With the Pac-12 season beginning in earnest this week, plenty of fans will begin traveling to campuses around the league. Here's advice on the league's hotspots from our well-traveled Pac-12 gourmands.
Where is the best bar near the stadium to go before or after a game?
Ryan Gorcey, BearTerritory — Pappy’s on Telegraph. Perfect place to hang out and grab pitchers before a night game, and watch all the college football action on a four-way split projection screen on the wall, plus flat screens on every possible surface. Any wall space not dedicated to TVs is covered by tons of Cal memorabilia.
Adam Munsterteiger, BuffStampede — Dark Horse. Fun environment with space. If you are looking for a bit of a dive with some history, this is a great spot. Pay close attention to the signs on the bathroom doors, or you might end up embarrassed.
Tracy Pierson, BruinReportOnline — King’s Row Gastropub. With UCLA playing its home games at the Rose Bowl, there are so many great bars in Pasadena, especially on Colorado Blvd. King’s Row is right on Colorado in an historic building with three different bar areas and a patio, a great beer selection and pub food, and a fun vibe.
Ryan Abraham, USCFootball.com — Traditions on the USC campus is a favorite for students and alumni alike. It is jammed on game days but once you get in they have good food, great drinks and lots of USC football memorabilia decorating the walls.
Chris Karpman, Sun Devil Digest — Rula Bula is a no-frills Irish Bar that packs it in for pre- and post-gamers on Mill Avenue, which is within a 10 minute walk from the stadium. There are a lot of good watering holes to bounce between in a space of less than a half mile.
Dan Sorensen, UteZone — Fiddler’s Elbow is a great option. It’s got good food, a wide selection of adult beverages, and it’s not uncommon to spot a Utah player or coach there. When the UteZone staff gets together, Fiddler’s is usually the spot.
Cougfan.com — The Cougar Cottage, better known as The Coug, is a Palouse icon. Located a short walk from Martin Stadium and in the heart of Greek Row, it's definitely a place where good friends meet. You can even write your name on one of the cross beams. Burgers are pretty good, too. If it's too crowded, the Valhalla Bar and Grill is about 100 feet up the street and will put you in a sporting frame of mind.
What’s a great place near the stadium to grab a bite?
Ryan Gorcey, BearTerritory — Henry’s on Durant. It’s got the swanky hotel bar feel to it, with some really unique grub (smoked salmon hash for breakfast before those morning games), some standard bar bites (fish and chips) and some great specialties (angry mac and cheese).
Tracy Pierson, BruinReportOnline — The White Horse Lounge, in Pasadena, right off Colorado Blvd. It has an old-style classy but casual feel, with a great bar, too, and a wide range of incredible food, serving everything from breakfast to dinner, waffles to a New York Cut. The burger with the egg is good for any meal, but the truffle fries are like crack.
Ryan Abraham, USCFootball.com — Walking to your car you can always grab a bacon-wrapped hotdog from a street vendor, but if you want something more substantial La Barca on Vermont has the best Mexican food in the area. The margaritas are strong, the salsa is spicy and the burritos are huge.
Chris Karpman, Sun Devil Digest — The most popular and well-known spot by far that also has great food in a historic setting, Chuckbox is a cash-only burger and chicken sandwich place that has been around for decades and has an abundance of self-serve fixings.
R.J. Abeytia, The Bootleg — The Tonga Tailgate. Located in picture-perfect Chuck Taylor Grove in the heart of the Stanford campus, this is the best food you will find anywhere close to the stadium, and the mysterious “Tonga Juice” is the stuff of local legend.
Dan Sorensen, UteZone — The Pie Pizzeria is probably the most famous just-off-campus hangout. It’s been there for years and is kind of a must stop for students. Think big, cheesy pizzas with lots of toppings.
Cougfan.com — The South Fork Public House is a great atmosphere for tossing back a cold one or bringing the whole family in for a bite. If you want to go a little more upscale, Banyons on the Ridge offers up a variety of tasty dishes plus a nice view. And if you're looking for cheap, delicious and fast, the Cougar Country Drive-In is unsurpassed — the special sauce, fries and shakes have been a Palouse staple for decades.
If you were asked to recommend just one Pac-12 road stadium to visit for a game this season, what would it be?
Jason Scheer, WildcatAuthority — Autzen Stadium. When Oregon has a big opponent, there may not be a louder stadium in the conference.
Ryan Gorcey, BearTerritory — Husky Stadium. The views from the top of the stands are as good as anywhere in the conference, and Tail Boating is a thing. The renovated stadium has a very airy, open feel, and there’s really nothing like it in the conference.
Adam Munsterteiger, BuffStampede — Husky Stadium. Where else in the Pac-12 can you tailgate on the water? Plus, Seattle is a great city.
Tracy Pierson, BruinReportOnline — Husky Stadium. You get it all there, unique tailgating, a great venue to watch a game, a loud crowd, and a great city to experience before and after.
Angie Machado, BeaverBlitz — Folsom Field. May be my favorite road trip as the fans are friendly and Boulder is beautiful with a lot of great things to do.
Ryan Abraham, USCFootball.com — Folsom Field is such a unique environment for a game with a beautiful view of the Rocky Mountains and don’t forget Ralphie running around the field pregame.
Chris Karpman, Sun Devil Digest — Rice-Eccles Stadium in Utah is an unconventional pick but it’s a beautiful setting in Salt Lake City foothills with great access to the stadium and downtown via mass transportation, no bad seats in the house, and great game atmosphere.
R.J. Abeytia, The Bootleg — Husky Stadium. The stadium setting/city combo are tough to beat. Seattle gives it the edge over the Autzen Asylum, which is a spectacle every fan should experience at least once.
Dan Sorensen, UteZone — Autzen Stadium. The place has a reputation as one of the toughest places to play in college football for a reason. It’s a place that every Pac-12 fan should experience at least once.
Cougfan.com — For sheer energy in the air you have to go with Autzen Stadium — provided, of course, you have the mettle to ignore the most pugnacious fans in the conference.