Each MLB Stadium's 2022 Offering, Worst To Best

Even though the season got off to a slightly delayed start thanks to the MLB lockout, baseball is back for the first almost-full season we've had in three years, and fans are flocking to stadiums across the country see their favorite teams. This means that stadium concessions, are also back in their full pre-pandemic glory, with each park trying to outdo each other to see who can offer the most over-the-top eats for fans who want more excitement than peanuts and Cracker Jack (or even Cracker Jill) have to offer.

While each stadium is fielding an entire lineup of new foods and bringing back fan favorites like hot dogs and helmet nachos, for the purpose of these rankings, we're determining what each team's most intriguing new option may be, and then ranking these items in order from the ones we're least excited about to the ones that have already got us planning our next road trip.

30. Truist Park: World Champions Burger

Yes, the Atlanta Braves are currently the World Champions, but did they let it go to their heads? How else could you explain why they're selling a burger that costs $151? The stadium says the price refers to the fact that the team franchise has been around 151 years, but just who they expect that target audience for the World Champions Burger to be, they did not say. The state of Georgia has only 14 billionaires to its name (and the two wealthiest built that fortune by advising people to "eat mor chikin").

So what do you get for the big bucks? A burger made of wagyu beef, of course. (Arby's has those, too.) It's also got cage-free fried eggs, Tillamook cheddar, heirloom tomatoes, Bibb lettuce, and truffle aioli, not to mention a lobster tail, foie gras, and gold leaf. Plus some parmesan waffle fries. Oh, and you also get a replica World Series ring, although you can upgrade to a "limited series" one for just $24,849 more, according to FOX Milwaukee. Sure, the crackerjack prize is cool and all, but as we prefer our baseball without a side of conspicuous consumption, we're putting this burger at the bottom of the list.

29. Citizens Bank Park: Peanut Butter & Jelly Burger

Year after year, the Phillies are pretty solid performers in the NL East, and Citizen's Bank Park is a decent stadium. When it comes to concessions, though, they're a top-tier park — in fact, last year, their cheesesteak won the MLB Food Fight for baseball's best concessions item. This year's biggest innovation, however, was quite a disappointment.

Aramark, the concessions provider for the Phillies (and eight other teams), is sponsoring a promo for the 2022 season called "Dare to Pair," something they say is meant to highlight "unlikely, yet delicious, food combinations," per BusinessWire. While some of these items live up to the billing, and others at least manage to tick the "unusual" box, Citizens Bank Park got stuck with a real dud: the PBJ Burger, available at the concessions stand called Boardwalk Eats. Yes, it's a burger topped with peanut butter. And jelly. Plus bacon and American cheese. Not the oddest burger topping combo, but far from the tastiest. At least they went with jalapeño jelly instead of grape or strawberry, but even that faint hint of heat can do little to redeem this burger. Somehow it manages to be both a hot mess and also boring at the same time.

28. Kauffman Stadium: BBQ Reese's Sandwich

Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals, was another big loser in the aforementioned Aramark promo. Their chef dared to pair Reese's Peanut Butter Cups with a barbecue sandwich (KC is one of the premier barbecue cities, after all), but the reception was ... well, mixed. According to head chef Johnny Woychick, he was barbecuing with the neighbors a few years back, and on a whim, he topped some pork belly with a few peanut butter cups he had on hand. His neighbors, he says, claimed to have liked his creation, although if you're lucky enough to live next door to a chef (not to mention one that might hook you up with free baseball tickets), how critical are you going to be?

While KMBC's Martin Augustine told Woychick the BBQ Reese's Sandwich was "brilliant," reactions on Twitter are all over the map. Some say they'd be up for a bite, while others feel nothing but disgust at the very idea. One person tried a Reese's-topped burger sold several years ago by a Canadian chain called The Works. Their verdict: "It was terrible." The Impulsive Buy concurred, calling The Works' peanut butter cup/burger combo "an affront to humanity ... literal hot garbage." No reason to think peanut butter cups would work any better with barbecue than burgers, so, yeah, we think we'll stick to KC BBQ minus the candy coating; thanks all the same.

