Are You the Ultimate Tailgater?

Check out our list of tailgating essentials and see if you make the cut.
16 photos

For the Football Fanatic

national football league, NFL, tailgating, sports, oakland, california, raiders, O.co Coliseum
Oakland Raiders (AFC West)

Oakland Raiders (AFC West)

One of, if not the, most intense places to tailgate in the NFL is O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California. Home of the Raiders and the infamous ‘Black Hole’, nobody shows out or gets more dressed up for a game then the fans of Raider nation. 960 1280

Kirby Lee / Getty Images  

Kansas City Chiefs (AFC West)

Kansas City Chiefs (AFC West)

Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, might be the fifth largest in the NFL, but when it comes to tailgating, they make a strong claim for the No. 1 spot, based solely on the food. Known for their mind-blowing barbecue recipes, tailgaters at Arrowhead put on a show in the parking lot during pregame festivities. 960 1280

Kansas City Star / Getty Images  

Denver Broncos (AFC West)

Denver Broncos (AFC West)

Home of the Denver Broncos, Sports Authority Field at Mile High boasts some of the most loyal and fierce tailgating fans around. Whether it’s watching other NFL teams go to battle on your "car" TV or chowing down on some green chili and hot dogs while waiting for Broncos kick off, make sure not to miss out on the parking lot mayhem when heading to see the 2016 Super Bowl champs. 960 1280

Justin Edmonds / Getty Images  

San Diego Chargers (AFC West)

San Diego Chargers (AFC West)

If there’s a more enjoyable place to catch a game than Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California, I sure as heck don’t know it. Boasting picture-perfect weather year round, fans are free to tailgate in jerseys and shorts all season long.
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Christian Petersen / Getty Images  

Dallas Cowboys (NFC East)

Dallas Cowboys (NFC East)

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and the same holds true for tailgating when attending a game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Just like their rivals down the road in Houston, the barbecue at Dallas Cowboys’ tailgates is on a whole other level. And then there’s the fan base. Fans of "America’s Team" travel from far and wide to come to "Jerry World," where the most passionate of them are dressed in team garb from head to toe. 960 1280

Tom Pennington / Getty Images  

Washington Redskins (NFC East)

Washington Redskins (NFC East)

You can hear the famous fight song, “Hail to the Redskins, Hail victory,” being sung far and wide across the parking lot at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. But sometimes that “victory” line get blurred between winning football games and winning tailgates. Loud and gregarious, the Redskins faithful definitely know how to have a good time when cheering on their team, both inside the stadium and out. 960 1280

The Washington Post / Getty Images  

Philadelphia Eagles (NFC East)

Philadelphia Eagles (NFC East)

Eagles fans take tailgating just as serious as they do rooting for the guys in green inside Lincoln Financial Field. I mean, what party wouldn’t be complete without a punch-buggy VW shaped like a football helmet and overflowing with beer? No matter the weather — rain or shine — you can be sure that Philly fans will be out in full force, defending their team to the ends of the earth.
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New York Giants (NFC East)

New York Giants (NFC East)

Everybody in the sports world knows just how passionate fans from New York truly are, and just like fans of the state’s other two professional football teams (the Jets and the Bills), Giants fans are a rowdy and emotional bunch. Make sure you have your hard hats ready when heading into Giants Country, as fans of opposing teams are sure to come under fire when protesting the Giants football prowess. 960 1280

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New York Jets (AFC East)

New York Jets (AFC East)

With the exception of possibly Philadelphia, there is no crowd more raucous than the New York faithful. Although they share a stadium with that other team in N.Y. — the Giants — Jets fans sure know how to make MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., feel like they're the only team in the world on game day. 960 1280

Tim Clayton / Getty Images  

Buffalo Bills (AFC East)

Buffalo Bills (AFC East)

No trip to upstate New York is complete without a visit to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, home of the Bills. Although burgers, dogs and chicken are as prevalent as any other tailgate, the mainstay here are the buffalo wings. Just don’t forget to bring some long johns and a jacket, the weather gets a little dicey come winter time. 960 1280

Robert Skeoch / Getty Images  

New England Patriots (AFC East)

New England Patriots (AFC East)

These New England fans take tailgating to a whole new level, bringing their own brick pizza oven with the Patriots logo emblazoned on the side to the parking lot. Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, is known for being fun inside — mainly because they never seem to lose at home — but trust me, the tailgating scene outside is sometimes just as fun. 960 1280

Boston Globe / Getty Images  

Miami Dolphins (AFC East)

Miami Dolphins (AFC East)

Would you expect anything less than sunshine and palm trees when heading south to Miami? When tailgating at Sun Life Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins, short sleeves, face paint and a delicious Cubano sandwich are a must. 960 1280

Joel Auerbach / Getty Images  

Arizona Cardinals (NFC West)

Arizona Cardinals (NFC West)

Corn hole, one of the biggest tailgating games on the planet can be found in spades outside of University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Matter of fact, with warm weather all football season long, every tailgating game is on the table. Just make sure to wear some sunscreen, that sweltering Arizona sun can definitely sneak up on you, especially if you’ve had a few too many cold ones. 960 1280

