Tag Archives: what to eat at a phillies game
Posted by Kurt Smith
Deciding what to eat at a Phillies game can be frustrating…there is a large variety of food items, and many are very good and offer a great sampling of Philly. I’m here to help…here is your complete and hugely helpful guide to the Citizens Bank Park food menu!
This post goes into detail about the best food offerings at Citizens Bank Park, and to help you decide on something for your taste. There’s lots of good stuff, and lots of iconic Philly food stuff, so know what’s out there before you go.
I’ve spoken a bit in my also very helpful Citizens Bank Park seating page about the eats in the Diamond and Hall of Fame Clubs, so I’ll skip over that to cover the rest of the items. (And if you want parking and ticket advice, you can check this out).
Like I said, there’s a lot, so I’ve broken this down into parts:
Citizens Bank Park Restaurants
Ashburn Alley – Pizza, Crab Fries, Chicken Sandwiches + Wings
Left Field Plaza – Hot Dogs, Sausages, BBQ + Donuts
Generic Stuff – Cheesesteaks, Dogs + Fries, Etc.
Vegetarian, Vegan + Gluten-Free
Dessert – Ice Cream + Water Ice
Bring Your Own Food + More Tightwad Tips
So after this quick word from our sponsor, we’ll talk some Citizens Bank Park food!
Citizens Bank Park Food, Part 1) Restaurants
There are three sit down restaurants for the non-suite and non-club types at the Phillies ballpark:
Harry The K’s is named for the Phillies’ late broadcasting legend Harry Kalas. Harry’s has an outdoor but covered seating area behind the left field seats and serves better than adequate tavern fare, at reasonable prices for a ballpark.
Along the wall are murals of Connie Mack Stadium, Veterans Stadium, and Citizens Bank Park. Imagine a full bar tavern with a great view, and still covered from the rain and sun. The menu is basic fun grub like hot dogs, sandwiches and sides like “disco fries”; but they have some unusual items on occasion, like a vegan cheesesteak (which I’ve tried and isn’t bad).
There is a miniature Harry’s with a standing area on the upper level below the scoreboard, with a very basic ballgame menu.
Each season the Phillies introduce new food items to Harry’s menu; they might have unusual hot dogs or different kinds of club sandwiches. Pastrami sandwiches, quinoa salads, that kind of stuff. Every night there are specials that are posted on a chalkboard outside of the restaurant. They have desserts which also vary every season.
Harry The K’s fills up quickly and has long lines, so get to the ballpark early if you’d like to try it. The quarters are also kind of tight at Harry’s, so you may want to take care of nature’s call before sitting down, lest you knock over someone’s chicken grinder. If you’ve got a standing room ticket for the game, later in the game they may let you sit for the duration.
Pass And Stow is an eatery with indoor and outdoor dining that replaced the somewhat shaky McFadden’s Pub. It’s a good pre- and post-game spot for your night out…there’s no view of the game from Pass and Stow, but there are 44 TVs to watch the action if you want a break.
Pass and Stow has a beer garden, and wood-fired brick oven pizza from Foundry Pizza made with pepperoni or margherita-style. The menu is somewhat limited, but they have decent pub fare like skillet nachos and sandwiches, which all gets good reviews from what I’ve read.
The nice thing about Pass and Stow is that there’s plenty of space and seating, which can’t be said for Harry’s on a crowded evening, and it’s not a bad place to duck out of the elements with lots of shades, fire pits, and indoor and outdoor seating. It’s a considerably more pleasant atmosphere than McFadden’s, I can testify. In case you never saw National Treasure, Pass and Stow is named for the foundry workers who cast the original Liberty Bell. Philadelphia thing, you see.
The Shake Shack first became known for ballpark burgers at Philly’s rival ballpark Citi Field, but the Phillies took it a step further, giving the Shack…whose burgers are well known for attracting long lines…its own sit down spot, occupying the rest of the former McFadden’s space. It’s not anything fancy…think fast food joint…but it’s ideal for grubbing tough on the world-famous Shackburgers, crinkle-cut fries and hand-spun shakes.
I don’t know if the situation is similar to Citi Field, but people really love the Shake Shack, and if you’re looking for a quality burger at Citizens Bank Park, this is the spot…especially since other than Boardwalk Eats and the generic joints I can’t think of any other stands here that sell burgers.
