Bracket Battle Best College Eats

We decided the madness shouldn’t be limited just to the basketball court. We pitted the best dishes from college towns against each other in our "Bracket Battle: Best College Eats" tournament. Check out the best college food in the country and find out how to make it all at home.

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    Bracket Battle: Best College Eats in the Country

    Best College Eats

    Check out how we recreated the best college food around and then study all the recipes. Before and After Photos

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    Baylor University: The Gut Pak

    Vitek's BBQ Gut Pack

    Tailgating at Baylor means digging into a plate of corn chips, beans, cheddar and two kinds of meat – smoked on-site at the century-old institution Vitek’s BBQ. Get the Recipe

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    Duke University: Greek Devil Gyro

    March Madness Duke University Gyro

    To tap into the Blue Devils’ spirit, chow down on a tzatziki-topped gyro bundled in an oven-warmed pita, courtesy of the five-year-old stand-turned-food-truck The Greek Devil. Get the Recipe

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    Fordham University: Chicken Roll

    March Madness Fordham University

    Students of the Bronx-based campus voted a pizza place – Pugsley Pizza – as their favorite institution, and its saucy marina-topped chicken roll as the dish to order. Get the Recipe

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    Georgetown University: Chicken Madness

    March Madness Georgetown University

    Wisemiller's Grocery and Deli (aka Wisey’s) drives those D.C. kids mad with this chicken, bacon and pepper sandwich that marries a hoagie with the flavors of a fajita. Get the Recipe

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    Gonzaga University: COG Cookies

    March Madness Gonzaga University

    The Center of Gonzaga (COG) serves these soft, crunchy, straight-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies at all sporting events. Now that’s something to cheer for. Get the Recipe

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    Harvard University: The Viagra Burger

    March Madness Harvard

    In order to “Rise to the Occasion” like the Crimsons do, grab a napkin and top a beef patty with chunky blue cheese dressing in the style of Mr. Bartley's Gourmet Burgers. Get the Recipe

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    Indiana University: Sink the Biz Fries

    March Madness Indiana University

    These fries have the big personality (herbs, spices, an addictive garlic sauce) warranted to match their namesake: a rowdy beer-bucket drinking game at Nick’s English Hut. Get the Recipe

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    Iowa State University: Cherry Pies

    March Madness Iowa State

    It’s a story as sweet as cherry pie: Students of the restaurant management program bake these mini treats and sell them at a springtime celebration to raise money for scholarships. Get the Recipe

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    Marquette University: The Marquette

    March Madness Marquette University

    At the restaurant Real Chili, those that are in the know order this secret bowl of spaghetti topped with beef chili, chopped onions and heaping portions of cheddar and sour cream. Get the Recipe

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    Michigan State: Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

    March Madness Michigan State

    This impossibly creamy, bourbon-spiked ice cream cookie sandwich from Melting Moments gets Michigan State students amped for sporting events, no matter the season. Get the Recipe

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    North Carolina State: Mimi’s Sausage Dip

    March Madness NC State

    This humble, creamy pork sausage dip from 60-plus-year-old restaurant The Player’s Retreat is an essential part of game-watching at North Carolina State University. Get the Recipe

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    Ohio State University: The Buckeye Donut

    March Madness Ohio State

    Buckeye Donuts took a delicious treat (see: Buckeyes) modeled after the nut of the same-named tree and turned it into chocolate-covered, peanut butter-filled doughnuts. Get the Recipe

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    Princeton University: Phat Lady

    March Madness Princeton University

    Hoagie Haven’s #1 sandwich is not for the faint of stomach: Mozzarella sticks and thick-cut French fries top an already decadent jaw-prying cheesesteak. Phat, indeed. Get the Recipe

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    Purdue University: Boilermaker Pete

    March Madness Purdue University

    Triple XXX Family Restaurant has charmed students and Route 66 drivers alike with this triple-decker cheese- and onion-topped chopped steak burger since 1929. Get the Recipe

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    Rutgers University: Grease Truck Sandwich

    March Madness Rutgers

    In 1997, hungry student Darrell W. Butler convinced one of the campus’ Grease Trucks to toss his favorite foods onto a bun in what is now a famous award-winning sandwich. Get the Recipe

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    Syracuse University: Toasted Honey Bun Sundae

