What to Order on a Friday Night

Published Categorized as Food
A sign on the wall that says, Eat what makes you happy

Wondering what to order on a Friday night? We asked six Americans about their favorite foods. Here’s what they had to say.

With Friday night just around the corner, we’re all looking for dinner ideas and inspiration. And, since you’re reading this, you’re probably feeling too tired (or too lazy; nothing to be ashamed of) to cook up a meal at home.

Happily, takeout is always an option! In fact, ordering out has become many American families’ favorite thing to do on a Friday evening.

By ordering out on a Friday night, you not only get to diversify your meals—you also do good for your community by giving support to local businesses at a time when they need it the most.

From Chinese, Japanese, and Asian fusion to all sorts of pizza styles (Neapolitan and Neo-Neapolitan, New York, Chicago Deep Dish and Bar Style, Detroit, New Haven) or Mexican food, the choice, depending on what state and city you live in, can be virtually limitless.

To help you pick, I talked to folks from across the states, coast to coast, to learn what they and their families like to order to celebrate the start of the weekend. 

Pizza And Chicken Wings

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“For my spouse and I,” says Rowdy Duncan, Communication Professor at the Interpersonal Communication Faculty of Phoenix College, “our favorite thing to do is celebrate the end of the week with Pizza Friday!” The couple, he tells me, has been doing this since 2010.

Duncan gets a small pizza without cheese (as he is lactose intolerant). His wife gets a veggie pizza with green bell pepper, onion, and garlic. For a side dish, the two share a pound of bone-in honey BBQ chicken wings.

Rituals and celebrations, Duncan says, are part of what helps us feel cozy at home and connected to the people around us. “A big part of connection and feelings of closeness and intimacy comes from rituals and patterns of celebrations and having clear expectations.”

“During the week we work and work hard—the weekend is our time and to celebrate this with a favorite ritual to celebrate putting the focus on the home and our family.”

Among those I spoke to, pizza came out on top (anyone here surprised?!).

With many Americans dining out less frequently than they used to, ordering pizza has become the new way to treat oneself and one’s family, ending the workweek and celebrating the start of the weekend.

“My family and I order pizza on Friday,” says Stacy Davis, Registered Dietitian (RD) at Flavorful Lifestyle, who lives with her husband and son in Coral Springs, Florida.

“We each get our own, my son gets plain, I get a veggie one and my husband gets half chicken park, half Hawaiian. We love supporting small businesses and it’s something we look forward too.”

Sushi and Nigiri

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Vanessa Gordon, who lives with her husband and two young children in Sag Harbor, New York, says that she and her family always order sushi and nigiri on Friday nights, “rotating from 3-5 of our local Japanese or Asian Fusion restaurants.”

Gordon is the founder of East End Taste Magazine, a publication focused on travel, food, and beverage Hamptons and North Fork of Long Island, NY, and London across the Atlantic.

“We had been going out to eat on a regular basis to a restaurant called Sen when we were dating,” Gordon adds.

“Now that we are home with our two young children and spend our Friday evenings in after our busy work weeks, we order take out from several of our local favorites including Sen in Sag Harbor, Yama Q in Bridgehampton, and Kissaki in Water Mill.”

Chinese

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“Friday nights are for Chinese food! I’ve been going to this place for years,” tells me Sabrina Hartel, Creative Director and CEO at Sabrina Hartel Home, where she sells her home decor line, which she describes as “fun, funky, urban, and whimsical,” online.

“When I first moved to Joliet, Illinois, I was looking for a Chinese food spot. Not only is this place great because they have flavorful food, but because there is more meat leftover than noodles or rice in the dish. Imagine that?”

Asian Fusion

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Can’t decide which Asian cuisine to go for this Friday night? With fusion, you don’t have to.

“Just last week, when my girls had gone down to San Diego for a concert, my husband and I went to Anqi for dinner (just the two of us),” says Felicia Gopaul, owner of Financial Control Mastery.

Gopaul, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), teaches women how to build good money habits, boost their financial confidence, and create a personalized plan to ensure their financial success.

“We’ve been going to the An family of restaurants for 25+ years which started when we were dating in the Bay Area, continued sparingly while in grad school in Los Angeles, and became a family favorite living in Orange County.”

“We have our favorite meal: garlic noodles and crab. We used to share our meals. But, now that we have been married 24 years, there is no sharing (not even with the girls). Each of us gets to enjoy our favorite meal in peace.”

Mexican

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“Since the start of the pandemic, my husband and I have been ordering takeout from a local Mexican restaurant, Jose’s Blue Sombrero, every Friday night,” shares Debra Lee May.

Resiliency and Reinvention Mentor at Debra Lee Coaching, she helps women to “overcome circumstances and neutralize negative emotions holding them back so they can step into the life they’ve ensivioned for themselves.”

“We’d never thought of Jose’s as a takeout restaurant, but we didn’t want them to have to close and decided to support them.” May and her husband were happy they took the leap of faith.

“We’ve been pleasantly surprised to find how easy and delicious the takeout was and have ordered the same fajitas and a side of guacamole every week. The order is always bigger than expected, and it’s an excellent match for our unique food tastes.”

“I love the veggies, and he loves the meat! The guacamole is delicious and made fresh to order with an abundance of tortilla chips which we continue to enjoy through the weekend. The salsa is fresh too!”

May tells me that she and her husband have turned Mexican food night into somewhat of a ritual, even into 2021. They’ve even started to spread the word: “Last week, I even brought their guac and chips to a gathering at someone else’s home, and it was well-received!”

By Jim Stonos

When Jim isn't in the kitchen, he is usually spending time with family and friends, and working with the HCW editorial team to answer the questions he used to ask himself back when he was learning the ropes of cooking.