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The Coolest Food Item at the Top 25 College Football Stadiums

David LutherFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 12, 2017

The Coolest Food Item at the Top 25 College Football Stadiums

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    College football is more than just football in America.

    While football is certainly the reason we all show up, there are other things besides the game we look forward to as we enter our team's pigskin temple.

    If you travel throughout the nation, you'll come across 124 FBS stadiums, each with its own flavor, so to speak.

    We're not just talking about atmosphere. Flavor, in this case, can be taken literally.

    Every stadium has its own menu for concessions, and those menus vary from the mundane to the bizarre.

    But many schools have invested a great deal of thought into the snacks and meals offered to the hungry football fan in the stands.

    Bleacher Report writers have scoured the nation looking for the best of the best, and here, we present our list of coolest food item available at the top 25 college football stadiums in America.

Bronco Stadium at Boise State

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    Things can get pretty cold up in Boise late in the season.

    No worries, though. The folks at Bronco Stadium know exactly how to cure that shiver visitors begin to feel in their bones around kickoff.

    There's really nothing better—or really, more unusual for a college football stadium—than some donuts (with your choice of icing to dip them in) and a hot cup of coffee.

    While donuts and coffee might not sound that exciting or “cool,” you'd be surprised exactly how nice it can be when the temperature is somewhere in the mid teens. Donuts are also pretty rare at college concession stands, and uniqueness counts!

Boone Pickens Stadium at Oklahoma State

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    With all of the recent renovations done at Oklahoma State, Boone Pickens Stadium is easily one of the nicest, most comfortable stadiums in the country's midsection.

    Unfortunately, the stadium expansion didn't extend to the concessions menu. Classic football stadium fare is what you'll find at the many concession stands at Oklahoma State.

    But if you're up for a little fine dining before or after the game, there's one restaurant in Stillwater that is a cut above the rest, and it's right on campus (in the student union, no less): The Ranchers Club.

    With a regularly updated menu, this classy place is pretty remarkable, considering it's a campus restaurant. While the prices are probably higher than what you'll find at most other college restaurants, the added cost is well worth it.

    Reservations are recommended, especially on busy nights, like for instance a home football game. You might also want a quick change of clothes after the game: jeans and a grubby t-shirt will make you feel quite uncomfortable surrounded by all the collared shirts, jackets and ties, skirts, and dresses.

    The Ranchers Club is pretty simple in their stated philosophy: prepare, serve, and present only the best. In keeping with that ideal, this is a steak lover's paradise.

Williams-Brice Stadium at South Carolina

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    When you go down south for football, there are a few food choices that pop into your head.

    One type of cuisine that probably doesn't enter your mind is Thai food. Yet Williams-Brice Stadium offers some delicious (if you like Thai) options from Thai Kingdom Oriental Kitchen.

    From egg rolls to pepper steak to beef with oyster sauce—not to mention all kinds of curry—a football fan who loves Thai food will be in paradise at South Carolina.

Camp Randall Stadium at Wisconsin

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    If there's one thing you can be guaranteed to find at pretty much any sporting event in the state of Wisconsin, it's probably bratwurst.

    Beyond that and a poor imitation of a Philly cheesesteak, there's not a whole lot to get worked up about at Camp Randall.

    You might have better luck trying one of the many great places for eats up and down Regent Street. One popular suggestion: Lucky's Bar and Grille.

Kinnick Stadium at Iowa

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    As the season wears on, and the temperatures begin to fall in the Midwest, football fans look for something to keep them warm.

    If you visit Kinnick Stadium, there's always the old faithful standby: the chili cheese dog.

    But this isn't just any chili cheese dog. It's a foot long chili cheese dog. That in and of itself makes it pretty cool.

    Add to the fact that it's fairly reasonably priced at six dollars, and it becomes even cooler.

    With drink prices similarly reasonably priced (the largest Coke product is just $5), it's clear the people of Iowa know the value of a dollar.

