Tag Archives: bring food into wrigley field
Posted by Kurt Smith
Here it is my friend: the complete, ultimate fan’s guide to the Wrigley Field food menu.
Read it well and read it often, because this is important! If a trip to the Friendly Confines is in your future plans, you’re going to want to sample Chicago-style dogs, local pizza and (not or, and) Italian beef. Or find cool nearby places and bring your own.
And of course, you’re going to want to tell your friends about the food in Chicago’s North Side ballpark.
Don’t skip anything, but if time is a factor, here’s your table of contents:
The Sheffield Counter Wrigley Field Restaurant
Yes, You’re In Chicago, Part 1: Chicago Dogs + Other Encased Meat
Yes, You’re In Chicago, Part 2: Local Pizza
Yes, You’re In Chicago, Part 3: Italian Beef
Chicken, Brisket, and Other Sandwiches
What About Burgers?
Fries, Nachos + Other Munchie Food at Wrigley Field
For Big Ass Cub Fan Appetites
Dessert At The Friendly Confines
Healthy Wrigley Field Food: Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, + Kosher
Want To Save Money On Wrigley Field Food? Check Out This Tip!
And Yes, You Can Bring Your Own
New Wrigley Field Food For 2023
The Attached Wrigley Field Restaurant
Because Wrigley has changed so much since my last visit, and time is a factor putting this out, I’m leaving an analysis of the new fancy clubs for a future post. You can read about them here on the Cubs website.
The Sheffield Corner restaurant is located at the end of the right field concourse, along Sheffield Avenue, and is open to anyone with a ticket. It’s a small sit down area with tables and window counters, so you can watch construction while you eat.
You can also order somewhat fancy chicken sandwiches, including the new Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich in 2022, cheeseburgers and dogs, Big Slugger nachos, and a healthier items like a vegan Sloppy Jane sandwich. The Big W Burger and Cuban Burger were available here in my last visit.
The Corner is open two hours before game time, but it does get packed, and you’ll be tight with your neighbor if you don’t arrive fairly early.
Yes, You’re In Chicago, Part 1: Chicago Hot Dogs
Hot dogs are Chicago, and Chicago is hot dogs. The Wrigley Field food menu includes them in all of the necessary forms:
Chicago Dog kiosks are found in most all of the concourses, on both levels and on the Bleacher Patio. Chicago Dog has Vienna Beef franks or Polish sausages on poppy-seed buns, on which you can add a big pile of raw or grilled onions, chopped tomatoes, sport peppers, mustard, sauerkraut, celery salt and that bright green relish that make it a dog “dragged through the garden” as Chicago visitors call it.
Lines get long at Chicago Dog stands, and people scarf up the toppings, so you should hit one early. They might still be cash-only, so have some on hand. Chicago Dog used to carry bison dogs; there is a separate cart for that now (read on).
Hot Doug’s: “Hot Doug” Sohn was the owner of the most popular hot dog stand in Chicago–as in lines around the block popular. He became successful enough to retire, but the Cubs liked his unusual dogs enough to give him a stand in the bleacher section, behind the center field scoreboard. There you go; another reason to get a bleacher ticket at Wrigley, which is the only place you can order Hot Doug’s sausages. Lines get very long at this stand too, so jump on it early if you can.
Hot Doug’s famous dogs are sold in various forms named after Cubs’ greats, which they rotate for each homestand. For example, you might see the Tinker to Evers to Chance double play combination (Trivia question answer: Harry Steinfeldt.):
Joe Tinker: A veal saltimbocca sausage with crispy onions, sage mustard and Swiss cheese.
Johnny Evers: A jalapeño and Jack cheese pork sausage with caramelized onions, sweet and spicy mustard and more Jack cheese.
Frank Chance: A spicy Polish sausage topped with cilantro aioli, pico de gallo and Chihuahua cheese.
The High Plains Bison people are the Official Lean Meat of the Chicago Cubs, and they have separate carts at Wrigley that sell hot dogs, Italian sausages and brats made from lean bison meat. On your sausage you can get peppers, sweet onions and/or marinara.
The High Plains bison dog itself doesn’t taste very different from a classic dog except for a smokier flavor, and the meat is leaner and healthier, as they clearly state on this kiosk. I had one in my last trip and it was very good.
So why choose a bison dog? According to the High Plains website, bison offers 45% fewer calories than beef, 87% less fat, and 100% more iron. And of course, you have the option of getting one at Wrigley Field.
