Fan-Favorite Football Foods Across America

For some, football means tailgates, fantasy leagues, and Sundays with friends. But for all fans, football means food. We scoured the country for the best football fare around — and the best spots for fans to find it. From wings in Buffalo and crab cakes in Baltimore to Chicago dogs and Cincinnati chili, we’ve got game game-day fare covered across all 32 NFL teams. No matter who you root for, there’s something for everyone here. Read on for the most delicious ideas for your next football feast.

Photo By: Patrick Williams ©PWP Studio 2010

Arizona Cardinals: Green Chile Stew

Arizona's cuisine is heavily influenced by Mexico, and locals LOVE their spices, so it's no surprise that the state known for green chiles and prickly pear cacti boasts some super-hot game-day food that fans can't seem to get enough of. Cardinals fans whip up Southwestern green chile stew, a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs dish of meat (usually chicken or pork), spices, veggies, and, of course, chiles. Green chile stew is often served with tortillas, and fans love pairing the dish with a local brew, like Four Peaks Kilt Lifter. Blue 32, multiple locations and Zipps Sports Bars, multiple locations

Atlanta Falcons: Fried Chicken Nachos

Among the culinary goodies offered at Georgia Dome are foot-long hot dogs and the peach state's peach cobbler. While it's not the Dome, STATS, a local favorite bar and grill, serves up Sweet Heat Fried Chicken Nachos that win the day with Falcons fans. The game-time favorite, often consumed by the pile in the parking lot at tailgates, is a messy must-have made with buttermilk fried chicken tenders, sweet heat peach BBQ sauce and spicy Jack cheese sauce. Wash it down with a local Sweetwater 420. STATS, 300 Marietta St. NW, (404) 885-1472

Baltimore Ravens: Maryland Crab Cakes

In a city like Baltimore, crabs are bound to be a-plenty — from the parking lot to the dozens of nearby restaurants — but M&T Bank Stadium's crab cake sandwiches should not be overlooked. And while the stadium's slow-roasted Pig Skin Sandwich gets a hefty share of glory from Ravens fans, the crab sandwich is a longtime crowd-pleaser. Nearby at Looney's Pub South, crab is served in mac 'n' cheese, piled on burgers and made into a famous hot crab dip. Look for Stillwater Ales on the rotating draft menu, all the better to pair with crab. Looney's Pub, 8180 Maple Lawn Blvd., (410) 803-7080

Buffalo Bills: Wings

Buffalo has always been credited for inventing wings (hence the name), and Anchor Bar has been serving them to Bills fans — along with legions of hungry locals and visitors — since the 1960s. One of the most popular snacks for football fans from coast to coast, Buffalo wings are served at "The Ralph" (Ralph Wilson Stadium), but mainly in the suites and club sections; fans in the know often bring wings to tailgate parties and get them outside of the stadium, pairing them with brews from local microbrewery, Flying Bison. Anchor Bar,1047 Main St., (716) 884-4083

Carolina Panthers: Carolina Barbecue

Panthers fans are famously known for the endless barbecue shared, served and consumed at tailgates before the games. Inside Bank of America Stadium, the pulled pork sandwich, beef brisket, and BBQ pork nachos by JJR's BBQ Shack are sell-outs on game days. Over at Duckworth's, their wings may be award-winning and there may be close to 80 beers on tap, but it's their Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue, slow-smoked and seasoned in a sandwich or on a platter, that has locals coming back. JJR's BBQ Shack, Bank of America Stadium (section 538) and Duckworth's Grill & Taphouse, multiple locations

Chicago Bears: Hot Dogs (Chicago-Style)

While they're not cheesy like the deep-dish pizza the Windy City is well-known for, or sweet, like the Krispy Kreme donuts tailgaters can be seen grilling in the parking lots, Chicago hot dogs are in a class by themselves. Those in the know top a Vienna Beef dog with mustard, relish, onion, tomato, celery salt, pickles and pickled sport peppers, stuffed into a poppy poppy-seed bun. Bears fans and Chicagoans alike take drinking as seriously as eating, so wash it down with a Goose Island IPA, another local favorite. Gene & Jude's, 2720 River Road, (708) 452-7634

