Football season is here – and it's time to recognize those who transform regular tailgates into pre-game feasts packed with unbelievable flavor. In a joint venture with Bert Sperling, the leader in "Best Places" research, McCormick Grill Mates analyzed 31 cities in the U.S. with professional football teams to identify the Top 10 Tastiest Tailgate cities in the country.

"We scored each city based on the Tailgating Food Index, which took into account regional foods and flavors, and the Tailgating Experience Index, which focused on stadium atmosphere and traditions," said Sperling. "Other criteria included team success over the years and tailgating rules and regulations."

10 Tastiest Tailgate Cities


Kansas City, MO

Green Bay, WI

Buffalo, NY




New Orleans


Charlotte, NC

Houston grabbed the No. 1 spot with high scores in both the Tailgating Food Index and the Tailgating Experience Index. Gargantuan barbecue smokers serving up ribs and brisket and tailgating contests generate an overall vibrant, flavorful and energetic scene.

Coming in at a close second, Kansas City tailgaters pride themselves on their pork ribs, paired with the city's trademark barbecue sauce. At number three, Green Bay, with its die-hard yet familial atmosphere, achieved the highest experience rating yet fell a few points when it came to variety of foods featured. But on game day, few can resist the city's signature brats.

Bring Top Flavors to Your Tailgate

Whether you already have touchdown-worthy game day fare or you're looking for new inspiration to take your tailgate to the top, these recipes inspired by the top 10 cities will help you cheer on your home team deliciously:

Texas BBQ Brisket Sliders – Enjoy the smoky flavor in this Texas style game-day sandwich, seasoned with Grill Mates® Slow & Low Smokin' Texas BBQ Rub.

Grilled Sweet and Smoky Baby Back Ribs – Grill Mates® Sweet & Smoky Rub can help you create that finger-licking Kansas City taste.

Grilled Bratwurst with Spicy Mesquite Peppers and Onions – Try your own version of Wisconsin's famous brats with Grill Mates® Mesquite Marinade.

BBQ Potatoes – Grilled potato wedges, made with Grill Mates® Barbecue Seasoning, are a no-fuss side dish to hold over hungry tailgaters.

Share your game-winning tailgate specialties – from tried-and-true grilling tips to pictures of your tastiest result – with other fans by joining the Grillerhood on Facebook, the largest social media community dedicated to helping you score big on the grates. For more grilling recipe ideas this tailgate season, visit and find us on Pinterest.