Wrigley Field Smokies: I didn’t know this, but smoked sausages were a popular thing at Wrigley, so the Cubs brought them back. The Smokies cart sells hickory-smoked beef sausages with a secret blend of seasonings, and no artificial colors or flavorings. I don’t know how to describe a smoky flavor, but that is the selling point. Smokies are also made by Vienna Beef, and they’ve informed me that they offer them on their website for limited times.
The Smokies are slightly larger than the Wrigley dog and cost a bit more; you can get one with grilled onions and stuff. I don’t see them on the current Cubs menu, so if you can’t find the cart, you can probably order them at Chicago Dogs or another stand.
Apparently, the Decade Dogs stand is unfortunately no more; it was another spot for unusual hot dogs that were named after the decades when such items were popular, like a 1970s “TV Dinner” dog. The Cubs fetched $1,000 for charity selling the sign. If you want unusual dogs, go for Hot Doug’s or the Sheffield Counter.
One last note about Wrigley Field hot dogs. If you buy a dog from a vendor as opposed to the concessions kiosks, the dog will be steamed coming from the vendor as opposed to grilled. Not that one is better than the other; the religion of Chicago dogs isn’t clear on the matter.
The vendor steamed hot dog is wrapped up and the roll can get good and mushy, which some folks (including myself) like. Still, you’re missing out on the whole dressing up of the hot dog this way—with a vendor you’re limited to mustard packets.
Yes, You’re In Chicago, Part 2: Home Run Inn Pizza
The local favorite Home Run Inn Pizza is now the pizza of the Cubs; you can find it pretty much anywhere around the ballpark. In case you don’t know who Home Run Inn is, they’re a Chicago-based local chain with nine locations in the area, and they sell frozen pizzas as well.
They’re not deep dish, unfortunately, for reasons unknown the Cubs went with a thin crust purveyor. But Home Run Inn has been around since 1923, and in Chicago, you must be doing something right to stick around that long.
As a big fan of Giordano’s deep dish pies, I’m sorry to see they’re not featured at Wrigley anymore…but while the convenience of trying a deep dish pie at Wrigley was great, Giordano’s has an actual location just a few blocks away, with better selection of pizzas and toppings anyway. It’s just a 12 minute walk from Wrigley, and just steps from the Belmont Red Line Station.
I know it’s not on the Wrigley menu, but I liked the picture.
Yes, You’re In Chicago, Part 3: Italian Beef
For you non-Chicago natives, the Italian Beef is roast beef that is sliced thinly, slow cooked in au jus gravy and seasonings, and then dumped on a roll with hot pepper giardiniera if you like. It’s a little bit like a Philly cheesesteak, but different enough to make it a Chicago thing. You’ll need napkins for this one.
One thing, BTW, don’t call it an “Italian beef sandwich” in front of a native. Just Italian Beef.
Buona Beef is the official Italian Beef of the Cubs. Buona is a popular chain of about 17 restaurants, with an excellent diagram on their site about how to make an Italian beef sandwich. I trust them.
You can find the Italian beef at Bleacher Platform 14, and also at the Chicago Dogs and Marquee Grill stands.
Nothing against Buona, but if you’d like to try a true classic Italian beef, no need to go far… Al’s restaurant is just a short walk south on Clark Street. Lots more choices of toppings, and Al’s is a true vintage classic in Chicago. And I’m not just saying that because they let me use this photo.
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Other Sandwiches: BBQ Chicken + Others
Here’s a fun one…the Chick-Ago Sandwich. It’s pickle brined and seasoned chicken thighs with tempura sport peppers, vine ripe tomato chunks, and dill aioli on an onion roll with celery salt. Kind of like a Chicago Dog, but with chicken. I don’t know if the Cubs still offer this, but it might be in the Sheffield Corner if you look.
New in 2022 was a smoked brisket sandwich courtesy of Lillie’s Q; Lillie’s Q is another very popular chain of restaurants in Chicago and Florida, from chef Charlie McKenna. They’re known for zero sugar BBQ sauces, which sounds great, so I presume that’s available at a Cubs game too.
The Wrigley Field food menu also mentions an Italian seasoned grilled chicken sandwich with pesto aioli, and a crispy pork sandwich with breaded pork strips and toppings on a pretzel bun. A chance to go beyond a simple burger.
Speaking of Burgers…What About Burgers?
The fancy burgers recently available at Wrigley are no more…sorry to get your hopes up with this photo.