27. Fenway Park: Fluffernutter Fries

Okay, we're starting to develop a theme here: Aramark + stadium food + unusual food pairings = yuck. Next on deck: Fenway Park, which, along with Wrigley, is the last of the truly old-school ballparks. Their concessions tend to be more serviceable than standout. The Boston Herald notes that one of their biggest innovations for the 2022 season is a Fenway Frank sprinkled with Cheetos dust, which is fine, but hardly innovative, as even Applebee's jumped on the Cheetos bandwagon last year. Far more creative, although not nearly so appetizing, is the "Dare to Pair" offering: Fluffernutter Fries.

The fluffernutter is basically a PBJ, only with Marshmallow Fluff (a product of Boston suburb Somerville) in place of the jelly. As for the fries, they're made from sweet potatoes topped with peanut sauce, chopped peanuts, and cilantro, so kind of a Thai-style thing going on. But then things go south with the addition of Marshmallow Fluff. Sorry, Somerville, we love the stuff when it stays in its lane, which is on top of an ice cream sundae. On fries, though, we're not sold, but we never were big fans of that Thanksgiving yam casserole. The final "nope" in the coffin comes from the price tag: these fries sell for $14.50, according to the Eagle-Tribune, which is a bit too steep for something you'd try just to say you did.

26. Rogers Centre: Pickle Poutine

Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays, has the reputation of being one of the ugliest stadiums, not only in baseball but in all of sports. According to the Toronto Star, among their newest offerings are a fried chicken stand, one offering vegan food, and a bacon-cheese curd burger called the Hangry Canadian. However, the most noteworthy new offering comes to us courtesy of Aramark innovators who, like the ones at Fenway, are playing around with the concept of poutine.

Unlike the Fluffernutter Fries, Rogers Centre's Pickle Poutine doesn't involve any potatoes. Instead of fries topped with pickles, the fries themselves are made from pickles. The Rogers Centre chefs also opt for peanut butter gravy (must be a ballpark thing), though instead of piling on candies or sweet goop, their add-ins are all savory: bacon, cheese curds, and scallions. Pickles and peanut butter, eh? We're not sold on the combo, but not completely revolted, either. This is the kind of thing we wouldn't spend money on but would probably eat on someone else's dime.

25. Coors Field: Elvis Shake

Coors Field has several claims to fame. Not only is it the best park in the MLB if you want to see some long bombs hit (per the Bleacher Report,) but it's also the birthplace of Blue Moon. For our purposes here, though, the most important thing you need to know about the Colorado Rockies' home field is that it, too, has concessions provided by Aramark. Yep, another daring pairing coming right up — and, go figure, this one involves peanut butter, too. As far as we know, that wasn't one of Aramark's stipulations, but for some reason, this ingredient figures in over half of this year's highlighted offerings.

According to BusinessWire, the Coors Field chefs decided to go with a retro theme, paying homage to the long-deceased King of Rock'N'Roll with a shake that bears his name. The Elvis Shake, while it neither rattles nor rolls, may make you wobble. It's a mildly boozy one, made with ice cream spiked with crème de banane and flavored with candied bacon and peanut butter sauce. To top it all off, there's even a sprinkling of Cracker Jack. While this snack doesn't have any particular Elvis associations, it's been linked with the sport of baseball for over a century. Altogether, the flavors in the shake work well enough, but "eat like Elvis" has never been our motto since everyone knows how that worked out for him.

24. Petco Park: Jack in the Box Purple Haze

Petco Park isn't an Aramark Park. So we're back to whatever the stadium chefs dream up when they aren't being dared to pair. In fact, our favorite new item the Padres will be featuring this season isn't chef-created at all since it comes from a fast food chain. Still, the chain in question — everyone's favorite misfit toy, Jack in the Box, is native to San Diego, so it seems they've earned the right to a ballpark concessions stand of their own after 71 years (via Petco Park Insider).

Petco Park's Jack in the Box franchise offers some of the same stuff you see on the restaurant's everyday menu: seasoned fries, chicken strips, mini churros, and tiny tacos. (Since when did Jack in the Box get so into the tiny food trend?) Our pick, however, is for something you won't be able to order from any old drive-thru: a cocktail called Purple Haze made from vodka, sour mix, and grape juice. As cocktails go, it's not all that amazing, but what can we say? The idea of boozing it up at a Jack in the Box pops our lid.