Cincinnati Bengals: Cincinnati Chili

There's chili and then there's Cincinnati chili – a completely different take on the football favorite. But from fast food joints to high-end restaurants to the kiosks in Paul Brown Stadium, the city's eponymous chili, flavored with cinnamon and chocolate, is everywhere. Have a bowl (just chili) or make it a two-way: chili over spaghetti. It's most often served as a three-way, with chili, spaghetti and cheese. Want it four ways? Add onions or beans. And, of course, there are variations on all of these, not to mention chili sandwiches, chili fries and so on. Skyline Chili, multiple locations

Cleveland Browns: Beer Can Chicken

The notion is simple: Beer acts as a great marinade when a spice-rubbed chicken is stuffed with a full can of suds, allowing the flavors to steam out while grilling. One of the most ubiquitous sights at Cleveland Browns Stadium, football fans can be seen setting up grills and getting ready for game day as early as 7am. Cleveland Browns fans know to go on game day – both for the abundance of TVs playing the game (more than 20 big-screen TVs) and the varieties of beer (more than 80), including local brews from Great Lakes Brewing Company. The Blind Pig, 1228 W. 6th St., (216) 621-0001

Dallas Cowboys: Chicken Fried Steak

At Cowboys Stadium, football fans are served such local delights as a green chile Kobe beef burger and a Texas catfish po' boy —– not bad for stadium fare. But it's the down-home local favorite, chicken fried steak, that's a real indicator of this legendary Texas team and its fans. Breaded and fried with just the right amount of spice, it's no coincidence chicken fried steak is often served “cowboy-style” (with chili). At the always-packed Frankie's Bar, the chicken fried steak is popular on game day — and every other day — as is the local brew Shiner Bock. Frankie's Bar, multiple locations

Denver Broncos: Buffalo Burger

At Invesco Field at Mile High, home to the Denver Broncos, fans are treated to an array of beers (not to mention high elevation), and concession offerings include burritos, nachos, and tacos. But in a state known for buffalo and fans who love to grill, it's only fitting that the buffalo burger is the game-day favorite. At City Grille, a local eatery often praised for its burgers, they serve up a hefty buffalo burger: a half-pound patty, char-broiled to perfection. City Grille, 321 E. Colfax Ave., (303) 861-0726

Detroit Lions: Coney Island Dog

New Yorkers take note: Coney Island Hot Dogs did not originate in Brooklyn. The name refers to the hot dog itself, which was conceived in Michigan. The dogs can be found everywhere from tailgate grills to concession kiosks to famous stands. In the Motor City, the dogs are referred to as "coneys" by locals – and "chili dogs" by everyone else. Separating them further from the hot dogs styles of NYC and Chicago, Detroit coneys have no beans; they're topped with chili sauce, mustard and chopped sweet onions, then tucked into a steamed bun. American Coney Island, 114 W. Lafayette, (313) 961-7758

Green Bay Packers: Cheese Curds

Unsurprisingly, the most popular fare among Cheeseheads is cheese. From the beer macaroni and cheese at Lambeau Field to the cheddar-topped chili bowls of tailgating fans, there's no shortage of dairy. These deep-fried nuggets can be found all over the state, including Kroll's, located steps away from the Field. And with no shortage of local breweries, fans have more options than Miller to pair with their spreads, including beer from Titletown Brewing Company. Kroll's West Restaurant, 1990 S. Ridge Road, (920) 497-1111

Houston Texans: Beef Brisket

The Houston Texans may be a newer team to the NFL, but locals and fans know that meat-loving Texans are firmly established in the barbecue game. With plenty of barbecue at Reliant Stadium (Luther's BBQ and Indian Mountain are two stand outs), the tailgaters are equally as dedicated to perfectly barbecued meat. Gatlin's is still a relative newcomer in a city filled with renowned barbecue joints, but it has quickly established itself as a contender as visitors and locals alike are lining up for Gatlin's moist brisket (conveniently available to-go). Gatlin's BBQ, 1221 W. 19th St., (713) 869-4227