Various stands throughout Wrigley sell the aptly named Big W burger. It’s basic, simple, and American: a fresh beef patty with American and cheddar cheese, the classic burger topping triad of lettuce, tomato and onion, with secret sauce (something like Thousand Island dressing if I’m not mistaken, since Big Macs still sell). Get crinkle cut fries with it for the ideal American meal.
More on the Impossible Veggie Burger and gluten-free burgers in the Healthy Section…
Even More Wrigley Field Food: Fries, Nachos + Other Munch Foods
They don’t offer “Disco” fries anymore as far as I can tell, but the Cubs still have something on their menu called “Loaded Garlic Fries”. What they’re loaded with, the Cubs haven’t told me, but I’m guessing it’s similar to what’s in the photo. You can find them at a few stands including the Clark Street Grill.
Here’s a picture of a Walking Taco from a Chicago ballpark. Well, okay, I took this one at a White Sox game. But it’s the same deal, a bag of Fritos with chili con carne, nacho cheese, pico de gallo and pickled jalapenos. Not the healthiest thing, but a cheaper and easy snack.
You can find ordinary nachos at Wrigley, including the soon-to-be-discussed Big Slugger Nachos, but if you like your nachos with different stuff piled on them, try the Italian beef nachos at Bleacher Bums. Of course, you need a bleacher ticket for that one…
Finally, Nuts on Clark has unfortunately departed, but Garrett’s gourmet popcorn is a more than adequate replacement. Garrett’s is the famous popcorn maker in Chicago…and you have to be pretty good to be famous for food in Chicago…and at Wrigley you have the choice of their Cheese Corn or Caramel Crisp. Or mix the two and put it in a souvenir Cubs tin!
Wrigley Field Eats For Big Ass Cub Fan Appetites
If you look around the Wrigley Field food stands, especially in the bleachers, you may come across the North Side Twist, Wrigley’s version of the 2-pound soft pretzel. This monster, served in a pizza box, comes with three different dipping sauces chipotle honey mustard, beer cheddar cheese and cinnamon cream. All of which work very well.
They’re not cheap, but it’s easily enough for two people. You should get here early if you want one, these do sell out on occasion.
If you’ve got a nacho jones and/or are sharing, try a helmet of Big Slugger nachos…two pounds of nachos served in a helmet with a ridiculous amount of toppings, including ample salsa and jalapenos.
Two pounds is a lot of nachos, so be sure you can handle this for the cost.
In the past at the Italian Hot Spot stands I’ve seen a Big Cheese Rip-N-Dip, a large amount of focaccia bread covered with cheese and served with dipping sauces. I don’t know if it’s still around, but if you like dipping bread sticks this could be for you.
Dessert At A Cubs Game
Prairie City Cookies are the Official Cookie of the Chicago Cubs, just in case you were wondering. They’ve also been the “Snack of The Day” on the Rachael Ray Show, an equally impressive achievement. You can get a couple of tasty cookies fairly cheaply for a ballpark.
Food stands everywhere offer dessert varieties; they have Oatly’s ice cream and several other sweet treats like lemon chills, licorice ropes and giant cookies. And on cold days you can get a hot chocolate. There’s also a frosty malt cup that has been a Wrigley staple for many years. It even inspired this blogger to make her own.
Speaking of Oatly’s, in case you haven’t heard of them and/or think it’s an odd name for ice cream, allow me to briefly explain…Oatly’s ice cream is made from oat milk, see, which makes it vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and a whole other lot of things healthier types like. I’ve tried it and it’s in fact very good…you won’t miss the dairyness, take it from me, and the Oatly’s people are good folks.
Wrigley Field not only has different styles of wine coolers and frozen drinks that lady Cub fans like (mai-tais, vodka lemonades, etc.), they also have ice cream in the souvenir helmet for you collectors. The helmet is not actual head-size, though, unless you have an extremely small head.
Healthy Wrigley Field Food: Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, + Kosher
The aforementioned Impossible Burger is a vegetarian burger with a plant-based vegan burger patty, topped with chipotle lime aioli, American cheese, lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun. Remove the cheese and it’s a vegan burger. It can be found in Left Field Classics, Right Field Classics, and at the Red Line Grill in the bleachers. Apparently they don’t want you near home plate with it. You can also get a Beyond Sausage at Wrigley too.
Would definitely assist in digesting the also-vegetarian Home Run Inn pizza or Garrett’s popcorn. You can also find that chopped salad in most fancier stands.
My celiac-afflicted then-girlfriend did not like Wrigley Field when I took her for a visit (astonishingly, I married her anyway). Maybe this will get her to go again: the Cubs have gluten-free dogs and burgers. Go to the Marquee Grill stand behind home plate and ask for one…according to this blogger, you should tell them to use gloves.
