Now that the matchup for Super Bowl XLVIII has been set, the focus turns to how this, the first Super Bowl to be held in the New York area, will differ from previous editions of the big game. Fans of the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will mix with the millions of NYC-area football die-hards at a number of first-of-their-kind, Super Bowl-related festivities. Given NYC’s world-class culinary scene, foodie football fans will face an overwhelming assortment of impressive choices that combine the worlds of football and top-notch eats.
Party like a culinary champ by checking out some of the biggest-ever Super Bowl events:
Any list of Super Bowl culinary events must start with Taste of the NFL, which is hosting its 23rd annual edition February 1 at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. The “Party with a Purpose” features a chef from each NFL city (e.g. Seamus Mullen of NYC’s Tertulia, Tory McPhail of New Orleans’ Commander’s Palace), serving a signature dish alongside a current or alumni NFL player. Tickets are $700, with 100% of proceeds going to food charities in NFL cities. Guests can meet and mingle with the chefs and players at 35+ food stations while enjoying fine wines and cocktails, live entertainment and a silent auction with unique sports memorabilia.
New for this year’s Super Bowl is the 50 Yard Lounge, a dream event for foodie football fans being held at One Penn Plaza from January 29-February 2. Guests will enjoy celeb-studded, NYC-themed events (“I Love NY, Food” with Pat LaFrieda and Marc Forgione, “Ultimate NYC Sandwich” with Katz’s Delicatessen) while mingling with chefs, mixologists, winemakers, brewmasters and a mix of current and former NFL stars.
Also making headlines is Forty Ate, the NFL’s first-ever Super Bowl-themed pop-up restaurant taking place January 27-February 1 at the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel. Guests can rub shoulders with NFL players while enjoying lunch, dinner and bar bites (“gridiron” burgers, “pig skins”) created by Danny Meyer’s renowned Union Square Hospitality Group. Guests will also enjoy awesome views of Times Square and Super Bowl Boulevard while perusing artifacts from the Pro Football Hall of Fame such as a full set of past Super Bowl rings.
There’s still time to gain entry to the mammoth Bud Light Hotel (January 30-February 2), and those lucky enough to visit will encounter a “meat stadium” courtesy of the Epic Meal Time guys and the national carne asada finals hosted by Food Network star Aarón Sánchez.
Head to one of these hot spots to watch the game in style with a side of foodie-approved fare:
For a viewing party with a view, follow the scenesters to the scenic (and enclosed) rooftop lounges at the Gansevoort Hotel’s Meatpacking District and Park Avenue locations, the latter of which will offer food and drink specials ($12 pitchers, 50-cent wings) during the game.
Trendy types looking to catch the game in style can head downtown to the Lower East Side’s Sons of Essex, whose lively tailgate party will feature hip-hop DJs, a whole pig roast and a Super Bowl-themed menu (braised Colorado buffalo short rib sliders, Puget Sound seafood chowder).
The highly-acclaimed TriBeCa bistro Blaue Gans will host a special Teutonic tailgate and viewing party featuring German draft beer specials, giant pretzels and a special menu of gourmet game-day favorites.
Fans looking to do some shopping while nibbling should head to the sixth floor of the flagship Macy’s Herald Square (site of the city’s only official Super Bowl store), where the Stella 34 Trattoria is hosting an all-inclusive, Italian-inspired viewing party featuring unlimited food and drink ($80 per person). In the days leading up to the game, the eatery will host a Super Bowl-themed happy hour (4:30-6:30 p.m. daily) with team-inspired bites and beers from Colorado and Washington.
Burger aficionados will want to swing by GO Burger Bar Grill and BLT Burger New York to sample the pair’s newly-created “rival” burgers: the Seahawks-inspired “Nirvana” burger is topped with garlic fries and Seattle’s Beecher’s Flagship cheese; the Broncos-inspired “Rocky Mountain Bison” burger is topped with Breckenridge Vanilla Porter-braised vidalia onions and wild arugula.
Housed in the trendy Ace Hotel, The Breslin is bringing in TVs for its big bash. The kitchen will be serving up special fried chicken feasts alongside an assortment of party-friendly beer offerings such as 30-packs of Narragansett.
Libation lovers should expect a flood of Super Bowl-themed cocktails. One spot perfect for visiting fans is the Waldorf Astoria’s Peacock Alley, where house mixologist Frank Caiafa will be whipping up the Broncos-themed “Chocolate Old Fashioned” (made with Stranahan’s Colorado whiskey) and Seahawks-themed “Foghorn” (made with Voyager gin from Washington’s Pacific Distillery).
NYC-area foodies looking to host a memorable Super Bowl bash of their own can impress their guests with these special take-out options:
Rosa Mexicano’s three NYC locations are offering special “Guac-to-go Party Packs” featuring their signature guacamole en molcajete with house-made tortillas and corn tortilla chips (available for delivery on game day).
Top Chef all-star Dale Talde’s Pork Slope will provide a pair of meaty options: a pork-heavy viewing party (unlimited food and drink, $75 per person) and a fittingly massive Super Bowl catering package (available for take-out or delivery) featuring a whole pork shoulder, 25 wings, sides and fixings ($195).
Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken allows home watchers to enjoy its award-winning chicken in packages including “The Tailgater” (24 wings served with fries and coleslaw).
Culinary titan Daniel Boulud’s DBGB Kitchen Bar is offering a full menu of take-out dips, house-made sausages, gourmet burgers and its signature whole hog feast for eight to 10 people.
SEE MORE: New York City’s best cheap eats
–Eric Grossman is a food and travel writer based in Boston and New Orleans. His private dining club, Informed Diner, creates unique dinners at Boston’s top restaurants.