Chow Down on College Game Day

Each fall, college game day is a weekly celebration filled with good friends, good times and great eats. Every campus is famed for encompassing the game day experience. Whether you’re heading back to your alma mater or stepping onto a new scene, chow down at one of these local eateries in Madison, Chicago, Minneapolis and Columbus.


University of Wisconsin – Madison


Located in the cheese capital of the nation, The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a hub for delicious bites. If you’re heading to Madison, stop by The Old Fashioned. Praised for having “the best cheese curds in Madison”, this local gem is situated in the heart of downtown Madison and features shareable plates, sandwiches and nightly specials on rotation. Here, you’ll find top-notch Wisconsin fare and 51 beers on tap.

If you’re looking for a quick bite, The University of Wisconsin-Madison is known around campus for its food carts. Whether you’re craving Jamaican, Thai or even Peruvian, stop at one of the many food trucks for a quick lunch on your way to the stadium.

Game Day Traditions:

  • Stick around for the “Fifth Quarter” to watch the marching band’s encore performance
  • Hop out of your seat for The Wave

Northwestern University


Chicago is famous for amazing dining experiences, and Northwestern University is in the heart of it all. If you haven’t tried a Chicago-style hot dog, now is the time. Head to Mustard’s Last Stand on Central Street. Located right across from the stadium, this restaurant has been a game day hangout at Northwestern for many years. For the true experience, be sure to order yours with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt.

Game Day Traditions:

  • Shake your keys during kick-off
  • Join the crowd in singing the fight song when the Wildcats score a touchdown
  • Head to Wildcat Alley before, during or after the game for tailgating

University of Minnesota


For the best shakes around, Annie’s Parlor at The University of Minnesota has you covered. Although it’s known for its laidback atmosphere, a visit to Annie’s Parlor is a must when you’re in town for the game. If you’re starting the day early, be sure to head over to Black Coffee and Waffle Bar for waffles that are out of this world. Offering a menu loaded with sweet and savory options, you can’t go wrong with a hearty breakfast here.

Game Day Traditions:

  • Wear your finest maroon and gold for game day
  • Line the path from the alumni center to TCF Bank stadium as the Minnesota players and coaches take the Victory Walk

Ohio State University

ChowDownGameDay_Ohio State

If you’re at The Ohio State University on game day, hang out at either Out-R-Inn or Varsity Club. Known for their lively atmospheres, these rowdy joints are the ultimate stops for the true college game day experience in Columbus. Reconnect with friends or family, and celebrate a Buckeye victory with a round of brews and a slice of pizza.

Game Day Traditions:

  • Join other fans for grilling out, cornhole and tailgating at Schottenstein Center
  • Wear red and white to “The Shoe”, the third largest stadium in the United States
  • Cheer for the Buckeyes with their famous chant: “O-H!” “I-O!”

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