Christian Petersen / Getty Images  

Los Angeles Rams (NFC West)

Los Angeles Rams (NFC West)

Fresh off their move back to the west coast from St. Louis, Los Angeles Rams fans are lucky enough to tailgate outside one of the most iconic stadiums in all of football, the LA Coliseum. Excited to have football back in Los Angeles, tailgaters from all over the country will be able to take advantage of the warm weather all season long, basking in the sweet California sun. 960 1280

Ted Soqui / Getty Images  

San Francisco 49ers (NFC West)

San Francisco 49ers (NFC West)

After finally leaving Candlestick Park behind in 2014, the 49ers faithful take tailgating to all-new heights outside Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Although San Francisco is known to be pretty liberal when it comes to lifestyle, 49ers fans are anything but when it comes to defending their home “turf” in the parking lot. 960 1280

Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images  

Seattle Seahawks (NFC West)

Seattle Seahawks (NFC West)

The don’t call Seahawks faithful the “12th man” for nothing. Seattle fans are some of the rowdiest bunch you’ll find and their tailgates are no different. The scene outside CenturyLink Field is pure football bliss, and they party just as hard as their team plays on the field. Take my word for it! 960 1280

Harry How / Getty Images  

Baltimore Ravens (AFC North)

Baltimore Ravens (AFC North)

If there is one thing that Baltimoreans love more than their seafood, it’s their beloved Ravens. In the beginning of the season, during the week, the parking lot is flooded with Orioles fans due to M&T Bank Stadium’s proximity to one of baseball’s most famous homes, Camden Yards, but when Sundays in the fall roll around, it’s a sea of purple from sun rise to sun set. 960 1280

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Cincinnati Bengals (AFC North)

Cincinnati Bengals (AFC North)

Nicknamed "The Jungle" for a reason, Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati plays host to some of the wildest tailgaters in the league. Rain, sleet, hail, snow or sunshine, Bengals fans are prepared for any type of weather, and anyone wearing black, white and orange will be welcomed into any tailgate with open arms. 960 1280

Andrew Weber / Getty Images  

Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC North)

Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC North)

If there's one thing fans from Pittsburgh know more about than steel, it’s about winning NFL championships. No team in the league has won more rings than the Steelers (six), and when traveling to Pittsburgh for a game, tailgaters are sure to let you know just that. And with a stadium named after a world-famous condiment company, you can bet there are a ton of burgers and dogs being barbecued all day long at Heinz Field. 960 1280

Ronald Martinez / Getty Images  

Cleveland Browns (AFC North)

Cleveland Browns (AFC North)

Debauchery runs rampant inside the Muni Lot outside of FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns may have been mediocre on the football field for the last two decades or so, but nobody knows how to throw a wilder tailgate than the members of the Dawg Pound. 960 1280

Angelo Merendino / Getty Images  

Chicago Bears (NFC North)

Chicago Bears (NFC North)

If there are two things every fan should know when heading to a tailgate at Soldier Field in Chicago, it’s 1) be ready for some hard-nosed football, and 2) if you’re going to a game any time after early October, it’s bound to be mind-numbingly cold. Bring a jacket, heck, maybe even bring two, and ‘bear down’ for some extreme NFL tailgating. 960 1280

Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images  

Detroit Lions (NFC North)

Detroit Lions (NFC North)

When you think of tailgating at a football game, you undoubtedly think about a parking lot scene. However, not when it comes to the Detroit Lions faithful. Sure, there is plenty of tailgating that goes down in the Ford Field parking lots, but for the ultimate pre-game tailgating experience in the Motor City, make sure to check out Pride Plaza on Brush Street. 960 1280

Mark Cunningham / Getty Images  

Green Bay Packers (NFC North)

Green Bay Packers (NFC North)

They don’t call Lambeau Field the "Frozen Tundra" for nothing. Affectionately known as Cheeseheads, Packers fans heading out to a tailgate should be prepared for some blistering cold weather. But that won’t stop the Packers faithful, in fact, they embrace it. Whether it's extra jackets, beanies, long johns or even some blankets, fans in Green Bay are ready for just about anything. 960 1280

Ronald Martinez / Getty Images  

Minnesota Vikings (NFC North)

Minnesota Vikings (NFC North)

After bouncing around for a couple of years after the doors of the Metrodome were closed, Minnesota fans finally have a new place to tailgate — and more importantly to watch Vikings football — in U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. 960 1280

Doug Pensinger / Getty Images  

Houston Texans (AFC South)

Houston Texans (AFC South)

Tailgating at NRG Stadium in Houston, home of the Texans, is an event in itself. But if there’s one thing in the world Texans do better than most, it’s barbecue, barbecue, barbecue. While getting ready for the big game, don’t miss out on the amazing food, from brisket to pulled pork and everything in between. 960 1280

Bob Levey / Getty Images  

Indianapolis Colts (AFC South)

Indianapolis Colts (AFC South)