I am especially a big fan of Shake Shack’s fries, and truthfully it’s better to have a sit down spot to enjoy it. Shake Shack is open along with the rest of the concessions, but not after the game like Pass and Stow is.
Citizens Bank Park Food, Part 2) Cheesesteaks
Cheesesteaks are, of course, why you come to Philly, and Citizens Bank Park has several to choose from, including from two Philadelphia icons. You can even have a serious argument comparing them. If you want to try one of the big name cheesesteaks at Citizens Bank Park, again, get to Ashburn Alley early.
Tony Luke’s is the mainstay of Citizens Bank Park, and they are as famous with the locals for their roast pork sandwiches with provolone as for their ribeye beef cheesesteaks with Cheez Whiz. It’s that garlicky broccoli rabe, probably…don’t forget to ask for it.
The selection is limited compared to their actual restaurants; there aren’t any cheesesteak hoagies here, but they do sometimes have additional items like panzarottis.
Tony Luke’s is well known in the area (he did beat Bobby Flay after all), and the stand here grows long lines that don’t diminish from about a half hour before the game starts to about the 7th inning. If you’re early enough, you can jump on that roast pork with provolone and broccoli rabe from Tony’s before the line gets long; on high attendance nights I wouldn’t wait.
Campo’s may not quite have the name recognition that Tony Luke’s does, but they are more than well-known enough among Philadelphians. The original deli on Market Street has been ranked the city’s best by AOL Insider and Philadelphia Magazine among others, so they can easily hold their own. The lines here can get about as long as for Tony Luke’s; the two stands are a short fly ball apart.
Campo’s has beef and chicken cheesesteaks, pizza steaks, even veggie steak sandwiches, which is a bit of an oxymoron. Their most popular sandwich is the “Heater”, with Buffalo hot sauce and jalapeno cheddar cheese. (It’s very hot, trust me, especially with jalapenos piled on it.) They also now have an award-winning meatball sandwich to go with the cheesesteaks.
If you’re trying to choose between Campo’s and Tony Luke’s (gutless cop-out coming!), they both make a good sandwich. The difference is more the variety than anything…the Tony Luke’s roast pork sandwich and the Campo’s Heater are both great but very different.
Sorry if that doesn’t help; I’ll just say I’ve tried both and I’m in the Campo’s camp. I usually get a Heater with the Works included…which they’ll do for you if you ask. Campo’s was once voted the 2nd best ballpark food by USA Today, but my opinion is worth more than theirs.
Around the rest of the ballpark you can find stands like City Steak and Cobblestone Grill that serve the generic cheesesteaks. These aren’t terrible by any means, but you might prefer the authentic edition. I believe you can still get a Buffalo chicken cheesesteak, though, which is a favorite of mine.
I don’t know who makes the meat for the sandwiches; in the past it’s been Original Philly and Delco’s Original but the Phillies aren’t saying at the moment. I was a big Delco’s fan, so I wouldn’t mind running with that, especially at a smaller price than the Ashburn Alley sandwiches.
Citizens Bank Park Food, Part 3) Ashburn Alley – Pizza, Crab Fries, Sandwiches + Wings
I’ve already mentioned the iconic cheesesteak choices, but there is a plethora of excellent and Philadelphia-based food choices in Ashburn Alley beyond center field. If you want the true Citizens Bank Park food experience, get to the ballpark when the gates open and enjoy the shorter lines.
When I saw that Manco & Manco’s Pizza had been added to the Citizens Bank Park food menu, I literally pumped my fist…a South Philly ballpark needs to represent on pizza. In case you didn’t know, Manco & Manco’s has been a staple of the Ocean City NJ boardwalk for longer than I’ve been alive (which is a long time), and a Jersey Shore boardwalk is not an easy place to thrive for a long time with a pizza shop.
Anyway, to explain, Manco & Manco’s pizza is a thin crust boardwalk style pizza, with sauce that has the right amount of zing and cheese that I think is a mixture of mozzarella and sharp cheddar. It’s a quality pizza worthy of South Philly, and you’ll probably see lines here similar to the outpost in Ocean City. They have plain, pepperoni, and a rotating series special pizza.
