The Best Place to Eat in Every NFL City
No trip to an NFL city is complete without sampling the local favorites that highlight the best the city has to offer. Each city has it's own personality and the bars, grills and restaurants that dot the landscape reflect that.
This assignment was a tricky one, because as much as I would like to say that I have been to, and sampled every one of these suggestions, it just wouldn't be true...yet.
However, I tried to compile as many first hand experiences as possible from either myself, friends, family and colleagues to get an honest opinion on these suggestions.
Wherever possible I tried to stay away from the conventional or cliche, but in some cases it as unavoidable since those places are so ingrained in the culture that it might be a crime to leave them off.
Another good thing to keep in mind is that this is just a jumping off point for conversations and discussion. I encourage everyone to add their own nominations to the comments section, be your favorite eateries biggest spokesman because you never know who might be reading.
Barrio Cantina and Grill
4731 E Cactus Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85032
Despite having been to Phoenix on several occasions, I found myself eating nothing but In N Out Burger, so I had to defer the judgement to my father in law, who travels quite extensively for business and samples the local fare everywhere he stays.
Barrio Cantina and Grill rates as some of the best Mexican food he has ever had, and judging by their first place finish in the Arizona Taco Festival, I will have to give the old man some credit for this find.
If you are in Glendale to watch the Cardinals, make some time to head into Phoenix for the best tacos in Arizona.
Mary Mac's Tea Room
24 Ponce de Leon Ave
Atlanta, GA 30308
Here is another suggestion from the father in law, and this one celebrates the deep southern charm in one of the South's grandest cities.
Mary Mac's offers some of the best down home southern cooking in the area, and makes for a perfect addition to a trip down to Georgia to see the Falcons.
The Owl Bar
One East Chase St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
Well, it isn't quite the "Raven Bar", but it's close, and it offers some great comfort food and an awesome atmosphere attached to The Belvedere.
You'll be feeling the history and the pride in the city of Baltimore, and you'll be ready to cheer on the Ravens after getting to know "The Owl" a little better.
1047 Main Street
Buffalo, New York 14209
Having never been to Buffalo I had to commiserate with a true, born and bred, upstate New Yorker. I am lucky enough to know the regular columnist and all around good guy from Mile High Sports, Chris Dolge. On top of his many talents, Dolge is also the "Pride of Ithaca" and knows Buffalo pretty well.
Dolge tells me that in order to be a true football fan, and do a trip to Buffalo right, a person make make a pilgrimage to the place where wings were invented: Anchor Bar.
Not only were they invented here, they were also perfected here. So if your travels take you to Buffalo for a Bills game make sure and stop at the Anchor Bar....where it all began.
Penguin Drive In
1921 Commonwealth Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205
A Charlotte Classic since 1954, the Penguin Drive In has been a staple of the neighborhood and featured on many different television shows.
Stop by for a burger, hot dog, milkshake or all of the above before heading over to a Panthers game.
539 N. State Street
Chicago IL 60654
What better way to celebrate the gridiron in the state of Illinois, than to sit down at a restaurant that celebrates the key to a good tailgate: the Weber Grill.
I loved sitting down to a table and expecting the same awesome flavors that can only come from a classic circular charcoal grill.
My suggestion here is to treat yourself right and get the "Beer Can Chicken", a signature item at the restaurant.
The dish is almost synonymous with the city and for fans who haven't been to Cincy, a trip to your local Skyline Chili spot is in order.
Chili-Cheese Dog, Chili on spaghetti, Chili on salad...really it's chili on anything here and it is always the perfect mix of everything that makes the Skyline Chili just right.
834 Huron Road
This is Cleveland's best Browns watch bar and is even a destination for Indians fans as well.
If the Magnum P.I. Burger doesn't tempt your palate then perhaps the house specialty, the Clevelander Burger (made with a secret recipe), could be just the ticket for the hungry member of the "Dawg Pound."
Joe T. Garcia's
2201 N. Commerce St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76164
This historical gem of the Dallas/Fort Worth area is a real treat for some authentic Mexican cuisine. Their homemade tortillas are a revelation, and their enchiladas cannot be beat.
