Ballpark Cuisine At Home
You often hear people talk about stadium food and how delicious and sinful it can be. Until you can book your own MLB parks tour, we wanted you to have the opportunity to experience similar versions of the cuisine at home, where you could also control the contents. The more you read however, the closer to home we think you’ll find some of these parks to be.
Each recipe is linked to the orange words in each paragraph. Many of the versions we selected have multiple serving or preparation options so we recommend taking a look through them all to find one that speaks to your own personal palette. We included at least one recipe for each of the 30 ballpark cities represented in the MLB.
These recipes take you through grilling, sausage making, cocktail shaking and beer-infused delicacies so throw on your ‘Kiss The Chef’ apron. There’s plenty here to keep you busy the whole summer through!
Arizona Diamond Backs
With such close proximity to the Tex-Mex crossover cuisine is it any wonder that Arizona would have great smoked ribs and beef brisket on the menu? These are two amazing dishes and we’ve provided recipes for each below. Wherever you go in the south, however, one thing you need to know are your sauces. From too-hot-to-handle to sweeter than apple pie, you’ve got a huge range of flavor and heat in any BBQ sauce recipe. As a teen I worked on a recipe for my own sauce that I’ve been using ever since so I thought why not share it with you? It’s a great base, if I do say so myself, and allows you to take the flavor in either direction you chose.
The further south you go in the States, the more likely you are to run into slow cooked, finger licking good meats. Atlanta is no exception. Their ballpark features a short rib sandwich and we just know you’re going to want to try this one at home. The hardest part is waiting for it to be ready so you might want to plan a few hours out of the house if you have an inpatient tummy!
There are two things you need to know about Baltimore, and only two. Crabcakes and Old Bay Seasoning. That’s because, as old blue eyes himself said, ‘You can’t have one without the other.’ Both Maryland originals, we highly recommend finding a way to get your hands on the seasoning. We’ve got some tips on how to do that for you at the end of the piece. It will be useful to you if you make Boston’s recipe as well. It also makes one heck of a nice addition to Mac n Cheese, which we’ll get to in a minute.
Boston Red Sox
There are a lot of things Boston is known for. The crème pie and ‘Chowda are great in colder weather but, come summertime, there’s only one thing you need to know. Anywhere there are fishermen, there is bound to be some local competition for the best lobster roll in town. For those new to the tail end of a lobster, this is a step-by-step guide to getting every last bit of meat. We agree with the writers on this one. Definitely substitute homemade mayo when possible.
Chicago just isn’t Chicago without the pizza. There is nowhere in the world that makes a deep dish pizza that’s quite the same. We are so thankful to have found this recipe, which includes not only the dough but the sauce and topping directions to get you started. For our tastes you haven’t tried a Chicago style pizza until you’ve had it with Italian sausage so definitely look into that as a must-do if you’re a carnivorous type human.
Chicago White Sox
There are a lot of things to love about Chicago but my favorite thing of all is the fact that, both ballparks are a short distance from one another and, between them lays an Austrian bakery and Portillo’s, home of the hot dog so famous they have two sets of drive through windows and still the line of traffic wraps around the block. In honor of “The Dog House”, as it was originally called, we’re providing a sweet hot dog chili recipe to top your favorite dogs.
If you’re looking for the ultimate German experience in an American ballpark sandwich then head over to Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati for a Goetta Rueben served with kraut, Swiss and Thousand Island dressing. To learn more about this unique sausage and how it came to be a Cincinnati ‘original’, give this a read.
The Cleveland Indians serve our childhood favorite, the grilled cheese sandwich, for a variety of palettes. The Pittsburgh Pirates serve an adult version we’re pretty fond of as well. The Closer is made on thick bread with nine cheeses, candied bacon, and a granny smith apple compote.