LA Memorial Coliseum at USC

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    The first thing you'll likely notice about food at the Coliseum is the outrageous price of everything.

    Yes, you're in LA, and things are bound to be pretty pricy, but six bucks for a regular hot dog? Good grief!

    LSU fans might whole-heatedly disagree with the descriptor, but there's very little that can beat out Martin's Famous Louisiana Sausages. There are two varieties, regular and spicy.

    There's nothing quite like shoving a few hundred calories worth of sausage down your gullet while enjoying a little football on a warm Saturday evening.

    Of course, you could always forgo the food at the stadium, and wait to satisfy your cravings at one of the many great eateries nearby after the game.

    USC used to be one of the few venues at which you could purchase a beer (as on-campus venues are prohibited from alcohol sales per NCAA decree). But even mighty USC decided to do away with the beer after the 2004 season, when it became apparent that the alcohol wasn't worth the money it brought in.

Lane Stadium at Virginia Tech

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    Lane Stadium is a great place to watch football, especially if you're a primal meat eater who likes to pick the flesh right off the bone.

    If you're a fan of turkey, get ready to grab a napkin for the drool, because Lane Stadium offers a giant smoked turkey leg, skin on and everything.

    There's nothing quite like a thousand or so calories of dark turkey leg meat to really get the stomach juices flowing.

    Get ready to lighten your wallet, though. It costs over nine bucks!

    But depending on your taste for good old fashioned meat, it's well worth it.

Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium at Oklahoma

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    Unfortunately, food at the University of Oklahoma is much like the state itself: pretty bland.

    Don't expect too much from OU when it comes to food selections, as you'll find the simple, standard stadium fare at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

    It's probably best to save your appetite for one of the great restaurants around the campus area, including Hideaway Pizza on Buchanan Avenue.

    If you want something special, you have to check out the “Pizza of the Gods.” This pie is topped with almost anything you can imagine, including artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and tomatoes (and no, not just in the sauce).

    There's also a whole host of toppings, some of which aren't on your typical pizza menu, including broccoli, polish sausage, roast beef, shrimp, smoked turkey, mandarin oranges, and corn.

Doak Campbell Stadium at Florida State

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    The folks down at Florida State definitely took advantage of their southern location, and invited the people from Chick-fil-A to operate a few concession stands at Doak Campbell Stadium.

    Seriously, if you're from the northern reaches of the nation, you probably don't understand what sets Chick-fil-A apart from, say, KFC (as southerners may be surprised to learn there's a definite lack of Chick-fil-A's north of the Mason-Dixon Line).

    When it comes to chicken, Chick-fil-A is a cut above the rest. A favorite of many is the Spicy Chicken Cool Wrap. Take the spicy grilled chicken breast, add in the typical wrap fixings, mix in some cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses, and you have yourself one cool chicken wrap.

    For football stadium food, it's hard to beat that.

Spartan Stadium at Michigan State

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    The famous “MSC” smokestack may have come down, but that doesn't mean it's still fondly remembered as a famous Michigan State landmark.

    Smokestack BBQ is a concessions stand at Michigan State that offers some familiar fare, as well as a few unusual menu items.

    Pretty much every football fan in the world likes barbeque, and pretty much every person likes nachos. So why not combine the two?

    The culinary masterminds at Michigan State did just that with pulled pork nachos, a must-try for any Spartan Stadium visitor.

Sanford Stadium at Georgia

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    The sweltering late-summer afternoons in August can be brutal in many parts of the country. When you're in Athens, Georgia, it's a little bit worse somehow.

    Thankfully, Sanford Stadium offers one classic treat to beat the heat: frozen lemonade.

    There's just something about enjoying some good old fashioned frozen lemonade while enjoying some good old fashioned southern football.

    Unfortunately, this about the only good thing about the concessions at Sanford.

DKR Texas Memorial Stadium at Texas

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    DKR Texas Memorial is one of the best places for a football fan that doesn't ever like to leave his seat.

