Here are our picks for the 10 best tailgating foods. Now, these are our opinions, of course. There’s a good chance we’ve left your favorite off the list! But when it comes to game day, these are our the foods we think are the total best. We’ll have the jerseys on. Our game day tickets are safely in hand. The phone has been checked three times for fantasy football standings. It’s time to party!

Now when it comes to the Big Game (that’s Super Bowl 50) you’re going to want to dine in style. That means going to the best of the pre-game tailgate. That means getting tickets to the 2016 Players Super Bowl Tailgate which will have food from Guy Fieri. Now, he can cook a tailgate!

But for now, here’s what we think you should bring to the NFL pre-game parties!


1. Meat

We lumped all the meat into one category. It had to be done. If we were to put each meat we loved in its own spot on this list, we’d have no room for anything else. Variations on bacon would take up at least three spots, and we’ve only left ourselves room for 10 items on this list. And we like things other than meat. Especially after a 6-hour barbeque We don’t want to eat just meat, no matter how delicious a famous 6-hour patented soaking over-night meat dish is. We need something else too. So, we’ve stuck the ribs (with sauce so spicy it requires a water colder than ice) on the same spot in the list as the hot dogs, and the bratwursts, and the pork, the chicken sandwiches, and even those strange tofu burgers. But, whatever meat ends up the centerpiece of the tailgate, just don’t forget it. We forgot the meat once. It was terrible. Everyone was forced to mooch off other tailgaters in the parking lot.

2. Chips and Dip

They’re crunchy and tasty. Chips are just the best. They’re portable. Perfect for game day. They’re possible to eat while trash talking. What makes chips better? Chip dip so good it breaks the chips into little tiny pieces that we try to dig out with our fingers. Spinach and artichoke anyone? With salsa as the new most popular American condiment, it’s true everyone loves a good chips and dip.

3. Chili

It’s cold outside. (If you’re north of California.) You need something to keep you warm. Enter chili. So someone might burn it. Or someone will say spaghetti doesn’t belong in chili. Or olives don’t belong in chili. Or someone will bring too much and try to pawn it off on unsuspecting Tupperware recipients. But, chili is a staple. And it’s a classic for a very good reason. It tastes good. It’s versatile and leaves room for interpretations and regional flavors. Don’t try the old, “but we have to bring spoons and bowls if we have chili.” Look at all the stuff you’ve already packed in the backseat! Don’t forget the hot sauce, some people like to keep it spicy!

4. Potato Salad

Ahh. Reminds us of home. It’s the staple of tailgates, cookouts, and potlucks. The eternal debate on mayonnaise vs. mustard vs. vinegar will live on longer than the memory of the immaculate reception. A great part about tailgating is walking around and getting a chance to peek over everyone’s shoulders and finding a new way to cook the favorites. One day we’ll will find the perfect potato salad recipe. That will be a glorious day. Until then we’ll keep tweaking the one we use!

5. Corn

Eat your vegetables. Or at least, eat your vegetables after they’ve been soaking in sugar water and doused with salt.

6. Sliders

If you’re eating a smaller version of a sandwich you can eat more than one, right? Sliders or even sandwiches cut in half are a big favorite. Plus, everyone loves eating with their fingers! Sliders are great because they’re small and handheld which is good for playing iPhone games while munching. There’s a little leeway room for creativity in these little guys, like incorporating team colors into the tasty snacks. But maybe, just draw your team’s name in mustard on the bun.

7. Coleslaw

Coleslaw is crisp, fresh, tangy, and crunchy. And it comes in these wonderful, huge tubs that will feed a hungry army of post-workout teenage boys. Score! Sometimes all that grease needs a counterpoint, in this case it’s a nice, cool, refreshing serving of coleslaw.

Watermelon for tailgate

8. Watermelon

You’ve gotta have watermelon. Or a fruit at least. In between the chips and all that meat. Watermelon is also a good color, which helps if everything on your plate is a tan color and you’re looking for some visual interesting.

9. Jambalaya

Okay, this might be a bit unconventional. You might be saying, jambalaya? Are you sure? Yes. It’s another great – make this in a big pot and let it sit – recipes. It’s a perfect alternative to chili by adding some oomph to the spoon. Plus it’ll give you an excuse to be wearing Mardi Gras beads. It’s usually more of a traditon in the south, but there’s not reason it can’t be brought up north!


10. Cookies

Sweet tooths rejoice. Cookies! They even come pre-made in the shape of team’s logos. Twenty minutes after the main course is done, everyone will be wanting something sweet. If cookies are too difficult, buy the cupcakes with the little plastic football rings on top. It may be the closest your team will ever get to a Super Bowl ring.