Fan-Favorite Football Foods Across America
For many, football means food. We scoured the country for the best locally inspired football fare — and where to eat it while the game's on. From classic wings in Buffalo to more creative local takes on classic game-day snacks, here is the dish to try for all 32 NFL teams.
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Arizona Cardinals: Cheese Crisp
Arizona's cuisine is heavily influenced by Mexico, so the cheese crisp, a hybrid of an open-faced quesadilla and a well-topped Mexican pizza, is mighty popular. Fans love pairing the dish with a crisp local brew, like SanTan's Devils Ale. Grab one to go from Mi Nidito in Tucson, where the game's usually on in the waiting area. The Beaver Bar and Ammaccapane's, both in Phoenix, offer good ones, along with plenty of TVs.
Atlanta Falcons: Fried Chicken Sandwich
Falcons fans have plenty of great local food to enjoy at gametime. At STATS, within walking distance of the team's Mercedez-Benz Stadium, fans can dig into creative takes on Southern classics, while watching the game on flatscreen TVs and sipping beer from tableside taps. Favorite Atlantan dishes include boiled peanuts and Southern-tinged fare like the Dirty Bird sandwich, with vinegar slaw and spicy mayonnaise. It's best paired with the house-brewed IPA, Bushwood.
Baltimore Ravens: Crab Nachos
In the waterfront town of Baltimore, crabs are almost as beloved as famous past resident Edgar Allan Poe (for whom the Ravens are named). Fans feast on plenty of local fare come game day — M&T Bank Stadium sells crab cakes, pit beef and Old Bay-seasoned sandwiches. At Looney's Pub in Canton, crab appears throughout the menu, filling potato skins, in a spicy dip with French bread, topping a pretzel and over fries. The best rendition may be atop gooey nachos. Pair it with Flying Dog IPA.
Buffalo Bills: Buffalo Wings
The favorite finger food of sports fans, Buffalo wings get their name from the city of their inception, and are thus pretty astoundingly popular here, and have been since their invention in the 1960s. Buffalo wings are served at New Era Field, though fans without tickets head to Anchor Bar, where the wings were invented. Pair your choice with an IPA from Community Beer Works.
Carolina Panthers: Barbecue Sliders
North Carolina is all about barbecue, and Panthers fans are all about barbecue-centric tailgates. Inside Bank of America Stadium, it's available as barbecue-topped nachos, pulled pork sandwiches and brisket. Over at Heist Brewery, barbecue inspires wings — as Carolina barbecue or classic barbecue flavors — and brisket-bolstered burgers.
Chicago Bears: Hot Dogs
Ketchup fans, turn away. Chicago hot dogs are in a class by themselves, and they're tomato-free. Dragged through the garden, these boiled dogs get flavor from zippy yellow mustard, a pickle, spicy sport peppers and sweet green relish under a thatch of fries. There is no tomato and absolutely no ketchup. Find the best ones outside town at Gene & Jude's, and wash them down with a Goose Island IPA.
Cincinnati Bengals: Chili and Tots
Cincinnati has its own namesake chili, which locals serve over spaghetti (it's that good). Order a bowl for game day or, better yet, at Lachey's in Over-the-Rhine, order a bacon-topped Tot Bowl with a side of chili for dipping. The bar offers flatscreen TVs, a running ticker with updates and plenty of beers on tap. Fans who head to Paul Brown Stadium can dive into burgers, chili and waffle sandwiches.
Cleveland Browns: Polish Boy
Clevelanders love their Polish sausages, which are especially good at game-day tailgates with local beer. At the Browns' FirstEnergy Stadium, football fans can dive into kraut-topped kielbasa, Italian sausages and a cheddar-spicy-pepper sausage at Sausage & Peppers. For those who prefer not to grill themselves, grab some from Banter, where the Polish Boy, poutines and draft brews have gained a hyper-devoted following.
Dallas Cowboys: Chicken-Fried Steak Sandwich
At the Cowboys' AT&T Stadium, football fans can dive into Texas-sized fare, including mac and cheese and a chicken-waffle sandwich. In the land of chicken-fried steaks, fans outside the stadium can tuck into the battered, beer-friendly favorite at Angry Dog, where Duke’s Chicken Fried Steak Sandwich can be devoured by nine televisions with one of 20 beers on tap, or 100 by the bottle.
