We decided the madness shouldn’t be limited just to the basketball court. We pitted the best dishes from college towns against each other in our "Bracket Battle: Best College Eats" tournament. Check out the best college food in the country and find out how to make it all at home.

  1. Best College Eats

    Bracket Battle: Best College Eats in the Country

    Check out how we recreated the best college food around and then study all the recipes.

  2. Vitek's BBQ Gut Pack

    Baylor University: The Gut Pak

    Tailgating at Baylor means digging into a plate of corn chips, beans, cheddar and two kinds of meat – smoked on-site at the century-old institution Vitek’s BBQ.

  3. March Madness Duke University Gyro

    Duke University: Greek Devil Gyro

    To tap into the Blue Devils’ spirit, chow down on a tzatziki-topped gyro bundled in an oven-warmed pita, courtesy of the five-year-old stand-turned-food-truck The Greek Devil.

  4. March Madness Fordham University

    Fordham University: Chicken Roll

    Students of the Bronx-based campus voted a pizza place – Pugsley Pizza – as their favorite institution, and its saucy marina-topped chicken roll as the dish to order.

  5. March Madness Georgetown University

    Georgetown University: Chicken Madness

    Wisemiller's Grocery and Deli (aka Wisey’s) drives those D.C. kids mad with this chicken, bacon and pepper sandwich that marries a hoagie with the flavors of a fajita.

  6. March Madness Gonzaga University

    Gonzaga University: COG Cookies

    The Center of Gonzaga (COG) serves these soft, crunchy, straight-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies at all sporting events. Now that’s something to cheer for.

  7. March Madness Harvard

    Harvard University: The Viagra Burger

    In order to “Rise to the Occasion” like the Crimsons do, grab a napkin and top a beef patty with chunky blue cheese dressing in the style of Mr. Bartley's Gourmet Burgers.

  8. March Madness Indiana University

    Indiana University: Sink the Biz Fries

    These fries have the big personality (herbs, spices, an addictive garlic sauce) warranted to match their namesake: a rowdy beer-bucket drinking game at Nick’s English Hut.

  9. March Madness Iowa State

    Iowa State University: Cherry Pies

    It’s a story as sweet as cherry pie: Students of the restaurant management program bake these mini treats and sell them at a springtime celebration to raise money for scholarships.

  10. March Madness Marquette University

    Marquette University: The Marquette

    At the restaurant Real Chili, those that are in the know order this secret bowl of spaghetti topped with beef chili, chopped onions and heaping portions of cheddar and sour cream.

  11. March Madness Michigan State

    Michigan State: Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

    This impossibly creamy, bourbon-spiked ice cream cookie sandwich from Melting Moments gets Michigan State students amped for sporting events, no matter the season.

  12. March Madness NC State

    North Carolina State: Mimi’s Sausage Dip

    This humble, creamy pork sausage dip from 60-plus-year-old restaurant The Player’s Retreat is an essential part of game-watching at North Carolina State University.

  13. March Madness Ohio State

    Ohio State University: The Buckeye Donut

    Buckeye Donuts took a delicious treat (see: Buckeyes) modeled after the nut of the same-named tree and turned it into chocolate-covered, peanut butter-filled doughnuts.

  14. March Madness Princeton University

    Princeton University: Phat Lady

    Hoagie Haven’s #1 sandwich is not for the faint of stomach: Mozzarella sticks and thick-cut French fries top an already decadent jaw-prying cheesesteak. Phat, indeed.

  15. March Madness Purdue University

    Purdue University: Boilermaker Pete

    Triple XXX Family Restaurant has charmed students and Route 66 drivers alike with this triple-decker cheese- and onion-topped chopped steak burger since 1929.

  16. March Madness Rutgers

    Rutgers University: Grease Truck Sandwich

    In 1997, hungry student Darrell W. Butler convinced one of the campus’ Grease Trucks to toss his favorite foods onto a bun in what is now a famous award-winning sandwich.

  17. March Madness Syracuse University

    Syracuse University: Toasted Honey Bun Sundae

    Sometimes the toppings matter most. At Cosmos Pizza & Grill, the highlight of the menu is a hot fudge-topped vanilla ice cream sundae over from-the-box toasted honey buns.