Long ago when I first started writing for the first class publication JerseyMan Magazine, they had me write a piece stacking up P.J. Whelihan’s against Chickie’s and Pete’s. I gave the nod to Chickie’s and Pete’s, but it was VERY close. P.J. Whelihan’s outpost at Citizens Bank Park has tasty and not overly hot wings and chicken wraps, along with several craft beer selections.
In 2022 P.J.’s introduced an alternative to typical ballpark nachos…the Wicked Chicken Nachos. Shredded cheddar and jack cheese, cheese sauce, scallions, sliced chicken, and any of their famous sauces. I’ve never had a bad meal at a P.J.’s anywhere, I think you can trust these.
Colbie’s Southern Kissed Chicken is also new and a win-win for Phillies ballpark food. Colbie’s is partially owned by former Phillies star Ryan Howard, and the recipes for their “Southern-kissed” fried chicken sandwiches were inspired by chef Fabio Viviani of “Top Chef” fame. They have three other locations, including one in Kissimmee, FL, presumably for spring training fans.
Anyway, this is your spot for an amazing fried chicken sandwich Southern-style, including one called The Big Piece (bacon, lettuce, tomato and pickles and a Hawaiian bun). They also offer a Nashville Hot (Nashville hot sauce, spicy aioli, pickles, lettuce, tomato, and pepper Jack cheese), and for dessert get your Peach Spoon Pie or fried chocolate sandwich cookies (which I presume means “fried Oreos”, but I expect they can’t legally say that).
You probably won’t be inside Citizens Bank Park for more than five minutes before you see someone carrying a bucket of Chickie’s and Pete’s Crab Fries. For the uninitiated, these are crinkle-cut fries jiggled in Old Bay-style seasoning, and with a cheese sauce that is a mixture of melted American cheese and ranch dressing.
Philadelphians swear by the crab fries (I remember their not lasting long in my first try…they are definitely addictive), and again, lines get long. But the lines move quickly, and there’s a neat mural of Phillies history to look at while you’re waiting.
If you’re bent on trying the crab fries and want to save a few bucks, try using the Taxi Crab to the actual Chickie’s and Pete’s and have a basket there. (More about the advantages of the Taxi Crab here.) It’s cheaper, and you get two cups of cheese sauce (as opposed to paying a couple dollars extra for one at the ballpark), you don’t have to stand in line, and you can get a much less expensive beer when the seasoning catches up.
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Citizens Bank Park Food, Part 4) Left Field Plaza – Hot Dogs, Sausages, BBQ + Donuts
Older Phils fans remember Greg “The Bull” Luzinski and his titanic home run shots from the great late 1970s teams. As he did as a player, he’s giving fans their money’s worth at Bull’s BBQ, with smoked food cooked on a monstrous grill along with the opportunity to pose with and get the autograph of a Phillies great.
Bull’s BBQ is, obviously, something of a homage to Boog’s in Baltimore, but it’s every bit as good as Boog’s in my humble opinion (and that is no knock on Boog). The Bull serves first-class pulled pork, big turkey legs, addictive mac and cheese, and the “Bull Dog”, a huge glazed kielbasa, with baked beans and slaw for sides. All get rave reviews.
There are kiddie plates here for a decent value meal, homestand specials, and sampler plates if you’d like to try all of it. If you like the BBQ sauce, you can buy a bottle of that, too.
There was a big buzz about Federal Donuts being added to Citizens Bank Park some years ago, with a stand out in left field by the escalator, and with good reason.
Federal Donuts at the ballpark is known for just two things; fried chicken sandwiches and donuts, but it’s enough. Actually just the donuts are enough. The chicken is made in flavors like buttermilk ranch or chili garlic, and the crispy donuts are made with a “doughnut robot” and come in various flavors which change from time to time.
The cost of two donuts is reasonable for a ballpark, and the donuts come out warm and crispy if you like your donuts that way. Take my word for it, they’re superb donuts…whenever someone I know is going to a game, I always have them bring me back a couple. The fried chicken is no slouch either.
The Boardwalk Eats stand doesn’t feature local eatery items like Chickie’s and Pete’s or Shake Shack, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the food. They have Hatfield hot dogs and Italian sausages, along with fresh made burgers and fries…in other words, it’s like eating at one of the Jersey Shore boardwalk eateries on a good day. They have turkey burgers if you’re watching your waistline, along with veggie burgers and dogs.
