What would sports be like without food? The biggest day of the year in terms of eating chicken wings and ordering pizza comes from Super Bowl Sunday, so eating and watching professional athletes perform only go hand in hand. If you’re going to eat during a game, you’d probably like to do it at home since it’s much cheaper and you don’t even have to leave your couch to have someone come deliver to you.
For those of us that like to go to sporting events, you probably can’t pass up the great food offered once you smell it at the stadium. There is the standard fare like hot dogs or ice cream cones, but if you really want a true ballpark experience, you have to grab one of the signature items at the park.
Some of the signature items fall a bit short and are only popular with those that hardly ever go to the games, but then there are some that you have to travel across the country for to try yourself. Which signature stadium items are the best, though? Here are the 15 best ballpark foods that you can find in professional sports.
15 Churro Dog (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Starting with this past baseball season, the Arizona Diamondbacks started to offer a dessert option on their menu known as the Churro Dog at Chase Field. If you order up a Churro Dog at a D’Backs game, you can expect to chomp down on a churro that’s inside of a Long John donut with chocolate glazed. If that doesn’t sound sweet enough, they also top it with frozen yogurt and chocolate and caramel sauces. The estimated amount of calories is over 1,100 and costs $8.50 at the concession stand.
14 Choomongous (Texas Rangers)
2014 was one of the worst years for the Texas Rangers in recent memory, but at least fans were treated to the introduction of the Choomongous. This heartburn inducing behemoth is two feet of Korean barbecue that costs $26 and the nutritional facts aren’t known to the public (as if you want to know). On the Choomongous is chop[ped beef with Sriracha mayonnaise and spicy coleslaw on a sweet bun. If you think you can eat an entire one by yourself, you better be a professional eater with an iron gut.
13 Dancing Kevin (Columbus Blue Jackets)
At each of the Columbus Blue Jackets home games, you can usually spot a fan in the stands that is ready to rip his shirt off and dance around on the Jumbotron. This man is affectionately known as Dancing Kevin, and the franchise has named a concession after their biggest fan. The Dancing Kevin is as big as the man himself, and it’s a ton of pulled pork, bacon and ham on a pretzel bun. If you’re appetite is big enough to get through that sandwich, there are still some mozzarella sticks waiting for you.
12 Horse Collar (Green Bay Packers)
When you think of Packers fans (and Wisconsin as a whole), one of the first images you get in your head is that of cheese and sausage. The Packers executive chef decided to goof around before the 2014 season and ended up creating this massive Wisconsin delicacy. The Horse Collar is a large ring of kielbasa sausage with bread baked all the way around it. The 22-inch sausage also comes with fried sauerkraut and beer cheese sauce. What’s really interesting about this creation, though, is that the guy that made it is actually from Detroit.
11 Garlic Fries (San Francisco Giants)
While a lot of people around the country might look at this item and think it’s too simple to be on the list, you’re missing out. Gilroy Garlic Fries were started in the town of Gilroy (of course) by the Gordon Biersch brewery and restaurant in 1988 as the perfect food compliment to their beers. Eventually, the popularity of the fries started to grow and made their way to Giants games and are now the hottest item at AT&T Park. It might just be minced garlic and parsley on some french fries, but they taste amazing if you’ve never tried the combination before.
10 Colossal Hawk Dog (Seattle Seahawks)
Shortly before the 2014 season, the defending champion Seattle Seahawks brought out a brand new food item to go along with their first championship banner. Enter the Colossal Hawk Dog, which comes with just about everything you could ask for. Clocking in at an incredible two feet long, the Colossal Hawk is topped with sour cream, guacamole, tortilla strips, jalapenos, red peppers, pico de gallo and chipotle cheese sauce. The best part? The sauces and strips come together to make it look like the team’s uniforms.
9 Waffle Sandwich (St. Louis Cardinals)
Heading into the 2015 season, the Cardinals were excited to introduce some of their newest food options, and the clear highlight was the Waffle Sandwich. The combination of flavors somehow works for this sandwich which has a sweet waffle as a bun, and you can get either a fried chicken breast with maple bacon gravy, pulled pork with sauce and coleslaw or chicken carnitas with bacon and pico de gallo (or even ranch dressing). No matter what option you pick, you’re sure to love this sweet, meaty and crunchy sandwich.
