Ballpark Bites: Top Food Finds at 16 Baseball Stadiums

Don't strike out with your food choices at the baseball game. Here are some of the best bites at ballparks from coast to coast.

Photo By: Chronic Tacos

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Photo By: Federal Donuts

Photo By: Aramark

Photo By: Levy Restaurants

Photo By: Aramark

Photo By: Aramark

Photo By: Levy Restaurants

Photo By: Scott Paulus ©Scott Paulus

Photo By: Micahl Wyckoff ©Micahl Wyckoff

Photo By: Greg Powers ©Greg Powers

Photo By: Quaker Steak & Lube

Photo By: Clayton Hauck ©2015, Clayton Hauck

Photo By: Jon Shaft ©2015, Jon Shaft

Photo By: Lobel’s ©2012, Lobel's of New York

Play Ball

There’s nothing wrong with peanuts and Cracker Jack, but ballparks around the country are stepping up their concession game, serving local favorites and creative spins on classics. We’ve gone coast to coast, rounding up great choices you could eat alongside new favorites you definitely should eat at the stadiums. Play ball — and eat well.

Angel Stadium (Los Angeles Angels)

You could eat: The stadium serves LA-approved healthy acai bowls, as well as the cleverly named Buffalo-style Angel Wings.

You should eat: A ballpark outpost of local taqueria Chronic Tacos pays tribute to Southern California’s Mexican food scene. Though the line can get long, the reward is two corn tortillas with your choice of filling (choose the marinated, grilled carne asada), topped with cheese, onions, cilantro, lime, crema and salsa. There's also a choose-your-own tostada bowl.

 

Photo courtesy of Chronic Tacos

Angel Stadium

Citi Field (New York Mets)

You could eat: There’s an outpost of Shake Shack, with predictably great burgers, but the lengthy lines mean missing at least an inning.

You should eat: “Magician of Meat” Pat LaFrieda is making magic here, with a one-dish kiosk selling filet mignon sandwiches. Order one and you’ll get chopped, fresh-off-the-griddle Black Angus beef with Monterey Jack cheese and sauteed Vidalia onions, served au jus on a toasted local baguette.

 

Photo courtesy of Aramark

Citi Field

Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia Phillies)

You could eat: There are plenty of odes to the cheesesteak at the Phillies' park, including sandwiches at Campo's and Tony Luke's, and a cheesesteak-nacho hybrid. The Schmitter, a trademarked grilled steak-salami-onion sandwich from McNally’s Tavern in Chestnut Hill, has its own dedicated stand, too (section 141).

You should eat: Nab a taste of one of the city’s best sandwiches with the Federal Fried Chicken Sandwich, made by Federal Donuts (section 140). The boneless breast is tangy from buttermilk ranch seasoning, and is topped with American cheese, a pickle and Sriracha, all on a potato roll. 

 

Photo courtesy of Federal Donuts

Citizens Bank Park

Coors Field (Colorado Rockies)

You could eat: Rocky mountain oysters. The deep-fried bull jewels are a rite of passage, and a big draw at the stadium.

You should eat: Wazee Market sandwiches. Named for a bygone Denver market, the Italian-style sandwich shop makes pizzas, gelato and panini, as well as hearty sandwiches like the Rockies Corned Beef Sandwich, topped with onion rings, slaw and a blanked of melted Swiss cheese, making it the perfect pairing for some local craft beer.

 

Photo courtesy of Aramark

Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers)

You could eat: Baseball means hot dogs, and no hot dog is quite as legendary as a Dodger Dog, preferably grilled and topped with diced onions.

You should eat: It’s hard to justify vegetables at a ballpark, but elote — Mexican-style grilled corn — is perfect on a hot summer day. Slicked with mayonnaise, dusted with Mexican cheese and spiced with chile powder, the corn (available at Think Blue BBQ) is perfect for gnawing beside a backdrop of palm trees. Pair it with the epic Langer’s-inspired pastrami burger (a quarter-pound patty topped with hot pastrami and mustard on a potato bun) for the full L.A. experience.

 

Photo courtesy of Levy Restaurants

Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox)

You could eat: The park’s namesake Fenway Franks sizzle on Yawkey Way.

You should eat: Those with access to the EMC level should partake in the EMC Club, whose nightly changing menu uses ingredients grown in the rooftop garden. Beyond the standard Fenway Franks and burgers, New England classics are served throughout the stadium. Legendary Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy weighed in: “I’m partial to the lobster roll,” he said, also citing sliders and a wedge salad. The mayo-slicked rolls are available on the Concourse Level at Home Plate Marche and at the EMC Club.

 

Photo courtesy of Aramark

Kauffman Stadium (Royals)

You could eat: There’s a healthy helping of barbecue inside Kansas City’s ballpark, including various takes on pulled pork, but the burnt end cheesesteak is the winner. The sauce-slathered combo, available at Farmland Grill (section 239), is smoky, meaty and a great local take on a game-day sandwich.

You should eat: Is it a corn dog? A deep-fried German sausage? Boulevard Grill’s bacon-wrapped, tempura-battered footlong dog (section 206) defies all categorization. It’s sweet and spicy, thanks to its chipotle ketchup and slightly sweet cabbage slaw, and packed into a soft pretzel bun that can barely contain the big-league flavor. 