Denver Broncos: Green Chile Fries
Denverites love their green chile. Get some of the best in town with prime game-day viewing at Blake Street Tavern, where green chile is served over fries, burgers or by the bowl. At Sports Authority Field at Mile High, home to the Denver Broncos, fans can dive into green chile dogs and pizza.
Detroit Lions: Coney Island Dog
This is not New York arrogance: Coney Island dogs — or chili dogs, as they're known anywhere outside Motor City — are a Detroit favorite, found at bars and restaurahts throughout the city. They're topped with chili sauce, mustard and onions, then tucked into a steamed bun. The Detroiter Bar, which offers game-day shuttles, serves two for $5.
Green Bay Packers: Cheese Curds
Unsurprisingly, Cheeseheads love their 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. Kroll's West, right by the stadium, serves queso, mozzarella sticks, poppers and, of course, deep-fried cheese curds. They're best paired with Miller or the house ale.
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, in platter and sandwich form at NRG Stadium, games are a meatfest. Gatlin's is a favorite for smoky brisket sandwiches and pork-topped baked potatoes, with TVs tuned into the game.
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.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Fried Shrimp
Shrimp are a beloved-enough food that the local minor league baseball team is the Jumbo Shrimp. Locals pride themselves on sweet Mayport shrimp. At EverBank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, you can find it in a few preparations. Nearby at Sneakers, Jaguars fans dig into Mayport shrimp and fries, with eight TVs tuned into the game.
Kansas City Chiefs: Burnt Ends Nachos
Kansas City loves its barbecue and its Chiefs. Tailgates are rife with the smell of smoked meats, and Arrowhead Stadium serves carnitas tortas, barbecue wings and braised short rib mac and cheese. One beloved local dish is burnt ends, delicious as a platter but even better at sports bar The Granfalloon, when they're scattered over cheesy nachos with jalapenos. Grab a table and watch the game on seemingly countless TVs.
Los Angeles Chargers: Fish Tacos
With roots in San Diego, the Chargers keep it sunny and exclusively Southern Californian. At StubHub Center, many concessions have a Mexican spice, including carne asada nachos. Cheer the team on with top-tier fish tacos at FishBar in Manhattan Beach. The seafood-centric restaurant plays all the NFL games on 20 large TVs. Beers include the house pale ale, San Diego's Coronado Brewing and Stone Brewing, though many fans opt for quality cocktails like the hibiscus margarita.
Los Angeles Rams: French Dip
The French Dip was born in Los Angeles, and Angelenos proudly ignore the stereotypes about macrobiotic food and all-salad diets to plunge meaty sandwiches into jus. When it comes to cheering on the Rams, many food-loving fans head to Beer Belly in Koreatown for spicy wings and a duck-filled take on the dip. Pair it with a seasonal local brew from Inglewood's Three Weavers or Eagle Rock Brewery.
Miami Dolphins: Fish Sandwich
Miami fans are spoiled with food options, including tropical fruit, Cuban dishes and plenty of fresh, local fish. Scully's Tavern is locally beloved for its bar bites and local flavor. Cheer on the Dolphins with dolphin-inspired dishes made with mahi-mahi, including fish tacos, the potato chip-crusted dolphin sandwich and a blackened version that piles on the spice.
Minnesota Vikings: Juicy Lucy
The Juicy Lucy was invented at Matt's Bar in Minneapolis, and is the ideal way to stave off icy chills at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Nook, a lively bar with shuttles to the games, serves its own take, the Juicy Nookie, which is packed with molten pepperjack. If that's not enough, many fans get the roast beef-topped take, Guy's Big Bite, created and named for Guy's visit to the joint on an episode of Triple D.
New England Patriots: Fish and Chips
A well-hit home run from Fenway, Beerworks is a destination for all local games. The menu includes pub favorites — burgers, nachos and wings — along with regional specials, including locally caught haddock served as fish and chips with aioli and slaw, or tucked into a sandwich. Pair it with Fenway Pale Ale or the Original Boston Red. On cold days, start with a bowl of New England clam chowder, a fan favorite; in fact many game-goers beat the chill at Gillette Stadium with cups of creamy clam chowder, perhaps best paired with a Sam Adams.
New Orleans Saints: Po' Boys
There are plenty of options for Saints fans: New Orleans is nothing if not a food city. Crawfish, boudin balls, muffulettas: enticements abound. In fact, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome serves plenty of them for game-goers. In the French Quarter, head to tiny dive bar Buffa's for po'boys, Buffa-lo wings and red beans with rice, while the game plays. Those who prefer to pick up po' boys to pair with Abitas at home should grab their favorite flavor from the beloved Parkway Bakery & Tavern.
