Tag Archives: citi field healthy food
Posted by Kurt Smith
Here it is baseball and Mets fans, your astoundingly detailed, enticingly illustrated, and incredibly detailed guide to the Citi Field food menu (updated for 2023!). This post will help you find the best food at Citi Field for your taste at a Mets game, and try some inimitable NYC baseball cuisine. Don’t miss out on some of the best ballpark food in baseball.
I’m going to cover a lot here, so I’m breaking this down for you; but don’t skip anything!
Citi Field Restaurants
Classic Tastes of NYC
Tastes Like Chicken
Big And Fancy Sides
NYC Pizza – Plus!
Underrated Stuff – Hot Dogs, Burgers, Sausages + Pastrami on Rye
Cookies, Waffles + Other Desserts
Keep It Healthy – Kosher, Vegetarian, Vegan + Gluten Free
Bring Your Own + Other Tips
So let’s get started…after this quick word from our sponsor:
Citi Field Food, Part 1: Restaurants
I’m not going to go into the really fancy high end clubs; much of what is there is available around the ballpark anyway, but I will talk a bit about the more accessible restaurants at Citi Field.
The Caesars Sportsbook at the Metropolitan Grille restaurant (jeez, that’s a mouthful), in the left field corner on the mezzanine (Excelsior) level, is available to everyone except Promenade less than-Gold and Coca-Cola Corner non-season ticket holders. Your ticket will say if you have access.
Here’s a pro tip: if you’re searching for tickets from a third party, try to buy from a season ticket holder…even the cheapest season tix have access to the reasonably nice clubs.
By most accounts, the food at Caesars—salads, soups, wood-fired pizzas, hardwood smoked pork ribs, etc. from a chef-prepared buffet—and the views of the field, marina, and city are all extraordinary.
It will cost a little bit, and more if you want a table with a view of the field. Even with a prime ticket, you will likely need a reservation for a spot with a view.
The Mets have a game day lunch menu, where you can fill your plate with a nice variety of food…there’s even an omelet bar for brunches…for a reasonable price by ballpark standards. The dinner menu is a few bucks more. Both are slightly cheaper for kids.
The Piazza 31 Club lounge, on the Excelsior (mezzanine) level behind home plate and is named for one of the all-time great Mets. Like the Grille, it’s open to Promenade Gold ticket holders and anyone else that paid more for their tickets. It is on top of the front entrance rotunda, and offers fine views of Flushing landmarks like the Unisphere and the Citi Field parking lot, but there’s no view of the game.
Inside the Club are two food options that, to my knowledge, you can’t get anywhere else in the ballpark: the Whole Hog BBQ, with 16-hour smoked pork butt sandwiches slathered with Carolina BBQ sauce and braised pork belly burnt ends with pickled jalapenos. Easily worth the extra bucks for access.
There’s also extremely large Twist homemade soft pretzels that you can get with pepperoni and cheddar or cinnamon sugar. Much better than your typical ballpark soft pretzel, even if that’s a low bar.
Ebbs Brewing Co. is technically a part the ballpark, but it’s got a separate entrance from being inside. They offer some fine brew selections, including lagers, stouts, IPAs, double IPAs, and several hard seltzers. The menu includes fancy items like house beer cheese soft pretzels, handmade dumplings, and multiple types of sausages.
The prices for beer especially are slightly lower than inside the ballpark, so it’s a place to have one or two better than Budweiser (another low bar) beers before the game. If you can wait until after the game to eat, it’s a good spot to wait out the often bad Citi Field exit traffic.
Near the center field corner of the ballpark (where McFadden’s used to be) is the K Corner Citi Field restaurant, named for the spot in Shea Stadium where fans would hang Ks for Dwight Gooden strikeouts. It’s a simple sit down eatery with a menu of bar food. You won’t be saving any money on food or beer, but it’s a spot to relax before or after the game.