I loved sitting outside in the courtyard and dining family style with some mouthwatering enchiladas, nachos and margaritas.
5302 W. 25th Ave.
Edgewater, CO. 80214
This is my home turf, and that means that the decision was excruciating for me to pick just one. Suffice it to say that if any of you ever wind up in Denver for a Broncos game, send me a message and I can tailor an experience to your liking.
However, the Edgewater Inn, which is nestled snugly in the middle of the quaintly tiny municipality of Edgewater in the shadows of Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, is a can't miss for anyone.
The sign at the door, "Howdy Paisano", says it all, and after ordering an ice cold schooner of beer in a glass the size of a small fishbowl you can dive into a "Howdy Special" pizza. No need to bother what the toppings are, just order and enjoy.
Then you can hop on the shuttle that takes you directly to the Broncos game.
1384 Michigan Ave.
Detroit MI 48226
The key to a great sports bar is a simple menu, with food that is done right and an offer to take care of the patrons.
Nemo's guarantees all of that and then takes it a step further by offering a shuttle bus to take patrons to all of the major sporting events and concerts in the greater Detroit area.
Green Bay Packers
Chili John's Restaurant
519 S Military Avenue
Green Bay WI 54303
There may be other choices in Packerland that have more Packer-specific relevance, but Chili John's has an equally impressive boast to football fame.
Chili John's secret recipe is safe to this day, which is surprising because the always talkative John Madden used to frequent this little restaurant every time he came to Green Bay. It's a wonder that Madden didn't talk the secret right out of Chili John.
1211 W. 19th St.
Gatlin's is widely recognized as one of the best BBQ restaurants in Houston, which is a big accomplishment in a city with a lot of BBQ joints to choose from.
Tender meat and delicious dirty rice are the staples of this menu and will make you feel like a "Texan" when you head to the game.
5211 W. 10th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46224
Bleacher Report's own Collin McCollough swears by this West Indy favorite as a must stop when taking in a Colts game in Indianapolis.
Hand dipped onion rings, breaded tenderloins and homemade root beer are the staples of the Mug-n-Bun, a quintessentially American drive-in restaurant.
The big question here is whether or not Collin has "Challenged the Monster."
Pusser's Carribean Grille
816 Highway A1A North
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
Heading down to Jacksonville means that a trip to the waterfront is a must, and Ponte Vedra Beach is the place to do it.
Pusser's is a tradition almost 300 years in the making with their homemade rum, and now they have added some of the great flavors of the Caribbean.
This is another "must stop" from my father, the travelin' man.
Kansas City Chiefs
Fiorella's Jack Stack BBQ
Kansas City, 64145
It's possible to have some delicious BBQ without ever leaving the parking lot at Arrowhead Stadium, but if you have the time to venture out you won't go wrong stopping by the original Jack Stack.
Some of the best ribs that you could ever want are available daily at this local favorite, and if you can't make it to KC then just order them online and have them delivered.
5225 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33140
For fans of the Miami Dolphins, it is fitting to head to the restaurant that bears the name of the man who brought the team to glory.
Shula's serves nothing but the finest steaks in the Miami Beach area and is a must stop for fans heading into to town for a Dolphins game.
Hubert's Sports Bar and Grill
There's nothing like being in the shadow of the venue that your are holding a ticket to, and that's what you get with Hubert's when you are heading to a Vikings game at the Metrodome.
Make sure and get to Hubert's and a game at the dome before the last team to call the dome home makes their move out as well.
New England Patriots
Legal Sea Foods
800 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02199
It's customary when in Boston to dust off your best Bostonian impression and go looking for some "Chowdah" as soon as possible.
Cliches aside, Legal Sea Foods is well known for their outstandingly fresh menu options, and being a can't miss choice for sea-food lovers everywhere.
New Orleans Saints
The Court of Two Sisters
613 Royal St.
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
It's impossible to go wrong with almost any restaurant choice in New Orleans, but for a really special experience head to the French Quarter on Sunday morning before the game and take in the Jazz Brunch at The Court of Two Sisters.