    March Madness Syracuse University

    Sometimes the toppings matter most. At Cosmos Pizza & Grill, the highlight of the menu is a hot fudge-topped vanilla ice cream sundae over from-the-box toasted honey buns. Get the Recipe

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    Temple University: Koagie

    March Madness Temple University

    These Korean-style hoagies, featuring thinly sliced marinated beef, cabbage slaw and cucumber kimchee on a seeded bun, hail from Sammy Chon’s K-Town BBQ. Get the Recipe

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    UC Berkeley: Top Dog Frankfurter

    March Madness UC Berkeley

    The NY-bred owner of Top Dog Hot Dog knows that a great kosher-style beef dog needs little adornment. We topped ours with sauerkraut and Russian spicy mustard. Get the Recipe

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    UCLA: Ice Cream Sandwich

    March Madness UCLA

    Those California girls (and boys) love building custom ice cream sammies at Diddy Riese, where you can mix and match 10 cookies and 12 ice cream flavors. Get the Recipe

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    University of Illinois: Stuffed Pizza

    March Madness University of Illinois

    Unlike the similar Chicago-style deep dish pie, Papa Del’s famous cheese-and-topping-stuffed pizza has a sauce-topped dough crust, which makes this an actual pie. Get the Recipe

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    University of Kansas: Chicken Cheddar Wrap

    March Madness Kansas University

    The crunchy chicken tender wraps sold at on-campus shop Brellas are so popular, every year students participate in a race where they down these sandwiches at the halfway point. Get the Recipe

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    University of Kentucky: Ho Burger and Tots

    March Madness Kentucky University

    The salty-sweet secret Ho sauce and creamy, cheesy tots may compel you to scream “Tolly-Ho” when trying the #1 burger from this close-to-campus restaurant. Get the Recipe

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    University of Maryland: Fear the Turtle Ice Cream

    March Madness Maryland

    On-campus shop The Dairy turns its vanilla ice cream into creative flavors like this white chocolate, caramel and pecan fave that unites students against competitors (cough, Duke). Get the Recipe

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    University of Memphis: Pulled Pork BBQ Pizza

    March Madness Memphis

    Students flock to Garibaldi’s Pizza, where in true Tennessee fashion, they top an already favored collegiate food with Memphis-style tangy pulled pork. Get the Recipe

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    University of Michigan: Triple Play Reuben

    March Madness University of Michigan

    Everything at U of M is larger than life, from The Big House to this two-meat, two-cheese sandwich with Russian dressing and sauerkraut from Maize and Blue Delicatessen. Get the Recipe

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    University of Missouri: Booches Burger

    March Madness Missouri

    The title burger from Booches Billiard Hall is a nationally renowned two-cheese-topped beef patty served on wax paper sheets with a side of chips (NOT fries). Get the Recipe

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    University of Montana: Griz Breakfast Burrito

    March Madness University of Montana

    This burrito from Cascade Country Store – loaded with bacon, sausages, eggs, hash browns, cheese and fresh salsa – wards off grizzly hangovers and morning sleepiness. Get the Recipe

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    UNC Chapel Hill: Chicken and Cheddar Biscuit

    March Madness UNC

    Time-Out restaurant is a Tar Heel favorite thanks to this famous sandwich, which layers Tabasco-marinated fried chicken and cheddar slices between two sturdy biscuits. Get the Recipe

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    University of Oklahoma: Chili Con Queso

    March Madness Oklahoma

    Kick back on the patio at alumni-owned restaurant The Mont, and order plenty of the spicy four-cheese and pork sausage cheese dip for repeated chip dunking. Get the Recipe

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    University of Pittsburgh: Southside Slopes

    March Madness Pittsburgh

    Fat Head’s serves headwiches (aka head-sized sandwiches), like this favorite that stuffs kielbasa, pierogi, grilled onions, American cheese and spicy mayo into a bun. Get the Recipe

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    UT Austin: “Don Juan” El Taco Grande

    March Madness UT Austin

    Everything is bigger both in Texas and at favorite restaurant Juan in a Million, where hot tortilla breakfast tacos are filled with a full pound of potatoes, eggs, bacon and cheese. Get the Recipe

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    UW-Madison: Bo's Express Ice Cream

    March Madness UW Madison

    To support the basketball team, students order extra scoops of this raspberry swirl and dark chocolate vanilla ice cream named after Coach Bo Ryan at Babcock Hall Dairy Store. Get the Recipe