City: Chicago, Illinois
Foodie: JD, Not Qualified to Comment
Chicago is known for its heavy, filling and delicious food. From Deep Dish Pizza to Italian Beef sandwiches, it is the city of big shoulders and big heart attacks. Wrigley Field is no different. The food is not always spectacular, but it will definitely give you a few moments of chest pain. Don’t worry though, that just let’s you know you’re still alive.
Wrigley Field is the most beautiful place in the world to see a baseball game. In May, the smell of fresh grass and polish sausages mix with views of beautiful vines on the outfield wall to remind old and young people alike what baseball used to be. The smells of the food are all a part of the experience, and there are many options when you are at the ballpark.
Wrigley Field has the usual array of ballpark food. The hot dogs aren’t bad, but I recommend getting a kosher dog. Even though they are a bit more expensive, the meat is clearly higher quality. The nachos, popcorn, super ropes, and cotton candy are all standard as far as ballpark food goes. Nothing special about those.
A little advice on the peanuts at Wrigley: I’m not sure if other fields are like this, but peanut vendors circle the outside of the park like vultures exclaiming that peanuts are cheaper on the outside. This is completely false. I had/have many friends that vend, the peanuts are not cheaper on the outside and you might even get hassled trying to bring them into the park! Just wait until you get inside, it makes no difference.
At almost every hot dog stand in the park you can also get polish sausage or a brat. I personally love the polish sausage, but either one is great. You can get it with sauerkraut or grilled onions, but I highly recommend the grilled onions, they are delicious. Also if you are feeling really risky, there are a few stands scattered throughout the concourse that sell foot-long dogs. They are so unwieldy that it’s as much a show as a meal to eat them, but they are very tasty. I know there is one such stand in the new center field concession stand area behind the scoreboard.
The Italian beef sandwiches are amazing. You can get them with sweet and hot peppers but make sure to ask for them to put extra au jus on the sandwich. If not it will be very dry and not as heart-clogging.
Also, randomly, Connie’s Pizza has had a deal with the Cubs for what seems like forever. You can get a slice of pan pizza (not exactly deep dish, but not really thin crust) from Connie’s, but beware of the high prices. It is a decent slice of pizza, but not the best value.
After The Game
Tuscany right outside the field on Clark is delicious if you are in the mood for Italian. They have delicious pastas and you can take a date here after the game. It’s not only for dates though, and judging by my experience, you will probably be a little sauced when you stumble out of the stadium. Don’t worry, there are TVs showing games and the staff is willing to talk sports with you. You can also try Mia Francesca for good prices and decent food if you are looking for Italian.
There are a few good Mexican restaurants around the field, but El Jardin is the best for a quick burrito and that margarita that puts you just over the top from ballpark drunk to head in the toilet drunk.
For pizza, Giordano’s is right down Sheffield on Belmont. The deep dish there is amazing. You can get good deep dish in the city any time though. I feel strange saying this, but actually there is a thin-crust place I recommend even more, called Ian’s. It just moved in on Clark right by the field. You can get all kinds of crazy slices, from mac and cheese to Philly cheesesteak.
The best hot dogs in the city come with the most attitude. Weiner’s Circle is located about a mile south of the park on Clark. It has some of the best hot dogs ever. Order a char dog and cheese fries. The char dog is a hot dog that is actually grilled until it is slightly blackened. Be careful if you ask for your hot dog “with everything” though. In Chicago that means mustard, hot peppers, relish, tomatoes, raw onions, a pickle and celery salt. Also no one in Chicago puts ketchup on hot dogs, so ask for it separately if you want it (though personally that sounds gross to me).
Brat photo credit: jeffreyaki's photostream
Weiner's Circle: ajdavis' photostream