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How to Make the Famed Foods of San Francisco vs. Kansas City for Your Super Bowl Party

San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs Helmets

Super Bowl LVIII is just around the corner, and like many around the country, you might be on the hunt for the perfect snacks and drinks for your game day spread. Take the showdown of the Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers to the next level by featuring some of the most iconic F&B from each city at your table.  

Who better to shed some light on the fare that make these two cities special than folks in the meetings and hospitality industry? We spoke with Nathan Hermiston, senior vice president of convention sales and services at Visit KC, and San Francisco native and event planner Edward Perotti, to identify some of the best items for your spread (with recipes!), plus where to try them during your next event in town.

Kansas City

Barbecue Sauce

With Kansas City known by many as the Barbecue Capital of the World—an assertion sure to cause conflict with those from rival barbecue meccas!--it only makes sense to include some BBQ dishes at your Super Bowl party.

Nathan Hermiston Headshot
Nathan Hermiston

“When we’re discussing iconic Kansas City foods, barbecue will always be at the top of the list,” said Nathan Hermiston, senior vice president of convention sales and services at Visit KC. “Between our signature burnt ends, sweet and smoky sauces, and more than 100 barbecue joints to choose from throughout the area, visitors from all around the world know it’s an essential experience when you’re in KC.”

Kansas City specializes in thick, molasses and tomato-based sauces and a “low and slow” method of smoking meats. And while you may not be able to replicate the “low and slow” style of cooking in time for the big game, what you can do is recreate an authentic Kansas City barbecue sauce.  

Gate's Bar-B-Q is one of the most iconic and longest-running barbecue restaurants in Kansas City, a family run operation opening in 1946. The owner, Ollie Gates, proudly shares their famous barbecue sauce recipe.  

Gates BBQ Food Photo Credit Visit KC
Gates BBQ Food. Photo Credit: Visit KC 

Gate’s Bar-B-Q Sauce  

What you’ll need:  

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons celery seed
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 quarts ketchup
  • 2 cups apple vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

How to make it:

In a small bowl mix the sugar, salt, celery seed, cumin, red pepper and garlic and chili powders. Set the bowl aside.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then add the dry ingredients. Mix well. Then just serve warm or at room temperature.

Horsefeather Cocktail

One of the most iconic cocktails to come out of Kansas City, a Horsefeather Cocktail is the perfect beverage to serve at any Kansas City Super Bowl party. While the creator of the classic cocktail is unknown, the Horsefeather originated from Lawrence, Kansas, and is a spicy and citrusy beverage that’s easy to enjoy throughout the year. The classic cocktail is easy to make, requiring only four ingredients.  

Kansas City Whiskey From J. Rieger & Co
Kansas City Whiskey From J. Rieger & Co. Photo Credit: Visit KC

Horsefeather Cocktail From J. Rieger & Co.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 ½ oz. of whiskey (typically K.C. whiskey)
  • 4 oz. ginger beer (the spicier the better, Cock’n Bull is always a good option)
  • 5 heavy dashes of Angostura bitters
  • A lemon or other citrus wedge

How to make it:

Simply combine the whiskey and ginger beer into a glass with ice, float the Angostura bitters across the top and garnish with citrus wedge.  

San Francisco

Sourdough Cheese Bread

If you’re looking for a delicious San Francisco-themed appetizer, look no further than this sourdough cheese bread recipe, courtesy of San Francisco native and event planner Edward Perotti. Sourdough and San Francisco have a deep-rooted connection, with the bread first becoming popular during the Gold Rush. In fact, the official name of the San Francisco 49ers mascot is “Sourdough Sam,” making this the perfect Super Bowl starter dish.  

[More from Edward: 5 Event Design Tips That Will Spark Your Creativity]

Edward Perotti’s Sourdough Cheese Bread

Edward Perotti Headshot
Edward Perotti

What you’ll need

  • 1 round loaf sourdough bread (ideally 1 pound)
  • 1 pound of sliced Monterey Jack cheese
  • ½ cup of melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • Minced fresh chives (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bread into one-inch slices to within a 1/2 inch of the bottom of the loaf (don’t slice all the way down like you would normally). Repeat cuts in opposite direction.  
  2. Insert the cheese into the cuts you made in the bread.
  3. Mix all the remaining ingredients except for the chives if you choose to use them; drizzle the remaining ingredients over the loaf of bread.
  4. Wrap the loaf in foil and place on a baking sheet.

Bake 20 minutes, then take it out and unwrap. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. If desired, sprinkle with the fresh chives.

San Francisco Bay Crab Nachos

San Francisco is a city known for its fresh and delicious seafood, especially Dungeness crab, cioppino and local oysters. San Francisco's prime location on the Pacific Ocean makes its surrounding waters swimming with quality seafood. What better way to celebrate the 49ers making it to this year’s Super Bowl than by combining the flavors of San Francisco seafood with a game day classic like nachos?  

Edward Perotti’s San Francisco Bay Crab Nachos

Photo of Dungeness crab on a plate of ice
Dungeness Crab

What you’ll need:

  • 6 ounces of cream cheese warmed to room temperature
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream  
  • 12 oz. fresh jumbo lump crabmeat  
  • ¾ cup minced scallions, white and green parts (4 to 5 scallions)  
  • 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles  
  • Grated zest of 1 lime  
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper  
  • 12 oz. sturdy corn chips
  • 6 oz. freshly grated extra-sharp white cheddar cheese  
  • 6 oz. freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 oz. can fire-roasted white corn  
  • 4 oz. of drained canned pickled jalapeño pepper slices
  • 5 large plum tomatoes, seeded, cored and small-diced  
  • 1 cup minced yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeño pepper with the seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice  
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil  
  • 1 large ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and 1/3-inch diced
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or cilantro.

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream until smooth. Gently stir in the crab meat, scallions, chiles, lime zest, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper and set aside.
  3. Distribute half of the corn chips on a large (12×18×2-inch) ovenproof pan. Spoon half of the crab mixture over the chips and sprinkle with half of the cheddar, half of the Monterey Jack and all of the pickled jalapeños. Sprinkle the pan with the remaining chips, then distribute the remaining crab mixture and cheeses on top.  
  4. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, corn, jalapeño pepper, lime juice, olive oil, avocado, parsley and 1 teaspoon of salt. Spoon the mixture onto the nachos, sprinkle with lime juice and serve hot.

Pisco Punch

Looking for a San Francisco beverage to rival Kansas City’s Horsefeather cocktail? Look no further than the Pisco Punch. Another staple of the Gold Rush era, this drink was typically used as a symbol of the status, wealth and ambition coming out of San Francisco during that time. Luckily, you yourself can feel like a prospector who just struck gold by following this simple recipe.  

Restaurant Recommendations

If you happen to be in San Francisco or Kansas City during the big game, check out some of these restaurants that will allow you to get a taste of the local cuisine straight from the source!  

San Francisco

Kansas City 

Read this next: 4 Iconic Foods and Drinks of Kansas City and St. Louis

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About the author
Logan Pratt | Digital Content Coordinator

Logan Pratt joined Meetings Today in May 2023 as digital content coordinator, focusing on digital marketing efforts and covering breaking news stories for the Meetings Today website and newsletters. To send a press release or any information regarding the meetings and events industry please email