Here at the EBSM offices we’ve had a few grilled cheese cook-offs of our own. The in-house favorite seems to be whole wheat bread, lightly dusted with butter on the cooking side and mustard inside, topped with Belgian cheese – Passchdale for a normal Tuesday and Brugge young gouda on a special occasion – then topped with see-through thin slices of red pepper. Repeat the spreads on the other slice of bread and toss into a pre-warmed frying pan for about 3 minutes per side, just long enough to brown the bread and melt the cheese. Cool about 3 minutes before cutting it in half for optimal cheese firmness. Cut up a braeburn apple and find a friend to share.
If you don’t know what a Rocky Mountain Oyster is then you might like to read this recipe first. It comes with a history lesson that will have you looking at frontier life in a whole new light. For a recipe that includes step-by-step instructions, including best food preparation methods and how to know when your oysters are ready, we recommend giving this recipe a go.
Time to wet your whistle? We're giving you the Last Word in cocktails. It was created by the Detroit Athletic Club using both Italian and French liquors and the history traces back to at least 1916, which was the pre-prohibition era. Even if it’s not served at the park, with a history like this it should be!
Nothing goes better with the midwest’s appetite for beef than a loaded baked potato. If you’re ever lucky enough to pass through Idaho, we recommend eating as many of the spuds they grow as you can get your hands on. Never to be outdone, especially when it comes to their own love of meat and potatoes however, it looks like the Astros have done what any self-respecting Texan would to this wonderful creation and supersized it. After all, ‘Everything’s bigger in Texas’, is practically the state’s motto.
As you can see from the photo, from sea salt on the skin to toppings piled a mile high, their baked potato bar is filled with all the right ingredients to accompany anything from dogs to brisket, with a beer in between.
Kansas City Royals
While the stadium is filled with typical ballpark fair the city is an entirely different story all together. Local favorites include zwiebach and bierocks. If you are a savvy European however you’ll recognize the zwiebach rolls as German. The bierocks puff pastries filled with meat, cabbage and onions, might be a bit more familiar to those living further east in Europe, specifically near Russia.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
California cuisine is definitely inspired by the neighbors to the south, many of whom have moved north over the years. That’s why we’re combining two amazing flavors in ballpark dining and giving you the carne Asada fries. This recipe includes preparing the meat from scratch so we’ll throw in our favorite version of guacamole if you want to make that at home as well.
Simply mix one avocado with a diced tomato and a small diced purple onion along with the juice of about a ¼ of a lemon. Add some sea salt and pepper to taste and let it sit about 30 minutes in the fridge. Remember to keep the pit of the avocado in the mix while it’s exposed to the air to help it keep that great fresh green color!
Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodger stadium is known for its dogs. The Dodger dog is definitely one that needs to be tried in person. We wanted to give you a bit more America by adding a twist to your hot dog adventures with a topping we would not have thought of but can’t imagine tasting anything but delicious. May we introduce you to the Mac N Cheese hot dog.
We do NOT however recommend the chef’s Mac n Cheese Recipe. Try this one instead. It’s from the family recipe files of one of our favorite Americans on staff here at EBSM. Tip, if you live somewhere that elbow macaroni is not available, fusilli noodles are a great substitute. If you’re Bavarian then you already know spaetzle it’s also a fantastic DH.
In Miami the Cuban population is rumored to outnumber the natives and no one seems to mind, especially when it comes to the cuisine. The Marlins have their own nod to the Latin culture with a Ceviche of fresh shrimp or tilapia, served with corn, chopped onions and chips. This is a perfect light dish on a hot summer’s night.
Known for their beer we can’t envision a better hot dog to wash down with a cold frothy one than Miller Park’s bacon wrapped concoction nicknamed The Beast. We’re talking a bacon-wrapped bratwurst with a hot dog for a middle served on a warm pretzel bun. Considering the majority of this area’s immigrant population originated from Germany are you at all surprised that beer, brats and pretzels are their specialties?
