Best Sports Stadium Eats in New York City


by Anne Thompson

New Yorkers love their sports. Granted, they are not always the kindest fans when things are going wrong - just ask any professional athlete who has ever played in the Big Apple and they will attest to that fact - but they do love their teams really (it's just a tough love).

SEE ALSO: 5 Sizzling NYC Steaks for Under $25

And obviously, most New Yorkers love food and love to dine out. These days, just like the players feel the pressure to perform to New York sports fans higher expectations so, increasingly, do the food vendors at the stadiums and ballparks where NYC teams play.

Long gone are the days when a hot dog at the ballpark or a hoagie at the football game was enough and in New York, at least, sports stadium food has gone truly gourmet.

Here's a look at some of the best examples from the city's biggest sporting venues.

Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium NYC

When the new Yankee Stadium opened in 2009 (right across from the old one) improved dining opportunities for fans was one of the priorities.

Sure you can still get a hot dog delivered to you in the stands if you really want to but why, when there are so many other choices to explore?

What are some of the best choices? If you really want to push the boat out you can dine at the swanky NYY Steak, which specializes in the finest dry aged USDA Prime steaks and freshly caught local seafood.

Or, if you want a neat fan experience with the kids the Yankee Stadium Hard Rock Cafe is a fun, and relatively affordable, choice.

For those who prefer to eat in their seats at every gate, you will find something yummy.

Standouts include the quickly becoming legendary Garlic Fries in Section 108, the meaty delights served up at Lobel's of New York (Section 134) and the 'Veg-Mex' goodies found at Wholly Guacamole in Section 104.

Citi Field

Citi Field NYC

Also opening in 2009 was the New York Mets new home, Citi Field, and here too a new focus on higher quality eats has given birth to some true delights.

For those who can score an invite to the Delta Sky 360 Club, the limited access club behind home plate, you'll find Pat LaFrieda's Chop House, a signature restaurant from star butcher Pat LaFrieda.

If you can't you can still enjoy his work, however, thanks to the LaFrieda stands in Section 121 and 123 that serve up burgers, sandwiches and the LaFreida signature sweet sausage.

Also, a huge draw is the Citi Field branch of New York City's favorite burger joint, Shake Shack. You'll find that in section 139 but don't try to 'pop out' to score some Shake Shack goodies between innings if it's a close game, as the lines are usually very, very long.

Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden NYC

Over the last three years, when the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers have been off for the summer, Madison Square Garden has been undergoing a gradual facelift.

With the completion of each phase of reconstruction has come new eateries resulting in a lot of fresh food options for MSG goers.

On the high end, you have the Madison Club - which is for lower level box holders and their guests only - where diners can enjoy a menu created by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and rub shoulders with the likes of mega Knicks fans Spike Lee and Jerry Seinfeld.

For those who don't have the $700,000 a year to cough up for a swank suite, there is still plenty of great grub on tap.

Standouts include an outpost of the legendary Carnegie Deli at Section 204, the amazing BBQ served up at Hill Country in Section 107 (you can't go wrong with the prime rib sandwich, trust us) and cheap but gourmet eats at Simply Chicken, which offers chicken sandwiches, chicken salads, and chicken dogs from Jean-Georges Vongerichten in Section 203.

Note: Nothing for NY Giants and NY Jets fans we here you cry? Well, no, because at the end of the day those New York teams do play in New Jersey, so in this instance anyway, they really don't count!