Indianapolis Colts: Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

So well-known for deep-fried pork tenderloin sandwiches is Indiana that there's an actual Tenderloin Trail and a Hoosier Pork Tenderloin Sandwich. Equally devoted to their team as they are their game-day fare, Colts fans pack the sandwiches for tailgates, or stick closer to Lucas Oil Stadium. Among the down-home food served at Christie's are pork tenderloin sandwiches, hand-breaded and fried and served rolls. Pair it one with a brew from Sun King — the first full-scale production brewery to open in Indianapolis in more than 50 years. Christie's on the Square, 103 S. High St., (812) 883-9757

Jacksonville Jaguars: Fresh Seafood

At EverBank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, you can find wild peel and eat shrimp on the stadium menu, along with mahi mahi, battered fish sandwiches and fried seafood. Unusual compared to the rest of the country, yes, but nothing new to tailgaters who can also find plenty of barbecued ribs, brisket and hot dogs at the stadium. Nearby at Sneakers, Jaguars fans can find all the game-day essentials: plasma TVs, a menu of lots of fresh seafood and bar snacks, and an ocean view. Sneakers Sports Grille, multiple locations

Kansas City Chiefs: Kansas City BBQ

There's barbecue, and then there's Kansas City barbecue. In a city obsessed with football, tailgating and yes, meat, locals are quick to admit barbecue wasn't invented there, but it was perfected there. Whether it's pulled pork, ribs or even hot dogs, the low-and-slow smoking style can be found at tailgates and in the stadium. At Arrowhead Stadium, fans flock to the Chiefs Brisket Stack (Texas toast with brisket, barbecue sauce, onion straws and pickles). Nearby barbecue joints like Arthur Bryant's have dine-in, take-out and party menus with all the fixins. Arthur Bryant's, multiple locations

Miami Dolphins: Cuban Sandwich

Given the multi-ethnic culture of Miami, it's no surprise that the Cuban sandwich ranks high on a tailgater's list of go-to sandwiches. (Food is such serious business in Miami that many fans grill their steaks in the parking lot of Sun Life Stadium, likely the only stadium in the country to serve paella.) But it's the Cuban, a hot pressed sandwich with melted Swiss cheese, roasted pork and salty ham that fans pack aplenty to cheer on the Dolphins. And what's better to pair it with than local brewery, The Abby's Immaculate IPA? Versailles, 3555 SW 8th St., (305) 444-0240

Minnesota Vikings: Jucy Lucy

The Jucy Lucy was said to be invented by Matt of Matt's Bar in Minneapolis, and the current owners remind customers today that if the name is spelled correctly, they may just be eating a knockoff. Chances are, hungry football fans may find an imitator, but they likely won't care. At Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome the fans are dedicated, braving the frigid temperatures to tailgate and cheer on their Vikings. To warm fans up, this cheeseburger, made with American cheese stuffed inside, is a piping-hot, messy, gooey dose of heat and meat. Matt's Bar, 3500 Cedar Ave., (612) 722-7072

New England Patriots: New England Clam Chowder

While Patriots fans are known to have lots of heart, they take that commitment to a new level during the winter. When temperatures drop low, fans still flock to Gillette Stadium, keeping warm with soups, stews and chowder. Some add bacon to their "chow-dah," traditionally made with clams, potatoes, onion and celery. This creamy concoction is best served piping hot and washed down with another local invention, Sam Adams beer. As famous as the Patriots is The Four's, open for nearly 40 years, a supporter of every team in Boston and known for its chowder. The Four's, 166 Canal St., (617) 720-4455

