Top 3 Trends in Stadium Dining

By: Corien de Jong

Food trends and fans' demands for variety have shaped the culinary landscape inside the nation's 30 MLB stadiums. Here are the Top 3 Trends:

For many baseball fans, attending a game without getting a hot dog and a beer or soda would be unthinkable.

But hot dogs aren’t the only thing on the menu at the nation’s 30 Major League ballparks. Increasingly, stadiums are being influenced by fans’ demands for variety. Variety has even come to the kegs. Today craft brews, cask-conditioned ales, and local artisanal choices being served right alongside mass-market beer.

We took a look at reviews and new offerings from all over the country, and while each ballfield is unique to its city, we found these to be the Top 3 Trends in MLB stadium food.

Global Street Food Inspiration

Fans can skip full meals and snack their way through nine innings on food traditionally offered from food carts around the world. Bao buns, poke bowls, tacos, kebabs, poutine, pierogies, corn-on-the-cob and Belgian sugar waffles are becoming the norm.

Local Restaurant Outposts

Local celebrity chefs and restaurants with a cult following extend their reach into stadiums in the cities they call home. These tiny branches gives fans a taste of what those establishments can offer, and they don’t even have to leave the game. Some examples include: Momocho, a modern Mexican restaurant in Cleveland’s Progressive Field; CHUBurger, a grass-fed burger joint on a rooftop of Denver’s Coors Field; Parm, an Italian-American sandwich shop, in New York Yankee Stadium.

Creative Desserts

In the food-created-for-Instagram category: Unusual, photo-worthy desserts. The Chicago White Sox fans line up for a giant spinning block of shavable chocolate called Choco Kebab. Arizona Diamondbacks fans can buy a Churro Dog, a churro wrapped in cake and smothered with ice cream and toppings. Colorado Rockies fans treat themselves to Apple Pie Nachos, thinly sliced apples topped with whipped cream, caramel and cinnamon sugar chips.

Traditionalists needn’t worry that bao buns and modern Mexican are going to edge out their favorites: Hot dogs and beer remain very popular. Chase Field in Arizona sells enough beer during a season to run Niagara Falls for nearly two seconds, and Dodger fans eat more than 1.5 million hot dogs a year, according to Levy Restaurants, which runs dining establishments in sports and entertainment venues.

About Butts in Seats!

When it comes to restaurant trends and marketing, IMM knows what they are talking about. Gina Lee De Freiitas, President of IMM, and Corien de Jong, SVP Executive Creative Director, have more than 25 years of experience in the vertical. So when they talk about the tools, tips and resources your restaurant needs to succeed, rest assured they’ve got it covered.

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