They may need a little “Luck” on the field — Andrew Luck that is — but outside Lucas Oil Stadium in the parking lot, Colts fans use all skill when it comes to tailgating. Stop by "The Blue Crew Saloon" or any of the other tailgating tents for some real midwestern hospitality. 960 1280

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Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC South)

Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC South)

The Jaguars faithful come out in full force for home games at EverBank Field in Jacksonville. Beginning to feel a bit of a resurgence in winning on the field, Jaguars fans have never needed a boost of confidence when it comes to a winning tailgate. Great weather, good food and rowdy fans make up a typical tailgate in the River City. 960 1280

Sam Greenwood / Getty Images  

Tennessee Titans (AFC South)

Tennessee Titans (AFC South)

As legendary guitarist Jerry Garcia once sang, “Tennessee, Tennessee, there ain’t no place I’d rather be …”, the same can be said for game days at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Full of passion and ready for fun, Titans fans pull out all the stops when it comes to tailgating. 960 1280

Kirby Lee / Getty Images  

Atlanta Falcons (NFC South)

Atlanta Falcons (NFC South)

You know the old saying “early bird gets the worm?” Well, in Atlanta, it’s the “Dirty Bird.” That’s right, fans of the Falcons — also known as the Dirty Birds — know how to throw a proper southern-style tailgate better than anyone. Currently, the party takes place right outside the famed Georgia Dome, but starting in 2017, the tailgate moves to the brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
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Streeter Lecka / Getty Images  

Carolina Panthers (NFC South)

Carolina Panthers (NFC South)

Just like the ferocious feline that sits on the sleeves of the Carolina team jerseys, Panthers fans tailgating at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., are as protective as they are passionate. And their tailgating specialty? Mouth-watering barbecue you’d be fool not to try. 960 1280

Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images  

New Orleans Saints (NFC South)

New Orleans Saints (NFC South)

Just like the city the Saints call home, tailgating in New Orleans heavily involves good food, good tunes and fantastically funky wardrobes. The atmosphere inside the Superdome for a Saints game is always epic, but don’t miss out on the local culture tailgating outside the stadium just before kick off. 960 1280

Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images  

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFC South)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFC South)

No matter what time of year it is, you can be sure that the fans outside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida, will be dressed to impress, even if they are just wearing shorts and a t-shirt. One of three different teams located in Florida, Bucs fans are privy to the good life, with warm weather circulating all season long. 960 1280

Doug Pensinger / Getty Images  

unique tailgating traditions, college football, university of mississippi, ole miss, the grove
University of Mississippi (Oxford, MS) - The Grove

University of Mississippi (Oxford, MS) - The Grove

Hotty Toddy, Gosh Almighty! Like many schools around the country, Ole Miss claims to have the best tailgating scene around, and one trip to Oxford may leave you convinced. The reason? The Grove. This 10-acre quad/park at the heart of campus transforms into downtown tailgate town on Rebel’s game days. A sea of blue and red cover this grassy area as fans dressed in their Saturday’s best parade from tent to tent, sampling delicious food and drink. It is a true taste of southern hospitality that can’t be missed. 960 1280

Collegiate Images / Getty Images  

Texas A&M University (College Station, TX) – Midnight Yell

Texas A&M University (College Station, TX) – Midnight Yell

No one, and I mean no one, may like their football as much as the natives of West Texas. For many of them, that means heading to College Station every Saturday to tailgate for the Aggies of Texas A&M. If you plan on joining the party, make sure to get there the night before for the Midnight Yell. Students and A&M supporters pack Kyle Field (sometimes up to 40 or 50,000!) to practice cheering for the game in one of the more unique college football traditions. 960 1280

Kathy Miller  

Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA) - The Food

Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA) - The Food

For real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. For tailgating, it’s all about the food, food, food. Perhaps no school demonstrates this better than LSU. It seems that every tailgate in Baton Rouge is well planned and well seasoned with everything from jambalaya and ponce to crawfish. And make sure to come hungry, because there is always enough for seconds, thirds and fourths. 960 1280

David Reber / Getty Images  

Clemson University (Clemson, SC) – The $2 Bill

Clemson University (Clemson, SC) – The $2 Bill

This tradition is one that hits the road with its fans. Starting in 1977 after Georgia Tech refused to play Clemson, Tiger fans now stock up on $2 bills, freshly stamped with an orange tiger paw, to spend in opposing cities in an attempt to note all the money that tiger fans bring in to their market. The result is a lasting and clever way to leave a Clemson footprint on rival teams and economies. 960 1280

Kathy Miller   

University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC) – The Cockaboose Railroad

University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC) – The Cockaboose Railroad

Ever tailgate on a train? No? Well look no further than then University of South Carolina. Roughly 50 yards from Williams-Bryce Stadium are 22 railroad cars that you can rent out on game day for your tailgate party. Each car is uniquely decorated, but all feature top-of-the-line interiors, flat screens, full kitchens and rooftop decks. This is a tailgating tradition truly unique to the Gamecocks of South Carolina. 960 1280

Joe Robbins / Getty Images  

University of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN) – The Vol Navy & University of Washington (Seattle, WA) – Husky Harbor

