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10 Top Tailgating Recipes

10 Top Tailgating Recipes

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Fire up the grill at your next tailgate

Try these easy ribs at your next tailgate.

As the ultimate pregame festivity, tailgating has become the social event heard around the stadium. Next to cheering for your favorite team, the food has become one of the most important parts of a spirited tailgate. If you’re stuck wondering what to serve (or grill), we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite recipes — best served with an ice-cold beer.

With the NFL season just beginning, it’s time to fire up the grill and get to cooking — dressed in your team’s colors, of course. So whether you plan on grilling some fiery kickoff wings or bratwurst with peppers and onions, the Cook editors at The Daily Meal have compiled a few recipes that will make for a tasty tailgate. If you’re opting for something healthier, grilled lemon pepper shrimp kabobs will do the trick. And a meal isn’t complete without a few sides like barbecue potatoes or potato salad. Whatever you're in the mood for, these recipes are sure to please.

At your next pregame tailgate party, try some of these picnic staples and grilling ideas. And even though summer is waning, don’t pack away your barbecue just yet. We suggest you move it to the parking lot and start the day off with these hearty and delicious recipes — sure to bring bring you and your team to victory.

Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.

Cabot’s Top 10 Recipes for Tailgating & Tablegating

Whether you’re pre-gaming in the stadium parking lot or setting up camp in front of your wide screen, game day is all about the final score…and serious snacking. There are few better ways to spend an afternoon than cheering for your favorite team while enjoying great food with family and friends.

Here at Cabot, we take our snacking seriously. It says so right on the package of our wildly popular Seriously Sharp Cheddar. And that’s just a start. There are so many other delicious flavors of Cabot cheese it would take you the rest of the season to try them all.

We know that tasty treats are a big part of the game day fun, so in the interest of making it easier for all the hungry fans out there, we’re counting down our 10 favorite tailgating recipes – seriously scrumptious snacks that will have your crowd cheering…for more!

At the Number Ten spot is our easiest dish to prepare. These Marinated Cabot Cheddar Cubes couldn’t be simpler to make, but they make a big impression on hungry cheddar fans.

Number Nine on our list is another super simple recipe with a sweet twist. Try these Mini Popcorn Cheddar Pinchos with Honey and you’ll have your guests begging for more.

At the Number Eight position is a tasty take on a savory classic. The humble green olive is elevated to new heights of culinary cunning when it is stuffed with a Cabot fan favorite – Pimento Cheese. Who knew a Pimento Cheese Stuffed Olive could taste this good? And if one happened to fall into your martini…so much the better!

Lucky Number Seven combines three wholesome, delicious ingredients for an inventive game day snack. Try these Mini Sweet Peppers Stuffed with Pancetta and Cheddar for a colorful, flavorful, out-of-this-world treat!

Number Six on our list is one of our most popular snack recipes. These Badass Nachos are so good that you’d better be prepared to make more than one batch. At my house, they even pass for dinner when it’s time for a little south of the border fun.

Weighing in at Number Five on this list of outrageously great game day food is this hot, gooey golden Artichoke &White Bean Buffalo Dip. It’s hearty enough for the hungriest fans, and sophisticated enough for your guests with a discerning palate.

Fabulous Number Four asks the question: “What’s game day without wings?” We have the perfect answer in our Spicy Buffalo Wings where the secret ingredient is Cabot Greek Yogurt. It adds a creamy tang to the proceedings.

Thrilling Number Three on the list is a recipe made especially for game day. Cabot Cheddar 5 Point Spread has a robust flavor courtesy of some amazing ingredients like Cabot Cheddar and Cream Cheese, Dijon mustard…and beer! It practically shouts “game day snacking.” But don’t wait too long to try it. It never lasts long in a crowd.

Our Number Two pick brings a lighter touch to the festivities. This recipe for Tzatziki Greek Yogurt Dip combines cucumbers, garlic, lemon, dill, and olive oil – all the great tastes of the Mediterranean – and sends them to join our rich, creamy, tangy Cabot Greek Yogurt for a taste that is indescribably delicious.

And finally, at Number One is our family game day favorite – Wing That Cheese Football. Have the kids help you create this homage to the game. It’s a fun food project no matter how old you are. And you really can’t beat the great taste of Buffalo wings combined with The World’s Best Cheddar.