Celiacs can also go for veggie chopped salads, pistachios and gummy bears. You may also have some GF options at the Sheffield Corner. Redbridge gluten-free beer is sold at Wrigley.
The Cubs had sold kosher dogs at several stands, but in 2017 they installed a spot devoted exclusively to the art of kosher food. DanZtand is run by Danziger Kosher Midwest, a caterer based in Chicago. At their Wrigley outpost, you can get Romanian hot dogs, Romanian Polish (?) sausages, and pretzels, and presumably they would be available for Friday night or Saturday games.
Want To Save Money on Wrigley Field Food? #KillerTip
Because you’ve stuck with me this long, I’m sharing a killer tip with you…
For the first hour that the gates are open at Wrigley, food and non-alcoholic drinks are 25% off their regular price at all of the non-kiosk stands. This includes the Sheffield Corner if you’re looking for something there, but it doesn’t include the fancier items, unfortunately. Still, 25% off anything is great at a ballpark.
The discount comes up automatically, no need to ask for it. Get your Home Run Inn pizza early, and then when the price returns to normal, get your fancy chicken sandwich on.
Speaking of saving money…
Yes, You Can Bring Your Own Grub
It’s becoming more common knowledge now that you can bring your own food into ballparks, within reason. Here is the Cubs official policy: you can bring in a bag that is smaller than 16*16*8, which should be large enough to carry anything you need. Your bag will be searched, and anything that could contain alcohol or be used as a projectile will be removed.
So take advantage of that loophole and save a few bucks…I’ve offered up three places to fill up your goody bag here, but Wrigleyville has tons of other takeout joints, including McDonald’s, Subway, and vendors selling peanuts and water around the ballpark but especially at the Addison Red Line station.
Coming from the north, you can get off the Red Line at the Sheridan station just a few blocks away from Wrigley and stop at Byron’s hot dogs, another classic Chicago dog joint. Get that Dogzilla half pound skinless beef hot dog with the Chicago fixin’s.
So thanks for hanging in there with me…oh, and since there’s some new stuff…
Wrigley Field Food Updates 2023 | New Chicago Cubs Eats
So the Cubs have updated the menu with some new items for 2023…thankfully the team doesn’t change the basics of the Wrigley Field food menu very often. Here’s what’s new to eat at Wrigley (unfortunately the Ballpark App doesn’t tell me where this stuff is, if I find out I’ll update this post):
Small Cheval Burgers. Another reason to sit in the bleachers in addition to Hot Doug’s…there is now a Small Cheval Burgers stand! Small Cheval is a retro burger joint with about a half dozen locations in Chicago, and they’re very basic with burgers and fries…which means, especially in Chicago, that they do it right.
The Crispy Chicken Bao Bun. This is a crispy chicken thigh covered with Thai chili sauce, baby arugula, cucumber and carrot on a bao bun. Good for healthier sorts, which we’re seeing more of these days.
Greek Loaded Fries. I’m all in on this at my next Cubs game: steak fries covered with gyro stuff, including meat, feta, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, red onions, pepperoncini, and feta cream sauce. Get your gyro and fries mixed together as nature intended!
The Burger Brat. This is a split bratwurst sausage on a brioche bun, loaded with brat-seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, yellow mustard and sauerkraut. Goes well with beer I’m certain.
Crispy Chicken Torta. What’s with the Cubs and crispy chicken? Anyway, the Crispy Chicken Torta is a torta roll (surprise!) with Homestyle (as opposed to Awaystyle…snort) crispy chicken, mayo ancho cabbage and cotija cheese.
Quesabirria. I don’t know what this is, I’m just proud of being able to spell “Quesabirria”. Seriously, this is barbacoa, Spanish onions, and chihuahua cheese on a crispy flour tortilla, covered with ancho chili sauce.
One other note for 2023: in case you weren’t aware, Wrigley Field is cashless now (so much for the Chicago Dogs guys keeping the change)…so credit or debit cards or mobile apps are the only form of payment you can use. Personally I’m fine with this, so long as they don’t insist on my using my own credit card.
Hungry yet? Is that it? Wow, seems like I was just getting started!
There you have it my friends, your full Wrigley Field food menu analysis. Feel free to let me know if anything changes. If you’d like to know where to find any of these items, the Cubs have a listing here that you might be able to use for a while…
Be sure to check back for any changes, and share this with anyone planning a trip to Wrigley!
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