These are based solely on my own opinions, which are occasionally correct. However, I have not lived in College Station for about ten years, so if any youthful Ags have any more current suggestions, please feel free to add your thoughts, whereupon I will waddle forth with my cane and berate the poor taste of you young whippersnappers.
BEFORE THE GAME
The tailgating scene has exploded at A&M in recent years. We used to be better off sitting on our actual tailgates with an ice chest of beer in the parking lot as recently as 8 or 9 years ago. But the impending knowledge of a move to the SEC, one that we could sense long before the first rumors started to spread, ignited a huge groundswell in tailgating. In addition to the many RV lots further from the stadium, there is a vast sea of tents, flags, elaborate cooking rigs, and humanity directly across the street (Wellborn) from Kyle field. There is an underground tunnel from campus. Please don’t be shy. It’s no exaggeration to say that you will be offered food and drink if you walk around, even if you are in blue and orange. The barbecue will be brisket, and you will like it. Welcome to Texas, SEC!
This is the place you’ll want to go if you don’t want to bother with being upright in the sun for several hours before a football game. If you prefer to grab the beer of your choice and/or a sit-down bite to eat, Northgate has you covered.
The Dixie Chicken
307 University Dr.
This is the landmark bar of College Station. I won’t lie: I’ve been there before for both evening dominoes and afternoon burgers, but it’s not my scene. Gators might enjoy it because one entire wall is lined with aquariums full of your Texas cousins: rattlesnakes. It’s definitely worth seeing if you have time to visit only one bar on Northgate. Standard bar food that is pretty good.
311 University Dr. (right next door)
If you have a penchant for Classic Rock, foosball, cold beer, and cheap food, this is your place. Saturdays in the fall they have local BBQ places catering on the back porch. Lots of TVs inside and out, and they’re really cool about switching to other games if you ask them. This is where I go. I actually received my mail here one semester, but that’s another story.
If you like the bland and over processed burritos from Chipotle…well, please go here if you want an assault on your tastebuds. This is the original and it kills Chipotle, haterz. The Freebirds on Northgate was the second store to open when the owners decided to expand from California, and it was simple genius: just make big burritos. Now they have a bunch of other stuff, but get a burrito. The instructions are on the chalkboard.
Texas Aggieland Bookstore
This is a convenient place to stop in if you are on Northgate and feel like grabbing some Aggie merchandise to prove to your friends back in Florida that you have been to this strange and frightening place. Sidenote: no jorts allowed or sold in store.
There are several other hotspots on Northgate, but I rarely venture beyond the bookstore on gamedays. Others can weigh in in the comments section if needed.
If you’re into checking out stuff on other college campuses when you visit, here are a few hotspots at A&M. Just be warned, we have a HUGE campus that is spread out over 5000+ acres, but most of the landmarks are confined to the "original" campus that is encompassed by University Dr., Texas Ave., Wellborn Rd., and George Bush Dr.
These are some of my favorite spots on campus. Here's a convenient map.
- Bonfire Memorial. If you know anything about Bonfire, you will appreciate it. If you don’t, you will learn.
- Sul Ross Statue/Academic Building. Students place pennies on the statue of the University’s founder as a good luck gesture when they face difficult exams. Please do not take these pennies or those kids might fail.
- Roughneck Statue/Petroleum Engineering Building. This guy is the man:
- The Memorial Student Center (MSC). Home to the on-campus bookstore, hotel, an underground bowling alley, and a slew of other things. Just don’t step on the grass outside or cryogenically-frozen velociraptors will emerge from the earth and destroy you with fire.
Safe travels to all, and all of us at GBH are looking forward to having the Gators in town.