So there you have it – a list of our tastiest game day snacks. But don’t stop with these. Check out all the great recipes for the big game or any time. Head over to the Cabot website where you can browse hundreds of family-friendly recipes that are easy to make and full of wholesome ingredients.

If you would like to learn more about Cabot Creamery Cooperative, get more delicious recipes, or take a virtual tour of some of our 1,200 farm families, click here. If you find a recipe that you love on our site, please rate and review it – we appreciate your feedback!

Top Tailgating Recipes

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Cowboy Nachos

Buffalo Chicken Grilled Brie

Toss shredded rotisserie chicken with Buffalo wing sauce, then grill atop a small wheel of Brie until the cheese is melty and ready for crackers. What's not to love?

Berried Beer Punch

Grilled Egg-and-Cheese-Stuffed Breakfast Fatty

Athletes aren't the only ones who need to fuel up for game day. When tailgating starts in the morning, you need something hearty to get you through the day. This epic breakfast sandwich, which contains all the good stuff&mdashbacon, sausage, cheese, ham and eggs&mdashserved on a cinnamon bun, will do the trick.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Are you a fan of crispy cookies or do you cheer for chewy chocolate chip rounds? This recipe is perfect for both: the bars along the edges are golden-brown, but the center cuts are rich and gooey.

My Ultimate Tailgate Menu for Football Season.

It’s here! My favorite time of year! And I’m bringing you killer tailgating recipes.

And should I say, it’s one of my favorite days of the year too.

For the last few years, I’ve shared massive lists of my favorite recipes for football season. Things that work for parties, tailgating, the super bowl – everything! I have them from years back, but you can find last year’s, 2016, 2015 and 2014 at those links.

This year I wanted to do something different. I know that I constantly have SO many FAVORITES, it can be hard to choose what to make. These ten recipes are exactly what I make over and over again – and also what YOU make over again. They are some of the most popular recipes on the site and ones that are perfect to make and take. Or make at home! The best ten tailgating recipes that you need in your life, right now.

This is by far the most popular cocktail here on the blog and one I look forward to all year. You can make a huge batch ahead of time and it’s so, so good.

Next, snacky things. We have chipotle caramel chex mix, because it’s completely addictive. And can also be made ahead of time!

Of course we also have buffalo chicken dip, because… hello football season. I hadn’t actually had this in years because I sort of burned myself out on it. We ate it after shooting and it was SO GOOD. Always a huge hit.

I also suggest making this pub cheese. It’s dreamy with sourdough pretzels or veggie sticks. Super easy and flavorful and easy to make ahead. Great with beer too.

And these easy puff pastry cheese straws are another necessity. They are best served ASAP, but they do hold up for a few hours after making. They make a perfect dipper.

For a main dish, I love to switch it up between this slow cooker BBQ beer chicken or saucy pulled pork. Buns, BBQ sauce and maybe some garnish are all you need!

A great salad that holds up well is my harvest honeycrisp salad! The kale is hearty and actually gets better as it sits. Just in case, you can take the apple and slice it there if you wish, however it will be okay in the salad too. This salad is INCREDIBLE.

The best treats I can recommend are these insane brownies that everyone goes crazy over, as well as these giant rainbow cookies. Both are awesome, just depends on your mood.

All of these recipes together create a fantastic menu, but the pieces work separately too. I can’t even explain how much I adore alllll of these recipes.

For fun, you can find these twinkle fall leaf lights here and the soft yeti cooler (which is incredible and keeps stuff cold/frozen forever!) here. These Pendleton blankets are so ridiculously warm (and are a great gift!) – they are wool and make perfect seat covers or can really warm you up too.

I found this jar drink dispenser at homegoods a few years ago and we just used a small folding card table to set up the snacks!

The Best Tailgating Recipes for the Grill

1. Bacon Bourbon

Let everyone else serve Bloody Marys or breakfast beers. You, on the other hand, can offer party goers a polite glass of bacon-infused bourbon. Serve, of course, with a bacon swizzle stick. The bourbon is a great addition to barbecue sauce, by the way.

2. Pork “Shooters”

Pay homage to the pigskin! Plate a tray of these hot-off-the-grill appetizers just as guests are arriving—a clever configuration of sausage rounds encircled with strips of bacon and filled with a mixture of cream cheese, cheddar, scallions, and diced shrimp. (You can assemble them ahead of time.) They were a huge hit with the crew of Project Fire this season.

