The Best Stadium Foods
I believe I can speak for many sports fans when I say that before Covid-19, there was nothing like going to a jam-packed stadium and supporting your favorite team with tens of thousands of loud and passionate fellow fans. One aspect in particular we might have taken for granted about the stadium experience, however, was the food.
I believe I can speak for many sports fans when I say that before Covid-19, there was nothing like going to a jam-packed stadium and supporting your favorite team with tens of thousands of loud and passionate fellow fans. One aspect in particular we might have taken for granted about the stadium experience, however, was the food. No trip to a sporting event is complete without the overpriced and unhealthy food you’re forced to enjoy, so in this article, I’m reminiscing on my favorite foods to eat while supporting my teams.
First and foremost, they’re cheap. Nowadays, National Basketball Association (NBA) stadiums are innovating and creating fancy, expensive food experiences for fans, and while some of those eatery options are enticing, you really can’t go wrong with a humble corn dog.
Unpopular opinion: corn dogs are better than hot dogs, way better. The texture and subtle sweetness of the crispy cornmeal coating sets corn dogs apart from other classic stadium foods. As an additional benefit, it’s a rare finger food that doesn’t leave you with greasy or messy fingers. As opposed to a hot dog, a corndog has the ability to stand on its own; it doesn’t rely on condiments like ketchup or mustard to deliver a satisfying bite. Although corn dogs aren’t as common as hot dogs, they consistently fail to disappoint and deserve more recognition as an elite stadium food.
Who doesn’t love french fries? Loaded fries take regular french fries to a whole different level. They’re a step above classic nachos, as you can eat them with a fork instead of with your fingers, a messier and less pleasant experience.
Fries are almost always the sidekick of a good meal. In fact, I don’t think I could eat a burger without them. However, in loaded fries, the potato takes center stage. When fries are topped with shredded beef, melted cheese, hot sauce, and whichever other toppings you prefer, these add ons completely transform fries from a side dish to a delicious stand-alone meal. Considering these factors, in 10 to 15 years I fully expect loaded fries to overtake nachos as a stadium staple.
Mac and Cheese
I don’t think there’s a more American comfort food than macaroni and cheese. It’s not the first food that comes to mind when recalling traditional stadium fare, but it’s slowly making its way into different venues as people begin to realize that sporting events and comfort food go hand-in-hand.
I’ve seen different food vendors at NBA stadiums offer their own spirited take on the American classic, too. For example, I once had a barbecue brisket mac and cheese at the Capital One Arena in Washington D.C., and although I’ve never been, the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans offers a seafood mac and cheese. Mac and cheese is an American classic that we all know and love, and it’s made all the better by individual stadiums and venues putting their own creative spin on it, often specific to the team’s geographic region.
Churros are a Mexican classic: sweet cinnamon sticks that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside—it’s not a food that you eat every day, so it adds to the occasion of going to a stadium.
Traditional Mexican churros are actually much smaller than the ones served in America; however, the American version is all the better for it, given the extra volume to nervously munch on as you watch the action. I actually prefer my churros with caramel sauce rather than the traditional chocolate sauce, but one thing we can all agree on is that with a scoop of ice cream, a churro can become the indisputable, go-to dessert on game day.
Hopefully you’ll consider these not-so-traditional stadium foods next time you’re able to get out and support your team. Personally, I can’t wait to join tens of thousands of other loud—and hungry—sports fans.