shows that people are more likely to crave comfort food by a three-to-one margin. Breakfast has also been making a comeback as people are staying home more, with breakfast burritos being the seventh most ordered item on DoorDash in 2020.

And, depending on where you are in the U.S., your ordering habits and tastes can vary. According to the survey, respondents in Los Angeles ordered sushi most often. In San Francisco, Indian food was most popular. In Denver, cheesy items like mozzarella sticks and mac and cheese were king. Similarly, in Philadelphia, classic American dishes like cheesesteaks and burgers were number one. In Chicago, people were craving hot dogs. In Austin, Tex-Mex was what people wanted most. In Miami, Latin American flavors reigned supreme. If you were in Atlanta, you were most likely craving sweets, while in Seattle, people preferred to order seafood. Overall, Mexican food was the cuisine most people (40 percent of respondents) missed during the pandemic.

Overall, people are itching to get back to their pre-pandemic eating habits. DoorDash reported that 88 percent agree that they were "excited for the day when I can eat restaurant food the same way I could before COVID-19."

While people are waiting for the pandemic to finally slow down, at least there's always a good to-go place nearby for those nights when you simply can't muster the motivation to cook.

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