We couldn’t get you a recipe for stuffing a hot dog into a brat but we did find this stellar entry on grilling everything from brats to dogs in a variety of adult-level BBQ styles. Best of all, it includes links to recipes for all the sausages featured!
In the mid to late 1800s the town was populated with immigrants from both Poland and Germany. Perhaps that’s why Berlin superstar Max Kepler has settled in rather quickly in his new hometown park.
Along with the Polish sausages served up by Kramarczuk’s nightly, home brew lovers can try no less than 12 local brews throughout the stadium carts. Is it any wonder Kepler selected the Twins as his club? Heck, we’re tempted to jump on a plane and join him this summer!
Best of all are the Minnesota moms and their ‘bar’ recipes. Take a look at the 37 dessert recipes gathered by Midwest Living. I bet more than just the caramel heavenlies will look familiar to those with roots in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic.
New York Mets
New York has so many amazing cuisines but we’d be remise to ignore the Italians rooted in this city’s history. As our nod to the heritage we’ve found a sausage and peppers hero that’s perfect for any ballpark lunch.
New York Yankees
Anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line in the USA you’re going to run into some combination of chicken and waffles. Call it the country’s ultimate sweet/savory combination. It sounds crazy but crazy delicious is what it is! The history, as with most dishes in the US, is rooted in immigrant lore.
The chicken came to the States via the slave trade population, particularly those with French African roots, while the waffle, as you would expect, was brought courtesy of the Dutch. For a complete history of this wonderful flavor combination, feel free to read on in this blog.
In Houston they serve theirs up with fried chicken topped with mashed potatoes and honey mustard inside a waffle cone. This sounds and looks delicious. They Yankees have their own, more traditional version as well. Perhaps that’s because it was the Pennsylvania Dutch who first started the tradition and the two states are neighbors.
Now if you’re a dual citizen family with Dutch and French backgrounds, maybe you’ve already discovered this wonderful dish. For the rest curious to get started at home, here’s a blog with a few recipes from grandma’s kitchen to yours. No matter where it originated, or who does the cooking, one thing is clear, there’s nothing better than soul food to keep a body happy!
Oakland’s nod to the Mexican food influences is the carnitas sandwich. This slow roasted seasoned pork is topped with cilantro, tomatoes, lettuce, pickled jalapenos and onions and can be served on a Mexican bolitos or French roll.
In Philly there’s only one name you need to know, Pat. The Italian King of Steak invented the Philly Cheesesteak in 1930 and, though they never quite figured out how to add the h to the word with, we’ll call it immigrant charming. Brothers Pat and Harry Olivieri brought the influences of Abruzzi, Italy into their kitchen – including the bread and spices - and combined it with an American dietary staple – the beefsteak sandwich - to make a new American original, the Philly cheesesteak. If you ever find yourself on their corner ready to order just remember, it’s wit wiz, if you want to get it right.
Tater Tots… if you’ve never experienced them well, let’s just say its like hashbrowns and potato wedges had the most wonderful tasting baby you could ever imagine. The Pirates use these scrumptious potato nuggets to create a whole new kind of nacho. Served with beans, cheese, sour cream and chives it’s everything you could ask minus the messy fingers!
In Seattle they prefer their tots dirty. Dirty tots are served crisped and topped with cheddar, pork belly and pickled peppers.
Buzzfeed came up with 27 recipes for any time of day so we definitely recommend scrolling through them.
St. Louis Cardinals
One of my personal favorite treats, no matter who’s serving it, is the Pastrami Sandwich. In St. Louis, theirs’ is inspired by Kohn’s Kosher deli. Now, you can make your pastrami any way you choose but the only way to do it right is on rye with a slice of Swiss cheese, spicy mustard and a dill pickle on the side. Kraut on top if you like of course. Pastrami is a tough thing to master in the home kitchen so we turned to the experts in NYC for your tutorial.
