Game night is fun and all — but let's be serious. The best part of game night is obviously the game night snacks. And luckily for you, Food52 has you covered on all the best foods to serve during your geeky gathering of friends, no matter what games you're playing. Settlers of Catan, Apples to Apples, good old fashioned poker — they all demand their own specific menus, and now you'll know just what to serve. When there's delicious food on the table, everybody wins. Now THAT is a kind of game night we can totally get behind.
We're the kind of people who have to eat every three hours, and Pure Leaf Iced Tea is here to help with that.
Today: Your next game night spread shouldn't be a game of chance.
Game night is serious business. There are wins and losses, highs and lows, and the inevitable question of "Are there snacks? I'm hungry!" rumbling throughout the crowd. Because we care about maintaining your popularity, we pulled together a few of our favorite bites to fit everything from casual nights of Settlers of Catan to outdoor gatherings and even full-blown poker parties. If you stock up on these snacks, don't be surprised if you keep hearing "Let's play again!" until the wee hours of the night.
Settlers of Catan
Building an empire can take hours. Start your knights and robbers off on fingerling potato fries for energy, and then lay out a nacho bar for easy, mid-game grazing. We love these chicken and black bean nachos, but feel free to customize with homemade tortilla chips, nacho cheese, and genius guac.
If you are waiting for someone to finish paving the Longest Road and morning is nigh, have assorted doughnuts ready whether it's fried angel biscuit donuts, croissant donuts, cider donuts, or classic powdered doughnuts to take the edge off.
Make sure your snacks are hearty if you are going to be swinging your arms all afternoon. Pretzel bites make for easy grab-and-go refueling, as do different popcorns — like party popcorn, around-the-world coconut popcorn, kettle corn, or Nutella popcorn puppy chow. They're filling, you can stuff a handful into your mouth quickly, and travel well to your grassy destination.
When you're worried about revealing your poker face, quickly devour a chip topped with dip — like spinach, feta, and artichoke dip, white bean dip, or Parker & Otis' pimento cheese — to distract your challengers. If you're looking for a way to reveal a bluffer, set out wasabi pea snack mix or spicy Korean-style Gojuchang meatballs, and offer some to your opponent (are their eyes watering because they have a terrible hand, or can they just not take the heat?).
And if you are a fair player, try these bacon wrapped water chestnuts, which won't spoil anyone's facade (but they'll probably be gone more quickly than you'd like).
Apples to Apples proves a little tricky for sustenance, since laughing with your mouth full could go a few different ways. Southwestern spiced sweet potato fries can be polished off while you're dealing out the hands, and two bite lemon cheesecakes are easily downed while everyone's selecting the perfect card. Quick bites like mini churros or Serrano ham and Manchego croquetas won't make your cards too messy, and work well in coaxing someone to choose your answer.
Mario Kart players can fuel up between rides with roasted chickpeas, trail mix, or herbed butternut squash chips. Since serving dishes inspired by the game might be looked down upon (turtle shells or banana peels, anyone?) keep it delicious and whimsical with Cheeto-crusted jalapeño poppers with bacon, and peanut butter cookies, perfect for munching smugly while others drive their car off a rainbow.
Last photo by Molly Yeh, all others by James Ransom
This post is brought to you by Pure Leaf Iced Tea.