There is nothing quite like eating food that brings back memories of childhood when your parents or grandmother used to make things the way you liked ‘em. They put a lot of love into their meals, and it showed. But growing up doesn’t mean you have to forgo any of those foods. If anything, you now have the freedom to eat them whenever you want! Well, as long as you don’t care about your waistline. In all seriousness, when done in moderation you can enjoy these treats that make you feel so nostalgic!
Chicken & Waffles
What makes this greasy spoon diner staple so satisfying is the contrast between the salty fried chicken filet and the sweet, syrupy waffles. Although the ingenious pairing got its start in the South, these days folks from the coast of California to the bustling streets of New York City can find plenty of restaurants that serve it.
Mac & Cheese
Whether you are looking for a quick, easy-to-prepare meal from a box courtesy of Kraft or want the made-from-scratch variety baked in the oven, you just can’t go wrong. There’s just something so satisfying about the crunchy, chewy pieces of macaroni and melty cheese. If you really want to blow people away after a night of bar hopping, add some bacon and jalapeños.
Conventional burritos with rice, beans and chicken/pork are badass in their own right, but nothing beats loading a tortilla up with eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, cheese, and salsa. Don’t be misled by the “breakfast” label. This bad boy can (and should!) be eaten at any time of the day.
Spaghetti & Meatballs
Sometimes you’re in the mood for a fancy, authentic Italian meal. But there’s nothing wrong with the Americanized version either. That’s exactly what you get with spaghetti and meatballs. Loaded with rich, buttery meatballs, a tangy tomato sauce, and a dusting of parmesan cheese, don’t feel too guilty about overindulging. You can always put on some sweatpants afterwards.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Tomato Soup
What makes this amazing is the sweet acidic taste of the soup coupled with the gooey cheese and crispy bread. While we’re all about the basic incarnation of the sandwich — buttered, toasted bread with melted American cheese — this is something you are free to get creative with. Try it with gouda, cheddar or any other cheese that strikes your fancy. Add bacon or even braised short rib if you want something that’s pure insanity.
Virtually every diner loves to boast about how incredible their pecan pies are, and that’s completely reasonable. Fruit-based pies are okay, but the sweet and salty pecan-based filling is unsurpassed. Topping it off with a generous dollop of real whipped cream makes it the most indulgent dessert the world has ever known.
Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Basic pancakes are a favorite of ours, but when you add chocolate chips, it blurs the lines between proper breakfast and dessert. This combo is so good that there’s absolutely no reason to top it off with syrup or add butter. If you want to be labeled the most daring person on the planet and go down as a legend, you can even substitute the chocolate chips with M&Ms.
McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger
Wait…what? McDonald’s!? We’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to the best hamburgers around, McDonald’s is nowhere close to being in the top 20. But this isn’t a “best burger” contest. You can find a McDonald’s in the farthest reaches of the world, and for a really cheap price you can get a couple of beef patties with ketchup, American cheese, pickles and slivers of onions (we prefer to pass on the mustard). It just really hits the spot and that’s what matters.
Walk into any mall in America — or in 47 other countries for that matter — and you will instantly be greeted by the warm, delicious scent of cinnabon. In fact, the smell alone is so satisfying that you practically feel content without even eating their sticky, delectable cinnamon rolls. But obviously you’ve got to have one. Or a dozen!
It’s almost impossible to go wrong with mashed potatoes. They just need to be peeled, boiled, add milk and butter, whip those guys up, and voila it’s like you’re eating the fluffiest cloud ever made. Of course, this is also a dish where the only limits are your imagination. You can add sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, and different cheeses. Make it as weird as you want!
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
The Chicago deep dish is such an amazing concept. Imagine eating a cake, but the frosting and all of the cakey things are replaced with different meats, vegetables, and loads of cheese and tomato sauce. That’s what you’re getting in a nutshell. Deep dish is so filling that you probably don’t need anything more than a single slice or two at most.
We aren’t talking about polish sausage or German bratwurst; just a basic beef hot dog with all of the common fixin’s such as chili sauce, mustard and raw, diced onions. There’s nothing pretentious about the coney dog, which is precisely why it’s one of the most ideal comfort foods.
Nachos are perfect for any occasion whether it’s enjoyed at a baseball game, the movie theater or in your living room. It’s also something that any 8 year-old can make. Simply place some tortilla chips on a plate, sprinkle on some cheddar or mozzarella, and stick in the microwave for about 30 seconds. It can be enjoyed with sour cream and salsa, although if you are one of those hoity-toity types, a generous slathering of guacamole would be most appropriate.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
For a lot of us growing up, no school lunch was complete without a PB&J sandwich. It took Mom about 20 seconds to make, it tasted perfectly fine at room temperature, and the grape jelly paired with the peanut butter was nothing short of heavenly. But just because it’s associated with kids, it doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy them as a grown up!
Chili with Saltine Crackers
This comfort food is best enjoyed on a cold winter day when you need something hearty to warm you up. But if you have the misfortune of living in a hot climate where the seasons aren’t all that distinguishable, we recommend eating this with your air conditioner on full blast.