What to Eat at Citi Field – New York Mets Game

I’m a guy that’s picky when it comes to my chop shops. I don’t like to drop off my imaginary cars at just any old store. I’m also a baseball fan. I love traveling around this great country discovering new MLB stadiums. I’ve knocked off 13 out of 30 of them so far (+ old Olympic Stadium in Montreal).

These are all reasons why I love Citi Field and New York Mets baseball.

At Citi Field, I can drive my car on over to Queens, drop her off at a number of different locations around the ballpark, catch a ball game, then head on back. It’s this type of service and selection you simply can’t find anywhere else in the country.

Despite the area around Citi Field resembling something out of Grease Lightning, the actual ballpark is a work of art. Modeled after the old Ebbets Field, where the Brooklyn Dodgers once played, it features a rotunda at its front entrance named after Jackie Robinson. When you head up the escalator, you feel like you’re approaching a cathedral as you pass a few of Robinson’s inspirational quotes. Another cool quirk in the park is Shea Bridge which links two outfield sections and is an homage to New York’s 2 million bridges, or something.

I listened to a great podcast the other day by 99% Invisible where they covered MLB teams’ recent infatuation with nostalgia-inspired architecture in their stadium planning. Everyone wants to build a new stadium that looks like an old stadium (or one that pays homage to the past). Citi Field certainly fits that bill, but in a good way. In the podcast, they argue that because of this, every MLB stadium is starting to look the same, and that’s probably true.

Maybe one day, someone will come along and create something a little more unique and futuristic. Hey, and maybe they will actually pay for it out of their own pockets (HAHAHA – yeah, right).

To the food!

Have to Have it

Momofuku’s Chicken Sandwich – Section 102 – $12.50: Expensive? Yes. Delicious? Yes yes. A lot of Yelpers are disappointed in this version of David Chang’s famous New York staple, but I have to say – this is one of two foods I really look forward to having at a New York sports stadium (the other being Cafe Habana’s Cuban sandwich at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn). It’s simple, seasoned perfectly and the pickles provided are amazing. Come on, the Mets are terrible and tickets are $6. Splurge a little for good food.

Try It

Risotto Balls from Arancini Bros – Section 104: Another local staple – Brooklyn’s Arancini Bros. This has six different balls (insert joke here), some sweet, some savory. I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy these again but they weren’t bad. They’re worth a try if you’re into that sort of thing.

Pass It

Fries: I don’t know what it is, but for the life of me I can’t find good fries at a New York sports stadium. These were as cold and ruined as the Mets depth chart this season. Get it together, NYC.

Beer Price per Ounce Meter

Coors Lite (Can): 25 ounces for $12.50 $0.50 per ounce

Montauk Watermelon Session (Souvenir Draft): 20 ounces for $12.50. $0.63 per ounce.

Before the Game

McFadden’s (connected to the stadium)

Blue Point Toasted Lager (draft): 16 ounces for $9. $0.56 per ounce.

Bud/Bud Light (can): 16 ounces for $8. $0.50 per ounce.

A Sort-of Helpful Guide to Citizens Bank Park or Comparing its Beer to Yankee Stadium

I’ve been to Citizens Bank Park in Philly twice now. This past Memorial Day weekend, I was hooked up with baller suite tickets that included all you can eat food (very cool) and all you can drink beverages (very dangerous). Needless to say, #HotFoodTakes aren’t very helpful in this scenario. I had a hot dog and approximately 1,211 free Yuengling Lagers. Analysis: it was a good Saturday. 

About The Stadium

Citizens Bank Park was built in 2004. Located in South Philly’s “sports complex”, it’s probably the best stadium out of the three located there (the other’s being Lincoln Financial Field – Eagles and Wells Fargo Center – 76ers/Flyers). But that’s probably just because football/basketball/hockey arenas are rarely that cool. Let’s be honest. 

Your only real option for close pregame activities is at the Xfinity Live! location which is one of those things created by venues when they’re like “hey, we don’t have enough money, let’s take some out of tailgating too.” It’s located in the parking lot and a close walk to all threes stadiums. It’s not very unique but has a thousand TV’s, outdoor seating, live music, and plenty of decently priced local food/beer selection before the game. I recommend Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries

Comparing Beer Prices to Yankee Stadium – because why not?

Round 1

The 12-ouncers: Yankee Stadium has an incredible amount of mediocre beer selection. Because of this, they decide to charge you $0.50 more. It’s only right. Get rich or die tryin, amirite? 

Citizens Bank: $9; Yankee Stadium $9.50

Round 2

The 24-ouncers: Split round. Both 24-ounce options are the same price. 

Citizens Bank: $11.50; Yankee Stadium $11.50

Round 3

The 24-ounce “premium” beers: This is where the Philly Citizen’s make their Bank. The park charges $1 more than YS for some beers but it has a much wider selection. I’m sure there are better options at Yankee Stadium somewhere but they sure make them hard to find. For my past visit, Goose Island, Stella Artois and Heineken <- yes, these are considered premium – were $12.50 for larges. Blue Point beers, which are much better, were a dollar more.