 

Photo courtesy of Aramark

Marlins Park (Florida Marlins)

You could eat: When in Miami, tuck into a Cubano. The Marlins’ version doesn't skimp; this griddled rendition is packed with thin-sliced ham, cheese and pickles.

You should eat: Get a little salsa flavor into your baseball concessions with the Miami Mex Taco Dog. The spicy love child of a taco and hot dog, this footlong frank packs in flavor, with braised chili con carne, cheese, slaw, charred-jalapeno-lime aioli and fresh salsa, all wrapped in a flour tortilla. 

 

Photos courtesy of Levy Restaurants

Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers)

You could eat: When in the cheese capital of the country, go for fried cheese curds (at Hot Cheese). They’re a very addictive alternative to peanuts, and good to snack on after a grill-out at the park’s epic tailgates. Throughout the park, concessions can read like a state fair showcase, with options like the Ham-Stuffed-Into-A-Doughnut Sandwich (at Smoke Shack) or Bacon on a Stick (at Specialty Sausages).

You should eat: Anyone not hungry by the seventh-inning stretch will be swayed by the Klement’s Sausage Race. Make a dash from there to the brand’s grill stand for the hefty Wisconsin Beer Brat, a step up from a standard hot dog and the perfect pairing for brews from the entire Miller portfolio.

 

Photo courtesy of Scott Paulus

Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros)

You could eat: Texas barbecue abounds at the Astros’ home stadium. Grab a brisket-loaded baked potato from Texas Smoke or pulled-pork sliders from Little Bigs. On the Club Level, The Butcher serves racks of barbecued ribs.

You should eat: Tex-Mex makes a mighty alternative to standard burgers and dogs. The Chipotle Pescado, available from Street Eats (sections 126 and 409), has coffee-rubbed salmon wrapped in two layers of corn tortillas, all topped with mango-jalapeno ranch dressing and squiggles of spicy aioli. 

 

Photo courtesy of Aramark

Minute Maid Park

Nationals Park (Washington Nationals)

You could eat: Washington’s iconic Ben’s Chili Bowl has a ballpark outpost, so if it’s a classic D.C. half-smoke you’re after, this is the spot.

You should eat: Any of the sandwich offerings at G by Mike Isabella, a stadium offshoot of the Top Chef alum’s popular 14th Street shop. Isabella’s subs are inventive but not too chef-y to inhale from your seat in the stands. The juicy chicken Parm does red sauce proud, the Italian is loaded with spicy cold cuts and the roasted cauliflower with romesco is a winning vegetarian option that will satisfy any hungry baseball fan. Isabella is also behind two more Nats Park eateries: A spinoff of his Greek-influenced Kapnos restaurants serves several kinds of gyros, and at the Southern-themed Catchfly, you can get a hot-chicken fix.

 

Photo courtesy of Greg Powers

Nationals Park

Petco Park (San Diego Padres)

You could eat: Sure, there are solid, well-battered fish tacos at this Downtown San Diego stadium – and they’re great.

You should eat: The best food for a summer evening at the park is a perfectly greasy California-style burger. Hodad’s, a favorite of Guy Fieri, has an outpost here in a converted trailer by the outfield. A cheeseburger will get you a puffy sesame-seed-topped bun with a well-griddled patty, a slick of cheddar, shredded iceberg, dill pickles and onion. It’s perfect to pair with the park's unrivaled list of microbrews from Stone, Ballast Point, Mission and beyond.

Petco Park

PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates)

You could eat: PNC Park has an outpost of superstar sandwich shop Primanti Bros., with a scaled-back version of the full menu, including cheese fries and capicola with cheese.

You should eat: Wings, and lots of them. The Pirates borrow a page from the tailgating playbook with an outpost of Quaker Steak & Lube, home to the city’s best wings, with more than two dozen sauces. 

 

Photo courtesy of Quaker Steak & Lube

PNC Park

U.S. Cellular Field (Chicago White Sox)

You could eat: The Irish Nacho Helmet piles fries into a little green souvenir vessel with cheese, bacon and sour cream, a nod to Chicago’s Irish heritage.

You should eat: The Bases Loaded Baked Potato, an even better variation on the theme, has become a fan favorite, packed with beef barbacoa, cheddar, broccoli and chives. Anyone lucky enough to land box seats should follow up with something from the legendary dessert cart.   

 

Photo courtesy of Chicago White Sox

Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs)

You could eat: Giordano’s is the official pizza slinger at Chicago’s legendary park, serving 6-inch personal deep-dish pies that are an excellent — if messy — taste of the city.

You should eat: Wrigley has excellent hot dogs, including Chicago-style dogs and fan favorite Vienna Smokies, but the stadium's biggest draw may be the Hot Doug’s options, available in the bleachers. Go for the Barry Foote, a corned-beef sausage with Swiss cheese, Louie dressing and sauerkraut, ideally paired with Wrigley’s beloved Old Style beer. 

 

Photo courtesy of Levy Restaurants

Wrigley Field

Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees)

You could eat: Nolita favorite Parm operates a stadium outpost serving its namesake sandwiches, like the chicken and meatball Parms. They’re gooey, tangy and everything a hero should be.

You should eat: New York butcher Lobel's operates two carving stations, serving sliced-to-order steak sandwiches packed with medium-rare beef rich with its own juices on a fluffy bun. They’re on the extravagant side at $15, but they’re impossibly tender, well-seasoned and so much better than the usual ballpark burgers.

 

Photo courtesy of Lobel’s

Yankee Stadium

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