You don’t need a game ticket to have a meal or drink at the K Corner, but you can enter the ballpark from there…obviously you’ll need a ticket for that. Makes for a good double secret entrance when lines are long.
Citi Field Food, Part 2: A Taste of New York City
If you want to really see the amazing culinary offerings that Citi Field has to offer…and there’s quite a bit…start at the Taste of The City food court in center field.
The Shake Shack has a Madison Square Park tradition dating back to 2004. The Shack serves the hugely popular fresh beef Shackburger on potato buns. They also have a very good veggie ‘shroom burger, and very thick milkshakes and frozen custard for dessert.
The Shackburger is adorned with lettuce, cheese, tomato and Shack Sauce, and an extra patty is available for a few extra bucks (it’s worth it). Incidentally, the fries here with or without cheese are excellent, crinkle cut and crispy.
Judging by the length of lines, Mets fans still consider the Shackburger to be the best food at Citi Field, even with all the great other selections. If you don’t want to wait long, try going as soon as the gates open. If you’re gonna wait, go all out and get a concrete too; you can walk it off.
The glowing Pat LaFrieda’s cart in the center field area is home to the gourmet NYC meat provider’s beef sandwich. LaFrieda’s sandwich is strips of filet mignon with Jack cheese and caramelized onions browned in balsamic vinegar, on a baguette with au jus. I’m told the onions make the sandwich. In 2023, the Mets added a Home Field Double burger, with onions, cheese and Pat’s steak sauce.
There is an additional stand on the Promenade level, where you can also get loaded fries…waffle fries with Pat’s bacon and Jack cheese sauce.
LaFrieda’s sandwiches command a hefty price tag even for a ballpark, but that doesn’t stop anyone; lines can get long here too.
The Home Plate Market is almost hidden (it’s near the Fan Assistance stand on the field level), which is a mystery to me, because it’s a grab and go with some seriously interesting food options at Citi Field.
You can find the Chiddy’s cheesesteak here…and it’s definitely Philly-style, with an ample amount of Cheez Whiz on it. Chiddy’s is a local joint with a location in Queens, and they’re popular with folks that don’t want to make a trip to Philly for an authentic sandwich.
The Mets replaced Catch of The Day with the Lobster Shack in the right field corner. Lobster Shack is the Mets’ food guys’ handiwork, but they get it done with their delightfully photogenic fresh Maine lobster roll served with bayside chips. Try the East Shore edition, with lobster dipped in melted butter as nature intended.
They also have loaded chips, covered with lobster, lobster fondue, cilantro dressing and chives, and a creamy lobster bisque.
Pig Beach BBQ exists in both Brooklyn and Queens. They describe their approach to que as “an alchemy of multiple cooking disciplines, with a strong focus on live wood fire.” Whatever that means, at Citi you can get a BBQ platter with pulled pork or beef brisket, which includes purple cole slaw (jalapeno and pineapple) and baked beans (with smoked meats).
But wait, there’s more…choose from a patty melt, the Chef Jeff brisket sandwich, or the pulled pork sandwich. And the patty melt is on marbled rye bread.
In the Hudson Whiskey NY Club are a couple of unique outposts that make it worth the access (see the bit about tickets with club access). First there’s the nicely portioned chicken tinga or spicy tuna tacos from Takumi Taco, another NYC joint known for Japanese-inspired Mexican food.
The Hudson Club also features Empanada Mama’s (wait for it) cheeseburger or mac and cheese empanadas. Or you can find wings and healthier items from Emma’s Torch, a Carroll Gardens eatery whose mission is to empower refugees through culinary education. Who says baseball food can’t be philanthropic?
Finally (whew!), in the right field corner is chef Marc Murphy’s porcetta sandwich stand. Yes, that Marc Murphy, known for “Italian street food”. According to that website, it’s “prepared with sea salt, cracked pepper, minced garlic, fresh picked rosemary, and wild fennel seeds.” Expect a line for this as well, but it’s probably worth it.
