in partnership
Sure you can be the guy or gal who shows up with a slimy package of ballpark Franks and a case of Bud Light, but you have so many better local options that will make you a tailgate HERO! (Image: Courtesy Washington Redskins)

A beginner's guide to hosting a killer Redskins tailgate party

With the Redskins scheduled to take the field at FedEx on Sunday for the second time in the 2018 season, I've definitely got burgundy and gold on the brain. And if there's one thing I love about football season (oh who am I kidding, I could never pick just one!), it's tailgating. Gathering all your friends in one spot and indulging in tasty treats (calories don't count during football season, right?) while you pray to the football deities that your team can pull out a win -- there's nothing better!

Before we get to the good stuff, let's get the boring, official rules out of the way now.

  • Use of an empty parking space for tailgating is permitted only in designated areas and until such time as the space is needed to park other vehicles.
  • Use of an empty parking space for tailgating is not permitted in the Platinum Lots.
  • When parking, park your car in one space only and between the white lines.
  • Parking permits are to be used for cars only, not for additional tailgating space or storage.
  • Be considerate of other guests' vehicles.
  • For the safety of all guests and for emergency vehicle access, please keep all aisles clear.
  • Dispose of all trash in proper receptacles.
  • Prior to entering FedExField, please extinguish all flames and grills. Ash dumpsters are available throughout the lots for your convenience. Do not place a hot grill in or under any vehicle.

Ok, you got that, my little rule followers? Good! Now let's talk food and drink ...

Sure you can be the guy or gal who shows up with a slimy package of ballpark Franks and a case of Bud Light (I mean, the Redskins cans are kind of cool) but you have so many better local options that will make you a tailgate HERO! If you are the "everything must be homemade" type, I highly recommend searching Pinterest for some adorable thematic recipes to try out. A few personal favorites include the football field guacamole, the football rice krispie treats, the football deviled eggs or the football cheese ball. But if you want to save yourself a little time, head to a local shop and pick up some of our go-to to-go options.

Glen's Garden Market

For our classier tailgaters, Glen's is a must visit. Choose from their party platters, which include fresh fruit, vegetable crudites, cookies and cheese & charcuterie, or add on a heartier entree platter such as the local, sustainably raised steak platter, garnished with salsa verde. If you'd prefer to give people more choices, grab a selection of lunch boxes for $15 each, which include a sandwich or salad, a bag of Route 11 potato chips, a bottle of water and a house made chocolate chip cookie. Sandwiches range from caprese to roast turkey or chicken salad.

Hill Country BBQ

Honoring the dry-rub style of barbecue from Central Texas, Hill Country smokes all of their meats over Post Oak wood from Texas to guarantee an authentic flavor. The catering menu offers five packages ranging from $25-$75 per person, where you can choose from starters (cornbread, smoky chipotle deviled eggs or tacos), entrees (brisket, pit-smoked turkey, ribs etc.) sides (baked beans, corn pudding and collard greens) and desserts (cupcakes, cookies, brownies and pudding). Customize to your group's size and hunger!

Society Fair

From the creators of now defunct Restaurant Eve, the Market at Society Fair has some hidden gems worthy of the trip to Alexandria. Stock up on handcrafted cheeses, meats and jams, hard-to-find grocery items, made-to-order gourmet sandwiches and even artisanal cocktail mixers. Throw in a pint of housemade pimento cheese, hummus or fresh ricotta to spread on their housemade crostini and you will be well fed by kickoff.

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is a football staple, especially since it is delicious at all temperatures -- straight out of the fryer, room temperature or even chilled after a few hours. Swing by either the D.C. or Falls Church locations for four orders of the eight-piece classic fried chicken, or mix and match with an assorted doughnut and fried chicken combo. That way you've got dessert covered, too! And don't forget to throw in a few sides -- choose from tater tots, biscuits or cole slaw.

Taylor Gourmet

You can't go wrong with a hoagie on game day! Taylor Gourmet's catering menu allows you to customize your hoagie platter with a selection of three hoagies, from their classic or seasonal options, serving 8-10 people for $80. They also have sides of potato salad, chickpea salad or pasta salad, an assortment of meat and cheese platters and of course, you have to grab an order of their famous fried mozzarella risotto balls!


Skip the generic, mass-produced cans and showcase our local brewing scene instead by filling up a few growlers with various local options. 3 Stars Brewing, Hellbender Brewing, Atlas Brew Works, DC Brau and Right Proper all sell growlers from a variety of taps ranging from $10-$15. You can also snag a growler from Glen's or a few specialty liquor stores like d'vines in Columbia Heights or YES! Organic Markets, World Wine and Spirits, and Hop, Cask & Barrel.

Redskins 2018 Home Game Schedule (bold denotes divisional matchup)

  • Sunday, September 16: Redskins vs. Colts, 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 23: Redskins vs. Packers, 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 14: Redskins vs. Panthers, 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 21: Redskins vs. Cowboys, 4:25 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 4: Redskins vs. Falcons, 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 18: Redskins vs Texans, 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 9: Redskins vs. Giants, 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 30: Redskins vs. Eagles, 1 p.m.

And if you want a few tips on how to dress for the game, check ours out here.