3. Miami Wings

You can’t host a tailgate party without wings. Here’s another winner from Season 2 of Project Fire: spicy Miami Wings, a nod to Steven’s hometown of Miami. Chicken wings are marinated overnight, then indirect grilled at fairly high heat to crisp the skin. Make more than you think you’ll need as these are addictive.

4. Sugar Cane Shrimp with Spiced Rum Glaze

Steven recently named this recipe, which first appeared in How to Grill, one of his 10 favorites. (Now, that’s an endorsement!) Jumbo shrimp are grouped on sugar cane skewers, then brushed as they grill with a Caribbean-inspired glaze.

5. Beer Can Breakfast Burgers

Research conducted by indicated that over 50 percent of tailgaters arrive at the party venue about 4 hours ahead of game time. You can watch the sun rise over the stadium while sating your appetite with these savory burgers featuring breakfast sausage, bacon, eggs, and cheese. (Tip: Shape the burgers at home, wrap them in bacon, and chill. Pack the eggs, cheese, and buns or biscuits separately. Get them started when you arrive at your designated parking place.)

6. Chipotle-Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Nopalitos Corn Salad

Pork tenderloin is great for tailgating—it cooks quickly, lends itself to many preparations, and is relatively inexpensive. (It is often vacuum-sealed in packages of two. Be sure to remove any silverskin or excess fat before marinating or grilling.) This version, featuring the kick of canned chipotles in adobo sauce, soaks up flavor during an overnight marinade and is ready to kick a** when Game Day dawns. (Put a reminder in your phone or on your dashboard so you don’t forget it in the refrigerator when you’re packing for the party.)

7. Apple Spiced Baby Backs with Cider Rum Glaze

Apples and pork? These ribs scream “Fall!” And instead of a 4 to 5 hour smoke—not practical for tailgating—they cook at higher heat for less than 2 hours. Steven’s invaluable rib rack will enable you to barbecue up to 4 racks of ribs at once, important when grill space is at a premium. Cut the slabs into individual ribs for serving, and be sure to provide plenty of napkins. (P.S. These are great with the bacon-infused bourbon above. Just sayin’.)

8. Maple Sriracha-Glazed Drumsticks

Food that can be eaten one-handed is a must for tailgate parties. These drummies qualify, and they’re economical, too. The glaze—just butter, sriracha sauce, and maple syrup—is simple enough to mix up on site. But what flavor!

9. Grilled Pepper Salad with Currants, Capers, and Feta

Though reports that 95 percent of the food served at tailgates is cooked on site, you can’t be faulted for toting one or two finished dishes to the party. This colorful salad can be prepared the day before and assembled on site. It’s a nice antidote to the meat-centric menus common to tailgating.

10. Smoke-Roasted Apple Crisp

Another fall-appropriate dish is this smoke-kissed apple crisp. Cooked in a cast iron skillet, you can cook it before heading to the stadium, then keep warm in a towel-lined insulated cooler and serve it after the game while you and your guests wait for traffic to clear. (Make sure stadium rules allow it.)

What are your favorite tailgating recipes? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the Barbecue Board!

5 Classic Tailgating Menus to Wow Your Crowd

The party&aposs in the parking lot! For fun-loving sports fans, tailgating before the game is as important as the action on the field. To help make your tailgate a success, we&aposve pulled together classic tailgating food favorites and organized them into five menu categories, from kid-friendly hot dogs to a full-on taco bar.

But, before you load up the cooler, check out a few tips to help it all go as smoothly as possible!

