Hotdogs, Burgers, or Something New?: A DMV Sport Fan's Guide on the Best Ballpark Foods in 2021
Nats fans, O's fans, the wait is finally over. After a year long hiatus, fans can finally return to the ballpark. So, if you're one of the lucky fans who is able to get a ticket, there are many things to think about. How should I prepare for the game? Will I need to buy parking? But, the most important question of all is: What am I going to eat? Now, there's always the classic hot dog or hamburger. But, stadiums have gotten more and more innovative as the years have rolled on, and ballpark food is now way different than even a decade ago. Yet, the question remains: What should I eat at the ballpark? So, here's five foods that one should try at Nats Park and Camden Yards. Note: This will not include big fast food restaurants that have locations inside ballparks such as Shake Shack.
Left- See You Tater, Center- Ben's Chili Bowl, Right- Enzo's
See You Tater: Started in 2017, See You Tater has a lot of great options for Nats fans. As the name implies, they serve many styles of tater tots that mimic popular foods such as barbecue, crab and buffalo chicken. In addition, they serve five flavors of wings that are far above the normal ballpark standard. Although they don't offer anything to satisfy a sweet tooth, See You Tater is a great place for a meal or even for a savory snack.
CHIKO: An interesting blend of cultures, CHIKO offers a variety of foods that combine Asian cultures with an American twist. Korean fried chicken wings and a bulgogi hoagie are just some of the interesting foods they offer. Although they have a few locations outside of the stadium, they are a fan favorite inside Nats park for those looking for something different than most ballpark foods.
Ben's Chili Bowl: Although the DMV area (particularly Maryland) is known for crab, the half-smoke is another food that claims the area as it's home. A new take on a hotdog, it is often made out of a larger sausage consisting of half beef and half pork and topped with chili. If that sounds up your alley, then Ben's Chili Bowl is the place for you. As the name implies, it also serves chili, along with burgers and other hotdogs. Ben's is definitely an interesting twist on ballpark food, and it has a lot to offer any true fan of the game.
Enzo's: Although pizza isn't generally a ballpark food in most cities, Enzo's does a good job of persuading anyone that it is. Instead of just the normal cheese and pepperoni, Enzo's has tons of varieties and specialty pizzas. In addition, they also sell wine for consumers that are old enough. Another aspect of Enzo's that makes it stand out is its accessibility, as they have four locations inside the stadium. If you want something simple aside from the normal hot dog or hamburger, Enzo's is the place.
DC Empanadas: One of the newest additions to Nats Park's food scene, DC Empanadas adds another element to an already diverse scene. Although they really only offer empanadas, they have a variety of options including buffalo chicken and spinach & feta. Although there's only one location in the second deck, it is definitely worth a visit if you're okay with taking a hike.
Oriole Park/Camden Yards:
Left- The Chipper, Center- Boog's BBQ, Right- Baltimore Burger Bar
The Chipper: Similar to See You Tater at Nats Park, The Chipper pairs potato chips with other foods in order to elevate the flavor. Considering that many varieties have proteins, consumers can now turn one of their favorite snacks into a meal. Seeing as it is in Baltimore, the crab chipper is a must buy if you want to try some of Maryland's famous crab. Interestingly enough, The Chipper even has a desert option called the Sweet Chipper. To conclude, if you're up for some chips, then this is the place to go.
Boog's BBQ: A staple at Camden Yards, Boog's BBQ has been an option at the stadium since 1992. Started by former O's first baseman Boog Powell, the stand has been around ever since Powell worked with the Orioles' team chef to develop a dry rub. Now, they serve burgers, sandwiches, wings, ribs and more. This is another must see if you can get a ticket to see a game at Camden Yards.
Ole Mole: Offering soft tacos, nachos and churros, Ole Mole is part of a new wave across ballparks that sees Mexican food becoming more prominent. Although there's only four options for tacos, they come in large portions that give the consumers a great value.
Smithfield Corner: Since opening up five years ago, Smithfield Corner has been one of the fan favorites at Camden Yards. The stand is known for their pork burger, which is topped with coleslaw & fried onions and described as having a tangy, sweet taste. In addition, they have chips and fries along with the other ballpark classics. The thing that really makes Smithfield Corner stand out however, is the price. Their sandwiches are only $8, which is far below the price of the usual overpriced foods one can find at a stadium.
Baltimore Burger Bar: Aside from hot dogs, there is no ballpark meal more iconic than the hamburger. Thus, it is only necessary that consumers be able to customize their own burgers. Although they serve classic options like a bacon cheeseburger and a BBQ burger, consumers can make their own burgers while customizing everything from the toppings to the number of patties. One menu item of note is the Camden Giant, which is a crab cake topped burger that is a fan favorite.
Those are some of the best and most notable restaurants and stands at Nats Park and Orioles Park/Camden Yards. So, if you're lucky enough to get tickets to see either team play, you now know some excellent places to get your next ballpark meal from.