What to Eat at Rogers Centre – Toronto Blue Jays Game

“Sorry buddy,” the eager man said to me after he mistakenly stepped on my heal as I was leaving Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario. It took everything in my power not to reply, “I’m not your buddy, guy.” A few more beers would have done it. Lost opportunity.

“Look at this,” Matt said as we walked out of the stadium. “The CN Tower is just right here. I feel like it gets taken for granted.” Matt is a guy I work with who lives in Ottawa but spent a few years living in Toronto. He’s always up for an excuse to attend an event and he’s generally more optimistic and enthusiastic about life than Bill Walton.

He’s right. There are some baseball stadiums that have turned into national monuments. Wrigley Field in Chicago and Fenway Park in Boston, are easy examples. Stadiums that are so old and so full of history, people plan vacations around their visits to them. But I can’t think of another baseball stadium that has a nationally recognized figure like the CN Tower literally on the same lot. This was my third Toronto Blue Jays game and I tend to forget about it now.

Maybe one reason for my neglect is that Rogers Centre has had the roof closed each time I have attended. Baseball indoors has always been weird to me. The best part about seeing a baseball game live is that it feels like a picnic. It’s usually warm weather, you have a few beers and hot dogs with your friends, and you just hang. There are 162 games in a regular season so there’s little need to get overly passionate about the one particular game you are watching. It’s a perfect sport to casually watch while you sit back, relax, and enjoy your company while getting sun burnt.

Rogers Centre will open its roof one day though. If this winter ever ends. The stadium is well known for the hotel that is attached to the outfield which I am all about. I don’t know why, but Canadians love to attach hotels to stadiums and I support the cause. I’m a sucker for anything weird and quirky about a ballpark. Do whatever your heart desires. My only rule is don’t be boring.

Unfortunately, the beer selection at Rogers Centre is incredibly boring. How did one of the most diverse cities in the world sell its soul to become the Budweiser capital of North America? Seriously, Toronto. We have all moved on from fizzy, bland water-beer in the states for a quite a few damn years now. It’s time to catch up. And outside of poutine and one smoked meat sandwich stand, I didn’t find too many unique food offerings either.

“Oh, don’t worry, we have both kinds of food options here at Roger Centre. We have a hot dog AND a much larger hot dog!”

Which brings me…

To the food!

Have to have it

Poutine

Because Canada

Pass it

Hot Dog and Pretzel Bites

I was so excited for this combo. What an offering the Rogers Centre gods hathe offered me. I wanted to love it so much. But the pretzel bites tasted stale and hot dog bun fell apart before I could even lift it. Sigh.

Beer Price per Ounce Meter

25 oz Domestic Tall Cans $15 CAD. $0.60 per ounce (roughly $0.48 USD)
Premium Draught Beer 14 oz $9 CAD. $0.64 per ounce (roughly $0.51 USD)
Premium Draught Beer 20 oz $12.75. $0.64 per ounce (roughly $0.51 USD)
Domestic Draught Beer 14 oz $7.50. $0.54 per ounce (roughly $0.43 USD)
Domestic Draught Beer 20 oz $10.75. $0.54 per ounce (roughly $0.43 USD)

What to Eat at Bell Centre – Montreal Canadiens Game

Spoiler alert: It’s Le Hot Dog. The first recommendation uttered out of a local’s mouth when I told them I was attending a Habs game that night was “you have to try the hot dog”. And it did not disappoint (more on that later).

Visiting Montreal is like listening to Prince for the first time. It’s too quirky, too unique, and too awesome not to try it. I keep telling people it’s like visiting another country before stopping myself and saying, “wait you idiot, it is another country”. But the rest of Canada doesn’t feel this way! Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver are fantastic cities but they all remind you of other US cities. Not Montreal. It’s one of a kind.

The official language of Montreal is French with about 60% of population being bi-lingual (thanks Wikipedia). The city literally has too many restaurants which is an incredible problem to have. For every 10,000 people in Montreal, there are 26.81 restaurants to satisfy their hungry souls. For comparison, The New York metropolitan area has 19.57 restaurants per 10,000 people and San Francisco (highest restaurant density in the US) has 21.44. Each year Montreal holds both the largest jazz festival in the world (Montreal International Jazz Festival) and the largest international comedy festival in the world (Just for Laughs Festival).

Montreal-eans (scientific name) love their food, music, comedy, and…their hockey.

Bell Centre is the largest hockey rink in the NHL but it doesn’t matter. I attended a generally meaningless game late in the season on a Thursday night and it felt like it we were in the playoffs. The atmosphere made it the best regular season hockey game that I’ve ever been to. And I’ve been to like eight whole hockey games.

The exchange rate is your friend. This meant a $10 CAD beer was actually $7 USD. This meant I drank a lot of them before, during, and after the game. So much so that I’ll be honest – all I really remember is that damn hot dog. Oh, and some meat sandwich that looked amazing after a few beers but one that my stomach rejected faster than driving on Dikembe Mutumbo in the 90’s.

To the food!

Have to Have it

Hot Dog – it’s the bun. The bun adds a sweetness that compliments the delicious god-knows-what meat up top. And it’s simple. No onions, peppers, sauerkraut, etc. Just a dog, mustard and relish and it works.

Hot-Dog-O-Meter: 9.0 out 10. The second best dog I’ve had at a stadium behind only Saag’s at Oakland Collesium.

Try It

Smoked Meat Sandwich – It was OK going down. A little dry but not bad. It was anything but OK coming out the next morning. I’ll leave it at that.