New Orleans Saints: Po' Boys

The Big Easy is nothing if not a food city. Oysters, beignets, muffuletta: There are tons of exotically sounding treats all over town. In fact, the Superdome serves up anything-but-boring fare, including alligator sausage. But during football season, fans pick up po' boys — sub sandwiches stuffed with anything from roast beef to fried chicken, Louisiana sausage to seafood on New Orleans French bread. While Saints fans have several beverage options, locals know the best beer to pair with po' boys is none other than their local brew, Abita. Cooter Browns, 509 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 866-9104

New York Giants: Pizza

Giants fans may tailgate in New Jersey, but they know the most famous of New York football food (yes, pizza), has its roots in Brooklyn. While there's no shortage of pizza in the city, to be consistently top-rated and packed is no small feat. Di Fara's classic pie would be welcome by any Giants fans at a tailgate or at home. For game-day viewing east of the Hudson River, many fans catch the game at The Ainsworth, an upscale sports bar with plasma-screen TVs and beer from (where else?) Brooklyn. Di Fara Pizza, 424 Avenue J, (718) 258-1367 and The Ainsworth, 122 W. 26th St., (212) 741-0645

New York Jets: Jersey Subs

The Jets are definitely a New York team, but they play in New Jersey, the state that gave us the great American sandwich: the submarine. Also known as a hoagie, grinder or hero, the concept is all the same: a heap of cheese and meat (turkey, cappacuolo, etc.), served on a hero. What gives it the Jersey touch is the dressing of the sub, the addition of onions, lettuce and tomatoes, and a blend of olive oil, red wine vinegar and spices. Whether made at home or brought to Met Life Stadium, subs make for no-cook, super-easy tailgate food. Jersey Mike Subs, multiple locations in NJ and one in NYC

Oakland Raiders: Stuffed Potato Skins

At O.co Coliseum, Raiders fans are known to go all-out. Tailgaters can be seen roastingpigs, they love anything fried, and they have a reputation for being rowdy (yet friendly). To match the enthusiasm, fans will find everything from nachos to teriyaki at the stadium. At nearby Ricky's, the menu has a slew of game-day burgers — many of them named for opponents and sandwiches named for Raiders greats. But there's one menu item everyone can agree on: the stuffed potato skins, made with cheese, bacon, onion and sour cream. Ricky's Sports Theater and Grill, 15028 Hesperian Blvd., (510) 352-0200

Philadelphia Eagles: Cheese Steaks

The City of Brotherly Love is best known for its cheese steaks, and when it comes to game-day fare, fans flock to their favorite spots for a hoagie. Locals know how to order (with or without Cheese Whiz and onions), and the best places will always be debated. Whether it's Pat's, Geno's or any other institution, picking up cheese steaks for tailgates makes sense. Locals are partial to Yuengling, made from the country's oldest brewery – all better to wash down their signature sandwich. Pat's King of Steaks, 1237 E. Passyunk Ave., (215) 468-1546 and Geno's Steaks, 1219 S. 9th St., (215) 389-0659

Pittsburgh Steelers: Kielbasa Sausage

Pittsburgh is a city where cultures meld — there, the Italian and Polish cultures are heavily influential. Fans can be found at Heinz Field whipping up kielbasa, pierogies and sausages to the sounds of Steelers polka music. There, the beer selection is excellent (local brews Iron City and Yuengling are served) and Primanti Brothers fans look no further than the stadium concession. The hearty Italian hoagies, famously stuffed with french fries, have been a Pittsburgh favorite for decades, and the knockwurst and cheese is a fitting combination of local flavors. Primanti Bros., multiple locations

Saint Louis Rams: Toasted Ravioli

It's hard to think ravioli can be improved upon, but Missourians managed to find a way. In St. Louis, the popular dish (both beef and cheese) is breaded and deep-fried, then dipped in marinara sauce and sprinkled with Parmesan. On game day, you'll find it in homes, at tailgates, at sports bars across St. Louis and at Edward Jones Dome, where Rams fans eat them by the dozen. Schlafly, a local brewery, has a flagship pale ale that pairs well with almost anything. Mama Toscana, 2201 Macklind Ave., (314) 776-2926 and The Post Sports Bar and Grill, 7372 Manchester Road, (314) 645-1109