Citi Field Food, Part 3: Tastes Like Chicken
Fuku’s spicy chicken sandwich in the right field corner is the creation of chef David Chang. The Fuku sando is a chicken sandwich with something called “Ssam Korean chili sauce” – which has a hint of habanero – and is cooked just right to be crispy and juicy at the same time. It’s served on a Martin’s potato roll with “Fuku butter”, which is something like mayo.
Fuku is popular in NYC and its addition to Citi was applauded a lot. It’s a very spicy sandwich, so be prepared with a drink if you try it.
The Amazin’ Chicken Co. isn’t a NYC chicken specialty shop…this one comes from the Mets own food preparing folks, who we can trust at this point. This is your spot for chicken tenders, chicken Caesar wraps, and “cheesy tater kegs”…a deep fried potato filled with a three cheese blend. There’s also General Tso’s chicken tenders, free range chicken with Tso’s sauce, sesame seeds and scallions.
They offer a good family meal deal, if your kids are into chicken tenders; a bucket of tenders covered with the tater kegs. The chicken pieces are very large, and you’ll have at least enough for two.
Check out the condiment and sauce station near Amazin’ Chicken; garlic aioli, house ranch, chipotle BBQ, and Buffalo sauce, great additions to already amazin’ poultry offerings.
Sweet Chick, behind the right field seats on the field level, is a chicken and waffles/comfort food joint with several locations in NYC and LA. Sweet Chick is popular around the city for their chicken, so there must be something right about the formula.
Sweet Chick offers chicken and waffles with boneless chicken, honey butter and maple syrup; they also have a spicy Buffalo chicken sandwich with bread and butter pickles, or a simple fried chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato and herb mayo. Their loaded waffle fries are a big hit.
In that aforementioned Home Plate Market is this marvel from the Jacob’s Pickles folks: a fried chicken sandwich with honey barbecue sauce and glazed donuts as the rolls. Probably belongs in the dessert section, but there it is.
Citi Field Food, Part 4: Big And Fancy Sides
The Arancini Bros. aren’t actually named “Arancini”; it was two music techs who met on tour and created their own version of deep fried risotto balls. They’re sold at the Essex Street Market, Whole Foods, and of course, Citi Field.
At the ballpark you can get any of six types of risotto balls stuffed with either meat sauce, basil pesto and mozzarella, taco meat with salsa, sour cream and cheddar, even a dessert edition with Nutella and rolled in cinnamon sugar. You can get the full experience and mix and match any of them.
The popular Box Frites stand has also been replaced; but if you like fancy French fries, you’ll be fine with the Metropolitan Fry Factory, also in center field. Again, these are the Mets’ guys, making hand-cut fries with four house made sauces: chipotle BBQ, classic Buffalo, house ranch and garlic aioli.
Even more popular than the fried potatoes though, are the deep fried foot long hot dogs; MFF has four offerings including the Steakhouse Ripper with short rib & bacon chili, beer cheese and chives. Or the Tex Mex Ripper, with pickled jalapeno guacamole, chipotle aioli and chili dusted corn tortilla chips.
If you’re looking for unusual sides, try Sunny’s All-American Kitchen, with offerings from celebrity chef Sunny Anderson. Some unusual but tasty stuff here…like nacho skins (!), classic baked mac and cheese, and campfire parfaits, which I’m guessing is a first at a ballpark.
Citi Field Food, Part 5: NYC Pizza – Plus!
Unlike Yankee Stadium for years (Papa John’s…SMH), Citi Field has NYC pizza covered.
Patsy’s Pizzeria in center field (and the Piazza 31 Club) has existed since its beginnings in Harlem in 1933, so they’re arguably right to call themselves “New York’s Original and Preeminent Pizza Dynasty”. Even if I’m not sure exactly what that means, it has my respect.
At the ballpark you have a choice of regular, Margherita, or pepperoni slices, nothing out of the ordinary. Maybe that is on purpose, so that fans save room for a pizza cupcake.
