Stadiums are not only known for hosting sporting events and concerts, they’re also a fertile breeding ground for cutting edge fast food ideas. Chicken wings, pizza, and nachos were once the top choices when it came to stadium cuisine. But in recent years, there’s been a subtle shift away from the cut and dry. As the most popular thunder domes have shown, there are many ways to pull hard earned cash from the sports watching crowds than just ticket sales. It’s time to get in line for the top 10 best stadium foods in America.
10. Sweet Stuff in Buffalo and Detroit
Killing the crowd with sugar is the main idea when taking in a game at Buffalo’s New Era Field. That’s why it offers the fearsome deep fried peanut butter & jelly, funnel cakes, apple pies, and corn dogs. For the sweet-tooth in the crowd, these fast food ideas are certainly a stroke of genius. The concept has certainly been voted thumbs up by fans on social media and online reviews. To date, the sugar police haven’t caught on to the practice. As that classic Roberta Flack song goes, they’re killing the crowd softly – with all that sweet stuff. But New Era Field isn’t the only stadium serving up the sweetness. In some sports domes like Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, transforming nachos into a dessert is a big hit with fans. Just sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar onto those plain nacho chips and the crowd goes wild. They’ve even added a touch of Nutella to further sweeten the mix. If the game turns out to be a dud, at least you can get your snack game going full speed. And if it’s the ultimate sugar rush your going for, then you just can’t go wrong with taking in a Lions – Bills game, no matter who the home team is.
9. Jaguars Jambalaya
A long time ago, the main reason large crowds would gather in a stadium was to see gladiators spill blood for sport. Nowadays, we still have blood sports like kickboxing, boxing and MMA. Taking it’s cue from these sports is our next stadium concession favorite, the Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya in all its bloody splendor. When you go to a Jacksonville Jaguars game, you’re in for a treat (at least we think). Why just order up your standard hot dogs or pizza when you can order Jambalaya… the perfect football snack? In fact, right about now, you’re probably scratching your head wondering how you can manage to get back safely to your seat carrying this bowl of hot stewed liquid. Especially if your seat is high atop the stadium in the upper deck about a mile away from the concessions. When you have a full dish like Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya in one hand and drinks or what-have-you in the other, it’s a big challenge to get back to your hungry buddies even with the help of styrofoam and trays. Unless, of course, you don’t care about accidentally spilling the bloody stew on somebody’s unsuspecting lap, or worse, head. As long as your team doesn’t score and you won’t have to throw your arms in the air before you get to your seat, then those stranger’s laps should stay safe.
8. Houston Texans Battle Red Tacos
NRG Stadium will never be the same since the Houston Texans’ introduction of the Battle Red Tacos. Tradition is thrown out the window and taste buds come alive with these tacos that fans just can’t get enough of. Feeling battle ready? Then go ahead and order up a trio of them from the concession stand. Just keep in mind these are not your everyday tacos. The Battle Red Tacos have chicken tenders in there. Yup, delicious chicken tenders line the bottom of the tortilla. And by the way, these tacos, they taste like Cheetos in disguise. This is because the chicken tenders are indeed breaded with flaming hot Cheetos. One bite is enough to reveal the distinct flavor. All topped of with the purple accents, of some sliced red cabbage. So be careful and try not to spill, because they might stain your white T-shirt. Houston, we have a problem. The problem being that we can only get this food at NRG Stadium in Houston. In order for everyone to have the chance to enjoy the different stadium food offerings, maybe when a visiting team travels to play a game, they should have to bring their stadiums top rated snack with them. Battle Red Tacos should be travelling with the Houston Texans everywhere they go.
7. The Pinstripe Shake at Yankee Stadium
When you hear pinstripes the first thing that comes to most peoples minds are the New York Yankees, or I guess a nice tailored suit if you’re not into baseball. Anyways, Ruth, DiMaggio, Jackson, Jeter, the names are as legendary as the franchise itself and this high-end milkshake is trying to live up to its name. If your standing in a long line between innings you want to make it worth your while, so don’t just order a plain coke, go all out and spoil yourself with the Pinstripe Shake. As far as shakes go, this one is in a gourmet class of its own. This vanilla milkshake comes topped with a churro (which is a fried dough pastry), some cotton candy, Cracker Jacks and a drizzling of caramel. The recipe seems simple enough. Take some of your favorite ballpark sweets, and toss them on top of a vanilla milkshake. This cool treat can be a true grand-slam even if the Bronx Street Bombers are having a bad game. A hot summer day, a day at the ballpark and a Pinstripe shake, what more could anyone ask for.
6. TD Concession’s Very Vegan Tacos
Tired of burgers and hot dogs and looking for something different to munch on during the game? Then try Levy Restaurant’s Very Vegan Tacos for a change, available at TD Place home to the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League. Great things have been said about what is touted as the very first effort by a Canadian stadium to go beyond meat. Times are changing and it seems that even stadiums are getting on board with their concessions, trying to balance some of the standard food fare by adding some healthier options. The Very Vegan Taco is made using the plant based meat alternative Beyond Meat. Beyond Meat’s been made famous by A&W with their burgers getting rave reviews. Whether carnivore or vegetarian the Very Vegan Taco is a concession stand snack that you can enjoy guilt free. Not only is this a healthier choice but the container the tacos are served in is completely compostable and made from sugar cane. If you feel like your missing out on the usual stadium overindulgences, you can always order the jumbo soda to wash those tacos down.
