We’re just a few days away from the biggest football game of the year, which obviously calls for finger food and game day grub galore. And since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hitting the gridiron this year—on their own turf, making them the first NFL team with a home field advantage—we’re celebrating with lots of Florida-inspired delicacies.
1. Cuban Sliders
It’s no secret that Florida is home to some of the best Cuban food in the U.S. Feel free to press the sliders, add roast pork and use pan de manteca to turn them into true Tampa Bay Cuban sandwiches.
2. Baby Blooming Onions
Did you know the iconic Bloomin’ Onion was born in Tampa? Outback Steakhouse started there, and it was invented in one of their test kitchens. These homemade minis will give the O.G. a run for its money.
3. Deviled Crab Dip
Tampa is also the birthplace of the deviled crab croquette, an oblong mound of seasoned blue crab meat rolled in breadcrumbs and deep fried. This dip delivers all the essentials in a much more convenient package.
4. Fried Grouper Sandwich
While grouper is the traditional choice in Tampa, this recipe works with halibut, cod, bass, tilapia and basically whatever mild white fish you have on hand.
5. Greek Wedge Salad
Tarpon Springs, a city in the Tampa Bay area, has the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any U.S. city. So, it’s no surprise that you can find some killer Greek food there. Tip your cap with this simple salad starter that’s complete with olives, cucumber and feta. (Pro move: For a true taste of Tarpon, serve it with a dollop of potato salad.)
6. Glazed Orange Bundt Cake
Nothing says Florida like fresh-squeezed orange juice. This recipe uses it in both the cake and the three-ingredient glaze.
7. New England Clam Chowder
There’s no shortage of spots slinging next-level clam chowder in Tampa Bay (and c’mon, it’s a fun nod to Tom Brady, the Patriot-turned-Buc). You can tackle this recipe in an hour, leaving you plenty of time to pregame.
8. Spicy Kumquat Thyme Margarita
Dade City’s Annual Kumquat Festival puts these sour gems front and center. Their tartness and slight sweetness make them prime for a citrusy, jalapeño-infused cocktail.
9. Steamed Alaskan King Crab Legs
Because of where they’re fished, stone crabs are the go-to in Florida. But these ten-minute legs are a worthy substitute no matter where you’re located. Have them Tampa-style with creamy, drool-worthy mustard sauce, or stick to melted butter and lemon juice.
10. Falafel Patties
Let the Greek influence of the Tarpon Springs area inspire your appetizer menu. These handhelds won’t last long on your game day table (especially next to a side of sriracha mayo or spicy yogurt).