PROVO (ABC4) – It’s the week of the biggest college football game of the year in the Beehive State. Whether you pledge loyalty to the University of Utah or to Brigham Young University…if you’re heading to the game at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, you’re going to want to stop for a bite to eat.
With kickoff scheduled for 8:15 p.m. and an expected sellout crowd in attendance, it probably makes a lot of sense to get dinner before entering the stadium to watch the Utes and Cougars go head-to-head.
Luckily, there are plenty of places to have a good meal and get mentally prepared for the in-state battle in Provo.
Here are some of the best places – we’ll stick with local eateries as opposed to national chains – to eat at on gameday in Cougar Country – Provo and Orem:
Bam Bam’s BBQ
No, this place isn’t an homage to the character from The Flintstones. Bam Bam is the nickname of the restaurant’s owner, Cameron Treu. A Utah native who took his love for barbecue to Texas to work an apprenticeship under a world-class pit boss, Bam Bam has brought his skills back to Utah to provide some of the best smoked meats in the state. While Bam Bam’s doesn’t serve up any Brontosaurus, the ribs and brisket will still bring out the inner carnivore in any football, regardless of whether they’re wearing crimson red or royal blue.
Bumblebees KBBQ & Grill
Bumblebees has already appeared on another ABC4.com “Best of Utah” list for their Kpop Fries, which they claim to be one of the best fry dishes in the state. That claim is made with good reason. Loaded with Korean BBQ beef and cheese and topped with spicy mayo, Sriracha, and green onions, these fries are the pinnacle in Asian and American food fusion. Their location in Utah County is a happening place on game day, but the food, which is probably unlike anything else in the area, could be worth it.
We always say they are the best fries in utah! Maybe that’s controversial and maybe more correct to say loaded fries, but we can challenge any fry dish in Utah.Edward Jeong, owner
Kokonut Island Grill
Even if you’re not playing on the offensive or defensive line in the game, you should still be able to eat as if you were. At Kokonut Island Grill, towering stacks of authentic Hawaiian food are dished up so high, finishing the meal will feel like a major achievement. Classic Polynesian favorites like Chicken Katsu and Kalua Pork, along with the mac salad are a consistent favorite but the Island Nachos also seem like a must-try. You’ll probably go crazy for the Loco Moco as well.
Bok Bok Chicken
Another Korean cuisine hotspot in Utah County, Bok Bok makes their bacon not with pork, or bacon at all actually, but with a wide selection of fried chicken in a number of mouth-watering sauces. Options include their staple House sauce as well as other favorites like Candy Garlic, House Spicy, and Snow, which is covered in a special cheese blend. The potstickers, fries, tater tots, and fried pickles make for a variety of terrific sides as well.
It varies on the time of the game, but usually no matter how busy it gets we do our best to get orders out within 3 to 15 minutes.Bok Bok Chicken management
Bajio Mexican Grill
Once a major power in the Utah Mexican food scene, Bajio has consolidated to a single location in Provo and has maintained a rapid following, thanks in large part to hungry football fans. No matter how you choose to take your Mexican food, whether in burrito, taco, or fajita form, Bajio has a fantastic slew of meat options to fill your plate. Of course, the place has all the classics, such as sweet pork, carne asada, and shredded beef, but originals like pineapple shrimp and lime chicken are especially intriguing.
Chicken green chili is what we’re most known, it’s our most popular dish. We got people lined up out the doors on game day.Mike Holt, owner/manager
180 Tacos and Global Street Eats
Throw out the book on what a taco should be, 180 Tacos isn’t interested in following traditional taco norms. Let’s say you’re curious what a taco from Asia, the Middle East, or even upstate New York would taste like. At 180 Tacos, you can find out with a Korean BBQ pork taco, a Falafel taco, or a Buffalo Chicken taco. Want to do all three with a side of Asian Nachos? Go ahead. At 180 Tacos, the art of putting meat on a small flour tortilla has no referees or scoreboard. You can get your fill of that stuff at the game.
Naturally, this isn’t a comprehensive list of great gameday restaurants for this weekend. Other favorites like JCW’s The Burger Boys and a newly opened Raising Cane’s will also be packed with football fans ahead of the game. There’s no shortage of great places to eat before donning the appropriately colored red or blue face paint – we recommend eating before painting your face.
What are your favorite gameday places to eat? Let us know in the Facebook post below.
This is not a sponsored post.