It's college football time, Iowa. And with that comes the game Iowans look forward to the most: the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series game.
The Cyclones will travel to Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City for the 4 p.m. game on Sept. 8.
With a stadium that's sure to be packed, a two-hour drive from Des Moines and the cost of tickets and concessions, there are plenty of local places to go to watch the game. You can also take advantage of affordable food and drink specials.
Here are some ideas for places to go to watch the game. And we've even included a few places in Ames and Iowa City.
Get ready for a day of bags, football, cold beer, music and tailgate food. The third annual Touchdown Tailgate will take place at Cowles Commons from 10 a.m. to 10 pm. on Sept. 8. This free event hosted by the Iowa Craft Beer Tent is open to the public, featuring a 40-foot Jumbotron TV screen, the Iowa Craft Beer Tent and three tailgate-style food vendors, including Willie's BBQ and Brewer Farms. All ages are welcome.
You can also sign up for the Tailgate Clothing Cornhole Tournament that begins at 1 p.m. with cash prizes. Enjoy music and entertainment all day long.
Wear your school colors and bring a chair for a one-of-a-kind viewing party. Guests should not bring coolers. Karaoke hosted by AJ’s on East Court starts immediately after the game. For more info, go to iowacraftbeertent.com/tailgate.
For more game-watching ideas, check out these Des Moines dining guides:
Here's a list of places where you can watch the Cy-Hawk game in the Des Moines metro.
Food trucks and game-watching go hand-in-hand, especially when you can order from several food trucks at one time. Watch the game on The Hall's giant screens and enjoy drink specials like $2 off liters, $1 off half-liters and pints; $1 off well drinks; $1 off Captain Morgan; $3.50 mojitos, mimosas and mules.
Owner Nick Kuhn said half the tables will be for Hawks fans and half the tables will be for Cyclones fans with a few tables in the middle for some "house divided" fun.
Location: 111 S. 11th St., Suite 200, West Des Moines
Gilroy's will have the game on its big-screen TVs. Get there early to grab a spot in the bar area, on the patio or in the party room and enjoy pitchers of domestic beer for $12 and $2 Jell-O shots. Order specialty or 2-topping 12-inch pizzas for $7.
Location: 1238 8th St., West Des Moines
Watch the game on projection screens at Benchwarmers in Ankeny. The sports bar will be welcoming fans of both teams for some good-natured fun and drink specials including $3 domestic tallboys and $3.50 screwdrivers. Try an order of Hangover Fries, loaded with Parmesan, queso, jalapeños, tomatoes, bacon, sour cream and two eggs sunny side up. But don't forget about The Philly pizza with steak, green peppers, onions and Monterey jack, served with au jus for dipping.
Location: 705 S Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny
A "Cyclones-centric bar" with an unpretentious vibe, The Keg Stand is a great place to enjoy some game-watching. Enjoy Sierra Nevada drafts for $2 and Jim Beam drinks for $3.50. Go for an order of Bacon Wrapped Brats, tossed with brown sugar and baked, served with stone-ground mustard. Or share some Boom Fries, waffle fries topped with melted shredded cheese, bacon and sour cream. But don't forget about the Bacon Jam Pretzel Burger — a third pound of ground beef with cheddar and hot pepper bacon jam on a pretzel bun.
Location: 3530 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines
Contact: (515) 327-7429; Facebook
Cheer on the Hawkeyes at G Mig’s 5th Street Pub in West Des Moines. This place fills up fast, so be sure to get there early for pregame prizes and food certificates. Drawings will also take place at halftime. Specials include $19 domestic buckets and $3.50 shot specials. Share a specialty flatbread pizza or split a quesadilla with your friends. Or feast on an East Coast Pastrami Sandwich with caramelized onions and jack cheese on a ciabatta roll with a side of creamy Dijon.
Location: 128 5th St., West Des Moines
This Hawkeye bar will feature its Bloody Mary Bar and full menu during the game, but stick around after for tallboy specials and giveaway prizes.
Location: 9956 Swanson Blvd., Clive
Doc's Lounge will host its annual potluck-style tailgating party again this year. Doc's will provide some dishes, but fans are encouraged to bring their own favorite tailgating dishes to share with the crowd. Drink specials include $3 tallboys, $3.50 Fireball shots, $2 select cans of beer, $2.50 well drinks and $3 domestic draws. Look for a raffle with prizes throughout the game.
Location: 8805 Chambery Blvd., Johnston
For Hawkeyes fans, Sully's is the place to be, hosting an I-Club group for every Hawkeyes game. Drink specials include $2 domestic bottles, draws and well drinks, plus $6 domestic pitchers and $2 shots of Fireball. Raffles for 6-packs will be given away for every Iowa and Iowa State touchdown. Enter the end-of-season raffle for a chance to win a bigscreen TV or a trip to Mexico.
Location: 860 1st St., West Des Moines
It's hard to find a Hawkeyes bar in Ames; likewise, it's hard to find a Cyclones bar in Iowa City. Even though this might be the case, don't be afraid to sport your team's colors and steel yourself for some good-natured ribbing. Here's a sampling of places to go in each town:
Since 1988, Wallaby's has been a great place to watch sports and chow down on some pub fare. This place was voted "Best Sports Bar in Story County" and CNNGO.com placed it on its list of "101 of the Best Sports Bars in the U.S." Be sure to share some double orders of Hawkeye Wings in Original, Sweet Asian Chile, Honey Mustard, Barbecue, Buffalo Parmesan, or Honey Sriracha sauces, served with ranch.
Location: 2733 Stange Road, Ames
This family-friendly sports bar in Ames was named as having the "Best Burger in Iowa" by the Iowa Cattlemen's Association and the Iowa Beef Industry Council in 2014. Try the 60/40 — a medium-well burger made with 60 percent ground beef and 40 percent ground smoked bacon, topped with American cheese, bacon, housemade bacon mayo, lettuce, tomato and onion. Enjoy $10 domestic beer buckets with four bottles. In the mood to get your name and face on Brick City's website? Go for the Triple Double Food Challenge.
Location: 2704 Stange Road
There are plenty of televisions in this sports bar in Iowa City where you can feel comfy rooting for either team. Enjoy Saturday drink and food specials like $2.50 Bud Lights, $4 Stella drafts and $2 off all martinis, and don't forget about the $7.99 Pub Tacos.
Location: 1705 S. 1st Ave., Iowa City
There's plenty of space and lots of TVs at this Hawkeye-centric bar with two locations, so spread out and enjoy the game. Vine is a great place to nibble on some wings and other appetizers.
Locations: 39 Second St., Coralville and 330 E. Prentiss St., Iowa City
Is your bar or restaurant planning food and drink specials for the Cy-Hawk game? Please contact Brian Carlson to be added to this list.