Everything Football

Fall is here, and with that comes the changing leaves, cooler temperatures, fairs, bonfires… and college football! Even if you’re not a huge sports fan, everyone can enjoy a great pregame tailgate, right?  There’s something about the food, drinks, and spending time with friends that just feels great this time of year.  So when it comes to the tailgate parties, you notice the food came first on the list.  That’s because there are so many great foods that pair perfectly with the pregame! The team at Spoon University set out to discover the top tailgate foods, and they did this by polling college students. Today, we’ll share the top 5 tailgate foods, according to college students!

The students in the survey were asked to rank each food.

Here were their options:

  • Don’t Like It
  • It’s Ok
  • I Like It A Lot
  • I LOVE It

Then they took the foods with the most likes and loves, and ranked them.  Now obviously, everyone’s opinions vary.  And as you get older, your tastes may change.  But when it comes down to it, we feel this list features the core tailgate essentials that almost everyone can agree on. Just maybe ranked differently.

Ironically, despite polling college students, beer ranked number EIGHT on the list!  You also have macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, ribs, and chili that round out the top ten.

But for now, let’s take a look at the Top 5 Tailgate Foods – According to College Students:


  • 5. Buffalo Chicken Wings

    We were a bit surprised to see this one at number 5.  Chicken wings are commonly associated with football, as you can tell from so many sports bars having them as a staple food.  Plus, you’ve got so many varieties to choose from – mild, medium, hot, extra hot, BBQ, and more!  And during the Big Game, Americans consume an ungodly amount of chicken wings.  But hey, there are a lot of great tailgate foods, so they can’t all be number 1!

    Buffalo Chicken Wings

    Photo: Getty Images

  • 4. Nachos

    Chips, cheese, and so many topping options! Nachos are definitely a great game day food for that tailgate party!


    Photo: Getty Images

  • 3. Burgers

    An American classic.  Hamburgers are definitely popular, and very versatile too.  Whether it’s the traditional size burgers, or the fun sliders, hamburgers are sure to be a hit at the tailgate! Don’t forget all the toppings: cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mustard, mayo… And while fries are a favorite to go with a burger, if you don’t have them… a variety of chips will do!


    Photo: Getty Images


  • 2. Mozzarella Sticks

    Cheese seems to be a necessity for any tailgate!  And there’s nothing better than fried cheese, right?  These are great finger foods for any get together, especially those tailgate parties.  And make sure there’s some marinara to go with it!

    Mozzarella Sticks

    Photo: Getty Images

  • 1. Chips and Dip

    Does this surprise you? Dips are incredibly popular for tailgate parties, whether it’s the homemade type, or simply something you grab at the store.  Your best bet is to have a couple of dip options– at least your traditional salsa, and since cheese seems to be a common theme, queso is a solid choice too! Chips and dip are another appetizer-type food that everyone enjoys at a tailgate.  Just make sure you buy enough chips, because it’s one of those things we just can’t stop grazing on during the tailgate… and throughout the game!

    Chips and Dips

    Photo: Getty Images

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