How to Make Your Next Tailgating Party a Fan Favorite

  • Know the rules. Do a little research so you know what time you can arrive (usually the earlier the better) and where you can park. Find out what type of grill is allowed (open flame or gas), and make sure your grill is clean and ready to go. Ask whether you&aposll need to pack all of your waste out after the game (bring a few heavy trash bags) and confirm that there will be potable water and toilet facilities available.
  • Prep ahead. Look for recipes that are easy to prepare ahead of time, minimize your hands-on time at the grill, and can be eaten with minimal utensils. Prep the majority of your recipes ahead of time, if you can. It&aposs far easier to marinate, slice, dice, and skewer in the comfort of your own kitchen. If you have multiple coolers, pack raw meats in one cooler, ready-to-eat foods in another cooler, and beverages in a third. If you&aposre short on space, make sure everything is wrapped tightly, with the raw ingredients on the bottom and ready-to-eat ingredients on top. Make your water do double duty: freeze water bottles to act as ice for your coolers, then drink the water once it&aposs melted.
  • Get ready for game time. Set up a canopy to keep your food and guests out of the rain or sun, then put out some ready-to-eat finger food to keep folks happy while you fire up the grill. Add a few sprigs of fresh sage or rosemary to the grill to act as a natural insect repellent (which will also give your food a delicious smoky flavor)𠅋ut don&apost forget the regular bug spray and sunscreen as well! And once your items are hot, keep them at temp by placing them in covered disposable foil pans over indirect heat.

5 Classic Tailgate Menus

To kick off tailgate season, we&aposve chosen five themes for crowd-pleasing tailgate spreads, complete with main dish, side dish and dessert. Feel free to add to add, subtract, or substitute to suit your tastes.

1. Kids n' Dogs

Fans of all ages enjoy game day, so make sure you have something to serve to the youngest of the cheer section with these kid-approved recipes.

Anyone can bring hot dogs, but why not go for extra points by bringing hot dogs wrapped in pretzel dough? You can bake them up ahead of time and serve them warm or cold. You can bet it&aposs not only kids who will go for them in a big way.

Allrecipes community member abapplez found the recipe very easy to follow, saying, "Everyone absoslutely loved these! Followed the recipe and will be making these a lot during the upcoming football season. I was a little worried going in because I have very little (next to none) experience with yeast but the instructions are very well written and they were so much easier than I imagined." Watch the recipe video for more helpful tips.

Don&apost want to make pretzel dough from scratch? Look for frozen pretzel dough at the grocery store, or try using frozen pizza dough, too.

10 Best Super Bowl recipes

Not sure what to serve on Super Bowl Sunday? We’ve got you covered with our 10 best game day recipes.

Whether your Super Bowl party guests are watching their weight, prefer things extra-spicy or stick to more traditional choices, we’ve got something for everyone with this Super Bowl recipe roundup.

The classics

Football is rife with tradition, even when it comes to food. For those that can’t imagine a Super Bowl party without the classic appetizers, these are for you.

Chicken wings and football go hand in hand, but these recipes amp up this old favorite with 5 variations of marinades. Margarita chicken wings, anyone?

Get the recipes >>

Instead of Buffalo wings, try Buffalo rings! These bite-size onion rings with the classic spicy flavor we all love won’t last long on game day.

Get the recipe >>

Spice it up

Can’t get enough of the addictively hot Sriracha sauce? Set your menu on fire with these spicy additions.

Who can say no to a crispy eggroll? Change things up by using cheesesteak fillings and a spicy dipping sauce.

Get the recipe >>

Fire up the grill for these mini pork tenderloin sandwiches, piled high with tangy red cabbage coleslaw and a kick of Sriracha.

Get the recipe >>

Go gourmet

Just because it’s a football party doesn’t mean the food can’t be classy. We think even the toughest guys will love these gourmet bites.

Gourmet food doesn’t have to take all day! Delicious bites like beer and bacon glazed nuts and chipotle queso nachos come together in no time, but are sure to impress your guests.

Get the recipes >>

Keep the gourmet theme going with these gussied up bites. Meat-lovers will go crazy for bacon-wrapped potatoes, BLT dip and mini bacon-spinach quiches.

Get the recipes >>

Smart choices

If you’re watching your waistline, don’t let all the fried foods derail your diet. These healthy options are just as tasty!

We all love to indulge in nacho cheese, but these guilt-free dips taste even better! Skip the chips and dip veggies instead.

Get the recipes >>

Watching your carbs? These mushroom “pizza” give you all the delicious toppings without the crust.

Get the recipe >>

Smart choicesNo party is complete without a few cocktails and a sweet ending. Keep the football theme going with these festive recipes.

You can’t watch the Super Bowl without a beer! Lighten up your favorite brew by turning it into a citrusy punch.

Get the recipe >>

After all this food, a small dessert is your best bet. These chocolate-covered strawberries decorated like footballs are too cute!

