RANKED! The Best Football Season Tailgating Foods
Football season has returned and that means it’s time to get your tailgating game on. The ancient (OK, not so ancient) tradition of stuffing yourself in celebratory fashion before a sporting event lives on and is one of the best parts of being a football fan. But what you serve to your friends and fellow sports nuts from the back of your pick-up truck in that stadium parking lot will determine whether or not you “win” at tailgating. Unlike alcohol (which you will also obviously serve and only needs to be plentiful), crafting the perfect tailgating spread can be challenging. We’ve given you a head start by ranking the best tailgating foods for football season. Now all you have to do is either pick and choose which to put on your menu or figure out how to bring them all to the party. Go team!
Cover Photo: Thomas Barwick (Getty Images)
Steal their secrets: Celebrity Chefs Dish On Their Favorite Tailgating Foods And Football Teams
10. Corn on the Cob
Vegetables aren't high on the list of football fans' favorite eats, but if we have to have something semi-healthy on hand at a tailgate, corn on the cob is it. Cheap, easy to prepare, and fun to chew, this finger food rounds out a tailgating meal.
For the lazy tailgater, just order up a dozen pies, hand out some napkins, and call it a day. No one in the history of the world ever complained about eating pizza.
Nachos are the holy union of two foods that simply belong together. Crispy, salty, crunchable tortilla chips dipped in thick, warm, freakishly orange cheese is a winning combination. Feel free to add toppings if desired, but plain nachos are still pretty stellar. Eat 'em until your stomach hurts. It's the only way.
7. Sub Sandwiches
This customizable, DIY option is great if you'd rather spend your tailgate shit-talking the opposing team than preparing and serving food. Simply set all the ingredients out on a big table and let people go to town.
6. Mac and Cheese
Who wouldn't eat mac and cheese by the bucket if it was offered? This fan favorite hits all the right comfort food receptors in our brains and in our bellies. Don't try anything fancy; just stick with the traditional Kraft-style stuff and watch your tailgating friends slip into a delicious cheesy coma.
Spice things up at your next tailgate with a massive pot of chili. It's warm, it's filling, and it never seems to run out. The only downside of this "magical fruit" stew is the gas, of course, but that's why you're outside.
4. Pulled Pork
Pulled pork is a great option if you want to serve meat but want to do so economically. This low-maintenance option can be made ahead of time, so all you have to do once you reach the parking lot is heat and serve.
3. Chicken Wings
Eating wings and watching football have primitive elements to them. Surely our ancestors enjoyed pulling animal skin off bones with their teeth as well as watching the brawniest of the bunch pummel one another. It's human nature. Don't fight it.
Brats are a grown-up, elevated version of hot dogs. They're thicker, juicier, and more flavorful than the wieners you get stuck eating in the stadium. A good brat doesn't need much -- a condiment or two and a bun that can contain it. This simple pleasure is also one of the most satisfying food options for tailgating.
You can't beat burgers, so don't even try. They're like a tasty, meaty canvas on which to create your edible work of art. Everyone loves them (except vegetarians, but even they have options) and they're oh-so-American. Just like football.