University of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN) – The Vol Navy & University of Washington (Seattle, WA) – Husky Harbor

Both of these fine institutions feature what we so humbly call boatgating. Their waterside stadiums offer the perfect opportunity for fans to bring their pre-game festivities dockside. In Tennessee, they call it The Vol Navy, and in Washington, it’s Husky Harbor. But no matter what you call it, tailgating plus boating equal greatness. 960 1280

Joe Robbins / Getty Images  

Penn State University (State College, PA) – Nittanyville

Penn State University (State College, PA) – Nittanyville

The scene in Happy Valley on a fall Saturday morning is something to see for yourself. Thousands of fans, dressed in white from head to toe, camp out in tents, campers and RVs to prepare for the Nittany Lions next game. The pop-up community of Penn Staters is affectionately called Nittanyville and boasts some of the most passionate tailgaters you’ll find in the country. 960 1280

Mario Tama / Getty Images  

University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA) – Charter Hill

University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA) – Charter Hill

Better known to the Golden Bears faithful as Tightwad Hill, this popular tailgating and viewing venue is unique to the University of California. Just over the east side from California Memorial Stadium is the small foothill, providing an amazing – and FREE – view of Cal games each Saturday. For 90 years, students, alumni and faculty have climbed Charter Hill to enjoy this amazing game-day tradition. 960 1280

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images  

University of Florida vs. University of Georgia (Jacksonville, FL) – The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party

University of Florida vs. University of Georgia (Jacksonville, FL) – The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party

One of the most anticipated matchups of the college football season takes place in Jacksonville, between border rivals Florida and Georgia. This game always has one of the largest tailgate parties with nearly as many fans staying in the parking lot to keep the party going as actually going inside for the game – hence the unofficial title, "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party." 960 1280

Sam Greenwood / Getty Images  

Ohio State University (Columbus, OH) – Mirror Lake Jump

Ohio State University (Columbus, OH) – Mirror Lake Jump

One of the biggest games every year is the heated rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan. Each year, thousands of THE Ohio State students meet the week before the game for a midnight party and tailgate on Mirror Lake, a shallow pond on campus. If you dare (and many do), take the frigid plunge into the lake with the other co-eds. Mind you, the game usually takes place in mid-to-late November every year; so don’t forget a warm winter coat for when you exit the lake. You don’t want to miss the game because of frostbite. 960 1280

By Ba2013 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or via Wikimedia Commons  

Taste of the Tailgate

college basketball towns, tailgating, food and drink, chapel hill, university of north carolina, barbecue, bbq, pulled pork sandwich
The Yardbird

The Yardbird

The Yardbird is a juicy, smoked, Amish chicken breast drenched in mustard sauce, tossed with sauteed mushrooms and slathered with cheddar cheese, all piled with crispy applewood bacon. Get the recipe for the Yardbird sandwich from Slow's Bar-BQ in Detroit, Michigan. 960 1280

Scott Stewart  

Prime Rib Sandwich

Prime Rib Sandwich

The prime rib sandwich is a pile of tenderly-sliced grilled beef, sauteed onions, mushrooms and peppers on a toasted, crisp semolina bun that’s infused with the savory juices of the meat. If that’s not enough, you also have the option to dunk this delectable dish into a Wisconsin-style, butter-infused au jus. Get the recipe for the prime rib sandwich from Kroll's West in Green Bay, Wisconsin. 960 1280

  

La Torta del Rey

La Torta del Rey

The legendary Torta del Rey is made with 12 different ingredients, including breaded beef, pork, ham, chorizo, cheese, a fried egg, avocado, beans, tomatoes, onions and jalapenos. Get the recipe for the Torta del Rey from Los Reyes de la Torta in Phoenix, Arizona. 960 1280

Mark Skalny  

Fish Taco Torta

Fish Taco Torta

For the fish taco torta, deep-fried mahi mahi is placed inside a bun with tortilla chips. The crunchy combo is then topped with pico de gallo, creamy Peppadew slaw, lime juice, cilantro and habanero for an extra kick. Get the recipe for the fish taco torta from Tilia in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 960 1280

  

BBQ Brisket Sandwich

BBQ Brisket Sandwich

The sliced beef brisket sandwich -- chef Bobby Flay’s favorite sandwich -- is cooked over an open fire and served with onions, pickles and a habanero BBQ sauce. Get the recipe for the BBQ beef brisket sandwich from The Salt Lick in Driftwood, Texas. 960 1280

Jesse Knish  

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Pulled pork topped with coleslaw and hot sauce. Get the recipe for the pulled pork sandwich from JR’s BBQ in Los Angeles, California 960 1280

  

Seared Beef Tongue Sandwich

Seared Beef Tongue Sandwich

The seared beef tongue sandwich is served with smoked green onions, red pepper relish and garlic aioli on freshly baked bread. Get the recipe for the Seared Beef Tongue sandwich from The Noble Pig in Austin, Texas.
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Jesse Knish  

El Toro

El Toro

The El Toro is a chargrilled, deli-sliced tri-tip topped with special BBQ sauce on a bun. A note from the owner Phil: Don’t forget a roll of paper towels since the El Toro can be messy to eat! Get the recipe for the El Toro sandwich from Phil's BBQ in San Diego, California. 960 1280

  

Big-Ass Roast Beef Sandwich

Big-Ass Roast Beef Sandwich

This roast beef sandwich has slow-cooked roast beef and hand-cut french fries piled onto a ciabatta roll and covered with homemade bechamel sauce. Get the recipe for the roast beef sandwich from Big-Ass Sandwiches in Portland, Oregon.