23. Great American Ball Park: Blox

Did you know that the Cincinnati Reds are MLB's oldest team? They are the oldest professional baseball team, having started in 1869 as the Red Stockings. It's fitting, then, that they play in the Great American Ball Park, a venue that ranks among the nation's top sports venues. (It wasn't named for its greatness, though, as Great American is the name of the insurance company currently holding the naming rights.) As you might expect, GABP is no slouch in the concessions department — and no, they're not catered by Aramark, either. They introduced several new items for the 2022 season, according to WLWT5. These include a hot honey chicken sandwich, mac and cheese and pulled pork in a waffle cone, and a strawberry sundae on top of a bundt cake. However, the items we're most excited about are boozy little cubes called BLOX.

While the only square-shaped alcoholic edibles we were familiar with to date were the infamous Jell-O shots, BLOX would seem to be a healthier version of that frat house favorite. They're alcohol-infused, fruit-flavored ice cubes! While that may sound kind of messy, you don't just get a cup of boozy ice. Instead, they come with a beverage. You can get either lime or strawberry BLOX with black cherry seltzer, or for a higher octane option, strawberry BLOX paired with prosecco.

22. Dodger Stadium: Aguas Frescas

While Dodger Stadium doesn't look all that retro, it's actually turning 60 this year, making it the third-oldest Major League ballpark. They've unveiled several ballpark renovations and upgrades to celebrate the occasion, including statues of Sandy Koufax and Negro League legends Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige, according to the MLB website. They've also got a bunch of new foods, including spiral potatoes with elote and barbecue toppings, funnel fries, and dessert nachos, plus a new "Dodgerita" made with Herradura tequila. With offerings like that, it's no wonder Los Angeles barely cracked the top 20 of America's healthiest cities. Still, Dodger Stadium introduced a new beverage option that is both non-alcoholic and probably not a total calorie bomb: aguas frescas.

Agua fresca means fresh water in Spanish, and these popular Mexican beverages are typically made from fruit and water (plus some sweetening as needed). These drinks will be available in several different locations throughout Dodger Stadium. They come in four different varieties. Horchata features a mazapan rim (mazapan being a Mexican version of marzipan made with peanuts.) The mango option has a mango-flavored rim dip and mango chunks. Pineapple features a tamarind rim and pineapple chunks, and strawberry-kiwi is made with fresh strawberry chunks.

21. Yankee Stadium: Blue, White & Gold Milkshake

At Yankee Stadium concession stands, you're spoiled for choice. Well, you'd expect no less in NYC, as plain old peanuts and popcorn aren't going to cut it in one of the world's top food destinations. This season, the stadium got new vendors, including Manhattan food cart legends The Halal Guys and Streetbird, a stand featuring chef Marcus Samuelsson's gourmet fried chicken creations, according to the MLB website. Other new menu items include such upscale fare as lemon-herb rotisserie chicken and a burger with goat cheese and balsamic fig spread. Our favorite new offering, though, is another booze-free beverage — kudos to the Dodgers and Yankees for offering non-boring drink options for designated drivers, under-21s, and anyone else abstaining from alcohol.

Grand Slam Shakes may be bucking the boozy ice cream drink trend, but what they lack in alcohol, they make up for in flavor. The 2022 lineup includes the baseball-themed Bronx Bomber with fun-size Baby Ruth bars, peanut butter cups, and Cracker Jack. La Dulce Vida is made with tres leches cupcakes and churros. Sunny Skies has rainbow cake and funfetti crumbs. And Little Italy is garnished with mini cannolis. However, the most OTT (and most New York) shake is another Marcus Samuelsson creation, the Blue, White & Gold with its fresh blueberries, cheesecake, graham cracker crumbs, whipped cream, and gold glitter. Best of all, each Grand Slam Shake comes with a cool souvenir cup!

20. LoanDepot Park: Croquetas

Miami, Florida, is the Cuban-American capital of the U.S., as over 1.5 million residents are of Cuban descent. Not too surprising, considering Miami is just 229 miles from Havana, so they're much closer to Cuba than the state capital, Tallahassee (407 miles away). With that in mind, most of the must-try foods at LoanDepot Park, home of the Marlins, are Cuban. Some new offerings include dishes like a potato stick-topped hot dog completa, salchipapa (chopped hot dog on fries with pink sauce), and glazed maduros (plantains).