Citizens Bank: $14.50 Yankee Stadium $13.50 – $14.50 

Although you could save a buck with a decent Goose Island option, I have to hand the final round to Citizens Bank Park. If I’m going to waste my future child’s college fund on drinking brews at MLB ballparks, at least give me some selection for the hole in my pocket. I haven’t even found a Bronx Brewery beer at Yankee Stadium yet. That’s just a damn tragedy. 

What To Eat at Yankee Stadium – NYCFC Edition

When I arrived in New York last year, I felt like one of those highly touted high school football recruits sitting in a gym, looking at hats deciding between three choices. Only I have no talent. And the choice was between which local soccer team to follow. And no one in the world gave two shits. My choices:

New York Red Bulls:

Pros – first New York MLS team (as the MetroStars), soccer only stadium, working class following.

Cons – New Jersey.

NYCFC

Pros – newer team means I had a chance to get in on the ground with a new following, strong fan club, not in New Jersey.

Cons – linked to Manchester City (gross), plays games in a MLB stadium (yuck), no express trains to The Bronx on weekends (peeeee ew).

New York Cosmos

Pros– as a rebirth team, the club has a fun history (Pele once played for them), best logo, recently moved to Brooklyn

Cons– good chance they might not be around next year, good chance their soccer league might not be around next year, lower league team and performance.

As with most things in life, it came down to location, location, location. Yes, it’s a trek but getting to The Bronx every weekend is a one shot train ride and still faster than getting to New Jersey (on sometimes three separate trains). Plus, The Bronx is awesome. There are plenty of great local food joints and bars around the area for pre and post game. The area around Reds Bulls Arena is sort of like the area around the Thunder Dome in Mad Max. The Cosmos play in Coney Island, which is fun during the summer, but not many other seasons, and I have the Brooklyn Cyclones to fill that void in my life.

So I’m an official NYCFC season ticket holder. I get to watch David Villa defy age and Adre Pirlo defy what it means to try to defend someone on a soccer field.

To the food!

Have to Have It

Meat & Mozzarella Sandwich from The Mozzarella Joint – Section 237 – THIS was good. Super fresh mozz and delicious sauce. Mwah! The bread could have been a little better but this is the best thing we’ve had at Yankee Stadium thus far. The mozz guy said I could take a photo of him if I promised to tag him on Instagram. I’m a man of my word. If a word lasts for three months before getting around to it. How long do words last? Forever. FOR-EV-ER. Here you go, Mozz Guy. Be honored by my one follower on the gram!

Hand pulling mozzarella at @nycfc game. Delicious. Get the meat and mozzarella sandwich. You won't regret it.

A post shared by Best Stadium Food (@beststadiumfood) on

Try It

Jersey Mike’s Cheese steak Sandwich: $11ish – Section 107 – OK, so it’s a chain and you can find a J-Mikes almost anywhere – at least on the east coast. But it’s a pretty damn good option that won’t let you down. Good proportion of meat, cheese, and peppers. I don’t ask for much.

Churro $5.50 – Section 236 – when someone offers you a churro, you get a churro. They have some Oreo version of a churro which just seems blasphemous.

Beer Price per Ounce Meter

Budweiser or Bud Light (Can): 25 ounces for $14.00. $0.56 per ounce.

Beck’s (Can): 25 ounces for $15.00. $0.60 per ounce.

Blue Point Lager (Draft): 20 ounces for $13.50. $0.68 per ounce.

I’m still navigating the beer selection, or lack thereof, at Yankee Stadium. I feel like Christopher Columbus trying to discover new land because there ain’t much around.

What To Eat at Madison Square Garden – New York Knicks Edition

I finally arrived at the Mecca. After living in New York for a full year, I had yet to venture to basketball’s holiest grounds. “Whoa”, I thought. “A good team played here once long ago”. A distant memory. I could feel the history. I also felt the pain of waiting in a 20-minute security line before finally scanning my ticket.

But hey, you can’t beat a stadium in the heart of Manhattan. Is there a better location for pregame/postgame festivities in the world? The stadium’s architecture is interesting. Very 70’s. It has a sort of bizarre catwalk traversing over the nose bleeds where we were sitting, but surprisingly it was still a decent view way back in the corner.

We were on CELEBRITY WATCH the entire game. It ended up being the sort of CELEBRITY WATCH you would expect for a Thursday night game and a 30 win team. Jason Long was the highlight. It’s been a rough year.

To the food!

Try It

The Burger

A damn good cheeseburger, MSG. Well done. Literally, it was well done, but still worth it. Give it a shot.

Pass It

Fries

Like an Eagles fan seeing James Dolan’s blues band as an opening act, I was forced to try something I didn’t want to try. The lady at the concession stand thought we ordered fries with our burger. We did not. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to turn down some hot greasy potato skins. I should have turned down some hot greasy potato skins. They were lukewarm and flavorless. I don’t even like salt on my fries and I wanted salt on my fries.

Beer Selection

Blue Point Brewery has made some solid local stadium deals which I’m OK with. I had their Toasted Lager which beats the usual Bud/Miller/Coors choices. I don’t remember how much it was. Probably about as much as a 5-year Carmelo Anthony contract extension.