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Oxtail Sandwich

Oxtail Sandwich

Called "a crazy mess" by the creator of this sandwich, the Oxtail is smothered in marinara sauce and topped with carrots, celery, onion and peppers. Get the recipe for the oxtail sandwich from Salumi in Seattle, Washington.
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Pork Belly Cubano

Pork Belly Cubano

Wanna make this sandwich for your next tailgate? Get the recipe for pork belly Cubano from Bunk Sandwiches in Portland, Oregon. 960 1280

  

The CSS Virginia

The CSS Virginia

This creation has with fried chicken livers loaded into a toasted French baguette with shredded cabbage, green onions, granny smith apple and remoulade sauce. Get the recipe for the CSS Virginia sandwich from The Blacksheep in Richmond, Virginia.

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Chicken Club Sandwich

Chicken Club Sandwich

It’s a triple-decker sandwich with grilled chicken, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, mayo and a sunny side up fried egg, all in three slices of sourdough bread. Get the recipe for the chicken club sandwich from the W Hotel in Washington, DC. 960 1280

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Crab Cake Sandwich

Crab Cake Sandwich

These traditional sammies are filled with 6.5 ounces of jumbo lump crabmeat, fried to perfection. Get the recipe for the famous crab cake sandwich from Faidley Seafood in Baltimore, Maryland.
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Italian Beef Sandwich

Italian Beef Sandwich

The fall-apart tender beef is piled high on top of an Italian Sausage grilled to perfection. It is topped with sweet hot peppers and Giardiniera, and is sandwiched between a hearty Italian roll that soaks up the au jus, giving it that extra burst of flavor. Get the recipe for the Italian beef sandwich from Al's Beef in Chicago, Illinois. 960 1280

  

Heart-Stopping BLT

Heart-Stopping BLT

This sandwich takes the BLT to a whole new level with a mountain of thick-sliced crisp bacon that is sure to fulfill every bacon lover's dream! Get the recipe for the Heart Stopping BLT sandwich from Crown Candy Kitchen in St. Louis, Missouri.
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The 4-Courser

The 4-Courser

The 4-courser sandwich has smoked pulled pork with a gouda bechamel sauce, pickles, jalapeno chips, sweet potato chips with BBQ sauce and a waffle-ized macaroni and cheese, all between a smoked pretzel bun. Get the recipe for the 4-Courser sandwich from The Fifty/50 in Chicago, Illinois.
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Chicken Conquistador

Chicken Conquistador

The Conquistador consists of a baked chicken breast served with lettuce, tomato and special sauce on French bread. Get the recipe for the chicken conquistador sandwich from Zunzi’s in Savannah, Georgia. 960 1280

Beau Kester  

Asian Flank Steak Sandwich

Asian Flank Steak Sandwich

The Asian flank steak sandwich is only available on Mondays at Mitchell Delicatessen. But no need to panic, you can make it any day of the week. Get the recipe for the Asian Flank steak sandwich from Mitchell Delicatessen in Nashville, Tennessee.
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Chicken Cheddar Biscuit

Chicken Cheddar Biscuit

This sandwich has a crispy piece of fried chicken topped with an oozing piece of cheddar cheese resting between a large, fluffy biscuit. Get the recipe for the chicken cheddar biscuit from Time-Out restaurant in Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Media Noche

Media Noche

The home of this sandwich has perfected the creation that is a twist on the classic Cubano. Wanna make this sandwich for your next tailgate? Get the recipe for the Media Noche sandwich from Aguila Sandwich Shop in Tampa, Florida. 960 1280

  

The Roast Pork Sandwich

The Roast Pork Sandwich

This signature sandwich includes slow-roasted pork topped with broccoli rabe and aged provolone on a baguette. Get the recipe for the Roast Pork sandwich from DiNic’s in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 960 1280

  

The Grouper Reuben

The Grouper Reuben

This sandwich is a filet of grouper topped with melted Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing, and warm sauerkraut placed between two slices of marble rye bread. Get the recipe for the Grouper Reuben from Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa, Florida.
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Capp and Cheese

Capp and Cheese

This sandwich is made with the side dishes actually on the sandwich itself. Wanna make this sandwich for your next tailgate? Get the recipe for the Capp and Cheese from Primati Bros in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 960 1280

  

Shrimp Po-Boy

Shrimp Po-Boy

This sandwich has loads of fresh shrimp straight from the fry basket piled onto a loaf of locally made bread. It is dressed with tomato, lettuce and creole mustard with some pickles to top it off. Get the recipe for the shrimp po-boy from Domilises Po-Boy & Bar in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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Corned Beef and Pastrami Sandwich

