SEC Eats in each Town: Where should I go?

GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA - MARCH 01: The SEC logo is seen before the Texas A&M Aggies play the Vanderbilt Commodores for the first round of the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 01, 2023 in Greenville, South Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA - MARCH 01: The SEC logo is seen before the Texas A&M Aggies play the Vanderbilt Commodores for the first round of the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 01, 2023 in Greenville, South Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) /

The time has come for tailgating, socializing and watching college football. Part of the experience of course is eating and drinking whether it be at said tailgate, a restaurant, bar, etc. If you’ve never been to an SEC town before, it can sometimes be overwhelming with options and not knowing where to start. You can do internet searches, run into people you know or just decide on a place spur of the moment.

I reached out to some of the most loyal fans for each SEC school on Twitter to guide us in the right direction. The list of places below each had the overwhelming majority of suggestions from fans of each school, and most are within walking distance of each stadium. These fans have their “X” handles where you can follow them listed alongside the school. Here they are:

SEC Eats in each Town: Where should I go?

Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)

Dreamland Barbecue: World famous barbeque chain with its original location in Tuscaloosa.

Rama Jama’s: Sports-centric bar and grill. Includes breakfast, sandwiches and shakes. This is the go-to spot on gameday’s with tv’s aplenty and a great atmosphere. If you go for drinks, you can’t walk out without getting their famous alcoholic cocktail, the “Yellow Hammer Slammer.”

Archibald and Woodrow’s BBQ: Award-winning barbecue restaurant that’s been a staple since the 1960’s.

Baumhower’s Victory Grille: Bob Baumhower, an All-American from the University of Alabama and six time All-Pro for the Miami Dolphins, opened this local relic in 1981. Baumhower’s is known for their wings and sports-themed atmosphere with 17 tv’s.

Suggestions provided by @kitkatB34 @cflbass @justinriley7 and @bamagirl_221. Follow these top Bama fans on X!

Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR)

Catfish Hole: The best for great catfish and all of its fixins’. Great casual atmosphere and service.

JJ’s Bar: Live music, local culture and unique food. The world famous “JJ’s Burger” is a must.

Art’s Place: Hog burger. Enough said.

Wrights Barbecue: A laid back outpost serving up an array of smoke barbecue meats and heart sides. Includes an outdoor patio room.

Suggestions provided by @randallhogWPS @randomuser27694 @sherrycarter31 and @rickybaw. Follow these top Hog fans on X!

Auburn (Auburn, AL)

Niffer’s Place: This restaurant speaks tradition. From unusual decorations to colorful chalkboards, Niffer’s has it all. Their hamburger meat is never frozen, hand-pattied and seasoned with their own special recipe. Baked beans at Niffer’s is a family recipe along with homemade potato chips to name a few highlights.

Amsterdam Café: A favorite among locals and visitors founded in 1991. Incredible seafood and southern cuisine.

Suggestions provided by @just13julee @aubdeb @pantherNGA. Follow these top Tiger fans on X!

Florida (Gainesville, FL)

Gators Dockside: Family-friendly sports-themed restaurant with big screen tv’s wall-to-wall. Their signature is their grilled wings.

Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille: Brunch on Saturday’s from 11 AM – 3 PM. This place offers some of the Ol’ Ball Coach Steve Spurrier’s favorite meals to desserts inspired by his wife Jerri’s homemade recipes.

The Swamp Restaurant in Gainesville: Just a few blocks away from the stadium, this Gainesville landmark returned in a new building after a temporary closing. With its historic house charm and live music, the atmosphere is perfect for game-day.

Suggestions provided by @bentroupe84 @joeltopping1 @timgator16 and @cd3gator. Follow these top gator fans on X!

Georgia (Athens, GA)

Little Italy: Traditional style restaurant that offers New York-style thin-crust pizza slices and subs that the locals rave about. Known for their hoagies and pizza. Cheap beer is a popular hit as well.

Mama’s Boy: Charming retro diner that’s a must-see breakfast spot in Athens. Offers made-from-scratch food with southern hospitality. Georgia Peach French Toast, Buttermilk Biscuits and strawberry lemonade are some of the staples.

Clocked: A downtown Athens staple that’s known for its unique burgers.

Weaver D’s: A colorful counter-served institution in Athens that serves down-home southern recipes.

The Grill: A laid-back American diner with vintage styling. Open 24 hours, this diner has been serving patrons since 1981. Offers a great list of burgers and sandwiches with affordable prices.

Suggestions provided by @thedalejacobs @vis0rpumps @therealmccaw @dawgstats @dawgtime50 and @joshsimmons33. Follow these top Dawg fans on X!

Kentucky (Lexington, KY)

KSBar & Grille: A sports bar that serves up the best wings in town. Great casual game-day atmosphere for other food and drinks as well. About a mile from the stadium and offers shuttles from the parking lots to the stadium on game days.

Joe Bologna’s Restaurant & Pizzeria: Just a few miles from the stadium, this is a must-stop if you’re a pizza fan as they have the best pizza in town. Joe Bologna’s is a casual vibe housed in a former synagogue with stained-glass windows.

Suggestions provided by @robBBN @bluegrassguy @uopr8r @everythingkyfb and @rayndalecobb18. Follow these top Wildcat fans on X!

LSU (Baton Rouge, LA)

The Chimes: It’s a consensus from the locals that this is “the place” on game-day. With a made-from-scratch menu and extensive beer selection, this is a natural game-day fit. It’ll fill up fast on game-day, so get there early!

Walk-ons: A restaurant and sports bistreaux. Great atmosphere that’s loaded with fans on game-day from both teams. You’ll find TV’s aplenty to make sure you’re able to catch any game before heading into Death Valley.