Meatball Slow-Cooker Recipes

Meatballs are a great meal to make using your slow cooker as they simmer for a long period of time, they get infused with the flavors of the sauce and other ingredients. Plus, you can make them as simple or complex as you want by using either frozen meatballs or your own homemade recipe.

You can easily customize meatballs for your tailgate party by trying different flavor varieties and serving options, from subs or sliders to simple toothpick appetizers. (Hint: check out slow cooker tip #2 below for a way to make two varieties at once).

Try these yummy meatball ideas:

1) Southern-Style Meatball Subs (AKA Grape Jelly Meatballs)

These simple yet delicious meatballs are a favorite at pot-lucks and family gatherings, which makes them perfect for your tailgating celebration. The sweet and savory sauce has an amazingly complex flavor (despite only using five ingredients), thanks mostly to the secret ingredient: grape jelly! The combination of the jelly with chili sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic, and cayenne makes these southern-style meatballs a true #winner.

2) Mini meatball sliders

Keep these classic meatballs simmering in marinara sauce in your crock until ready to eat then top with mozzarella or a dollop of pesto and serve on sliced, grill-toasted Martin’s Party Rolls.

3) Sweet & Sour Meatballs

These seasoned pork meatballs are made extra tasty from a flavorful sauce made with pineapple juice, sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. Serve on mini Potato Rolls for a bite-sized snack!

4) Spicy Pork & Beef Meatball Sandwich

A blend of sweet Italian sausage and ground beef, these meatballs are also packed with diced hot cherry peppers, cubed bread, eggs, and seasoning. Bake on high for 4-5 hours in the crockpot, then serve on Martin’s Potato Rolls topped with fresh mozzarella, basil and your favorite red sauce (like a mild marinara, or spicy arrabbiata for extra heat).

5) Classic Meatball Sub

Traditional Italian-seasoned homemade meatballs cooked in marinara sauce, then served with provolone cheese and a garnish of parsley on Martin’s Hoagie Rolls.

What Is Finger Food?

Unlike the usual food eaten using utensils, finger food is eaten by hand. Easy finger food recipes for a crowd are usually served in bite sizes. Some finger food may come skewered with toothpicks or in small cups. However, these are still considered finger food. Finger food is usually savory and filling so desserts and soups do not count.

Eastern Finger Food

Finger foods exist in all cultures. In the Far East, it is not unusual to see several side dishes on the table. Dim sumis perhaps the most famous example of Chinese finger food. From India comes naan flatbread and samosas. From the Arab world we get shawarma, which is thinly sliced cuts of meat rolled into a flatbread. Southeast Asian countries have satay (Indonesia), fried spring rolls (Philippines) and banana-leaf chicken (Thailand).

Western Finger Food

In the West, especially in the formal dining context, finger food is often served as appetizers such as pies, meat rolls, crackers, cheese sticks, and fritters. Elsewhere, finger food is also served as snacks, side dishes, or main courses, like the Spanish merienda, which are light meals eaten between proper meals. Finger food eaten as main courses are tapas, tacos, meat balls, and quiche.

No country defines finger food more than the United States. From American diners came hotdogs, hamburgers, fried chicken, chicken wings, chips-and-dip, and french fries. American immigrants also brought cold cuts (English), briskets (Jewish), and pizza (Italians). Easy finger food recipes for a crowd are also popular in America because of its entertainment culture (sports, tailgate parties, concerts). The convenience of finger food makes it the ideal hunger-buster for groups.

Street Food Influences

Street food is the most popular finger food for obvious reasons. Street food is eaten fast and on-the-spot. The casual setting also calls for every diner to take their time and savor every tasty morsel between their fingers.

Street food is sold along roads and places where the public hang out, such as near parks and temples. In East Asia, the Chinese have dim sum and the Japanese have takoyaki (squid balls) and yakitori(grilled chicken). South East Asian countries like the Philippines have all kinds of street food like lumpia(fried spring rolls), squid balls, fish balls, and grilled entrails.

Big 10 Tailgate Rankings

If you are looking for tailgating ideas and information on the tailgate party lifestyle, you have come to the right place. We noticed you are new here and encourage you to stay in touch by joining us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for even more tailgating fun.

In an ongoing series that I have been releasing throughout the year, I am unveiling my rankings of the Big10 tailgates for this fall (Big East and ACC completed). As a disclaimer I have only seen one stadium personally and did the best job I could to gather data online to get a decent synopsis of each school. Hopefully this list can inspire fan bases to keep their high ranking or pick up the slack. One common denominator throughout my search was that the Big10 schools are big on tradition and that carries over into their tailgates.