Corned Beef and Pastrami Sandwich

Although some people prefer this sandwich topped with coleslaw and russian dressing, the meats on this sandwich are topped with just mustard. Get the recipe for the corned beef and pastrami sandwich from Katz’s Delicatessen in New York, N.Y. 960 1280

  

college basketball towns, tailgating, food and drink, syracuse university, new york, buffalo wings
Syracuse University - Syracuse, NY

Syracuse University - Syracuse, NY

A triangle-shaped park, Hanover Square was the first commercial district in Syracuse, NY, and comprises 17 historic buildings. Now the setting for many cultural gatherings and live music, the square was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. 960 1280

Wainwright Photo  

Syracuse University - Buffalo Wings

Syracuse University - Buffalo Wings

In a state like New York — known for their iconic pizza — it’s hard to imagine another food breaking the cycle and taking over the top spot of most iconic food. With that being said, Buffalo wings may have originated down the road, but they’ve slowly made their way down I-90 from Buffalo to Syracuse, to make a serious push to the top that list, in the hometown of the Orangemen. 960 1280

Stuart West / Getty Images  

University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ

University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ

In Tucson, AZ, the university's athletics teams were nicknamed the "wildcats" after the LA Times praised Arizona for showing "the fight of wildcats" in a 1914 football game against Occidental College. The image stuck as the school's official mascot. 960 1280

Huperphuff - Wikimedia Commons  

University of Arizona - Sonoran Hot Dog

University of Arizona - Sonoran Hot Dog

"Bear Down" on the Sonoran hot dog, a staple on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson. Wrapped in bacon and topped with beans, onions, tomatoes, mayonnaise and more, this one-of-a-kind dog is sure to make your taste buds jump for joy. 960 1280

  

University of Kentucky - Lexington, KY

University of Kentucky - Lexington, KY

Surrounded by bars and restaurants serving up the finest bourbon in the world and plastered in UK apparel and keepsakes, downtown Lexington, KY, is one of, if not the, premiere college basketball town in America. Being the winningest program in NCAA history has its perks, and Big Blue Nation never lets you forget that. 960 1280

Arpad Benedek / Getty Images  

University of Kentucky - Burgoo and Bourbon

University of Kentucky - Burgoo and Bourbon

Kentucky Burgoo, a stew typically made with 3 or more different kinds of meat and assorted vegetables like okra, lima beans and corn, has been a staple in Lexington for over 150 years. However, it doesn’t seem right to have anything else representing the state of Kentucky in the food and beverage debate other than bourbon. So, we’ve combined the two for a delicious burgoo and bourbon tailgate party. 960 1280

Richard Cummins / Getty Images  

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC

Considered the social hub for university students, Franklin Street was named after Ben Franklin and has been in use since the university's construction began in the 1790s. The street is celebrated for its festivals, nightlife and myriad of shops.  960 1280

Caroline Culler - Wikimedia Commons  

University of North Carolina - Pulled Pork Sandwich

University of North Carolina - Pulled Pork Sandwich

On Tobacco Road, it’s a never ending blue-blood battle when it comes to basketball, and the same can be said for their barbecue. When you’re heading to Chapel Hill, NC, for a game, make sure to try a slow-smoked, hickory-wood flavored pulled pork sandwich. They may be the best in the south! 960 1280

alisafarov / Getty Images  

Marquette University - Milwaukee, WI

Marquette University - Milwaukee, WI

The largest private university in Wisconsin (and one of the largest Jesuit universities in the country), Marquette is located 1 mile from Lake Michigan, and is responsible for Milwaukee's reputation as one of America's great college basketball towns. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Marquette University - Bratwurst

Marquette University - Bratwurst

It’s hard to imagine heading to America’s Dairyland and not having cheese as the top choice, but when it comes to tailgating in Milwaukee, one dish reigns supreme — the bratwurst. Pair your brat with a delicious local beer and your well on your way to an epic tailgate. 960 1280

Envision / Getty Images  

University of Texas - Austin, TX

University of Texas - Austin, TX

With more students than any other college in Texas, the University of Texas at Austin has been recognized as "America's Best Sports College" by Sports Illustrated. The Texas Longhorns have long been revered as a powerful football team. In recent years, their men's basketball team has also made their name among the elite. 960 1280

Kumar Appaiah - flickr  

University of Texas - BBQ Brisket

University of Texas - BBQ Brisket

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that saying holds true when it comes to the local barbecue. If seasoned and cooked correctly (which should generally take about 12 hours in a smoker), the Texas-style barbecued brisket found in Austin is some of the most tender and juicy in the entire country. 960 1280

Alexandra Grablewski / Getty Images  

Indiana University - Bloomington, IN

Indiana University - Bloomington, IN

Located in the heart of Bloomington, IN, Kirkwood Avenue is lined with bars, shops and restaurants. It was named for astronomer Daniel Kirkwood in 1895, whose observatory can be seen from the avenue.  960 1280