Suggestions provided by @nursekort @bigjoe0630 @carolinefenton1 and @dubroctoni. Follow these top Tiger fans on X!

Mississippi State (Starkville, MS)

Two Brother’s Smoked Meats: This is by far the favorite in Starkville amongst locals. Just down the street from Mississippi State University is this multi-story barbecue masterpiece. Smoked chicken and brisket are the staples here with a pecan-fueled outdoor smoker. This place speaks Mississippi barbecue to the soul.

Starkville Café: Great southern-style breakfast spot early on game-day. Their special homemade syrup called “duck butter” is a must-have.

The Little Dooey: Laid-back restaurant with barbecue, catfish and more. Checkered tablecloths make you feel right at home in Starkville.

Bulldog Burger Co.: This casual regional chain offers some of the best burgers in town. Popular amongst the college crowd and offers a classic deli fare with a southern twist.

Suggestions provided by @chadmask_msu @dudynoblefield @dylanmflippo @trentonrcole @reporterchrisw and @daddybradley. Follow these top Bulldog fans on X!

Missouri (Columbia, MO)

CJ’s Hot Wings: CJ’s sits in historic downtown Columbia and has been a staple for chicken wings for the last 30 years. Their famous wings are served fresh and straight out of the fryer. CJ’s has their own secret wing sauce recipes prepared right in their kitchen. It includes a 200 inch big screen tv and is the place to catch Tiger games.

Harpo’s Bar & Grill: This sports-themed restaurant offers up some award-winning wings and fantastic gourmet burgers.

Suggestions provided by @paulgoth22. Follow this top Mizzou fan on X!

Ole Miss (Oxford, MS)

Ajax: Known as Eli Manning’s favorite spot, this downtown Oxford diner never disappoints and is a must-stop when you’re in town for a game. Offers southern comfort food like chicken and dumplings, fried catfish, Mississippi pot roast and so much more. Ajax has been voted Oxford’s “best place lunch” every year since it’s opened.

The Blind Pig: A friendly restaurant atmosphere that offers great burgers, barbecue and deli sandwiches. Over 20 craft beer selections.

Suggestions provided by @little_fat_dids and @thestevenwillis. Follow these top Ole Miss fans on X!

South Carolina

J’s Corner Restaurant & Bar: Southern-style comfort food and draft beer set the tone as this former gas station turned to Columbia delight is the spot amongst locals.

Thirsty Fellow Pizzeria and Pub: Known for their pizza, but also provides a comfortable atmosphere with a bar full of tv’s. Also known for their “Gorgonzola Chips” and come with their gorgonzola sauce.

Liberty Tap Room & Grill: Located in downtown Columbia, this local chain is known for their steak, American fare and microbrews. Offers a relaxed, stylish setting making it a popular spot.

Bernie’s Chicken: Walking distance from Willams-Brice Stadium, this is one of the best places in the entire state of South Carolina for fried chicken. Bernie’s looks like a fast food joint, and arguable may be. But the quality of food is far from it taste-wise. Their broasted chicken is deep fried under pressure which makes it essentially grease-free.

Suggestions provided by@corgimom51 @austinlg103 @cockyfaithful and @gueuscwho. Follow these top Gamecock fans on X!

Tennessee (Knoxville, TN)

Calhoun’s on the River: Located on Knoxville’s historic waterfront. Their Bacon Wrapped Beef Brisket Burnt Ends is a staple. It’s also by boat as well and offers a panoramic view of the Tennessee river.

Dead End Barbecue: Elite award-winning barbecue staple in Knoxville. Picnic-style barbecue plating with draft beer and sports memorabilia aplenty make this an attractive spot to hang.

Gus’s Good Times Deli: Known for their deli sandwiches, phillies, burgers and much more. An old school all-vol spot on campus that’s great on gameday.

Fieldhouse Social: Offers a great gameday atmosphere, including the “largest tv in the southland.”

Market Square: About a 25 minute walk from Neyland Stadium, but must-see in historic downtown Knoxville. Market square is a pedestrian mall with a plethora of bars, restaurants, shopping and other entertainment. Restaurants such as “Not Watson’s,” or “Stock & Barrell” are a few of many restaurants that load the market.

Suggestions provided by @vflpaul_ @dirt_knox @vol_equalizer @normalvolfan @jackfromacworth @astrosmokeyx @the_irish_hammer_71 @imsusiebird  and @rycallear . Follow these top Vol fans on X!

Texas A&M (College Station, TX)

Northgate: Known to the locals as “ng,” it’s College Station’s main strip of bars and restaurants. You’ll see patrons from each team on gameday here. Walk the strip, try some different restaurants, bars and hang out with friends.

Dixie Chicken: The oldest bar in Northgate that’s been open since 1974. You’ll feel like you’re back in time the moment you walk in with nostalgic old school photo’s covering the walls. Known for their chicken. Offers a great menu and drinks.

Stella’s Southern Café: This is the breakfast go-to in College Station with scratch-made southern style cuisine. Bread and butter pickles are a staple here along with their fabulous jams. Stella’s has some great coffee as well.

Suggestions provided by @Mattfosterdtx and @ATXsandman. Follow these top Aggie fans on X!

Vanderbilt (Nashville, TN)

Hattie B’s: A must-stop if you’re looking for some Nashville-hot chicken from mild to very spicy.

Pancake Pantry: A popular breakfast spot that makes their food from scratch every morning. Their batter, fruit compotes and syrups are made fresh each day from secret family recipes.

The Stillery: A main hangout spot for both teams on gameday. This Nashville restaurant and bar is the kind of place you can relax at while chowing down on one of their two-handed sandwiches.

Next. 5 potential SEC upsets to watch for during September. dark