You know it’s time to ring in the fall when you’ve noticed the seasonal shift in colors — and we don’t mean the leaves. Every autumn, football fans in Oregon proudly don their green-and-yellow and orange-and-black regalia to cheer on their beloved Ducks and Beavers — on the big screen or by flooding the streets of Eugene and Corvallis for tailgating parties and more. (Just make sure to indulge responsibly.) All of this revelry makes us hungry. Where to eat? Grab your lucky scarf and appetite — here’s your guide to festive game grub nearby the University of Oregon in Eugene and Oregon State University in Corvallis this season. (Mark your calendars: the Ducks-Beavers Civil War playoff is Nov. 23, 2018 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis.)
Whether you prefer a brewpub, deli or pizzeria atmosphere, Falling Sky Brewing’s three locations offer three different spots to cheer on the Ducks. The most convenient might be the pizzeria at the University of Oregon’s student union building, where you can pop in for cookies and fudge at Sweet Life Patisserie, also on campus.
If you haven’t snagged tickets but want to watch the game on the large screen, settle into some comfort food and a house cocktail at Hot Mama’s Wings (Oakway location), or the tasting room at Hop Valley Brewing (Whiteaker location), with its 12-foot projection screen and 25 beers on tap.
Pre-game, it’s crucial to fuel up like a champ. Locals make a beeline for Studio One Café, just two blocks from Hayward Field for its famous challah French toast, benedicts and other brunch favorites. Mark the weekend with a special-occasion meal at one of the best eateries in Eugene (and the Willamette Valley), Marche Restaurant — where James Beard Award-nominated chef Stephanie Pearl Kimmel delights diners with her handmade pasta, charcuterie and classic hamburger with smoked Oregon blue cheese. Make sure to book a table early for lunch and dinner.
Possibly the most fun a Beaver fan can have outside of the game itself is at Angry Beaver Sports Grill, where the OSU superfan owners have created a shrine to all things Beaver — including a museum of sports memorabilia and Oregon State history on display, as well as Angry Beaver (named for one of the famous mascot designs) gear for sale. A full arcade, large-screen TVs and giant plates of food round out the fun. Just blocks away, less than a mile from campus, deck yourself out in orange and black to watch the game at the Beaver-themed Flat Tail Brewing with a bowl of Beaver Dam chili or mountain of nachos to keep you going all day.
Locals know that some of the best handmade pies in town are at American Dream Pizza, a local institution since 1989 — now with rooftop bars at their two locations, downtown and at Oregon State University campus. There’s even more rooftop seating for those mild fall days at Sky High Brewing, where the American Dream founders (and Beaver Nation members) decided to build a four-story family-friendly space in 2012.
It’s not all brewpubs in Corvallis; there are plenty of more upscale options for quieter dining. One of the best in the city is del Alma Restaurant & Bar, a Latin restaurant downtown that serves up exquisite flatbreads, lamb albondigas, cochinita pibil and yellowfin tuna crudo with riverfront views and an extensive wine and cocktail list. (Check out their three-course dinner every Wednesday for $30, and their special pairing dinners with local brewers.)