Now, realizing that you won’t have all the equipment the experts do in your own kitchen, we found a guy who figured out a homemade how-to fit for any sized cooking space.
San Diego Padres
For those who didn’t have the incredible privilege of calling Ocean Beach home as I did, you may never have come across the fish taco… or at least not a South Beach fish taco. When I heard Petco was serving this wonderful dish, I knew I had to do what I could to introduce you to this fantastic food! We recommend giving this lime cilantro dressing a try on top!
San Francisco Giants
We can’t leave California without a burrito. What better way to pay tribute to the state than with the traditional California burrito? While we would NEVER microwave our tortillas we felt Wikihow’s tutorial was spot on otherwise.
Seattle is rumored to be rainy all the time but the people make it sunny no matter the weather. Whenever we’re in Seattle, I find myself with an extra spring in my step. Maybe that’s why on a perfect summer’s day at the park I can think of nothing better than an ice cream sundae, helmet style.
This tradition has been in American ballparks for decades and some stadiums have even taken the family style approach getting life-sized helmets that hold a dozen scoops of ice cream! At Safeco Field they’re serving ice cream not only in the traditional way but in sodas and in between cookies! To us variety is the spice of life. Those other stadiums can keep their supersized ideals. We’re sticking with tradition! So you don’t miss it that cookie recipe links to another homemade ice cream recipe for you!
Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay is another area rich in Hispanic culture. Seeing we couldn’t decide between our favorite Latin-inspired dishes we decided to give you both! The pan con lechon, or roast pork sandwich, is another Cuban delicacy. Served with fried plantains, or tostones, it is a winning sandwich combination!
Throughout our research on ballpark foods, one thing is clear, making dinner look like dessert is definitely in! From brisket to pulled pork it seems many parks are pairing up their meat with some mashed potatoes and creating gravy-drenched, glorious parfaits. The Rangers have their own version. Called a Sausage Sundae, they combine smoked sausage, mashed potatoes, chopped brisket, and mac and cheese layers then top it off with a cherry of the red pepper variety.
Toronto Blue Jays
It seems our French neighbors across the Atlantic have an invention rooted in the homeland’s specialty. A French-Canadian from Quebec is credited with this cheesy creation and, in Toronto’s stadium you will find a myriad of poutine variations. We’re talking beer-soaked potatoes served under a beefy-cheesy gravy. What more do you need to know?
You’ll need something to wash all this delicious food down with so we’re letting the Washington Nationals take over the drink cart. Using the traditional red, white and blue theme of the nation of baseball we have, beer-based sangria representing your white, a Shirley Temple for the virgin version of our red and for blue, an ode to an American singing legend well respected both at home and abroad. May we present, the Elvis-inspired Blue Hawaiian. Not 100% blue but it looks like a sun rising over the sea and tastes just as refreshing.
Looking for a snack to keep the fans busy while you finish up in the kitchen? How about some maple-glazed peanuts with bacon? Yeah, go ahead. You know you want to.
One note, much like quark in the EU there is simply no substitute for Old Bay Seasoning. Invented by German immigrant Gustav Brunn in 1939, it is an essential ingredient for quality seafood and other amazing treats for your mouth. We recommend finding a friend heading abroad and asking them to bring you back a container. It is available in nearly all grocery stores on the Eastern seaboard and usually will last quite a few recipes…. Then again, better ask for two!
Just because it looks sinful don’t think the parks are encouraging a non-healthy lifestyle. Here’s an article about stadiums doing their part to help you live a healthy, organic lifestyle.
If you want to have a baseball date night, the Dating Divas have you covered. Here’s an exclusive, pintable invite for your best guy or gal.
Check out our Pinterest board Stadium Recipes for homemade Cracker Jacks and stadium pretzel recipes as well as step-by-step directions on how to make a food display that looks like your favorite ballpark!
Can’t get enough food porn? We understand. You can visit the MiLB’s Food Fight station anytime you like for inspiration.