The concession areas at Taco Bell Arena have lots of loaded nachos and hot dogs to keep you going through all of the NCAA tournament games starting today, and there are several great restaurants nearby too.  Here's a handy guide.

The first game today starts at 11:30am MT at Taco Bell Arena between Gonzaga and UNC Greensboro, and games run all day.

There will be plenty of breaks to run out for a bite to eat if you're looking to get out of the arena for awhile, and for those of us without tickets who just want to get a little closer to the action -- well, we might be poking around in the area just to be part of the buzz too.  Ohio State fans, unite!

If you're looking for upscale options, two spots that come to mind are Barbacoa Grill at 276 Bobwhite Ct, and Owyhee Tavern at 1109 W Main St.  Think casual fine dining in a really cool downtown setting, and enjoy a celebratory steak or flank o' salmon once your team wins.

For funky burger joints, you've got Eureka! at 800 West Idaho, and its bright yellow and turquoise chairs to go with the artisan recipes and craft beer.  And the music there will give you a break from the screaming crowds at the arena.

Fork is another good one, and they're at 199 N 8th St.  Go there if the Grown Up Grilled Cheese with caramelized onions is calling ya.  They use a lot of farm fresh ingredients, and have local, chef-inspired dishes.  Gonzaga may be impressed.

For pizza, try Flatbread Neapolitan Pizzeria in Downtown Boise and grab some Capicola, Italian Sausage & Sopressa with tons of meat, or the lighter Chopped Veggie pie with Zucchini, Squash, Asparagus, Portobello, Fire Roasted Tomatoes, Flatbread Formaggio, Goat Cheese.  And everything in between.  It all pairs well with a festive beverage and some basketball.

Oh, basketball!  We got a little distracted by the snacks.  The Thursday schedule looks like this:

▪ No. 4 Gonzaga vs. No. 13 UNC Greensboro in the West Region, 11:30 a.m. MT Thursday (TNT).

▪ No. 5 Ohio State vs. No. 12 South Dakota State in the West Region, approximately 2 p.m. MT Thursday (TNT).

▪ No. 5 seed Kentucky vs. No. 12 Davidson in the South Region, 5:10 p.m. MT Thursday (CBS).

▪ No. 4 Arizona vs. No. 13 Buffalo in the South Region, approximately 7:40 p.m. MT Thursday (CBS).

Don't forget the food.  Taco Bell Arena has some other food ideas HERE.

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