Food & Drink

Kick Off Summer With Ballpark Food You Can Ship Right to Your Door

It's not really summer without baseball, and there's no game season without hot dogs.

ballpark food baseball summer
Maitane Romagosa/Thrillist

Summer is the season of baseball, which also means it’s the season of stadium food. We’re talking frosty beers dressed in team-specific koozies, all-beef hotdogs topped with squiggles of mustard, and endless bags of roasted peanuts cracked between pitches. Although there are no MLB games on right now, that doesn’t mean we have to remain deprived of the iconic dishes served at our respective home fields. Our team of in-house food experts has gathered all of our favorites, from Cracker Jacks to wings, cheese-smothered nachos, and more, in a handy list so you can live out your baseball food fantasies from the comfort of your own home. Until we can get back to the field, jumping up for rounds of the wave and cheering until we’re hoarse, this will have to do.

Hot dogs

It’s hard to think of a ballpark food more iconic than a hot dog. Piled high with classic condiments like mustard and relish or dressed up with something more regional, hot dogs have always been the MVP of any ballpark menu. Just about every team does it differently, but no matter who you root for, you can get your classic hot dog at home. Sure, there’s always Hebrew National or Nathan’s, but Fenway Franks and Phillies Beef Franks are also available online for shipping across the country. And no matter where you fall on the Crosstown Rivalry, you can order poppy seed buns, celery salt, and everything else you need to make Chicago-style hot dogs at home with this kit from Vienna Beef. -- Liz Provencher, Editorial Assistant

Coney dogs

This Detroit-specific hot dog variety has a name that makes it sound like something you’d be eating in Brooklyn, not Michigan. But Greek and Macedonian immigrants who settled in the Detroit area in the early 20th century coined the name as an homage, inspired by the hot dogs of Coney Island they tasted while passing through NYC post-Ellis Island. The signature Coney is typically a Vienna-style all-beef dog with a distinctive snap, topped in a beanless chili, yellow mustard, and chopped onions. There’s widespread dispute about who actually invented the dog, as well as which version is best (American vs. Lafayette are located side by side in downtown Detroit to make matters worse). While the Coney didn’t originate as a baseball food per se, it can be found today at Comerica Park (where the Tigers play) in both its original form and fusion-inspired takes like a Coney dog egg roll. -- Kelly Dobkin, Executive Local Editor

Lobster rolls

Lobster rolls may not be on top of your list when it comes to ballpark foods, but they’re available at baseball stadiums nationwide like Nationals Park, Citi Field, and Tropicana Field. And since summer has arrived, give it an official kickoff with this lobster treat that’s as easy to eat as a hotdog. -- Tae Yoon, Local New York Editor

Shake Shack Goldbelly
Courtesy of Goldbelly

Shake Shack

If you’re a fan of the Washington Nationals, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, or New York Mets, there’s a good chance Danny Meyer’s beloved burger chain is on your game day menu. If you’re quarantining near a Shake Shack, you can easily get salty crinkle-cut fries or a hot dog split down the middle and loaded up with toppings by ordering pickup or delivery online. But if a burger doused in Shack Sauce is more your thing, and you’re far far away from an outpost, don’t fret. You can buy a DIY ShackBurger kit that comes with ingredients for eight burgers for $49, or make their recently released cheese sauce recipe at home. -- Liz Provencher, Editorial Assistant

Wings

Eating wings at the ballpark might feel like you’re waiting to cheer on a touchdown, but they’re the ultimate food for anyone who has a team they’re rooting for. As American as baseball, wings are a go-to item when watching sports of all types in any venue -- stadium, bar, or at home in your living room with Michael Jordan on the screen --  for a reason. A 50 pack from Duff’s Famous Wings is a great start to any game day. -- Tae Yoon, Local New York Editor

Chicken tenders and fries

Chicken tenders taste best in three places: sports-themed restaurants, random roller rink snack bars, and baseball concession stands. We are, however, introducing a fourth place to enjoy them: comfortably snuggled on your couch with a side of french fries. Sure, it’s not the same as balancing a cardboard platter of chicken and fries on your knees while whooping at the pitcher and guzzling beer, but it’ll do for now. Get your own tray here. -- Kat Thompson, Staff Writer