Wisconsin: You get the feeling that when you’re tailgating for a Badger game your head is constantly spinning. The tailgates appear pretty wild, especially the student ones. A surplus of student housing surrounding the stadium makes for a rock concert type atmosphere. Brats, beer and buses seem to spill down streets filled with red. Wisconsin is ranked one of the top party schools in the country and that carries over into tailgates during the fall.

Ohio State: One of the biggest schools with a plethora of RVs and tailgating buses. Tailgating can be strict with police enforcement heavy at times. Fans are known to be pretty tough on the opposition but very passionate, dedicated and prideful of their Buckeyes. Having Buckeye Grove (a Buckeye tree planted for each OSU All-American) is a unique piece of Ohio State culture that adds to the pageantry on Saturdays.

Penn State: Paternoville is one of the most unique things about college football tailgating. If you don’t know about it, Google it and learn. Fans are known to be both friendly and mean, but that’s what you get when you have over 100,000 people around. RV’s camp out days before the game and there are a lot of traditional style tailgates going on. Unfortunately it’s another school where security is starting to crackdown on the students.

Michigan State: The Spartans are well known for solid tailgating, friendly fans (unless you’re a visiting Michigan fan) and an impressive downtown bar scene. The Spartans come close to tailgating utopia with the right combination of everything.

Iowa: Hawkeye fans are known for waking up before the rooster crows to start tailgating. Such dedication! Yet another Big 10 school that had to crack down on the flow of alcohol at tailgates. If you’ve made Playboys top 10 party school list within the past few years then odds are your tailgates are pretty wild. The one downside was the lack of unique tailgating that I am accustomed to seeing.

Michigan: Some tailgate on a golf course which is unique and strange at the same time. The marching band’s parade is apparently a nice tradition that Michigan almost uses as a calling towards the stadium. Lots of RVs and converted vehicles add to the pageantry. You get a real traditional feel from their tailgating and it’s just a reflection of the program’s history.

Nebraska: Small patches of tailgating everywhere with people that really know their football. Alcohol is again policed very hard. Lots of people in crazy outfits and lots of corn based products in tailgate spreads (who would’ve thought?) The women of Nebraska might take the No. 1 spot and they’re not all the farmer’s daughter. The Cornhuskers pride themselves on their friendliness and knowledge of everything Nebraska.

Illinois: Lots of friendly Illini fans fill the acres of tailgating lots surround the stadium. Illinois has their fair share of unique tailgate vehicles and has great campus bars and a fun but easy going environment. Nothing is spectacular but they have a consistent and respectable tailgating scene.

Purdue: Tailgating can be fun and enjoyable but the parking is very limited. Fans are known to jump on and off the bandwagon which can make for a tricky tailgate if you are the visitor. The big drum is a cool tradition inside of the stadium, but if they don’t already do it, I think it’d be neat to have that thing marched around the stadium prior to kickoff.

Northwestern: The most appealing thing about the campus tailgating is that it’s not far from Chicago. However I’m not sure how many people want to tailgate in the Windy City and then ride in a train over to the game. While there aren’t a ton of people that tailgate compared to other schools, the flip-side is that the people that do tailgate are very dedicated and very knowledgeable about Northwestern. It’s a great tailgating scene to bring a family to as well.

Minnesota: The best bet for visitors is Dinkytown or Stadium Village. A lot of unfamiliarity with a new stadium made it hard to research tailgating. There is a strong presence of an older crowd at the games which is great for a young family but maybe not great for a college kid who wants something a little more rowdy. Winter comes early in Minnesota but that won’t stop the dedicated fans who just cook up some Gopher specialties to stay warm.

Indiana: Hoosier tailgating seems to be one of two extremes either laid back or intense. Some of the tailgating got so crazy that the University had to hire a private security company to control the students. Lots of music, bodies and drinks make it look more like a concert than a tailgating venue. If you want something a little different the campus bars are said to be average so you should probably stick to crowd surfing.

I hope this list gives one a barometer of what to expect at various Midwestern tailgates in the fall. Good luck!

Watch the video: 2008 Top 10 Tailgaters (May 2022).