The spread is unbelievable, filled with every delicacy a traveler to the Bayou could want; pair it with the sweet sounds of true Louisiana Jazz and you cannot get in a more "New Orleans" state-of-mind.
Make sure you don't miss the Turtle Soup at the end of the buffet, because it literally was the defining moment of my trip to N'Awlins.
New York Giants/Jets
Broadway Joe Steakhouse
315 West 46th St.
New York, NY 10036
It's fair to list this choice for both teams, because despite the name being reminiscent of only one team's most famous player, it actually has nothing to do with Joe Willie.
Few memories stick with a man, but I remember the moment I fell in love with a good steak, and it happened almost 12 years ago when I ventured into the Broadway Joe Steakhouse and ordered a New York Strip that changed my life.
Every cut of meat served at Broadway Joe's is the finest and cooked to perfection, and paired with the ample array of side dishes it makes for a truly memorable New York dining experience.
2013 Chesnut St.
It might be a shock that a cheesesteak place isn't on this list, but why waste time telling you something you already know, which is that Philly has great cheesesteaks, or starting a war between Pat's and Geno's?
El Rey is a little Mexican food joint that was a little trendy for my tastes on the inside, but the Queso Fundido made it all worth while. Make sure to add chorizo and poblano to it!
Peppi's Old Tyme Sandwich Shop
12 Smithfield Street
What better place to prepare for a Steelers' game than somewhere you can order a "Joey Porter-Bella" or a "Roethlis-Burger" before the game.
Peppi's has some of the best burgers and sandwiches in the city, but they are not for the faint of heart or light of appetite.
San Diego Chargers
Filippi's Pizza Grotto
1747 India Street
San Diego, California 92101
My wife tells me that no trip to San Diego is complete without stopping by Filippi's. Immediately upon entering you aren't sure if you are in an authentic Italian deli or not, but then a restaurant appears in front of you.
Pizza, pasta, sandwiches...it doesn't matter because it's all good and all easy on the wallet as well. That way you can save more money for a baby blue Chargers jersey at the game.
Bay Area: San Francisco 49ers/Oakland Raiders
240 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
What better way to prepare for a football game in San Francisco than to eat like a 49er?
We aren't talking about Frank Gore here, but rather the original 49ers who helped make the city what it is today. The Tadich Grill has been around since those days, and when I heard about the one dish that miners would order after they struck it rich and wanted to order the most expensive dish in town, I simply had to have it.
The Hangtown Fry is essentially a deep fried oyster and bacon frittata and it is the finest breakfast dish I have ever laid taste buds on.
Pike Place Chowder
1530 Post Alley
Seattle, WA 98101
For those of you who only thought that Pike Place existed in your local Starbucks, think again.
If you have already sampled the chowder on the right coast, it's time to give the left coast a try and take a stroll through the historic Pike Place Market. It is there that you will find some of the freshest and most inventive chowder options in the country.
St. Louis Rams
It isn't hard to find an Imo's Pizza in St. Louis, but go outside of Missouri and you are out of luck, which is a huge bummer for all of the St. Louis transplants that I know.
Their special recipe includes a famous thin crust, and provel cheese instead of mozzarella to create a one of a kind taste that will make your Rams' game experience one to remember.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Lee Roy Selmon's
4302 W. Boy Scout Rd.
South Tampa, FL
In the spirit of celebrating all things Tampa Bay, it is only fitting to stop by the establishment that bears the name of the Buccaneers greatest player, Lee Roy Selmon.
It's your perfect local sports bar that boasts beer, TVs, and good pub fare for the avid football fan.
118 12th Avenue South
Nashville TN 37203
At the Whiskey Kitchen in Nashville, you can take in the Nashville nightlife and get in a good night of reveling after a Titans victory with some delicious food.
If it isn't actually made with whiskey, then you can be sure that it pairs well with one of the endless varietals of whiskey they have on the menu at this new Tennessee classic.
2453 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
The good thing about The Diner is that you can literally go anytime you want since it's open 24/7, serving great classic diner fare all day (and night) long.
Breakfast, burgers, sandwiches and even a well placed drink made this one of my favorite stops in the DC area and the atmosphere was just as good the morning after I ended my night there.
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