Our pick for the best new offering, however, is something that the Miami New Times calls "the most Miami" dish at the stadium: croquetas from the Miami restaurant Islas Canarias. Croquetas, aka croquettes, are patties of chopped meat that are breaded and fried. Islas Canarias makes two types — chicken and ham. While you could pair the croquetas with a cold Marlins Lager, they go best with the espresso-like Cuban coffee known as cafecito. Conveniently enough, this drink is also being sold at the Islas Canarias stand.

19. Oracle Park: Bullpen Boardwalk Popcorn

Popcorn is typically not the most exciting of concessions. It's not so much a classic ballpark food as it is a one-size-fits-all generic entertainment snack. That being said, it's all about the presentation — and also the flavors. Popcorn on its own is, well, really rather dull, even with plenty of butter and salt. Flavored popcorn, however, can be fun. Popcorn in wild flavors, served up in an old-timey arcade? Now we're talking!

Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, underwent a whole bunch of upgrades in the off-season. One of the most notable was the addition of the Bullpen Boardwalk, a family fun zone with baseball activities such as batting cages and classic arcade games like Skee-Ball, according to SFBay. They also serve street fair-type foods like Frito pies, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, Slushies (both boozy and virgin varieties), and a wide range of popcorn varieties. Some of the ones on offer include green apple, ghost pepper, and a mysterious flavor called "spookie fruit" that our diligent research reveals is most likely grape.

18. Wrigley Field: Maxwell Street Style Pork Chop Sandwich

Wrigley Field, like Fenway Park, is a relic of the pre-WWI era. Despite its quirks and idiosyncrasies, we hope it endures forever, or at least as long as real humans play the game of baseball instead of robots or holograms. A trip to Wrigley is like a pilgrimage to a baseball cathedral, with communion being a Chicago dog (with NO ketchup!!) and an Old Style. Once you've partaken of this sacrament, you may wish to explore Wrigley's other concessions. This year brought only four new offerings, according to the Cubs' website. They included appealing, although not super-innovative, items like a spiral potato with a pickle dip, a Nashville hot chicken sandwich, and a smoked brisket sandwich with giardiniera. The one we like best is the Maxwell Street Style Pork Chop Sandwich.

Maxwell Street was ground zero for the burgeoning Chicago blues scene in the mid-20th century, but it has been home to an outdoor market since the 19th century (although the market has moved a few blocks over by now). Its namesake sandwich is a Sunday-morning specialty at the market but is available at Wrigley seven days a week (as long as the team is in town). As served at the ballpark, the Maxwell Street Style Pork Chop Sandwich consists of a seasoned pork cutlet on a toasted bun smothered in caramelized onions and mustard. It's a true Midwestern comfort food that pairs great with beer.

17. Busch Stadium: St. Louis BBQ Nachos

According to Spectrum St. Louis, The Cardinals are also sticking with the classics when it comes to new ballpark foods at Busch Stadium this year, but there's nothing wrong with that. Their latest offerings include a favorite sandwich in St. Louis and Chicago – Italian beef topped with provolone, peppers, onions, and giardiniera. They've also added meatballs in your choice of marinara or barbecue sauce and fresh-made gourmet flavored popcorn and frozen drinks in souvenir glasses. The new menu item we like best, though, could be described as Midwestern-meets-Tex-Mex: St. Louis BBQ Nachos.

These nachos are made with the typical tortilla chips, but instead of chicken, taco beef, or chorizo, they're topped with smoked pulled pork and barbecue sauce. They get a little heat from a jalapeño cheese sauce and come with the option to add some dry barbecue spice, as well. Not a particularly groundbreaking dish, but a good solid offering and something you're likely to order more than once.

16. Tropicana Field: Footlong Tater Tot

Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, is not known as one of the better ballparks in the major leagues. In fact, Ballpark Ratings considers it one of the worst. That being said, their concessions are pretty decent, and they've got quite a few tasty new options for this season. Among their new menu items are a Caribbean-spiced smoked turkey leg, a jerk chicken sandwich, a jerk pork bowl, and potato pierogis topped with chorizo butter. Our favorite, however, is something a little "extra" in every sense of the word: a super-sized tater tot.

