10 tailgate foods (and recipes) 49ers fans should try and will love

San Francisco 49ers fans tailgating and barbecuing in the parking lot (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
San Francisco 49ers fans tailgating and barbecuing in the parking lot (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Planning on going to a 49ers game at Levi’s Stadium this season? You’ll want to know what tailgate foods to bring and make for your pregame party!

Going to an NFL game isn’t just about finding a seat and then cheering on your favorite team. It’s much more than that. The whole experience is something every fan needs to have at least once, preferably dozens of times.

And, of course, an epic tailgate party is vital to creating the ultimate fan experience.

San Francisco 49ers fans know this well. Sure, the days of dusty tailgate parties out on the perimeter of Candlestick Park’s parking lots may be long gone, but there are plenty of ways to make the Levi’s Stadium experience great.

Personal note, aside from writing about the Niners in a typical media sense, I’ve also delved a lot into cooking, barbecuing and smoking foods over the last 10-plus years. By no means do I consider myself a master chef, so take these recipes with a grain of salt (Kosher salt, of course).

However, if you’re looking for some fun and tasty ideas to make your tailgate party an epic one, read on and enjoy.

Just prepare your grocery list, heating surfaces and cooking utensils before you go.

49ers tailgate food you’ll love: Garlic fries

I’m not sure if it’s iconic to the Bay Area, but Gilroy and its famous garlic festival are just a few miles down the road from Levi’s Stadium, so why not?

Garlic fries are the perfect tailgating snack before San Francisco hosts a rival team, and they’re actually very easy to make. And your own pregame party will be the talk of the parking log when fellow fans walk by and smell garlic emanating from your spot.

With a few simple ingredients, you’ll have a delicious batch of garlic fries everyone will want (even though their breath will stink at game time).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 lb. bag of frozen french fries
  • 1/2 cup corn oil or vegetable oil
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic minced (or you can buy pre-minced garlic, 4 oz is usually enough)
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher or fine-grain salt
  • finely chopped parsley

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over direct heat on your grill (or bring your griddle)
  • Add still-frozen fries to the pan, spread them out a bit so they’re not bunched up in layers
  • Cook for about 10 minutes, rotating and stirring the fries regularly (a couple of minutes longer for crispier fries)
  • About a minute before you remove the fries, add your minced garlic to the frying pan to where it sizzles a little bit
  • Remove fries and place on a paper towel to dry off excess oil, but don’t forget to scrape off those garlic chunks onto the fries shortly thereafter
  • Sprinkle with salt and parsley