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New York Giants: Reuben Burger
Two of New Yorkers' favorite foods come together in one gloriously meaty game-day dish: the Reuben Burger at The Ainsworth. With five locations around the city — each offering TVs from seemingly every angle — the chandelier-lit upscale sports bar aims to suit all tastes. Combining the best of the classic NYC deli Reuben and a juicy burger, it's an appropriately giant order. Those with game tickets can dig into NY-approved pastrami hoagies, pizza, burgers and more at MetLife Stadium.
New York Jets: Jersey Subs
Jets fans love to joke about their disappointments, which are best alleviated by extra-large submarine sandwiches. 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 for a MetLife tailgate or bought from Jersey Mike Subs, they're a local tradition.
Oakland Raiders: Stuffed Potato Skins
Raiders fans love a good tailgate, and can be seen grilling steaks, roasting pigs and making tacos outside O.co Coliseum. Inside, attendees can dig into burritos, barbecue and sandwiches. Nearby, Ricky's, Ricky's shows the games on 90 screens, with a menu that includes potato skins, sliders, tri-tip sandwiches and stuffed potato skins that are fittingly akin to a food-centric treasure raid.
Philadelphia Eagles: Cheesesteak Egg Roll
Cheesesteaks are a Philadelphia tradition, with local shops competing to serve the best version. Several versions are sold at the Eagles' Lincoln Financial Field, in addition to spicy chicken sandwiches and Pizzeria Vetri pizza. Come game day, head to Founding Fathers for roast pork sandwiches, nachos, flatbreads and an ingenious take on the cheesesteak: cheesesteak egg rolls. Watch the game on 13 TVs and grab craft beer like Victory's Hop Devil IPA.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Pierogi Sandwich
Pittsburgh is a city where cultures meld — Italian and Polish cultures are especially prominent. Just across the river from Heinz Field, in Market Square, The Yard serves a hearty menu of grilled cheese sandwiches, including Pierogies N'At, a cheddar-gouda blend stuffed with fried pierogies and kielbasa, with caramelized onions and sauerkraut. Pair it with a local IPA from Eleventh Hour Brewing and catch the game on flat-screen TVs around the space. Those who head to the game can grab sandwiches from Primanti Brothers.
San Francisco 49ers: Tacos
San Franciscans love a good taco or burrito, especially when it comes with a backdrop of 49ers games. Underdogs in the Inner Sunset, shows Niners games on 10 TVs. From the owner of Nick's Crispy Tacos, the space serves an unbeatable menu of Mexican food, including Mission-style burritos and the Nick's taco, a crispy tortilla wrapped in a soft tortilla, filled iwth carnitas, chicken, carne asada, chorizo or vegetables. At Levi's Stadium, fans can find vegan burgers, steamed buns, gumbo and tortas to pair with local bears like Anchor Steam and Lagunitas.
Seattle Seahawks: Seattle Burger
Seattle fans are blessed with fantastic access to seafood, produce and craft beer. At Quality Athletics in Pioneer Square, fans gather to watch the game on 16 TVs, or grab drinks to take to the outside fire pits. Try the Seattle Burger, which pairs six ounces of local beef with a cheddar brat from Pike Place's Bavarian Meats, with smoked jalapeño cream cheese and the usual fixings on a Columbia City Roll. It's right by CenturyLink Field, where ticket-holding fans can dig into concessions like Beecher's mac and cheese, along with dim sum, fish and chips and barbecue.
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. Outside, head for Columbia Restaurant.
Tennessee Titans: Hot Chicken Taquitos
Nashville natives love their hot chicken, so leave it to fan-favorite bar Pastime to come up with a snackable take on the fiery fare. The space includes a rooftop bar, a spacious deck, classic cocktails, multiple televisions and share-worthy hot chicken taquitos with spicy ranch dip. Cool down an order with something from local brewery Jackalope.
Washington Redskins: Half-Smoke
Washington has a mighty culinary scene, representing the nearby Chesapeake and abundant local farmland, but the most-popular local food in the nation's capitol is the half-smoke, an aptly named smoky sausage that's ideal with beer when the Redskins are playing. Grab one at Fed-Ex Field in Landover, Maryland, or head to HalfSmoke, where the name shows off the speciality. Pair yours with a DC Brau.