Yes, all you get is one tater tot, but what a tot. This footlong potato puff is more like a tater teen or perhaps a fully grown adultater. The toppings are nothing too out of the ordinary. Tropicana's non-Aramark chefs have opted for a typical bacon/sour cream/green onion/jalapeño combo with no peanut butter cup in sight. That's what we love about it, though. This footlong tater tot balances being the kind of goofy, fun ballpark food that's always fun to order with something enjoyable to eat.

15. Guaranteed Rate Field: Blue Moon Brats

In years past, Guaranteed Rate Field was known for serving some crazy concessions. In 2017 they had a 16-inch sandwich topped with mac and cheese and brisket, while 2018's offerings included a 3-pound, 5,000-calorie ice cream sundae served in a full-sized batting helmet. Their 2022 offerings aren't nearly as extreme -– whether this is because the White Sox are expected to be a more competitive team, or because of the post-COVID inflationary economy, we can't say for sure. Still, while Guaranteed Rate's menu may be lacking anything off the wall this year, they do the basics really well. In fact, by one metric, their concessions currently rank top with baseball fans.

Oddly enough, the best new item at Guaranteed Rate Field's concessions stands this year is inspired by a product born at another ballpark: Blue Moon beer, which, as we mentioned above, was created at Coors Field. The Blue Moon Brats, however, seem more like a Midwestern thing. According to Twitter foodie Shane Riordan, they're made from beer-soaked bratwurst (a favorite at tailgate parties throughout the Great Lakes region), but the whimsical touch that takes these sausages over the top is burnt orange mustard that stands in for the Blue Moon's orange slice garnish. Here's an idea for next year, White Sox: how about Corona dogs with lime mustard? That could work, too.

14. RingCentral Coliseum: Garlic Shrimp Poke

Poor old RingCentral Coliseum (formerly known as the Oakland Coliseum). It may have a new name and sponsor, but it's the same old football stadium built to house the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are gone, the A's remain, but their stadium is still one of the MLB's worst venues. As for the food, though, it's pretty good for the most part ... well, except for this $4 DIY hot chocolate. Although RingCentral is an Aramark stadium, we're not going with the Dare to Pair pick here since it was a not-terrible but not too exciting Flaming Hot Cheesesteak; yes, it is just a standard cheese steak with Flamin' Hot Cheetos. Très 2018, though at least it's peanut butter-free,

Instead, our pick for the most interesting new food is the Garlic Shrimp Poke bowl from Bay Area food truck Da Poke Man. While there's nothing unorthodox about this dish either, at least it doesn't have "last decade's trend" written all over it. According to The Stadium Reviews, this bowl combines two Aloha State favorites, garlic shrimp and poke, for an island-style dish the Hawaiian vendor claims is unlike much of the Americanized poke typically found on the mainland.

13. T-Mobile Park: Aloha Slider with Kalua Pork

Back in the earlier part of this century, The Seattle Mariners -– then owned by Nintendo –- offered perhaps the most exciting concessions experience in all Major League Baseball. It's not that the food was so special, but you could order it from your seat using your Nintendo DS! Well, Nintendo no longer owns the team (and they've also discontinued the DS line), and there's nothing that exciting about ordering with your phone since you can do this in stadiums not sponsored by cell phone providers. Still, T-Mobile Park has some pretty decent new concessions this year, per The Seattle Times. The hot dogs and nachos are noteworthy, not because they're anything extraordinary in and of themselves, but because they're now just $3! Not something you'd expect in one of America's priciest cities, but cheap ballpark eats are a trend we'd love to see catch on elsewhere.

At a somewhat higher price point is our pick for the best new 2022 item available at T-Mobile Park: the Aloha Slider with Kalua pork, Hawaii's answer to pulled pork barbecue. There's also another Aloha Slider featuring that all-time Hawaiian favorite, Spam. Both sandwiches come from a Seattle restaurant called Marination and are available a la carte for $10.50. For $15, you can get them as part of a Luau Plate, where they're paired with macaroni salad and other Hawaiian sides.

