2016’s Final Four Teams: Whose Burgers, Local Food, and Bars Are the Best?

We pit Villanova, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Syracuse against each other in a totally different way

The Ale 'n' Angus Pub serves a great burger in Syracuse.

The NCAA’s March Madness is about to kick into overdrive, with the Final Four competing for the 2016 championship. The Villanova Wildcats, Oklahoma Sooners, North Carolina Tar Heels, and Syracuse Orange are facing off in a race to the finish, and, as is often the case with March Madness, it’s anyone’s game. But when it comes to the best burgers, college bars, and local specialties, is there a winner? We rounded up the best of each of the competing states, and will let you decide for yourself.

2016’s Final Four Teams: Whose Food and Bars Are the Best? (Slideshow)

Burgers are one of the great American foods, and there are plenty of prime examples to be found in Philadelphia, Oklahoma City and environs, Chapel Hill, and Syracuse. While you can get a solid burger at plenty of local restaurants and bars, the heartland is full of old-school institutions that are turning out burgers that put them on the map decades ago. But that doesn’t rule out great burgers near Syracuse, either, as you’ll see.

Where there are colleges, there are bars, and there’s no shortage of great bars near the competing schools. They’ll be packed with their team’s rabid fans this weekend, and from old-timey dive bars to friendly neighborhood spots with killer food menus, we’ve tracked down the best near each campus.

As for local culinary specialties, there’s no shortage of those, either. Every state has regional foods that it’s proud of, and there’s no exception when it comes to these four. Often imitated, but never replicated out of the region, these foods are all something to celebrate.


Read on for the best burger, college bar, and local culinary specialty in Philadelphia, Oklahoma City, Chapel Hill, and Syracuse. No matter who you’re rooting for this weekend, I think we can all agree that the offerings in each of these states are pretty darn good! Have fun, enjoy the games, and good luck with your bracket!