In 2022 they introduced a peanut butter and jalapeno jelly burger…with bacon and cheese. Let me know what you think if you try that, since I doubt I could handle it.
Boardwalk Eats, like Bull’s BBQ, is next to a picnic area, making it easy to sit down with your grub.
Citizens Bank Park Food, Part 5) Generic Hot Dogs, Sausages, Pizza, Etc.
As you get away from Ashburn Alley the food choices become significantly more generic, with the focus on Hatfield hot dogs and sausages, generic cheesesteaks (I can’t believe I just put those two words together), and pizza that last I checked is from Seasons.
Hatfield Quality Meats is a longtime staple in the region; they’ve been selling pork products in the region for over 125 years (although I think their hot dogs are made with beef). They make the point that their pork is “raised with no added hormones or steroids to enhance growth”. I thought that was illegal in baseball anyway, but whatever. You can buy Phillies franks on their website.
The dogs and sausages are more than adequate, with some calling the sausage and peppers the best value for food in the ballpark. If you search a bit you might find a fancy hot dog; in the past the Phillies had one with broccoli rabe, roasted peppers and aged provolone called the South Philly Dog.
The Seasons Pizza at the generic pizza stands is no Manco & Manco’s, but they aren’t terrible if you’re not expecting gourmet quality pizza. Plain or pepperoni most of the time, and I believe they cost the same, so pile the pepperoni on. If you’re late to the Manco & Manco’s party, the generic pizza without the long lines works fine.
Similarly the Fairmount Fries aren’t Shake Shack or Chickie’s and Pete’s quality but again aren’t bad…they even leave the skin on…and a bit cheaper. You can get garlic fries last I checked, and I quite like the Buffalo chicken tenders at the Fries stands.
In the past there was a Bull’s BBQ Express stand on the mezzanine level. It became just the BBQ Express later, and I don’t know if it’s still there, but it was a place to get BBQ pork or chicken nachos. Otherwise just the orange whiz glop and jalapenos, but a filling nacho meal at least. Again, don’t hold me to that still being there. I don’t see it on the team website.
Citizens Bank Park Food, Part 6) Vegetarian, Vegan + Gluten-Free
Citizens Bank Park has been voted multiple times by PETA as the most vegetarian friendly ballpark in baseball; Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries might have something to do with that. All the same, you have a lot of vegan and vegetarian options here, even from the bigger names.
There’s a Vegetarian Grill stand behind Section 125, with cheesesteaks and sausages made from plants for people who insist they don’t miss meat. This stand carries an Impossible Foods® cheesesteak…with their brand of faux meat, Gouda cheese sauce, tomato jam and crispy onions.
I mentioned trying and liking the vegan cheesesteak at Harry The K’s, but that was some years ago and I don’t know if they still offer it. That said, Harry’s is a good spot for healthier items, and you can usually find low calorie, vegan and vegetarian items there.
Chickie’s and Pete’s fries, Manco & Manco’s plain pizza, the veggie burgers and dogs at Boardwalk Eats, and the veggie steak from Campo’s are all vegetarian. Campo’s can make you a vegan cheesesteak with Impossible® non-meat too.
The Phils are kinder to the celiac-afflicted among us than some ballparks. They’ve dedicated a stand just for celiacs; it is located at Section 122 and features all of the classic ballpark options in gluten-free format: hot dogs, cheesesteaks, Bull’s BBQ sandwiches and pizza. The Phillies also occasionally host a Celiac Awareness Night.
Manco & Manco’s has a gluten-free pizza, but they state on their website that they can’t guarantee the safety of it, so I expect that’s probably the case at the ballpark too. Campo’s can make a gluten-free cheesesteak, but be sure to ask about the rolls. And if all else fails, Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries are gluten-free. (Hooray!)
I’ll soon be discussing that you can get away with bringing in your own food to Citizens Bank Park, so if you need to bring in some Udi’s rolls or something and ask for your Bull Dog to be put on that roll, you can probably do it.
Citizens Bank Park Food, Part 7) And For Dessert…
When I researched this piece I noticed Turkey Hill and their “Graham Slam” ice cream is no longer at Citizens Bank Park. OK, I didn’t weep about it, but it did cause a tinge of sadness.
