Tailgating at Home for the Win this Football Season

7 Mile Burger (courtesy of 7 Mile Kitchen)

As fall creeps up on us, we usually have at least one thing to look forward to – tailgating at football games! While we may not be able to tailgate at the stadium this year, we can certainly opt for a similar experience while enjoying the same festivities at home. We’ve rounded up some of the best ways to revel in all of the same flavors and then some, omitting the crowds, and social distancing at home this year. 

730 Turquoise Street/ 2707 Via De La Valle/ 7660 El Camino Real
San Diego, CA 92109/ Del Mar, CA 92014/ Carlsbad, CA 92009
(858) 488-0044/ (858) 481-9300/ (760) 632-7511

With locations in Pacific Beach, Del Mar and La Costa, Gelson’s has everything you could ever need for a complete tailgating experience. Try some of their classic yet simple recipes like Baked BBQ Chicken and Chili or opt for lighter options like theirCaprese Skewers, White Bean and Herb Dip or Cheesy Baked Eggplant. Don’t forget the snacks! Snacking is made simple and nutritious with their Kale Chips, Sweet and Spice Pumpkin Seeds or Choco Cinnamon Popcorn. If you’re in a bit of a time crunch, be sure to check out their gourmet deli offerings and prepared food for an easy but delicious alternative! Stop into a store near you or place your order via Instacart by visiting https://shop.gelsons.com/

7 Mile Kitchen
5420 Grand Pacific Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 827-2514

Located in the coastal community of Carlsbad, 7 Mile Kitchen specializes in elevated comfort food with a view – think artisan pizzas and inventive burgers. Crafted to perfection by Executive Chef Julian Quiñones, our top recommendations for football season include House BBQ Chips & Bacon Onion Dip ($9), The O.G. Burger, ½ pound steakhouse blend beef, lettuce, tomato, onion, American cheese, house sauce on a toasted bun ($16) and the Sweet Sausage Pizza, fennel sausage, caramelized Maui Onion, ricotta and Marinara ($16). The best part? These options are all available on 7 Mile’s Grab and Go menu available daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. To order ahead, call (760) 827-2514. To learn more and view their menu offerings, visit https://7milekitchen.com/

Spiro’s Greek Café
1201 1st Street
Coronado, CA 92118
(619) 435-1225

Spice up your tailgating experience with the tastes and flavors from Greece. Spiro’s Greek Café, located in Coronado with a second location opening in La Jolla later this month, offers a variety of traditional Greek “mezes” (appetizers) and platters that are sure to be enjoyed with a side of football – especially for those sick with the travel bug. For mezes, try their homemadeTzatziki & Pita ($5.95) or their Dolmades & Pita, olive leaves stuffed with rice pilaf and feta cheese ($6.95). Larger offerings include Greek Platters and Family Packs (perfect for a family of four) featuring lamb, beef or chicken gyro meat, fries or rice, a Greek salad, pitas and tzatziki sauce. To place your order for pick up call (619) 435-1225 or visit https://www.spirosgreekcafe.com/order-online

The Wise Ox Butcher & Eatery
2855 El Cajon Blvd Suite 1
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 564-8976

Fresh from the butcher’s block, check out Trust Restaurant Group’s latest concept The Wise Ox Butcher & Eatery for all of your tailgating needs. Located on El Cajon Boulevard in North Park, The Wise Ox offers an assortment of high-quality meats including choice and prime beef to premium dry-aged beef and wagyu, plus pork, poultry and seafood. In a time crunch? Take home one of their pre-marinated meats or house-made sausages to impress your home crew. This neighborhood butcher offers everything you may need to go with your tailgating mains including gourmet market goods and prepared food, bottles of wine and beer, fresh pasta and sauce, chicken salad, house-made bread and butter pickles, and the popular chicken liver mousse off the Trust menu. Additional options for a hands-off prep experience include their to-go deli sandwiches. 

4033 Goldfinch Street
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 600-5311

From pastries to pizzas, Cardellino in Mission Hills features Italian-American inspired eats from Executive Chef Brad Wise’s upbringing on the East Coast. House-made pizza offerings all include a side of ranch for dipping. Favorites include the Bianca e Verde with panna, mozzarella, roasted garlic, ricotta, broccoli, spinach, parmigiana ($19), or Salsicce with Italian sausage mozzarella, ricotta, oregano, tomato sauce ($20). For the early morning Sunday games, try an assortment of rotating pastries made fresh by Executive Pastry Chef Jeremy Harville. Don’t forget to pick up a pint of Mr. Trustee ice cream for dessert! To place your order to go visit https://cardellinosd.com/

Trust Restaurant
3752 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 795-6901

For an elevated tailgate experience, place a to-go order from TRG’s flagship restaurant Trust Restaurant in Hillcrest. With a menu designed for sharing, anything goes. Try their Charcuterie & Cheese plate made with chef’s selection of seasonal accouterments. Recent menu additions worth a try include their Wood Grilled Asparagus with melon, duck egg, house bresaola, frisee, arugula and charred onion vinaigrette ($16) or Kimchi Fried Rice with pickled shrimp, diced vegetables, egg yolk and pea shoots ($19). Take advantage of sipping on their refreshing libations to-go. Try the Black Moon, mezcal roasted parsnip, orange liqueur, lime, bitters ($14) or the Voodoo Mistress, blanco tequila, roasted beets, ginger, sparkling wine ($14). To order ahead visit https://www.trustrestaurantsd.com/

Fort Oak
1011 Fort Stockton Drive
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 722-3398

For a home tailgate experience like no other, splurge on a seafood-centric menu from Fort Oak in Mission Hills. Offering an impressive selection of raw and wood-fired seafood, your tailgate crew will not be disappointed. Picks perfect for the game include Garlicky Hearth Grilled Prawns with elote aioli, shishito relish and lime ($19), Ahi Tuna Rillette featuring raw tuna, pickled haricot verts, fried olives, radish, avocado mousse, coriander lavash ($17) or Scallop Aguachile with cucumber, onion, cilantro, coriander oil ($18). Pair these with one of their to-go cocktails like the Fairlane with gin, grapefruit lemon, elderflower and prosecco ($12) or opt for a bottle of wine from their extensive wine list. To view the full menu and order online visit https://fortoaksd.com/