Oh, yes! Take me out to the ballgame, but, please, skip the peanuts and Cracker Jacks. Admittedly, stadium concessionaires have elevated baseball fare to baseball cuisine. Cuban pretzel dogs and ice-cold craft beer have replaced dirty water dogs and lukewarm draft beer. All good, but I would still prefer to be wined and dined (a bit) and eat a meal sitting at a table (I can forego white tablecloths!) rather than balanced on my lap. I love America’s pastime, and I love eating out. So, let’s make a night of it!
Whether you’re embarking on a summer road trip to make a pilgrimage to some of our national pastime’s sporty cathedrals or staying put to root for your home team, we’ve rounded up nine stadiums and scouted out some of the best spots to grab a bite before the umpire shouts “Play ball!” — or after the last pitch. Batter up! Here’s where to eat before a baseball game, from coast to coast.
Fenway Park is the home of the Boston Red Sox. This storied ballpark offers hungry die-hard Sox fans everything from soup to nuts, literally. Jerry Remy’s is the undisputed go-to spot either before or after a game at Fenway; owner Jerry Remy is a legendary Red Sox broadcaster and a living local treasure. The restaurant serves up comfort food with a modern flair and an enormous craft and micro-brewed beer selection. This is Red Sox Nation. Find other restaurants near Fenway Park.
Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx, is now across the street from the original “House That Ruth Built.” The new stadium, completed in 2009, is a state-of-the-art baseball venue. It features 25 concession stands, more than 100 moveable concessions, and three restaurants: NYY Steak, Hard Rock Café, and Audi Club. From dry-aged USDA Prime steaks to sports and music-themed burgers and performance-cooking stations, anyone can score delicious food at Yankee Stadium. Find other restaurants near Yankee Stadium.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards in B’more is where the Baltimore Orioles play. Built in 1992, Camden Yards is just blocks from Baltimore’s picturesque Inner Harbor and is a destination for baseball and non-baseball fans alike. Located within the Orioles’ complex is Dempsey’s Brew Pub and Restaurant, named after the team’s beloved catcher, Rick Dempsey. Dempsey’s serves up classic pub fare: a variety of Maryland crab appetizers, hearty salads, fish tacos, beer-braised pork belly, beer-can chicken, and eight signature burgers, as well as local and regional bottled craft beers and four in-house brewed, baseball-themed beers. Dempsey’s is open not only on game days, but seven days a week, year round. Find other restaurants near Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Nationals Park hosts the Washington Nationals team. Situated along the Anacostia River in D.C.’s Navy Yard neighborhood, Nationals Park is best accessed by the city’s uber-efficient Metro system. Just east of the stadium is Yards Park and Agua 301, an authentic Mexican restaurant with a modern flair. Ceviche, soups, salads, empanadas, huaraches, and entrees that are both traditional and contemporary — and definitely not Tex-Mex. Dine al fresco along D.C.’s riverfront, and then stroll over to cheer on Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth, and company.
Wrigley Field in Chicago is the beloved abode of the Chicago Cubs. Known for its ivy-covered, brick outfield walls, old-timey, hand-turned scoreboard, and red marquee, Wrigley Field is the place for Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. Directly across the street from the ballpark, in what is affectionately known as Wrigleyville, is Rockit Burger Bar. As one might expect, this is a burger joint — one with unexpected burgers. How about a mac & cheese attack, a huevos rancheros, or a venison foie gras burger? Find other restaurants near Wrigley Field.
Busch Stadium in St. Louis is where the St. Louis Cardinals make magic and the third stadium in St. Louis to carry the Busch name. As one might expect, the Anheuser-Busch brand figures prominently at Busch Stadium, with Budweiser being the main brew served. At the stadium, fans can indulge in any number of traditional baseball eats. Adjacent to the stadium is Cardinals Nation, a destination for lovers of food and the Cardinals. Baseball-themed appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, and pastas are as tasty as their fun names suggest. The AT&T Rooftop features an elaborate all-you-can-eat buffet, a full-service bar, and a killer view from the outfield.
Coors Field in Denver is where you can see the Colorado Rockies in action. Named for the Coors Brewing Company, this ballpark is an obvious beer lovers’ paradise but, with 43 permanent concession stands, selling everything from sunflower seeds to Rocky Mountain oysters, foodies can revel, too. You’ll find Denver Chophouse, a cozy yet modern chophouse with a Big Band vibe that excels in classic cuts of meat, on the same street. Fuel up with some big beef, and then check out Nolan Arenado’s big bat. Find other restaurants near Coors Field.
Safeco Field in Seattle is the place fans can catch a Seattle Mariners game. The Safe is a retro-modern style ballpark with an extensive lineup of food and drink offerings and a retractable roof (never a rain-out in rainy Seattle). But, be to amble over to the Silver Cloud Hotel, home of Jimmy’s on First. Upscale yet still casual, Jimmy’s on First is the place to grab an authentic taste of the Pacific Northwest, such as honey-peppercorn wild salmon. If you don’t score free rally fries from broadcaster Mike Blowers at the stadium, you can order them at Jimmy’s. Find other restaurants near Safeco Field.
AT&T Park boasts World Series champs the San Francisco Giants as their home team. Nestled in the streets of South Beach, the waterfront park has a welcoming brick façade and steel rising toward the sky. It was named the most vegetarian-friendly ballpark in the nation by PETA in 2014, and its many veggie concessions include gourmet Mexican, pizza, garlic fries, and popcorn. You’ll want to warm up beforehand at MoMo’s, which is thisclose to the stadium. Serving fare that is both sophisticated (ahi tuna tartar) and simple (brick-oven pizzas), MoMo’s has an outdoor seating area that is the next best thing to being at the big game. Find other restaurants near AT&T Park.
Petco Park is the sunny home of the San Diego Padres. Smack dab in the middle of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter (a foodie destination), this ballpark sports a seemingly endless number and variety of food and drink concessions. McCormick and Schmick’s, a high-end seafood and steak chain of restaurants, has a location a short walk across the sky bridge from Petco Park. Boasting fresh seasonality and handcrafted cocktails, the restaurant’s menu changes daily and is worth the wander off Tony Gwynn Way for a pre- or post-game dinner. Find other restaurants near Petco Park.
What are your favorite restaurants to dine at before a baseball game? Share your tips for the terrific local spots you hit before you don your mitt in the hopes of catching a fly ball Tell us here or over on Facebook, G+, or Twitter. Then, book a table for a home run of a meal. And, be sure to enter our #savortheroad giveaway for a chance to win one of ten $100 OpenTable gift cards!
Freelance writer Betsy Davidson is the editor-at-large of Edible Long Island magazine and a regular contributor to Edible East End magazine.