The Top 10 College Football Tailgating Foods


With college football season finally upon us, perfect Saturdays are here again. We can return to making grand efforts to relocate couches and televisions outside, justifying midday beers with collegiate loyalties, and of course, the very best part of football…pre-game tailgating!  Without further ado, the Top Ten Tailgating Dishes any food or football fan can’t live without.

10. Wings


There’s just no substitute for a perfectly cooked, crispy wing drenched in hot sauce and dunked in ranch dressing. Sure, you can go for chicken fingers if you don’t like bones, but where’s the fun in that?

9. Vodka Soaked Fruit


I’d like to think our great, great, great, great ancestors figured this one out, but let’s be honest; this is pure drunk college ingenuity.

8. Dip


Salsa, guac, 7-layers, mango, hummus, etc, etc, etc. Those chips aren’t going to dip themselves people.

7. Fried Chicken


Hey, at least it’s not fried in transfats anymore. I mean I’d still eat it if it was.. but that’s gotta count for something, right?

6. Stuff on Sticks


Did you think ES would ever get tired of food on a stick? Nope, I didn’t either. Veggies or meats, all are equal skewered over a grill.

5. Bratwursts


Designed to be soaked in beer and eaten with as many toppings as you can find. Germanic culture was ahead of it’s time. Of course, they didn’t reach perfection until Americans started melting cheese on them. Or, in Wisconsin, injecting cheese inside them.

4. Chili


Not something you can necessarily whip up on site, but in the colder winter months, a perfect way to warm up while drinking cold beers.

3. BBQ Ribs


There are people on this planet that will wake up at the crack of dawn, hook up a giant grill to their truck and spend an entire morning slow cooking various pork products. From the bottom of our artery-clogged hearts, we salute you.

2. Burgers


The burger may be the latest gourmet trend, but let us not forget its humble roots. Ground beef, turkey or veggie patty, any cheese you want or none at all, onions, ketchup, mustard, pickles. What I’m trying to say here is that the burger = freedom = America. God bless.

1. Beer


If you’re surprised by this finale then let me be the first to welcome you to the food blog, Endless Simmer.

Happy Labor Day Weekend everybody! And happy football season. What did we miss? Holler back in the comments with your favorite parking lot eats.

(Photos: Houston Press, MickRheault!, minnaloushe05, thebittenword, valkyrieh116, sallymac79, doctor soup )


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  • belmontmedina September 4, 2009  

    And let us not forget the most important tailgating accessory- the red Dixie cup. (That’s a solo cup for you northerners.)

  • tubbytele September 4, 2009  

    Grilled peaches!

  • Nee Nee September 4, 2009  

    I think Germans have a leg up on our sloppy sausage eating. I had a weiner on the street in Munich that was served in a baguette-like roll with a hole poked in it. All you do is drop the dog and condiments in the hole and the whole thing is self-contained. No wet-wipes needed. Granted you would need an appropriate bun hole-poker, but that would just add to the tailgating entertainment value. No?

  • Maids September 4, 2009  

    @Nee Nee… Interesting. And you didn’t think that the baguette was too crunchy/crispy thick and bready? The bread didn’t overwhelm the brat?

  • Maids September 4, 2009  

    Um… Bliz, did you know there is a face on the chicken wing? Gross.

  • Bliz September 4, 2009  

    @ belmontmedina – amen to the dixie cups. also a big fan of the school affiliated koozie.

    @ maids – I don’t mind the eyes so much. that way the wings can see how much I’m enjoying eating them

  • lc September 4, 2009  

    @ Nee Nee- um,appropriate bun hole poker? contradiction in terms.
    Excellent list, nice finish. I do think the dips could be a section unto themselves but you mention 7 layer so I am satisfied.

  • lc September 5, 2009  

    @ Nee Nee- um,appropriate bun hole poker? contradiction in terms.
    Excellent list, nice finish. I do think the dips could be a section unto themselves but you mention 7 layer so I am satisfied.
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

  • jake poolman September 5, 2009  

    man oh man am I hungry.

    should put some of these like a menu on one of these Football Gifts

  • fendro September 8, 2009  

    It’s Labor Day Weekend. Have a nice day!!

  • Leah September 9, 2009  

    Speaking of solo cups..has anyone noticed they changed them? They took out the interior line. I mean seriously, how am I supposed to measure now…from mixed drinks to beer pong..not cool.

  • Corrinne September 14, 2009  

    Hello?! What about Buffalo Chicken Dip! Here is a great recipe:

    Frank’s® RedHot® Buffalo Chicken Dip:

    1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
    2 cans (9.75 oz each) Swanson® Premium Chunk Chicken Breast, drained
    ½ cup Frank’s ® RedHot ® Sauce
    ½ cup blue cheese salad dressing
    ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
    Assorted fresh vegetables and/or crackers

    1. Stir cream cheese in 9” deep pie dish until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients.
    2. Bake at 350°F. for 20 min. until hot and bubbling. Stir. Serve with vegetables and crackers.


    * Substitute ranch dressing for blue cheese dressing and shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese for blue cheese crumbles.
    * Make this in the microwave by heating it on high for 5 minutes instead of baking
    * Keep it warm in a crockpot or slow cooker



  • steve February 24, 2011  

    This is a terrible list. Bratwurst? “stuff on a stick”, Chili? I have NEVER seen any of these at a tailgate. 1st, wings and friend chicken are pretty much the same category, and should be #2. also, where are the hot dogs? you have “dip” but no chips? thought no argument with beer being #1.

  • steve February 24, 2011  

    btw, meant fried…not friend chicken…althought you can make a lot of friends with good chicken

  • Bliz February 24, 2011  

    Hey Steve, you completely lost me at “wings and friend chicken are pretty much the same category.” You can take one of the ‘things on sticks’ (which can be found in abundance at any football tailgate I’ve been to) and shove it up your ass. Thanks for posting.

  • Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe January 21, 2012  

    Awesome photos, good on having the number 1 tailgating “food” as beer. The essential, even if you have nothing else at a tailgate.

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