With baseball still on hold, we, the baseball loving public, need something to debate. Not something serious, but a topic no one’s going to get really angry about disagreeing on. Since just about everyone likes to get concessions when they go to a game, I figured we might as well rank the top five ballpark foods.
I have to warn you that these rankings are my own and do not reflect the views of Cubs Insider or its other writers. Also, I’m going generic here to cover ballparks on the whole, so don’t expect specialty items that a chef designed for Wrigley Field.
With all those caveats firmly in place let us get to the action.
Perhaps the most traditional of baseball foods is the classic roasted peanut. I mean, it’s right there in the song. Alas, Cracker Jack didn’t make the cut. Sorry, folks.
Peanuts made the list because more than a few people still cherish having a bag along with a cold beer on a hot summer day. It’s fun to crack open the shells while you are watching the game, but please remember to put used shells in the paper bags they give you with the package.
I thought about including sunflower seeds here, but I just don’t think they are prevalent among fans anymore. It’s understandable if you don’t like this ranking, just don’t be salty about it.
Why should movies get all the credit when it comes to popping corn? Both traditional and kettle style have become stadium mainstays. One of my favorite things when going to the park is the smell of the popcorn popping in the concession stand.
I prefer traditional butter popcorn, but I know many others like the sweet stuff. I think it’s fair to say popcorn doesn’t make this list if not for kettle corn.
This is where my list becomes a series of hot takes that sports talking heads would be proud of. Whether it’s by the slice or a mini pie, pizza has become a huge part of the baseball experience. Selection is typically limited, but you can get a deep dish and be satisfied for a few hours.
Pizza is the great unifying force of our society and you can eat it with your hands so it’s convenient.
2. Hot dog
I know this is the traditional top food item for baseball, but I felt it was time for a change. Look, I enjoy a hot dog as much as the next person and, yes, I put ketchup on them. Frankly, pun intended, ketchup is the right way to enjoy a dog and I welcome your boos.
You could argue burgers and sausage are better options for food with buns at the park, but I won’t wade into the whole “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” minefield here. Either way, I feel a mere wiener doesn’t hold a candle to my top baseball food.
Let me transport you back to the 1970’s, when the Washington Senators moved to Texas and became the Rangers. Frank Liberto introduced ballpark nachos with liquid cheese to Rangers concession stands in 1976 and the rest was history.
Nothing says baseball to me like getting a tray of nachos and a cold drink. You can get them with jalapenos, salsa, chili, or just straight up cheese. The cheese can be on the side if you like your tortilla chips crispy or right on top if you like it soggy. Honestly, I could go either way depending on my mood.
I could talk about this all day, but those are my rankings and I’m sticking to them. I’m very curious what you think, though, so let me know in the comments. Regardless of what you rank and where, I’m sure we can all agree that it will be nice just to go to the park again at some point.