Roasted in-shell peanuts

“Buy me some peanuts... ” but can we replace the Cracker Jacks with a cold beer? There's a uniquely enjoyable feeling about cracking peanuts and watching a ball game. For as long as I can remember, every summer has meant peanuts because every summer has meant baseball. In my mind, I can't separate the two. The leisurely pace of the game almost requires a side activity to pass the time between pitches or innings. Or during mound visits... or pitching changes (now you see why). So now that we have more time to pass than ever, a cheap bag of roasted in-shell peanuts couldn't be more fitting for some relaxing and salty pastime nostalgia. You can get crackin' with official MLB peanuts here. -- Pete Dombrosky, Managing Editor

Ballpark nachos

There is something about the electric yellow, viscous cheese you get at ballparks. It’s usually ladled into a plastic container next to somewhat stale tortilla chips and a nondescript mild salsa -- so the cheese winds up being the star of the show. That’s just what Frank Liberto, the founder of Ricos Products in San Antonio, intended when he invented the concession nacho snack in 1973. The original recipe -- introduced to Arlington Park in 1976 -- was simple with melted Cheddar cheese sauce and sliced jalapeños on top, but it catapulted in popularity after broadcaster Howard Cossell raved about them on-air. Now the Southwestern snack is a staple at ballparks all across America. We have Frank to thank. Find Ricos nacho cheese sauce at these retailers across the country. -- Jess Mayhugh, Local Editor

Soft pretzels

Whether they’re braided into the typical shape or twisted into the team’s logo (like the Curly W at the Washington Nationals’ stadium), you can find a soft pretzel at any ballpark. Philadelphia is considered the birthplace of the soft pretzel, so you’ll find no shortage of salt-studded twists there, but you can also buy packages from Eastern Standards Provisions, Philadelphia General Store, and Sigmund’s Pretzels that can be shipped nationwide. You may miss the sound of a roaring crowd (depending on how packed your apartment is), but I think eating this ballpark staple is even better at home because you can stock up on dipping sauces like mustard or beer cheese without worrying about the confines of stadium seating. -- Liz Provencher, Editorial Assistant

Elotes

There is nothing more summery to an Angeleno than a buttery, hot elote -- fresh from a street cart and doused in lime juice, sprinkles of Tajin, a generous smear of mayo, and clumps of cotija cheese. This Mexican staple tastes even better at Dodger Stadium while watching the boys in blue crush home runs, and it's something I’ve been dreaming of being reunited with when baseball returns. Though this version is a small cry from the Hot Cheeto-dusted corn cobs I can get at Chavez Ravine, it will certainly hold me over until baseball is back. -- Kat Thompson, Staff Writer

A cold beer in a BYO-koozie 

Whether pregaming outside the park or cracking your first cold one once you get to your seats, a can of beer in a koozie of your choice is a baseball essential. Ballparks used to only serve crappy light beer at astronomical prices. Now stadiums have wised up and are serving great, craft beer at astronomical prices. Coors Field in Denver even has its very own brewery. Depending on which team you support, here are some great MLB-themed beers to sip: San Francisco Giants, Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox. -- Jess Mayhugh, Local Editor

Micheladas

The only way to improve an ice-cold beer at the ballpark is to upgrade it to a michelada. There’s something infinitely more refreshing about the addition of lime, tomato juice, salt, and chili flakes mingling with bubbly beer in a towering cup rimmed with Tajin. Micheladas makes sitting in the outfield, shielding your eyes from the sun and withstanding a sunburn, seem much more doable. Although it isn’t a version from Dodger stadium, this michelada still comes with that enormous rimmed cup and all the typical fixings. -- Kat Thompson, Staff Writer

Dole Whip

I know Dole Whip tends to be associated with Disney parks, but the summery pineapple-infused froyo is also sold in baseball stadiums, too. It’s not quite as creamy as vanilla soft serve, nor is it icey like a sorbet. Dole Whips are that happy, frosty medium bursting with the bright flavors of pineapple. And although you can’t get the tropical treat at Disneyland or your hometown stadium right now, you can get this soft serve mix shipped directly to your door; we’ll take anything at this point. -- Kat Thompson, Staff Writer

Soft serve ice cream in mini helmets

A vanilla-chocolate soft serve twist served in a plastic baseball helmet is what my childhood dreams were made of. My dad would usually get me this treat around the seventh-inning stretch, and I can’t tell you how many old mini Orioles helmets I found when cleaning out my room to go to college. Recreate the experience with your favorite ice cream in these mini helmets. -- Jess Mayhugh, Local Editor

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