Build a local tailgate in Columbia, SC

Your how-to-guide on preparing the tastiest tailgate

Fried chicken from Zesto

Fried chicken from Zesto.

Photo by @lafoodiefrancaise_

College football is back + tailgating traditions run deep at UofSC. SC has been ranked by 247 Sports (No. 2) , USA Today (No. 4), Bleacher Report (No. 9), and Stadium Talk (No. 11) as having one of the best tailgating experiences in college football.

Tailgating by the numbers according to the UofSC professor of Sport and Entertainment Management Andy Gillentine:

  • 16,000 — the number of fans that come to Gamecock football games just to tailgate.
  • ~$10 million — the revenue game days bring to the local economy

Pull out your coolers + calendars and gear for Saturdays in South Carolina by reading these pro tips on how to prepare the tastiest tailgate between Bluff Road and George Rogers Blvd.

Home Team BBQ wing dipped in sauce

Home Team BBQ wings

Photo by @hometeambbqcola

🍗 Bojangles, 10 locations across Columbia

  • At this point, can we just consider Bojangles local? We would debate that this chain has mastered game day boxes. Grab a Gamecock branded Big Bo Box, filled with fried chicken, fixin’s, and a buttery biscuit.

🍗 DiPrato’s Delicatessen, 342 Pickens St.

  • Known for its pimento cheese + any kind of salad you can think of, we recommend taking a look at DiPrato’s catering menu to pick up authentic New York deli-style food with Italian influence and Southern flare. Pro tip: You’re missing out if you don’t order a dessert with your meal.

🍗 Home Team BBQ, 700 Harden St.

  • You have the choice between Family Style Combinations (feeding 10+), Boxed Meals (feeding 20+), or a Build Your Own method of catering for the big game.

🍗 Rosewood Dairy Bar, 3003 Rosewood Dr.

  • Order the Tailgate Special + choose between an eight-piece, 15-piece, or 20-piece chicken meal, outfit with a tray of fries, a pint of slaw, and rolls.

🍗 Zesto, 504 12th St., West Columbia

  • Grab a Tub Of Chicken12 pieces including three breasts, three wings, three thighs, and three legs. Pro tip: you can order the tub of chicken with white meat (seven breasts + five wings.)