Visit Bloomington  

Indiana University - Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie

Indiana University - Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie

Oh my, sweet sugar cream pie. Filled with vanilla-flavored cream and baked to perfection, no trip to Hoosier country is complete without a taste of the state’s rich, custard pie. 960 1280
Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN

Located a little more than a mile from downtown Nashville, Vanderbilt University started calling its sports teams the "Commodores" or the "'Dores" after the university's namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt, who made his fortune in shipping.  960 1280

Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau  

Vanderbilt University - Hot Chicken

Vanderbilt University - Hot Chicken

This dish may look like your average fried chicken, but we promise this Nashville specialty is unlike any other around the country. Dipped in a heavily-marinated paste that has been doused with cayenne pepper, this spicy treat is a must-try when marching through Commodore nation. 960 1280

Boston Globe / Getty Images  

Ohio State University - Columbus, OH

Ohio State University - Columbus, OH

South Campus Gateway is a hub of entertainment in Columbus, OH. Considered the Main Street of Columbus, it is frequented by university students and neighborhood residents alike because of its many shops and restaurants. 960 1280

Analogue Kid - Wikimedia Commons  

Ohio State University - Buckeye Donuuts

Ohio State University - Buckeye Donuuts

Columbus, OH, may be considered the fast food capital of America, but on game days, it’s not fast food leaving it’s footprint on tailgating scene, it’s the delicious Buckeye donut. This chocolate donut with a peanut butter center is named after its resemblance to the buckeye nut and is the perfect way to end your tailgate with a bang. 960 1280
Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Georgetown University - Washington, DC

In Washington, DC, M Street is part of a major shopping district in the Georgetown neighborhood. Georgetown University is the oldest Jesuit and Catholic university in the US. To this day, no one is quite sure why the university's team is called the "Hoyas." 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Georgetown University - Half-Smoke

Georgetown University - Half-Smoke

This smoked, half-pork / half-beef sausage, is a specialty localized to the Washington D.C. area. Spiced with herbs, topped with onions and smothered in chili sauce, the half-smoke is a local favorite of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. 960 1280

Jon Hicks / Getty Images  

Duke University - Durham, NC

Duke University - Durham, NC

The American Tobacco skyline is home to Duke University, which changed its name to Duke in 1924 for tobacco industrialist James B. Duke. Durham, NC, embraces college basketball with fervor, selling out every men's home basketball game. 960 1280

Chris Barron - Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau  

Duke University - Hush Puppies

Duke University - Hush Puppies

Separated by just 8 miles from "that other school" in Chapel Hill, Durham — the home of Duke University — also specializes in the barbecue game. However, there is one tasty, deep-fried side treat found in bbq joints across Durham that can rival it’s deliciousness: the small cornmeal cakes known as hush puppies. 960 1280

Iain Bagwell / Getty Images  

Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI

Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI

The pride of East Lansing, MI, Michigan State University is not only home to a championship-winning men's basketball team, but it is also considered one of the country's "public Ivies." Meanwhile, Grand River Avenue is the hub of shopping and entertainment at the university. 960 1280

David Shane - flickr  

Michigan State University - Pasty

Michigan State University - Pasty

A favorite of Sparty, students in East Lansing and Michiganders far and wide, this delightful pie-crust turnover, stuffed with assorted seasoned meats and potatoes, can be found all over the the northern part of the state. 960 1280
University of Kansas - Lawrence, KS

University of Kansas - Lawrence, KS

The home of the University of Kansas, downtown Lawrence, KS, is full of culture. It's home to an annual film festival, as well as a festival for buskers, or street performers. Lawrence is also filled with history; it  was named one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's "most distinctive destinations." 960 1280

Lawrence Convention & Visitors Bureau  

University of Kansas - Kansas-Style Ribs

University of Kansas - Kansas-Style Ribs

Smothered in a dry rub consisting of brown sugar, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, paprika and garlic powder, these slabs of spare ribs are a must-try on any trip to land of the Jayhawks. 960 1280

ramonailumuscom / Getty Images  

lechon
Lechon (Jersey City, New Jersey)

Lechon (Jersey City, New Jersey)

I love Filipino food; the post-colonial cuisine combines the best of South Asian ingredients with Spanish technique. Although it hasn’t taken hold in this country like Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, you can still find phenomenal Filipino food on both coasts. The Cebu-style lechon from Legal Beans in Jersey City is as good as it gets. Stuffed with lemongrass and scallions, rubbed with vinegar and spices, and slow-roasted for several hours, this whole hog is ideal tailgating grub for a crowd. 960 1280

  

Flaczki (Pittsburgh)

Flaczki (Pittsburgh)

Pittsburgh is an Eastern European immigrant city with a dynamic food scene that's reinvented itself over the last couple decades. For traditionalists, a stop at S&D Polish Deli is a must. Run by a couple from central Poland, it's a one-stop shop for everything from Polish shampoo to Warsaw-style head cheese and other fantastic Polish fare. One of their specialties is flaczki, a beef tripe soup that hits the spot on a chilly day. 960 1280

