French Fries and 10 Other Foods You Should Never Order To Go

Eat them when they’re hot, or not at all
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Forget about saving that French Dip for later, even if you ask for the jus on the side.

It’s a fact of life: certain foods travel much better than others. It’s never fun to realize that the meal you ordered for delivery simply didn’t hold up in transit and is beyond repair, so we’ve gathered 11 foods that you should think twice before ordering to go.

French Fries and 10 Other Foods You Should Never Order To Go (Slideshow)

There are plenty of foods that hold up pretty well even a couple days later, ones that can be stuck in the microwave or tossed in a hot pan and brought back to some semblance of their initial form. Spaghetti and meatballs, for example, holds up just fine, and curry tastes even better after a day or two of letting the flavors comingle. Meat shouldn’t really be microwaved, but if you nuke some leftover chicken for a little while it’ll be okay. But for certain foods, it’s just not going to happen.

Here’s a rule of thumb: If it’s crispy, crunchy, cheesy, or breakfast-y, it’s not going to hold up. Even if it’s rushed from the kitchen directly to your house, by the time it gets there it’s not going to be nearly as tasty as it once was. This is because food exposed to the conditions of transit — steaming inside its container, cooling, congealing —simply do not make for good eats, as Alton would say. It’ll still be edible, sure, but far from ideal.

So read on to learn about 11 foods that you really shouldn’t order to go, and why. If you’re going to eat these, eat them in a restaurant. And if you’ve got leftovers, feed them to the dog.


No party is complete without a big platter of wings, but in reality they should be eaten right out of the fryer, while they’re still hot and crispy. As soon as wings are put in a to-go box, they begin to steam, which rapidly reduces any crispiness and leaves you with flabby, fatty chicken skin with mushy meat underneath. And because they’re sauced, a trip to the oven won’t come close to crisping them back up.


Once a fry goes soggy, there’s nothing that can bring it back from the dead save for another visit to the deep-fryer. Fries taken to-go rarely maintain their crispiness during the ride home, and ones kept overnight in the fridge are essentially inedible. Sure, you can pop them in a hot oven for a few minutes, but the end results are definitely “last resort” fries. 


Click here for 9 more foods that just don't travel.