Tailgating Treats for the Win

Tristan Eden

To be at the top of your tailgating game (and impress your friends while you're at it), you have to bring the very best to the party. We can help.

Blue-Ribbon Brats

Head to Thurn's Specialty Meats, a Columbus institution since 1886, for franks, pulled pork, chicken wings, andouille sausage and more. It's the kind of place where there really are no bad choices-but you'll definitely want to pick up some brats. "I like the garlic or Italian brats," owner Albert Thurn says. Noon game? Cook up a tailgater's breakfast with Thurn's beautiful bacon. thurnsmeats.com

Sides That Sing

The Fresh Market is the place to go for unique and tailgate-worthy sides. Get the Baked Potato Potato Salad-true to its name, it tastes like a baked potato with all the trappings, but in salad form. And don't miss the Broccoli Kale Cranberry Slaw, a crunchy, autumnal take on traditional coleslaw. thefreshmarket.com

Brag-Worthy Brews

A dedicated growler-filling station, Growl! has 41 continuously changing taps (and new plastic growlers, perfect for the parking lot). After you buy the growler ($2 to $5), it's yours to keep, and each time you refill it you pay only for the beer. Co-owner Jonathan Kindsvatter recommends bringing something for everyone: "a dark beer, an IPA, something lighter, something in the middle." growlcolumbus.com