12. Minute Maid Park: La Pina Dog

Pineapple as a topping can be pretty controversial. On tacos al pastor, it's pretty much de rigueur, but while some like it on pizza, others are enraged by the very thought. It was a bold move, then, for Minute Maid Park to use this fruit as a hot dog topping. Minute Maid, wait, what? Aren't they the orange juice people? Why yes, but they do offer a pineapple orange drink, as well. Still, we doubt that's what inspired the La Pina Dog, nor is it intended to honor Manny "Pineapple" Pina as he plays for the Atlanta Braves, not the Houston Astros.

Instead, the La Pina Dog was created by the Astro's Aramark chefs in answer to that same Dare to Pair challenge we've mentioned (more than) a few times already. Unlike many of the other pairings we've discussed, this one is relatively restrained, as the all-beef frank at the base is topped with just three items, and none of them are peanut butter, Cheetos, or marshmallow fluff. Instead, you get smoked pineapple, candied jalapeños, and teriyaki sauce, all of which work well together and make for a fresh, flavorful hot dog.

11. Angel Stadium: Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich

Angel Stadium spells "fun" from the moment you walk in, with its two ball cap-shaped awnings flanking an entrance arch lined with giant wooden bats. When your stadium's just up the road from the Happiest Place On Earth, you've got to stay on the ball, so to speak, even if you do have both Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout on the roster. The concessions offerings are also on trend, particularly some of this season's new offerings. According to Angels Win, they've added new gourmet dogs, Nashville hot chicken sandwiches, and birria street tacos. The most exciting new dish is something as visually striking as it is tasty: a Korean fried chicken sandwich.

The sandwich is made from a generous piece of crunchy fried chicken topped with gochujang sauce, garlic aioli, and citrus coleslaw, and on the side, you get fries plus a cup of kimchi. The real selling point here, however, is the coal-black sesame-topped bun. This eye-catching detail is bound to make this one of the most Instagrammable sandwiches of the baseball season.

10. Citi Field: Polar Burger 2.0

The Mets, like the Angels, are a team that's got some stiff competition when it comes to getting fans in seats. Not only must they share their hometown fan base with crosstown rivals, the Yankees, but it's not like NYC's at a loss for other entertainment options on any given day. Still, the Mets step up to the plate by offering a quality stadium experience and some usually decent on-field action. Their food options are as extensive and varied as you'd expect from a ballpark located in Queens, a borough famed for its diversity. While Citi Field is an Aramark Park, we're not super-impressed by their not-so-daring paring: chicken and waffles. Hasn't that already been done? Adding lemon honey is a nice touch (as is the lack of peanut butter), but it's too subtle to earn this dish the nod –– plus, it's way too messy for ballpark fare.

Instead, we're going to go with the new and improved Polar Burger 2.0 from Pete Alonso's Arctic Grill. The 2021 version of the burger named for the Mets' star slugger was quite the gourmet concoction, mixing black truffles into the burger, then topping it with maple-caramelized onions and smoked gouda. For 2022, they've dropped the truffles, gouda, and onions from the burger, replacing them with American cheese, spicy cherry pepper bacon jam, and –- our favorite part –- duck fat. Not to get too schmaltzy, but you had us there, Polar Pete.

9. Progressive Field: Southside Slope Sandwich

What did they come up with for this season at the home of the former Indians-turned-Guardians? Nothing all that new and shocking, although the seven new items they've introduced are pretty solid offerings. Among them are nachos with plant protein, chicken and waffles, a footlong chili dog, a burger topped with guacamole, salsa, and nacho cheese sauce (or "FUNacho" sauce, as they're insisting on calling it), a mac and cheese bowl, and a waffle cone stuffed with mac and cheese and pulled pork. (Hey, they stole that last one from the Cincinnati Reds! Or possibly vice-versa, or maybe it's just an Ohio thing.)

However, our favorite of the Guardians' new items is something that couldn't be more Cleveland if it tried: the Southside Slope Sandwich. This monster-sized sandwich has been a menu staple at Fat Head's Brewery for years and once ended up on Maxim's list of America's top sandwiches. The behemoth bun is stuffed with kielbasa and cheese and topped with fried pierogi, truly a match made in the Midwest even if the Southside Slope did originate in Pittsburgh (which might as well be the Midwest despite technically being in Pennsylvania). Fat Head's even gilds the lily with onions and horseradish sauce, and we're right there for it down to the last bite.

