Midnight snacking: An important part of Manhattan food culture

When people are chomping at the bit for a late-night snack, Pizza Shuttle is one of the many restaurants that comes to mind. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

A pair of Kansas State seniors sat facing the front window inside Insomnia Cookies, Aggieville’s most notable late-night dessert place. It was about 10:30 p.m., and car lights flashed by on Anderson Avenue as the Thursday night foot traffic started to pick up near Aggieville.

The two friends — Morgan Mauck, senior in physical sciences, and Tatum Wagner, senior in family studies — said they came to procrastinate on studying for a test with the help of gooey, chocolatey cookies. Insomnia Cookies is typically one of Manhattan’s favorite midnight snack providers.

The Little Apple’s late-night food culture includes local and chain restaurants. While she was sitting at Insomnia Cookies on March 7, Wagner said McDonald’s and Pizza Shuttle are her other favorite places.

Each restaurant has daytime hours, but Wagner said she thinks Insomnia Cookies tastes better at night. Its retail and delivery hours last until 3 a.m. every day.

“I definitely come here the most,” Wagner said. “Sometimes I get it delivered.”

Mauck shared similar sentiments.

“I don’t think to buy cookies unless it’s at night,” Mauck said.

The duo said Insomnia Cookies is “always open” and its cookies are “always warm,” and that is what brings them back.

On the other side of town, Kriss Anderson, a 10-year employee of Pizza Shuttle, was hand-tossing crust for the night’s second big wave of pizza orders. The first wave starts around 6 p.m. — dinnertime.

“It’s a great adrenaline rush,” Anderson said about preparing pizzas on a busy night. “We are the delivery masters.”

Pizza Shuttle, which opened in Manhattan in 1988, makes about 400 to 450 pizzas on a typical Thursday night, Anderson said, and March 7 was no exception. Still, it seems paltry compared to the 1,300 pizzas made earlier on March 2, Fake Patty’s Day.

“I get to make great art that everyone loves,” Anderson said.

Cade Green, sophomore in management information systems, said he learned about Pizza Shuttle from his parents, who attended K-State themselves.

“They said Pizza Shuttle was the move, so we tried it once and we’ve never looked back,” Green said.

Green was picking up a cream cheese pizza that night — his favorite — when interviewed.

Anderson said the most popular orders at Pizza Shuttle are a tie between cream cheese pepperoni and cream cheese bacon.

“Other places don’t have the cream cheese part,” Green said. “I find it to be a little bit cheaper than other places, too.”

Green said it costs $9 for his favorite pizza, but it would be more expensive for delivery.

Anderson said taxes are included in all their prices when ordered. Pizza Shuttle delivers until 2:30 a.m. on Thursday nights, but hours vary every day of the week.

“For dinner or late at night, me and my roommates always get it,” Green said about his cream cheese pizza. “We get it like three times a week, honestly.”