    The folks down at Texas decided to take a page from baseball stadiums and have instituted the famous roaming vendors of your standard stadium fare. Now, you can get a hot dog and Coke right in your seat without having to go stand in a line on the concourse.

    DKR also offers a food court of sorts at the Red McCombs Red Zone.

    The food court is also open during the week, so you can surround yourself with that DKR feel at any time during the week, any time of the year.

    It may not be the most “football-y” kind of food, but it's definitely pretty cool to have a sushi bar at a football stadium. “How Do You Roll?” offers roll-it-yourself sushi at DKR, and if sushi is your kind of thing, definitely check this out.

Memorial Stadium at Clemson

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    While Clemson offers a wide array of food, there's nothing out of the ordinary at “Death Valley.”

    The concessions are moderately priced, which is to say expensive but not overly so. The menu ranges from burgers and hot dogs to brats and nachos and everything in between.

    If you're traveling to Clemson for a game, one of the coolest meals you can have is actually not at the stadium, but at Mac's Drive In on Pendleton Road.

    Other than some great cheeseburgers, you can sit in a diner absolutely littered with history—including more autographed photos of past Clemson stars than you can count.

Jordan-Hare Stadium at Auburn

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    One of the coolest things about Jordan-Hare concessions is that there are external concessions that are available prior to the game, for those of us who are too lazy to bring our own tailgating food.

    But just because you can get it before the game doesn't mean it's anything special.

    Unfortunately, Auburn is yet another school on our list of ho-hum stadium food.

    But if a burger and a soda are your way of enjoying a football game, then you should have no complaints.

    But for most people, the food at Jordan-Hare is probably just good enough to tide you over until after the game, when you can hit the town for some of the special local cuisine.

Memorial Stadium at Nebraska

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    If you've even been to Memorial Stadium at Nebraska, you know that there's no shortage of concession stands.

    You've also likely seen Runza stands. Runza is a restaurant chain that's quite popular in Lincoln, and it offers some of the best burgers you'll ever find at a football stadium.

    Runza makes sure to let everyone know that their meat is never frozen—something most concession stands can't say.

    But the best item you can get from Runza is probably the Original Runza Sandwich. Between a bun made from fresh dough, you'll find ground beef, onions, and cabbage all blended with a secret recipe of spices. Bake that, and you have yourself one tasty football meal.

    It also comes with cheese, and cheese makes everything better.

Kyle Field at Texas A&M

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    Drumming up reviews for Kyle Field at Texas A&M reveals on recurring theme: get ready to shell out the dough, and don't expect more than your average stadium menu here.

    Considering most Texas A&M fans never leave (or use) their seats, there's probably not a whole lot of need for a special menu.

    Still, there's something to be said about a hot dog and a tall, ice-cold soda on a very warm Texas afternoon in early September.

Neyland Stadium at Tennessee

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    One would think that with such a bad product on the field, Tennessee would try and go the extra mile for football fans by providing a varied menu or some unique food choices.

    But no.

    There is, however, one item worth mentioning: The Smokey Dog.

    Named after the Tennessee mascot, Smokey (the dog, of course), The Smokey Dog has become a favorite of Volunteers fans. Essentially, it's a hot dog with cheese inside.

    Probably something to avoid if you have cholesterol problems.

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida

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    It's not just the small-time venues that don't bother with a vast array of food choices.

    Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is easily one of the top venues in all of college football—unless you're ranking stadiums by variety of concessions. “The Swamp” offers your usual selection of sporting event food, but not much beyond that.

    The high prices also seem to be a common complaint, but it's tough to find a stadium with cheap food prices these days.

Tiger Stadium at LSU

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    One word: Jambalaya.

    If you've never had it, jambalaya is something you need to try at least a couple dozen times in your life.

    LSU certainly takes its Cajun/Creole heritage seriously, and the new addition of jambalaya is just the latest step in keep up one of the more unique campus experiences in the nation. There are a number of unique things about Louisiana State, and jambalaya at the concession stands is probably near the top of that list.

