I would challenge anyone to remember a bad time they had tailgating. It’s likely they can’t remember a bad time because they simply forgot due to extenuating circumstances such as ice cold Busch Light. I don’t remember all my tailgating experiences or the football games (Thanks Purdue Breakfast club) but what I can, was wonderful in large part due to the food. Food is one of the essentials of tailgating along with friends for Gamecocks games here in lovely Columbia, SC, along with crispy boys and obviously entertainment (lawn games 😉). Lacking any of these can quickly sink the day (though obviously it can be rescued by beating Clemson). With any good tailgate the focus will be food so we decided to put together a list of the best snacks and food for tailgates everywhere.
- Grilled meat – This will encompass the large portion of what we have come to associate with tailgating food. This includes staples such as hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, pork chops, chicken wings and ribs. Many people simply arrive a couple hours early, throw a few things on the grill and down 15 Keystones. Other carefully prepare ribs, brisket and various smoked meats.
- Chips and queso – Again, these encompass a wide variety of different quesos. For those in the southwest you’re going to make sure there are chilis and spices and more chilis and spices. For those in the Northeast, you’re going to have it bland just like your college football teams.
- Chili – This is should a solid at room temperature. Don’t get cute and put turkey in it and don’t make it “white”. That’s stupid, think wolf chili but more meat, more types of meat and maybe double the sodium. When it’s November in Wisconsin, you can’t feel your fingers and the quarterback is about to go 2-6 for 18 yard, a good old fashioned chili will hit the spot. Don’t skimp on polish sausage and remember: onions, bell peppers, jalapenos and tomatoes are acceptable but try to make it about anything but the meat.
- Salad – Just kidding
- Jalapeno poppers of any sort – Do you want to cut them in half and fill them with cream cheese, more cheese and maybe some bacon bits? Do you want to just fry them while they’re stuffed with bacon, cream cheese and various other cheeses? Do you want to fill them with either meat or cheese or neither? Jalapenos are one of the greatest food vessels this world has ever known along with tortillas and bread bowls so the possibilities are endless. These specifically are prepared ahead of time and are an excellent food to eat while the other food is cooking. Plus the jalapenos apparently contain some sort of fibrous that aids in digestion.
- Dessert – I would go for the easy chocolate chip cookies or brownies. No one will complain and they’re easy to make. You’re at a football game, not a wedding. If you want to have a bit more spunk when you’re making the desert then go with no bake cookies. They work great hot or cold and they’re pretty easy. But, If I were making desert? I’d make a carrot cake because I love carrot cake and if other people don’t then I get to eat more so a simple decision.
- Bonus – Buffalo chicken dip. If I had one thing left to eat the rest of my life, it would be buffalo chicken dip. People always ask the recipe and it’s just on the back of the Frank’s RedHot bottle. Imagine getting the excellent taste of Frank’s but it’s not hot enough to cause any complaining from children or soft adults. It also combines some of our favorite things in abundance: Cream cheese, more cheese of your choosing and ranch; also chicken too. It’s pretty simple to make in a crock pot and it’s delicious but you have to shred the chicken which is annoying.
The Ladder Toss Bundle is perfect for a classic Ladder Toss experience. All-wood frames are crafted with varnished wood that’s lightweight, sturdy, and weather-resistant. Bundle includes 2 standard frame pieces, 6 all-weather golf bolas (3 green, 3 indigo), push-in scoring markers, zip-up carrying case, and official game guide.
Ultimate Game Bundle
Bring all the fun to your next tailgate party with the Caliber Games Ultimate Tailgate Games Bundle. This bundle includes ALL of our original and classic tailgate game packages at a massive 30% discount. Get TowerBall, Island Shot, HOKU, Cornhole, Timber Tower XL, and Ladder Toss, plus carrying cases, game guides, and all standard game accessories.
The Timber Tower Bundle from Caliber Games is a giant-sized version of the classic childhood game. A guaranteed hit at backyard parties, tailgates, park days, or weddings, feel the pressure as you stack the tower until it takes a big fall! Bundle includes 54 stacking blocks, a house rules board, and zip-up carrying case.
Great for all ages and group sizes, the four-sided, 360° toss game is the ultimate casual group competition. Includes collapsible tower, 8 hackey-style balls, and backpack carry case. 100% weatherproof materials, playable indoors or outdoors.
All equipment included for Yardzee & Yard Farkle for up to 5 players. Includes 6 solid wood jumbo dice, 5 large reusable score cards, wooden bucket, & marker for a complete yard dice set.
CROSSNET is the world’s first four square volleyball game. Set up within minutes in sand, grass, or indoors. Height adjustable for men (7’11”), women (7’4″), and children (5’6″). Perfect for backyards, beach days, and BBQs. All orders come with an official CROSSNET™️ four-way net, poles, and volleyball.
Bottle Bash combines disc golf and horseshoes for a perfect blend of high-stakes skill, strategy, and teamwork. The objective of the game is to knock your opponent’s bottle off the pole by throwing the disc. Bundle includes 2 aluminum poles, 2 bottles, 2 ground stakes, 1 disc, and a mesh storage bag.
Island Shot is a new, simplified take on Cornhole. The difference is you’re trying to land it on the Island! To play, just take turns tossing bags and trying to land them on the island (+3 points), and in the hole (+1 point), the first to 9 points exactly wins. Bundle includes (1) collapsible island board, (6) mini cornhole bags, and a mesh carrying bag.
Backyard Golf Game
This game was built by friends and neighbors with a simple goal in mind: to have fun with great company and a little friendly competition at each other’s houses. It’s perfect for practicing your swing and great a way to bring kids, adults, friends, family and neighbors together—to enjoy the outdoors together.
The team that created the viral HOOKS! Ring Toss Game. Handmade with either a burned finish or natural finish, HOOKS! is the best game to compete with friends at your next tailgate, backyard party or a night out at the bar.
HOKU® is a novel twist on the timeless simplicity of backyard toss games. Bundle includes easy storage carrying case, quality rubberwood game board with sealed varnish finish, and 6 throwing stars (3 square, 3 triangle).
PutterBall began with a dream of bringing a golf-themed backyard party game to the masses. We focused on creating an outdoor golf game that everyone could enjoy, including those who have never actually played golf. The PutterBall board is made of 100% high-density durable foam that you can walk on, stand on, and transport just about anywhere!