When we think about stadium food, what comes to mind? Lukewarm hot dogs in soggy buns, overcooked burgers, peanuts, and limp fries, right?
And after shelling out loads of cash for tickets, the last thing you want is bland, overpriced food. Who wants to pay $12 for a burger that’s been sitting under a heat lamp for hours and was mass-produced and frozen months ago? Add in $8 for a side of soggy fries and you’re left wondering why you didn’t eat before you got to the game or sneak in a couple of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
But while boring stadium food might be the norm, there are some venues out there that rise above the pack. In fact, some stadiums’ culinary offerings are so outstanding that some fans prefer the food to the game!
For example, at the United Center in Chicago — home to the Bulls, Blackhawks, and mostly stereotypical arena food — the Budweiser Brew Pub is a diamond in the rough. This restaurant serves a hearty fresh-sliced roast beef sandwich that could stand on its own in any of the Windy City’s most popular restaurants.
And while some stadiums have one or two offerings that completely surpass anything else sold there (think of the Lobel’s steak sandwich in Yankee Stadium) some simply go above and beyond the call of duty. Citi Field, home of the Mets, has a dining program featuring New York fare from well-regarded restaurants such as Shake Shack, Blue Smoke, and Tai Pan Bakery that perhaps draws almost as many fans to the stadium as the team on the field.
Or at a Reds game at Great American Ballpark, you can splurge on deep-fried Kool-Aid and the Food Network Cincinnati Dog, a jumbo hot dog topped with pork rinds and BBQ sauce served on a potato roll.
And what trip to Lambeau Field would be complete without a trip through the Packers Hall of Fame, a picture in front of Vince Lombardi’s statue, and a healthy portion of cheese curds? (As cheese curds are essentially deep-fried butter, healthy in the preceding sentence is of course defined as satisfying.)
Want to view the country's best sporting venues to eat at? Check out our slideshow above!