Beaver Stadium at Penn State

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    Believe it or not, Penn State has not gone the way of so many other colleges when it comes to stadium concessions.

    Despite having one of the best college football atmospheres in the nation, Beaver Stadium is absolutely bland when it comes to concession stands.

    Not only are there no brand name stands, there aren't even any specialty stands to speak of.

    If you're a fan of hot dogs and nachos, you probably won't have any complaints. But if you're looking for something with a local flair or other out-of-the-ordinary choices, Beaver Stadium is going to be a major letdown.

Ohio Stadium at Ohio State

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    Just like Beaver Stadium at Penn State, Ohio State's Ohio Stadium is a major letdown when it comes to available food choices.

    Sure, it's difficult to please over 100,000 people every Saturday, but Ohio State decided it wasn't even worth trying.

    Hot dogs, fries, nachos, soda pop and the like are all you're going to find in Columbus on Saturday—at least when you're in the stadium.

    But fear not. Columbus, as Ohio's largest city, has plenty of offerings just outside of the stadium. Whatever you heart desires, you can rest assured you'll find it within a short walk from the stadium.

Notre Dame Stadium

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    Last year, Notre Dame opted to go with a private firm to handle all of the concessions at Notre Dame Stadium.

    That new private company has maintained the tradition of having some of the most varied concessions menus, anywhere in the country. At Notre Dame, you can find you typical stadium cuisine right next to chocolate bars and carving stations.

    All of this variety comes at a cost, as Notre Dame's prices seem to be a tad higher than at comparable Big Ten stadiums, but it's not nearly as bad as NFL stadium prices.

    There are also concession stands behind nearly every single section on the main concourse, and quite a few on the upper concourse, as well.

    Make sure you visit a Domer Deli stand, where you can get corned beef and roast turkey on rye that's as thick as a dictionary.

    At Gold Grill, you can also get some of the legendary Irish (because jalapenos are green?) Poppers along with a grilled cheeseburger.

Bryant-Denny Stadium at Alabama

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    The University of Alabama probably made its smartest football decision in 2011 since hiring Nick Saban.

    A local Chick-fil-A franchise partnered with the University of Alabama to operate two concession stands at Bryant-Denny.

    Any way to choose to look at it, that's a smart move. Chick-fil-A may not be available everywhere in the country, but in the south, it's as much a part of the food culture as any restaurant these days. Adding an admittedly abbreviated menu for Crimson Tide football fans during the game only adds to the great southern feel of Alabama football.

Autzen Stadium at Oregon

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    Barbeque on ciabatta bun.

    Barbeque is a classic favorite at a football game, and the folks at Oregon have certainly taken their barbeque available at Autzen Stadium to a whole new level.

    Aside from serving it on a ciabatta bun rather than the more common—and cheaper—standard white bread hamburger bun.

    The unique “Northwest” barbeque sauce is made with marionberry and coffee, of all things. If you're not sure what a marionberry—or marion blackberry—is, you're not alone. It's not native to the Pacific Northwest, but is in fact a genetically engineered hybrid. Since its invention, it has become the most cultivated blackberry in the state of Oregon.

    Ducks fans may be a little perturbed to learn that the marionberry was created in a joint venture between the USDA and—wait for it—Oregon State University.

Michigan Stadium

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    The company that handles concessions at Michigan Stadium is called “Performance Gourmet.”

    While the word “gourmet” might be pushing it a little, there are some food items at Michigan that are worth fighting the massive crowds on the antiquated concourse to get.

    One of those items is the Michigan Stadium favorite Cheddar Burger.

    On the surface, there doesn't seem to be anything special about this cheddar burger—and in reality, there isn't. It's your average, run-of-the-mill cheddar burger. But the fact that you can get it at the stadium is great.

    Plus, this cheddar burger is one of the best cheddar burgers you can get anywhere in Ann Arbor—even at restaurants. That's enough to land this tasty burger on our list.

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