Did someone say Pizza Cupcakes? Yes, the Pizza Cupcake at the Home Plate Market is a New York delicacy in its own right; it’s a creation of chef Andrea Meggiato.
If you like pepperoni rolls, you’ll like the pizza cupcake…it’s just shaped differently. Or get the Margherita version. The best part? It’s easier to carry around and eat than a slice of pizza. No offense Patsy.
Citi Field Food, Part 6: Underrated Stuff – Hot Dogs, Burgers, Sausages + Pastrami on Rye
If you like burgers, Citi Field has multiple offerings for you, beyond the aforementioned Shake Shack and Pat LaFrieda Home Field Double.
In keeping with Pat LaFrieda’s plan to take over the Mets world, his burgers are the Official Burger of the Mets, much to the delight of fans. The aptly named Burgers & Fries stands sell LaFrieda burgers, Nathan’s dogs, and veggie dogs, plus chicken tenders if you aren’t yet impressed.
Here’s a pro tip…there is no shame in eschewing the Shake Shack for this. Not only is it high-quality beef, but the Mets have some of the best condiment stands I’ve seen in a ballpark. Load up your burger with mushrooms, sauerkraut and/or NYC red onion relish. Works just fine.
There are enough Nathan’s hot dog stands in the rest of the ballpark that you are never far from one. In addition to their famous all-beef regular, footlong dogs, and corn dogs, most Nathan’s stands serve their classic crinkle-cut fries as well. I probably don’t need to tell you that Nathan’s fries are great.
Again, remember the condiment stands…I’m a big fan of NYC onion relish.
A good sausage at a ballgame should never be considered underrated…and there are Premio sausage stands throughout the ballpark. Some Mets fans will tell you that the simple sausage and pepper sandwich is the best value at Citi Field. And again, condiment stands!
The cryptically named Hot Pastrami on Rye stand in the left field corner has nice and hefty pastrami sandwiches and a pastrami dog (a hot dog covered in pastrami and Gold’s deli mustard). The pastrami sandwich is kind of an underrated item here; the stand isn’t in a big food court or anything, but it’s a popular New York thing and aren’t too high on the calories meter.
The Mets don’t have a crazy variation of one of baseball’s greatest foods, but the aptly named Goya Nachos kiosks take care of supply; get a large plate of chicken or beef nachos, in a souvenir helmet if you like.
It’s a big enough (and calorie-laden enough) pile of chips with junk for two. But looking at the prices it looks like the helmet is something like $6 extra; if you get that, keep the helmet. Nachos stands also have burritos and burrito bowls…and the burrito is one of the ideal ballpark foods. Portability!
Citi Field Food, Part 7: Cookies, Waffles + Other Desserts
You can go with basic ballpark ice cream and I’m not knocking that, but if you want to reach higher, get to that Hudson Whiskey Club and try one of these Sundae Donuts. Sundae is a Staten Island joint known for donut-infused ice cream. They have several amazing donuts at Citi, including the Oreo donut because they get it.
You can also get a milkshake topped with a glazed donut and Oreo crumbs. Like I said, reach higher.
Wowfulls was a staple of food festivals for several years before opening up a store in Manhattan; it’s known for Hong Kong egg waffles, shaped into a cone and filled with ice cream and toppings.
Choose from multiple choices of fancy ice cream…like vanilla rainbow, chocolate brownie batter, or salted caramel cheesecake. Toppings include fruity pebbles, cookie dough bites or Oreo crumbles. All of the desserts have “pocky sticks” too…chocolate coated biscuit sticks. Well worth two hours on the treadmill.
Cookie Crumz, also in the Home Plate Market, comes from two locations in Astoria and Long Island City. The idea for their cookies was “a simple craving one day for a super indulgent, mind blowing cookie”. Must have been some craving given the result.
Their offerings at Citi include the Fun-Met-I (sounds like confetti, see), with white chocolate chips and Mets-colored sprinkles.
