10 Greatest Ballparks for Foodies
It's just an accepted fact that concessions at a big-league baseball game are going to batter fans' wallets between innings. This year, the average cost of a draft beer on the concourse is $6.15, according to Team Marketing Report . Throw in a hot dog ($4.13) or a soda ($3.71) and you've already increased the cost of your ticket ($26.98 on average) by more than a third.
|Citi Field offers a classic New York experience: waiting on line for a ridiculously long time for a delicious Shake Shack burger.|
So why settle for those bottom-shelf items? In some markets, regional fare and expanded selection help fans compensate for the cost a bit. You can get a hot dog anywhere, but the food and drinks in the following 10 markets have local flavor that peanuts and Cracker Jack lack:
Safeco Field, Seattle
Heavy hitters: Ivar Dogs, sushi, "The Man"
When you're rooting for a team that hasn't made the playoffs in more than a decade and has won more games than it has lost only twice in the past eight years, stadium comfort is important. Local seafood chain Ivar's provides plenty of it with Ivar Dogs -- slivers of fried cod topped with tartar sauce and cole slaw. The sushi rolls and maki at Safeco were once novel, but are becoming a more regular sight in the majors as the rest of the league goes upscale. The best-kept secret, however, is "The Man" sauce at Porter's BBQ, made with a closely guarded recipe loaded with spices. On most nights, it has more kick than the Mariners' lineup.
AT&T(T) Park, San Francisco
Heavy hitters: Gilroy garlic fries
Tons of other ballparks, including Safeco, boast about their garlic fries. None do them as well as brewer Gordon Biersch does in San Francisco. That pile of parmesan cheese, herbs and fresh ground garlic over a hot stack of potatoes won't make you many friends among those in talking distance, but it's a decent way to warm up during those cool spring and fall spells by the bay. It also says a lot about a facility when its menu includes a Dungeness crab sandwich on sourdough and the fries are still the best item being served.
Fenway Park, Boston
Heavy hitters: Sausage sandwiches
This is one of the few places in the league where you don't have to go to the game to get the best item at the concessions stand. Fenway is ringed with carts hawking sweet Italian sausages cooked to a crisp on flat grills, and the more you can load it up with spicy mustard and sauteed onions and peppers the better. We warn that prices get a bit higher once you've passed the ticket checkpoints on Yawkey Way, so we recommend hitting vendors slightly removed from the park's gates for real value. Look for the best deals on Yawkey about a block away from Boylston Street or on Lansdowne Street just down the slope from the Cask 'n Flagon.