  

Burgoo (Eastern Kentucky)

Burgoo (Eastern Kentucky)

Burgoo is a true hunter’s chowder that’s legendary in eastern Kentucky. Although a singular recipe doesn’t exist, there are a few things everyone can agree on -- it has to have at least 3 different types of meat (i.e. squirrel, turkey and deer) and it’s gotta be cooked on an open fire pit. My Kentucky hunting pal, Tim Farmer, makes a killer version with 5 wild meats, along with vegetables from his garden, including tomatoes, okra and his secret ingredient, homemade currant jelly. Served with bacon-rich cornbread, burgoo is ideal cool weather comfort food. 960 1280

  

Fish Boil (Two Rivers, Wisconsin)

Fish Boil (Two Rivers, Wisconsin)

Great Lakes whitefish is one of the only species left for commercial fishermen to harvest from Lake Michigan, and it’s perfect for a fish boil. The Two Rivers Fire Department has a long tradition of manning the raging fire at the annual Door County Fish Boil, where the firemen use a hefty amount of kerosene to create a crowd-drawing spectacle. What’s better to feed a crowd than a fish boil? 960 1280

  

Beef Barbacoa (Houston)

Beef Barbacoa (Houston)

You'll find the ultimate tailgating scene at a Houston Texans home game, where the scale of the food matches the enthusiasm of the die-hard fans. The guys from Pitmaker, a local barbecue manufacturing company, know how to throw one hell of a pregame party, turning Mexican specialties into an ultimate tailgating feast (they even have a live band). I was lucky enough to sample their beef barbacoa de cabeza … yes, all the meat from a slow-roasted whole steer head. Grab a tortilla, and a mix of cheek and tongue, and you have the makings of one of the best tacos I've eaten. 960 1280

  

Crow and Jalapeno Wrapped in Bacon (Gravette, Arkansas)

Crow and Jalapeno Wrapped in Bacon (Gravette, Arkansas)

Crow meat has a bad reputation, but when cooked correctly, it reminds me of canvasback duck, some of the sweeter-tasting species that we have in the North. After hunting crow in the Ozarks, I helped cook up some bacon-wrapped crow and jalapeno bites. Rolled in brown sugar, dipped in soy sauce and then grilled, this is Arkansas-style game day food -- superb Ozarks finger food. 960 1280

  

Caldo (St. Bernard, Louisiana)

Caldo (St. Bernard, Louisiana)

Traditional Isleno cooking abounds in St. Bernard, LA, along what I like to call the "Third Coast." Caldo is a humble peasant stew with its roots in the Canary Islands. It’s a tender braise, filled with a hundred vegetables and in this case, big knobs of pickled pork. It’s a one-pot-wonder that makes use of whatever meat and vegetables you have on hand -- beans, cabbage, corn, tomato, sweet potato and turnip greens are all in abundance in this part of the country. 960 1280

  

Porchetta (Ionia, Iowa)

Porchetta (Ionia, Iowa)

On a small farm, Rustik Rooster Farms, outside of Waverly, Iowa, my friend Carl Blake has crossbred one of the most delicious pigs in America -- he calls his breed an Iowa Swabian Hall in homage to the classic German pig stock. With an ideal balance of intra- and inter-muscular fat and well-marbled muscle meat, this is truly one of the greatest hogs you'll ever eat. I had the pleasure of tasting Carl's porchetta, a boneless whole hog, stuffed with sausage, loins and its own organs, all roasted to perfection. Touchdown. 960 1280

  

Whole Smoked Armadillo (Central Florida)

Whole Smoked Armadillo (Central Florida)

When most people think of Florida, they imagine Disney World and Miami Beach, but if you venture into the heart of the peninsula, you'll find wonderful folks who take pride in living off the land. This means eating and cooking animals like armadillo. My guides, hunters David Tyburski and Rick Stafford, prepared smoked armadillo, cooked in its own shell and filled with seasonings and vegetables. Believe me, it makes for one unique barbecue. And it's delicious. 960 1280

  

Matanza (Los Lunas, New Mexico)

Matanza (Los Lunas, New Mexico)

It's pretty obvious I have a thing for whole animal cooking. And when it comes to ceremonial whole hog feasting, a traditional matanza is solidly at the top of my list. In the community of Los Lunas in New Mexico, for example, everyone gathers together to butcher and cook all parts of the pig, creating dishes ranging from blood pudding and fried pig skin, to <i>adobado</i> and braised red chili ribs. This kind of cooking wouldn’t be out of place outside of an NFL stadium. It's the best whole hog cookery I know of. 960 1280

  

Bigos (Philadelphia)

Bigos (Philadelphia)

Bigos is a traditional Polish pork-and-sauerkraut stew that is rich in soulful Eastern European flavors and ingredients. Czerw's Kielbasy in Philly has one of the best versions I’ve ever tried. These guys are serious about family traditions, using the same kielbasa recipes that grandpa Jan Czerw used back in 1938 when he first opened this smokehouse. It's the perfect meal in a bowl. 960 1280

  

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