  18. March Madness Temple University

    Temple University: Koagie

    These Korean-style hoagies, featuring thinly sliced marinated beef, cabbage slaw and cucumber kimchee on a seeded bun, hail from Sammy Chon’s K-Town BBQ.

  19. March Madness UC Berkeley

    UC Berkeley: Top Dog Frankfurter

    The NY-bred owner of Top Dog Hot Dog knows that a great kosher-style beef dog needs little adornment. We topped ours with sauerkraut and Russian spicy mustard.

  20. March Madness UCLA

    UCLA: Ice Cream Sandwich

    Those California girls (and boys) love building custom ice cream sammies at Diddy Riese, where you can mix and match 10 cookies and 12 ice cream flavors.

  21. March Madness University of Illinois

    University of Illinois: Stuffed Pizza

    Unlike the similar Chicago-style deep dish pie, Papa Del’s famous cheese-and-topping-stuffed pizza has a sauce-topped dough crust, which makes this an actual pie.

  22. March Madness Kansas University

    University of Kansas: Chicken Cheddar Wrap

    The crunchy chicken tender wraps sold at on-campus shop Brellas are so popular, every year students participate in a race where they down these sandwiches at the halfway point.

  23. March Madness Kentucky University

    University of Kentucky: Ho Burger and Tots

    The salty-sweet secret Ho sauce and creamy, cheesy tots may compel you to scream “Tolly-Ho” when trying the #1 burger from this close-to-campus restaurant.

  24. March Madness Maryland

    University of Maryland: Fear the Turtle Ice Cream

    On-campus shop The Dairy turns its vanilla ice cream into creative flavors like this white chocolate, caramel and pecan fave that unites students against competitors (cough, Duke).

  25. March Madness Memphis

    University of Memphis: Pulled Pork BBQ Pizza

    Students flock to Garibaldi’s Pizza, where in true Tennessee fashion, they top an already favored collegiate food with Memphis-style tangy pulled pork.

  26. March Madness University of Michigan

    University of Michigan: Triple Play Reuben

    Everything at U of M is larger than life, from The Big House to this two-meat, two-cheese sandwich with Russian dressing and sauerkraut from Maize and Blue Delicatessen.

  27. March Madness Missouri

    University of Missouri: Booches Burger

    The title burger from Booches Billiard Hall is a nationally renowned two-cheese-topped beef patty served on wax paper sheets with a side of chips (NOT fries).

  28. March Madness University of Montana

    University of Montana: Griz Breakfast Burrito

    This burrito from Cascade Country Store – loaded with bacon, sausages, eggs, hash browns, cheese and fresh salsa – wards off grizzly hangovers and morning sleepiness.

  29. March Madness UNC

    UNC Chapel Hill: Chicken and Cheddar Biscuit

    Time-Out restaurant is a Tar Heel favorite thanks to this famous sandwich, which layers Tabasco-marinated fried chicken and cheddar slices between two sturdy biscuits.

  30. March Madness Oklahoma

    University of Oklahoma: Chili Con Queso

    Kick back on the patio at alumni-owned restaurant The Mont, and order plenty of the spicy four-cheese and pork sausage cheese dip for repeated chip dunking.

  31. March Madness Pittsburgh

    University of Pittsburgh: Southside Slopes

    Fat Head’s serves headwiches (aka head-sized sandwiches), like this favorite that stuffs kielbasa, pierogi, grilled onions, American cheese and spicy mayo into a bun.

  32. March Madness UT Austin

    UT Austin: “Don Juan” El Taco Grande

    Everything is bigger both in Texas and at favorite restaurant Juan in a Million, where hot tortilla breakfast tacos are filled with a full pound of potatoes, eggs, bacon and cheese.

  33. March Madness UW Madison

    UW-Madison: Bo's Express Ice Cream

    To support the basketball team, students order extra scoops of this raspberry swirl and dark chocolate vanilla ice cream named after Coach Bo Ryan at Babcock Hall Dairy Store.




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