Going to a baseball game on an empty stomach no longer means that you need to lower your culinary standards. In decades past, dining at the ballpark was a pretty monochromatic affair: hot dogs and a hamburger; maybe, if you were feeling particularly adventurous, a knish. Things have changed, and now that innovative cooking and flavor combinations are now more widespread, baseball stadiums have become a place where one can sit down and try an abundance of delicious food. In some cases, stadiums incorporate offerings from local favorites; in others, comfort food is taken to new levels. These seven foods come from ballparks all across the country, and represent a wide range of tastes, from rich desserts to savory snacks to heartier fare.
Carne Asada Tacos at Edgar’s Cantina, Safeco Field, Seattle
Portable, savory, and delicious: the taco may well be the platonic ideal of hand-held food. Since opening in 2013 at Safeco Field, Edgar’s Cantina has served up noteworthy food and drink to people taking in Mariners games. Among the highlights of their menu are carne asada tacos, which bring a familiar heartiness to stadium fare without being too filling.
Chile Verde Mac Dog at Big Dawgs Chase Field, Phoenix
If you’re a baseball team playing in the Southwest, why not embrace some of the local cuisine — in this case, the unique heat found in green chiles. If your summer plans include an Arizona Diamondbacks game, and you’re fond of hot dogs, mac and cheese, and green chiles — and you’ve always dreamed of eating all three at once — your prayers have been answered.
Steak Tip Sandwich at Fenway Park, Boston
Some of the most refreshing dining options at baseball stadiums might, on paper, look similar to tried-and-true favorites. The steak tip sandwich served at Boston Red Sox games is comprised of beef, cheese, and a roll, but it’s the small details where it impresses the most, like the way the steak is marinated, and the texture of the roll. Alternately: a classic sandwich at a classic ballpark.
Beef Empanadas at Pipo’s Café, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Hot dogs aren’t the only thing that makes for nicely handheld ballpark eating. The long-running Tampa restaurant Pipo’s Café has long attracted admirers of Cuban food, and they’ve recently begun serving up a variety of items at Tampa Bay Rays games — among them, a delicious-looking beef empanada that goes perfectly with your beverage of choice.
Chicharones Cone at AT&T Park, San Francisco
So let’s say you’re at a ballgame, and let’s say that you’d like to snack on something salty, dry, and crispy. You could certainly order a bag of potato chips or some popcorn, sure — or, if you’re at a San Francisco Giants game, you could opt to snack on some chicharones — fried pork that has been seasoned and then served in a cone.
Sausages at Hot Doug’s, Wrigley Field, Chicago
The closure of Chicago hot dog mainstay Hot Doug’s in 2014 left a hole in the heart of those who admired their bold and tasty flavor combinations. They now maintain a presence in the bleachers of that city’s storied Wrigley Field, serving up a constantly updated array of sausages, each named for a former Cub. The Joe Wallis, for instance, is a curry bratwurst with “curry dijonnaise, caramelized onions, and smoked gouda cheese.” Just because it’s comfort food doesn’t mean it can’t take risks.
Strike Cone Concrete at Shake Shack, Citi Field, New York
Sometimes, the best ballpark snacks are the sweetest. On the menu of the Citi Field location of Shake Shack, Mets fans will find the Strike Cone, which brings together vanilla frozen custard with pieces of sugar cone, chocolate truffle cookie dough, and sprinkles. It’s just the thing for cooling off when watching a day game in the middle of the summer.