8 Rib Helmet (Chicago White Sox)
You’ve surely seen a lot of stadiums in the major and minor leagues serving up ice cream or nachos in a mini helmet, but have you ever seen a team serve up a full BBQ platter inside of a full-size batting helmet? Before this past season, the White Sox introduced the Rib Helmet with a lot of enthusiasm. Not only do you get a full rack of ribs inside of the helmet, but you get two tins with coleslaw and cornbread, and a pile of fries sit under the ribs in the helmet.
7 Halo Dog (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)
If you’re a fan of hot dogs and happen to be in Southern California, then you need to stop in Anaheim to visit an Angels game and try their Halo Dog. This beast of a hot dog comes with an all-beef dog wrapped in bacon (as if that wasn’t good enough by itself). Then, they add Anaheim peppers, Monterey jack cheese and charro beans on top to give you the baseball staple of a hot dog with a little bit of Southern California spice surrounding it. It’s not as famous as a Dodger Dog...but it’s better.
6 D-Bat Dog (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Not to be outdone in the MLB hot dog department, the Arizona Diamondbacks introduced one of their own prior to the 2014 season at Chase Field. It’s not the biggest item on the list, but it’s still massive at 18 inches. It’s not a traditional hot dog, but instead a corn dog that’s also filled with cheese, jalapenos and bacon inside of the breading. In the same basket, the Diamondbacks will also throw in some fries and the entire meal will set you back $25, but you can certainly share with the family.
5 Pocket Dawg (Calgary Flames)
Even though the Flames haven’t been giving fans much to cheer about lately, they can still bring fans into the Saddledome thanks to the Pocket Dawg at their concession stands. The Pocket Dawg is a baguette that is gutted out and filled with a hot dog, ranch dressing, cheese, mustard, ketchup and relish. You can mix it up a bit so that you get sausage or bacon or basically anything else you want. The best part of the Pocket Dawg is the fair price, which is only $5.75, which is only $4.32 in US Dollars.
4 Hog Molly (Carolina Panthers)
At the beginning of the 2014 NFL season, the Carolina Panthers debuted the much anticipated Hog Molly sandwich, and it didn’t disappoint. Named after the nickname given to offensive linemen, and it might even fill one of them up. The Hog Molly is eight ounces of smoked beef brisket with fried onions, BBQ sauce, bacon, jalapenos and cole slaw on a Kaiser roll. At $12, it’s about what you could expect to pay at a normal restaurant for that kind of sandwich, so you’re not getting totally ripped off.
3 Boog’s BBQ Sandwich (Baltimore Orioles)
At Oriole Park at Camden Yards, you can find one of the best BBQ sandwiches in the entire country. Opened up at Boog’s Corner in 1992, the stand offers up sandwich with BBQ beef, turkey or pork. The beef version is the most popular, and almost everyone gets the double meat for only $1 more. With tasty BBQ sauce and some onions on it (you can even add cheese), you can smell this sandwich cooking from almost anywhere in the park, causing big lines to form.
2 Nashville Hot Chicken (Nashville Predators)
The Predators try hard to get fans into their stadium, and even have a good team on the ice right now, but all they really have to do is market their food. Not only does the team have some awesome chicken and waffles, but they serve up their signature city food, the Hot Chicken. If you have never been to Nashville, the Hot Chicken is a part of the bird that has been marinated and served on top of bread with pickle chips. If you like Buffalo wings, give the Hot Chicken a shot, we bet you’ll love it.
1 The Closer (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Former Pittsburgh Pirates closer Jason Grilli was affectionately known by some as Grilled Cheese, a name that would be passed on to a sandwich that the Pirates sell at PNC Park. The sandwich has everything, with four thick slices of bread, a total of nine cheeses, candied bacon and even a Granny Smith apple with a leek. With those nine different types of cheeses, this is not a sandwich for the lactose intolerant as it may cause a trip to the ER.