By: Parth Mukhi
Food & Baseball. Arguably two of the most popular things in all of New York. Put these two together, and now you have a fun evening. Yankee Stadium & Citi Field live up to the New York hype by having some of the best ballpark food in all of Major League Baseball.
The main ballpark food is uniform throughout the League. Peanuts, Cracker Jack, and Hot Dogs still reign deep in the average baseball fan’s heart. However, baseball stadiums have become more than just about baseball. Teams have become better equipped at providing more forms of entertainment for the the fans. This includes restaurants. Especially in New York, where food is of the widest variety, both the Mets & the Yankees have filled their stadiums corner to corner with great restaurants and food stands.
Personally, certain restaurants at one stadium have more to offer than certain restaurants at the other. A main attraction for Yankee Stadium is the Hard Rock Cafe. While the standouts at Citi Field are Shake Shack & Blue Smoke. Both have the usual Carvel Ice Cream and Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, in stands and with vendors walking around the stadium.
Shake Shack is one of the more popular locations at Citi Field. Have fun missing an inning or two, though, if you decide to wait in that extensive line. What disappointed me the most, after that long wait, were the portion sizes. The milkshake was only offered in one small cup. No complaints about the taste of anything, though. The Shack Burger definitely helped ease the pain from the wait, and the shake, though small, was served in a wide cup. All in all, Shake Shack is a very decent part of the Citi Field experience.
The Hard Rock Cafe at Yankee Stadium is open year round, and offers several attractions for fans. Aside from the food, there is a collection of memorabilia specifically focused on New York based musicians. The restaurant is made up of 12 flat screen TVs, most of them playing the game at hand. A downside to my visit to the Hard Rock Cafe was missing that in game experience. Though the 12 TVs are convenient, something about sitting there and watching the game on TV, while you’re in the stadium, makes you feel like you just paid $125 per ticket to sit at the Hard Rock Cafe, eat okay food, and watch a television. It’s preferable to go there either on a non-game day, or during pre or post game.
Baseball games wouldn’t be the same without hearing, “Hot Dogs! Hot Dogs! Get your Hot Dog’s here!” Nathan’s Famous is pretty uniform for both Yankee Stadium & Citi Field, except for one important difference. The foot-long hot dog. Yankee Stadium has it. Citi Field does not. Nathan’s doesn’t serve this hot dog in any other MLB park. In fact, Yankee Stadium is somewhat famous for it.
Located right next to Shake Shack is the New York BBQ movement: Blue Smoke. Unlike Shake Shack, however, you won’t miss as much of the game in this line. I was in & out with my Chipotle BBQ Wings & Sierra Mist in 5 minutes. The cup sizes were around the same size they were at Shake Shack, so you do end up buying another drink later on. On the other hand, the wings were incredible. If you’re like me, and actually want more flavor on the wings, get two of the blue cheese cartons they offer. Though the vendor did seem confusingly upset when I asked him for a second.
If you ever attend a game at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field, definitely check these spots and judge for yourself. When attending the game, you’ll want the full experience, along with everything the stadium has to offer. Just going to the game isn’t enough anymore.
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