Anyway, Richman’s is the brand of ice cream at Phillies games now, and the soft serve in the miniature Phillies helmet with toppings is available at Boardwalk Eats, the Old City Creamery stands, and at other generic stands throughout the ballpark.
Richman’s claims on their website that their ice cream “tastes the same it did over a hundred years ago”. Props for their preservative technique! They’ve been around for over 100 years, so maybe there’s something to that South Jersey cows thing.
It turns out that Richman’s is owned by Philadelphia Water Ice, which explains the presence of both here. In addition to Richman’s ice cream, there’s the locally famous water ice kiosks on the mezzanine and third level, and usually in Ashburn Alley as well. I don’t know what flavors they have, but I expect orange, lemon, cherry and blueberry are prominent.
The water ice kiosks are very popular on hot days, so you might be waiting in line for it. On cold nights you might find hot chocolate and homemade soup here.
I don’t know if they still have the Pennsylvania Dutch funnel cakes, but cotton candy and Dippin’ Dots are easy to find just about anywhere at the Bank.
Citizens Bank Park Food, Part 8) Bring Your Own + Other Tightwad Tips
Yes, you can bring your own food into Citizens Bank Park, sort of. You can carry a 16*16*8 bag into the place, so long as it does not contain alcohol, bottles or cans. That’s certainly large enough to hold your peanuts and crackerjack.
I mentioned the Taxi Crab from Chickie’s and Pete’s; you can get takeout crab fries there and get your cheese sauce included as opposed to paying extra for it. Saves a few bucks. In the Chickie’s and Pete’s plaza is also an excellent pasta shop and deli called Pastaficio’s; people rave online about their sandwiches and talk about including them in a trip to the game. (I’ve done that myself and not regretted it.)
If you’re a South Jersey native, here’s one of my favorite tricks: If you’re using the PATCO-SEPTA train combo from NJ, there is an excellent nuts and candy shop called “Nuts 2 You” on 13th and Walnut Streets…whenever I use the PATCO I stop there and fill up with their warm and fresh peanuts and sesame sticks.
There’s also Xfinity Live! across the street from the ballpark, of course; you can order takeout from a number of joints here, including Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries and Geno’s cheesesteaks, but there’s a definite markup and I don’t know that there’s enough of a cost savings to make it worth the trouble.
If you’re taking using Regional Rail to get to the ballpark, at Suburban Station (where you transfer to the Board Street Line) there are several fast food joints and even sushi bars to load up your bag. Bring as much to drink in plastic bottles as you can; you will likely be thirsty.
Before and after games there are vendors on Pattison Avenue, selling soft pretzels and bottled water much cheaper than inside. If you’re interested in a soft pretzel (the other food staple of Philly), you should get one outside, and get a water or two because they’re salty. If you think of it, have a couple of mustard packets on hand to put mustard on your pretzel so it isn’t so dry. You financial wizard you.
Here’s a few more tightwad tips to help you save money on food at Citizens Bank Park:
The Phillies sell souvenir cups of soda; they cost a bit extra but you get a free refill, making it well worth the extra couple of bucks. You can get a bottomless popcorn too, and you won’t get arrested if you share it.
If you don’t plan to drink alcohol, you can get a coupon for a free soda at the Designated Driver Signup, in exchange for a pledge to drive your partners home. If you drink the soda fast enough you can fill your cup of ice with water at the fountains. Last I checked, the booth was near the kids play area.
If you have kids with you, or if you don’t mind smaller portions, there are Phanatic Kids Corner stands selling smaller dogs and PB&J sandwiches at reduced prices for kids. Smaller portions, but the kids won’t care.
The Phillies have about a half dozen Dollar Dog Nights each season, which is great deal of course, but remember that lines can be long. The best thing about Dollar Dog Nights, actually, is the shorter lines everywhere else, but a ballgame dog for a buck is pretty cool. And vegan dogs are now included.
There you have it my friends…your complete guide to the Citizens Bank Park food menu. You are now armed with the knowledge you need to make an informed selection at the game, and help your friends (or date) with the challenging selection too.
If you’d like to know how to choose a great seat at Citizens Bank Park, check out this highly detailed seating guide…and if you’d like to know how to score cheap Phillies tickets, the best way to get to there, and what to do with the kids, check out this highly informative and useful guide to Citizens Bank Park.
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