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The Ultimate Tailgate Party Menu

All the dishes, drinks, and desserts you need for the best ever tailgate party

There are so many things to look forward to in tailgate season: Obviously, there’s the sport itself, but we’re just as interested in the pre-game tailgates, post-game celebrations, and all the food and drinks that go with it. And, if we’re being honest, the food and drinks are what really excites us most about this football-centric time of year. Everything from Buffalo wings, to nachos, to chili, to endless bowls of artichoke dip: We can’t get enough of any of it. So, to satisfy all our game-day cravings, and to help you throw the best-ever pre-game party, we’ve cooked up a (slightly over the top) menu of all the best tailgating dishes.

The Ultimate Tailgate Party Menu (Slideshow)

Every tailgate should begin with cold drinks and plenty of salty dips and snacks to get the party started. Ranging from classic cheesy dips to generous bowls of zingy guacamole served with plenty of bread and chips for dunking, there are so many wonderfully tasty, ever-popular ways to start your tailgate. When it’s time to fire up the grill, you’ll want to be sizzling sausages, burgers, and chicken, but don’t focus so much on the meat that you forget about everything else. The sides are just as important as all that protein, so make sure you pack up some mac and cheese, potato salad, and plenty of jalapeño poppers to be served alongside the meatball subs.

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No meal should end without a sweet treat. All your sugar cravings will be satisfied with our favorite s’mores calzones, which are so wonderfully melty, sweet, and crisp that they’ll keep the kids and the grown-ups happy. And if you’re really going for the ultimate tailgate, you should probably make the drinks more fancy, too: Swap the beer for beer cocktails, and spike your lemonade with a splash of vodka for an extravagant tailgate that will be the envy of all your fellow fans.