8. Globe Life Field: Alligator Corn Dog

Who knew Texas had an alligator problem? While these toothy reptiles are probably not wandering the deserts of the western part of the state, the state's eastern side borders Louisiana, and just like the Bayou State, it is also packed with swamps, marshes, and other gator habitats. Well, as the folksy old saying (that we just made up) goes, when life gives you gators, dip them in batter and deep fry them. As it turns out, that's precisely what they're doing at Globe Life Field, according to NBCDFW5.

Globe Life's Alligator Corn Dog is just what its name implies. It consists of an andouille sausage made from alligator meat, dipped in corn batter, and fried until it's nice and crunchy. Top it off with a squiggle of mustard, take a big bite, and rise several notches on the food chain as you chow down on a very tasty apex predator.

7. Target Field: Aussie Pie

While the Gopher State is surprisingly diverse, with growing numbers of Somali, Hmong, and Eastern European residents, they do not have a significant contingent from Down Under. Still, Minnesota can boast one of the nation's few authentic Australian restaurants that's nothing like the Crocodile Dundee-themed Outback chain. Instead of bloomin' onions, kookaburra wings, and shrimp on the barbie, Bub's Gourmet Aussie Pies offers confections such as chocolate-coconut-dipped lamingtons and airy meringue pavlovas as well as their eponymous pies.

So what is an Aussie pie, anyway? It's a savory meat pie that's somewhat similar to a pasty with a flakier crust. Bub's Gourmet Aussie Pies, which opened in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, in 2020, are selling their pies at Minnesota Twins games for the first time this year. Among the tasty pies on offer at their Target Field stand are chicken with wild rice and a beef-and-onion sloppy joe.

6. American Family Field: Pepper Brandy Burger

American Family Field may have changed its name from the beer-branded Miller Park. However, at least the team is still known as the Brewers instead of the Underwriters. Twitter's favorite MLB mascot Bernie Brewer has yet to morph into Bernie the Annoying Insurance Salesperson. The stadium that Brew City built is big on beer-related offerings. Still, a pre-season press release about 2022's new concessions highlighted only the boozy libations offered by the stadium's new Cream City Cocktail Bar. (The multifaceted Milwaukee has earned the sobriquets of both Cream City and Brew City.) They did, however, add some new foods, many of them from local restaurants.

Our favorite of the new foods at AmFam's concession stands are the Pepper Brandy Burger from hipster bistro Story Hill BKC. The burger is topped with Swiss cheese and peppercorn mayonnaise, but what pulls it all together is the caramelized onions flavored with Wisconsin's favorite booze. Dairy State it may be, but Wisconsin also consumes about half of the nation's brandy, whether it be in Old Fashioneds or Tom and Jerries or now in burgers. We think this brandy burger will go over big in Milwaukee since this underrated (in 49 states) spirit pairs nicely with beef, cheese, and onions.

5. Comerica Park: Gyro Nachos

Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, is going all-in on Michigan-inspired options this season, which is something we love. In an increasingly generic world, it's lovely to see baseball teams, stadiums, and concessions reflecting their region's unique charms. One of the items they'll have in abundance in 2022 is pasties, a specialty of the Mitten State's Upper Peninsula (a bit that, oddly enough, sits up on top of Wisconsin like a hat and is only connected to the rest of the state by a bridge). One we like is the Coney Pasty, a meat pie stuffed with hot dog slices covered in Detroit-style coney sauce. It was, in fact, a strong contender for Comerica's best new food of 2022 but was barely nudged out by something else that's even more Detroit, if possible: Gyro Nachos.

The Detroit area, as it happens, is home to a thriving Middle Eastern community whose history dates back to when Henry Ford recruited Lebanese and Yemeni workers for his Dearborn auto plant. Today, this long-established community may make Detroit the Middle Eastern food capital of the U.S., so it's only fitting that the Tigers gave ballpark nachos their unique spin. Instead of tortilla chips, these gyro nachos are made with pita chips, while the toppings include lettuce, tomatoes, onions, gyro meat, and tzatziki. Innovative, delicious, and Detroit-as-can-be, we hope these gyro nachos are a permanent addition to Comerica's lineup.

