It’s never too early to start thinking about football season. School’s out for the summer, and we’re already counting down the days until the best night of the week: Saturday mornings. Fall is just around the corner, so why not get extra hype and be extra prepared by planning some reservations at your Big 10 town’s game day hotspot?
1. Illinois (Fighting Illini) – Joe’s Brewery
Big 10 towns tend to represent what makes their universities unique, however, no restaurant embodies versatility quite like Joe’s Brewery. With a menu serving 20 different burgers and a venue boasting three different bars plus a stripper pole, a stop at Joe’s is crucial for any Illini game day.
2. Indiana (Hoosiers) – Mother Bear’s Pizza
With a location so close to campus, you can practically smell your favorite pizza baking in the Mother Bear ovens from the stadium. It honestly exceeds its lofty reputation and pleases both Chicagoans and New Yorkers alike. If you happen to be in Bloomington for a game day or for any other occasion really, a stop at Mother Bear’s should be at the top of your to do list.
3. Iowa (Hawkeyes) – The Airliner
For Ashton Kutcher fans, you should eat at The Airliner because it was the spot where he was first discovered. For Big 10 fans, you should eat at The Airliner to get an authentic Hawkeye game day experience. With over 20 HDTVs and a menu that includes items like the 2 lb. Airbus Burger, you will not be disappointed.
4. Maryland (Terrapins) – RJ Bentley’s
If SportsCenter’s Scott Van Pelt says, “Let’s go to Bentley’s” following every Maryland game highlight, then that should give you enough reason to stop by RJ Bentley’s on your next Terps game day. Authentic Maryland vibes and classic Big 10 enthusiasm can be found at Bentley’s, along with their famed wings and burgers.
5. Michigan (Wolverines) – Good Time Charley’s
Relaxing on Charley’s patio while enjoying a 64 oz. fishbowl over classic pub fare is a campus tradition for both Michigan students and faculty. Whether it be a Thursday night, a sunny Ann Arbor afternoon or a game day, Charley’s will always be a gathering place for Wolverines. If you want to experience some true Big 10 traditions, Charley’s is a must.
6. Michigan State (Spartans) – FieldHouse
Because of their 75 televisions, FieldHouse is a great place to catch the game. Spartans gather here on game days to eat, drink and socialize, so the next time you’re in East Lansing you should definitely stop by.
7. Minnesota (Golden Gophers) – Stub & Herb’s
Their beloved saying “Your Grandpa Drank Here” is true for many Gophers. Stub and Herb’s is rich in its local history and has created a legacy on campus. It serves countless local brews and a wide selection of quality burgers. Drop what you’re doing right now and make the trek up north to grab a table at Minnesota’s eating and drinking emporium.
8. Nebraska (Huskers) – Misty’s Steakhouse
Misty’s is known for hosting the UNL pep band the night before home games. The band plays the fight song and rallies both home and opposing fans alike. The spirit is unreal and can be enjoyed over a delectable prime rib. These kinds of traditions keep the Big 10 alive, so join in the next time you’re in Lincoln.
9. Northwestern (Wildcats) – Bat 17
Big 10 fans and gastronomes unite under the roof of Evanston’s most trendy saloon. From gourmet breakfast, to lunch, to dinner and drinks, there’s something on the menu that will satisfy what you’re craving. Definitely check it out on your next Evanston game day.
10. Ohio State (Buckeyes) – Buckeye Donuts
Open 24 hours, Buckeye Donuts is the perfect pre game, postgame or snack for the game. There is literally no bad Yelp reviews of this place, and every OSU graduate raves about it. The next time your sweet tooth gets the best of you, drive out to Columbus, OH and pick up a donut from this Big 10 gem.
11. Penn State (Nittany Lions) – Lettermans Sports Grill
“The place to be…” for all events and especially for Penn State game days, Letterman’s has some of the best burgers and BBQ in the state. The family friendly atmosphere and hefty portion sizes create a dynamic duo that you won’t want to miss out on.
12. Purdue (Boilermakers) – Triple XXX Family Restaurant
The only Triple XXX thirst station remaining from the previous 100, Purdue’s game day haven still serves their original pure cane sugar root beer. When you visit West Lafayette, make sure that you properly refer to their burgers as “chop steaks” and order their renowned Boilermaker Pete.
13. Rutgers (Scarlet Knights) – Stuff Yer Face
“That place with the funny name” serves food that makes you want to act out its alias. Famous for its stromboli, an Italian turnover filled with meat and cheese, Stuff Yer Face is a vital part of the Rutgers experience. Spend your next NJ game day enjoying this Italian street food like a true Scarlet Knight.
14. Wisconsin (Badgers) – State Street Brats
You can find swarms of students here every football Saturday seeking out the Wisco classic, red brats. Different from the traditional white brat, the red brat is a smoked mix of pork and beef. If you want to do game day like a true Badger, make sure to double fist these brats all Saturday long.