Well, my snacky sporty sisters, it is that time of year again. And, no, I’m not talking about spooky season or PSL time or that thing where you say, “Oh my god it’s already October!?” to everyone you talk to and realize you fully cannot remember anything that happened during the entire month of July. I’m talking TAILGATE SEASON, BAYBEE! Football is back for the year, and with it comes the opportunity to park your truck outside a stadium, set up a grill and a few folding tables, and eat some of the best foods America has to offer while sports things happen inside the stadium. We cooked up this list of the best tailgate party food ideas to make this tailgate season your tastiest yet. Yay, sports!
- Bubba Burgers Angus Beef
What’s more American than a burger? Probably a lot of things, but having burgers at a tailgate party is still a pretty darn American thing to do. These frozen Bubba burgers are among the best tailgate party foods if you want to make sure your tailgate grilling experience is quick, painless, and free of having to handle raw meat in any significant way. Plus, these burgers are actually really delicious. When the Sporked crew taste tested frozen burgers, managing editor Gwynedd Stuart said these tasted “richer, beefier, cleaner” than other frozen burgers on the market, and if that’s not what you want out of your tailgate burger, I don’t know what you do want. Add these to your list of tailgate party food ideas.
- Hebrew National Beef Franks
What’s the more American tailgate party food: hot dogs or burgers? I’m not so sure there’s a clear-cut answer to that (also it truly doesn’t matter as long as the food tastes good), but if you happen to be more into hot dogs than burgers, then these Hebrew National Franks are, quite frankly, the best franks on the market. Our taste testers noted that they are “salty and meaty, and their girth (sorry) is absolutely perfect.” Plus, the spice blend in these puppies is so good our team called them “dense with wonderful flavor.” Skip the value pack of crummy hot dogs—these are one of the best tailgate party foods (just don’t forget the ketchup and mustard).
- Impossible Burger Patties
Hey, we get it. Vegan and vegetarian football fans exist. Good thing vegan burgers exist, too (and good ones at that). If you are looking for vegetarian tailgate party food ideas, look no further than Impossible burgers. They are juicy and meaty, they taste like real meat (or as close as one could possibly get without going over), and, as Gwynedd pointed out, Impossible meat even “chars up super nicely on the outside, just like a real burger.” I’m a meat eater, and I am actually a huge Impossible meat fan. They’ve done a great job making the meatiest meat alternative out there, not to mention one of the best tailgate party foods. These burgers are sure to please vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike.
- Honey Dijon Kettle Chips
It wouldn’t be a tailgate without the most classic (and, arguably, best) tailgate party food of all: chips. And there is just something special about eating kettle chips with any sort of sandwich, be it a sub, a burger, or a hot dog (yes, I did just take a strong stance on a controversial issue, come at me I’m ready). And these kettle chips not only have great texture (crunchy, oily, perfect), but their flavor is yet unmatched in the kettle chip world. Our team of tasters described these chips as “sweet, tangy, and mustardy. The flavor is almost caramelized—it’s powerfully rich and deliciously savory.” They are the perfect thing to bring to any party—tailgate or otherwise.
I mean, come on. Who has a tailgate without Coca-Cola? I want names.
- Tate’s Bake Shop Chocolate Chip Cookies
It is my firm belief that every tailgate should have some form of dessert. And I recognize that not everyone has time to bake before the big game, so why not get the store bought cookies that literally taste like your grandma crafted each one just for you? In terms of tailgate party food ideas, this one is a keeper. They are “crumbly, buttery, crispy, and delicious,” and even have that darker, caramelized bottom that cookies get when you make them at home. These are, unequivocally, Sporked’s favorite store bought chocolate chip cookies, and the store bought cookie we think taste the most like homemade. Do yourself a favor and bring these to your next tailgate. Heck, claim you baked them yourself! No one will ever know—it will be our little secret.