Mister Softee is the “Official Soft Serve Ice Cream of the Mets”. Mr. Softee cones and milkshakes are found in the concourse areas, and now you can get it in a Home Run Apple bowl…just when you thought simple ice cream at a ballgame wasn’t anything special!
But if you’d like a healthier sweet snack, try the Dole Whip (here’s the recipe!). It’s at Pig Beach and several other stands. A Dole Whip is something like soft serve ice cream, but it’s fruity and dairy free…at least the half that isn’t mixed with vanilla custard.
Citi Field Food, Part 8: Kosher, Vegan, and Gluten Free at Citi Field
Prime Kosher Sports has been around for a few years at Citi Field, and they have the full gamut of ballpark food, kosher-style: hot dogs, burgers, fries, chicken tenders, deli sandwiches, knishes, even a pulled brisket sandwich on a pretzel roll.
Prime Kosher Sports is close to the center field food court with all the greats.
Since the ability to eat at the ballgame is a stumbling block to veganism for many, the Mets covered that too…Vegan City in the right field corner makes it possible for vegans to eat Beyond Burgers, Beyond Sausage & Peppers, even vegan nachos with Jack Fruit chili, vegan cheese, roasted salsa and guacamole. You might be able to talk me into going vegan now.
The World’s Fare Market in the right field corner has grab and go stuff, like bags of pistachios and peanuts. There’s also BN (Beyond Nightlife) Sushi, where you can get the sushi, avocado rolls, and Asian salads that are offered in every ballpark these days (when I first wrote that years ago, it was sarcasm).
The World’s Fare in general is a good destination for vegetarians and healthy eaters, if a little pricey.
Citi Field also helps out celiac Mets fans, with a Gluten Free food stand in the World’s Fare Market area. They have gluten-free hot dogs and burgers (on gluten-free buns, obviously), turkey burgers, Nathan’s fries, and Glutenberg beer.
Finally, I mentioned Emma’s Torch in the Hudson Whiskey Club earlier; if you’re looking for something to help your digestion they have a black-eyed pea hummus wrap.
Citi Field Food, Part 9: Bring Your Own Food + Other Money-Saving Tips
Yes, you can bring food into Citi Field and avoid the inflated Citi Field menu prices, but there are limits. You’re allowed a 16*16*8 soft bag, and no hard bottles or alcohol. The Mets don’t list food as a prohibited item, but you’re only allowed one plastic bottle of water or soda before the game.
There aren’t many takeout offerings a short walk from Citi Field, but there are places near 7 train stations everywhere. Main Street in Flushing (one stop away on the 7) has several great ethnic takeout joints, but this is a lot of trouble just to save a few bucks. Unless you’re coming from there anyway, I would just put water and peanuts in your bag.
There are four stands that offer smaller portions at smaller prices for kids. They are located behind Sections 114, 121, 408 and 421, including in the upper level food court. The hot dogs are skinny, but they won’t care. The Mr. Met Kitchen in center field has an inexpensive kids meal, with a dog, popcorn and a juice box with a prize included.
It seems like a small thing, but bring your Citi credit card. Several generic stands offer a couple of bucks off an item with a Citi card. Incidentally, I’ve done pretty well saving money with my Citi MasterCard, especially finding ticket deals.
If you’re not drinking alcohol, you can become a designated driver at one of the pledge booths, and they’ll give you a coupon for a free soda. The booths are behind Section 119, 310, and 418.
There you have it my friends…all of your food choices at the beautiful home of the New York Metropolitans. It’s fitting that a New York City ballpark stepped up its concession game; while the Yankees have their own impressive selections, they don’t come close to the offerings in Queens.
If you’re planning a visit to Citi Field, don’t just bring an empty stomach…get to know the place and save some money doing it, with my full and complete guide to Citi Field! Learn how to save money on tickets, find a great seat, and get to the ballpark easily…we’ve got your back!
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