4. Nationals Park: Cherry Blossom Cocktail

The Washington Nationals, while they play in the nation's capital, don't claim to be "America's team." However, they have red, white, and blue as the team colors, an eagle, and four "racing presidents" as their mascots (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and fan favorite Teddy Roosevelt being the featured former POTUSes). However, the Nats are showcasing their hometown this season, going all-in on cherry blossoms to honor the District's famous flowering trees. The Nationals (and the NBA's Wizards) have new pink, grey, and white blossom-adorned uniforms, while there's plenty of sakura merch in the team store. One new concessions item also carries out the theme: a cherry-flavored cocktail.

The Cherry Blossom Cocktail, created by DC's own Pratt Standard Cocktail Company, is sold at all ballpark bars. It is made from vodka and a unique "cherry blossom" syrup made not from cherry blossoms but rose essence, cherry juice, and green tea. Extra points to the Nats, though, since they'll also leave out the vodka to make it a zero-proof drink.

3. PNC Park: Burgh Katsu

The Pittsburgh Pirates may not be much of a contender this season (or last season, or the last ...), but they still have a lot going for them. For one thing, PNC Park is a magnificent stadium and is currently the highest-ranked stadium in MLB, according to social media reviews (only the NFL's Lambeau Field holds a higher rating). For another, they came out on top with the whole Aramark Dare to Pair deal. While many of the other Aramark parks ranked low on this list because they dared to venture into territory bordering on the inedible (not to mention an over-reliance on peanut butter), the chefs at PNC Park came up with the pretty genius idea of giving some local favorites a fusion twist. Hence, the Burgh Katsu.

If you misread the slide title, you might be expecting a breaded, fried burger, which might not be so bad. (Idea for next year, Aramark chefs?) Instead, the katsu-fied meat here is ham, which is a meat that's at its absolute best when fried. The katsu comes sauced with hoisin aioli and topped with cucumber kimchi, but our favorite part is the oh-so-Pittsburgh pierogi garnish!

2. Oriole Park at Camden Yards: Crab Cake Egg Rolls

You know what we just said about the Pirates? Well, ditto for the Orioles. The hapless O's haven't appeared in the postseason since 2016, and their last World Series win occurred back when Cal Ripken had hair. Their stadium, however, is the very model of a modern retro ballpark, and it's a delight to catch a game there at any time, no matter how poorly the team is performing. (In their defense, they play in the AL East, which has long been regarded as MLB's most competitive division.)

When in Baltimore, two things are de rigueur: National Bohemian beer and crabs. It would be no surprise if they redesigned the city's flag to include both icons and a portrait of the aforementioned Mr. Ripken. Shockingly, you can no longer buy Natty Boh at Camden Yards, but at least the concession stands still offer several spins on the state crustacean, including crab cakes, hot dogs with crab mac and cheese, and sausage with crab dip. New for 2022 are two more crab concoctions. One is a pretzel stuffed with cheese and crab dip sprinkled with Old Bay, but our pick is the crab cake egg rolls from Jimmy's Famous Seafood. This iconic B-more restaurant takes an even more iconic B-more seafood dish and goes fusion for 2022 by wrapping it in an egg roll and dipping it in mango ponzu sauce.

1. Chase Field: Arizona Diamondbacks Dog

There is probably no more classic ballpark food in baseball than the hotdog. Even the most uninspired tube steak is a feast when the sun comes out, and there's new grass on the field (with apologies, plus a little fanpersoning, to John Fogerty). In the great state of Arizona, even the humble hot dog is anything but ordinary. Arizona, after all, gave us the Sonoran dog, a tube steak that could give even the classic Chicago dog a run for its money as the world's most fabulous frank.

At Chase Field, however, the Diamondbacks have come up with a new contender that, if it sticks around, may well earn a place in the Hot Dog Hall of Fame. This season, they're offering the Arizona Diamondbacks Dog, a fantastic creation that tales the standard wiener on a bun and smothers it in chorizo, roasted corn, green chile queso, pico de gallo, and something called venom sauce. What more could you ask for than a couple of these dogs, maybe a beer or two, and a win for your team, be it the Diamondbacks or the visitors?