San Diego Chargers: Fish Tacos

With sunny skies and the Pacific Ocean nearby, it's no wonder Chargers fans always seem to be optimistic. (Consistently fresh seafood and Baja fish tacos don't hurt either.) At Qualcomm Stadium, the fish tacos are good, even when the team isn't. Local brew Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co. is a favorite of tailgaters who grill up their own catch, serving fish on tortillas with cabbage slaw, tomatoes, onions and a special sauce. Around the parking lot, fans fire up carne asada and pollo asado, a nod to the Mexican influence on the city. Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill, (617) 497-0914

San Francisco 49ers: Mission Burrito

The word has spread about La Taqueria, a mainstay in San Francisco's Mission District, and these days the restaurant is busier than ever. It's no wonder: The menu is simple, the quality is fresh, and the burritos are big and cheap. The Carne Asada Super Burrito, perfectly seasoned and tender with the right amount of meat and beans, is a go-to staple for 49ers fans. At Candlestick Park, expect seafood (including fish tacos and chowder) and Hawaiian barbecue, as well as local brews like Lagunitas Brewing Company's pale ale, a Little Sumpin' Sumpin'. La Taqueria, 2889 Mission St., (415) 285-7117

Seattle Seahawks: Steamed Clams and Other Seafood

While there's little in the way of tailgating at CenturyLink Field (due to lack of space), fans have plenty of food and drink options on game day. The abundance of fresh seafood is apparent and menu items include Dungeness crabs, fish and chips, plus a fan favorite: the salmon BLT. This riff on a traditional BLT is made with Applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, and tomato — plus a fillet of Alaska sockeye salmon. For a local touch, pair with Elysian Zephyrus Pilsner from Seattle's beerhall in the Stadium District, where steamed clams are also served. Elysian Brewing Company, multiple locations

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lechon Asado

Tampa tends to compete with Miami for fresh seafood and Cuban sandwiches, but rest assured, both cities are fierce contenders. At Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, the highlight is the Havana dish Lechon Asada, shredded roast pork served with sides of black beans and yellow rice. Buccaneers tailgaters can usually be found grilling up seafood, which makes the Lechon Asada even more enticing once inside. Also on hand is Redbridge Gluten-Free beer, not usually found at stadiums. Columbia Restaurant, multiple locations

Tennessee Titans: Fried Chicken

Nashville residents can agree that when it comes to fried chicken, this city has the specialty dish on lock. Though fried chicken is a local favorite, fans deviate from serving only fried chicken at games, and they've shown that they take their beer just as seriously as their bird. Also out of Nashville is a Mexican- inspired local brew from Yazoo Brewing Company called Dos Perros Ale, a lighter beer with a lower alcohol content. Oh, and it pairs well with barbecue and spicy food — a good game-day addition indeed. Monell's, multiple locations and Sam's Sports Grill, multiple locations

Washington Redskins: Eastern Shore Crab Dip with Old Bay Seasoning

Yes, the Washington Redskins represent the nation's capitol, but the team plays in Landover, Md., home of Old Bay, a spice that is paired with everything from chips to dips. Along with its signature brews like Prohibition Porter, Capitol City Brewing Company serves a creamy crab dip made with lump crabmeat and seasoned with Old Bay, which can also be found on the Capitol Wings and the fish and chips — reminiscent of what many fans eat at home on game day. At Fed-Ex field, tailgaters use the spice on shrimp they can be seen grilling on game day. Capitol City Brewing Company, multiple locations

Next Up

Bobby Flay's Tips for Surviving a Super Bowl Party

How can you enjoy a food-filled game-day bash this Sunday and not overload on calories? We asked chef Bobby Flay for his tips.

Game Day Across America

We asked chefs across the country for their favorite game-day recipes.

Countdown to the Big Game: Dessert Dips to Sweeten Your Super Bowl Party

These dessert dips from Food Network are total game changers and keep the party going all the way to the two-minute warning.