5. The Midway Monster at Soldier Field
Leave it to the fine people of Chicago to come up with a way of turning the common hot dog into a monster of a hot dog. This relatively new addition to the Soldier Field concessions has quickly become a crowd favorite. Maybe it’s because this dog is as big as the Bears offensive line. Let’s start with your typical hot dog but put it in a pretzel bun. Sounds good right? A step up from a regular. But this is just the beginning, time to turn this into the Midway Monster it’s supposed to be. Piled on top of that dog is bacon, corned beef and onions. A combination that makes the arteries swell up just thinking about eating it. Eat enough Midway Monsters during a game and you’ll be dusting off your VHS copy of the ’85 Bears doing the Superbowl Shuffle – to use as a workout tape that is. If your a carnivore at heart, and stomach, this combination of ingredients must sound intriguing. My biggest concern would be how much room is left to dress this super dog. Add some slaw, mustard and relish and then hope your mouth is big enough just to get a bite. Everyone has heard of Chicago pizza, maybe the Midway Monster becomes the next famous food from the windy city.
4. Pit Bull in Washington
While Soldier Field has stacked everything high on top of their hot dog, kudos to the Washington Redskins for taking the lowly hot dog and reinventing it into a foot-long incarnation. When visiting FedExField in Washington, originally Jack Kent Cooke Stadium, a must try is the Pit Bull. This is the super stretch limo of the hot dog world. American horseradish mustard sauce and authentic Italian pickles have joined forces to make the Pit Bull an explosion in taste. The Pit Bull is not only one of the biggest stadium hot dogs, it’s also the one that seems to bite you back with every mouthful due to the added sauce and pickles. If FedEx field is taking suggestions for new menu items, maybe they should add some super long french fries to go along with the Pit Bull. Or maybe they could even give you an extra long straw for your drink so none of your food choices look out of place. So if ever you find yourself in Washington at an NFL game, roam the concourse if you must and seek out this stadium favorite. Depending on the score and which team you’re cheering for, there is a chance you may not enjoy the game. However, the same can not be said of the Pit Bull. This is a guaranteed win for the stomach.
3. Different Burgers in California and Arizona
Yes, there’s light at the end of the stadium fast food tunnel after you’ve tasted the best hot dog that life has to offer. For starters, there’s the famed TsUNAmi Burger at Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly the StubHub Center on the campus of California State University. This has become the temporary home of the LA Chargers until their new stadium is ready in 2020 and also home to the LA Galaxy soccer team. The TsUNAmi Burger is of course made with tuna and you can dress it with all the works, it’s a healthy burger with a huge wave of flavor, hence the name. Now let’s look at the other end of the spectrum. Once you’ve graduated from the Big Mac, received your Masters from Burger King, it’s time to take your doctorate in burger-ology and taste a classic stadium burger that’s hard to put down, and probably hard to pick up too. No stadium burger in the USA can match up to the king of all burgers, the mighty Gridiron Challenge Burger. Forget tsunamis, the Gridiron is the Arizona Cardinals’ nod to every Godzilla movie ever made in Hollywood. It’s the burger to end all burger challenges now and well into the future. However, I don’t advise taking the challenge single-handed. In fact, it’s probably best that you get a doctor’s note prior to placing your order. Weighing in at a gigantic seven pounds, the Gridiron Challenge Burger is a budget-stopping $75 bucks. If you can’t finish all the dogs, bacon, and beef patties that are crammed in there by yourself, you may want to find someone to share with. Maybe they will even pick up half that hefty price tag. You won’t win a Cardinals’ jersey or get your photo on the stadium wall of fame, but at least, nothing will go to waste. And you won’t end up in the ER either.
2. DMV Super Burrito
Washington’s FedExField should be credited for thinking outside the box when it comes to reinventing stadium fast food. Where do they get all these crazy ideas? First, a hot dog to end all hot dogs. Now, it’s a burrito to lord over all other burritos from the United States all the way to Mexico. Mythical concession elves have got to be super busy inside this Washington Stadium. Otherwise, how could they manage to come up with another big winner like this? And by big we mean really really big. This burrito is almost as big as a football. It has everything that any lover of burritos can want and then some. This mammoth burrito is made with three pounds of chicken, half a smoked sausage with two pounds of Spanish rice, shredded lettuce, tomato, avocado, and black bean salsa. When it comes to the DMV Super Burrito, it’s all or nothing. This might be good buy for season ticket holders. They could eat a little each game and maybe by the end of the season, finish the whole thing.
1. The Best Seafood Stadium Foods
Healthy tacos, burritos, burgers, hot dogs, and sweet stuff: these are definitely the new peanuts and Cracker Jack of the stadium going crowd. For those who can’t be bothered with the mundane when it comes to their sporting event chow, pizza and chicken wings are definitely out at this point. So what do you look for when a stadium hot dog just won’t cut it? Why seafood of course! But we’re not talking about Captain Highliner fish sticks here. When it comes to some of the best stadium seafood, a couple of items on the menu stand out from the pack. The Lobster Roll from Fenway Park in Boston is one those items that Red Sox fans enjoy almost as much as beating the Yankees. Another MLB park and another top notch seafood specialty. This one coming all the way from the home of the Minnesota Twins. The 4 Bells Shrimp Boil is on the menu at Target Field in Minneapolis and gives fans an expanded choice from your typical fast food options. The positive response shows that there’s a demand and a craving among stadium food aficionados for delicacies from under the sea. Play Ball! And pass the tartar sauce. Remember, when it comes to some of these mammoth stadium meals, moderation is the name of the game. Well moderation plus some popcorn, and some chicken wings, and maybe a couple of hot dogs…ok moderation is not the name of the game.