Ballparks step up to the plate with vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and lighter options
This summer, don’t be surprised if you spy a veggie burger lurking among the familiar franks at your favorite ballpark concession stand.
For decades, baseball games have been synonymous with a hot dog, a bag of peanuts and an ice-cold beer. Responding to a growing base of health-conscious consumers, Major League baseball stadiums across the nation have recently begun introducing healthier items to the traditional menu lineup.
“Our goal is to redefine the concept of ‘healthy eating’ to include more than just salads and carrot sticks,” says Andrew Shipe, Vice President of Culinary and Marketing for ARAMARK Sports and Entertainment, one of the nation’s leading Major League food providers and a pioneer in the development of healthy ballpark fare. “For us, healthy means offering items that taste great and meet our guests' dietary restrictions or preferences.”
To help you enjoy America’s favorite pastime without striking out on your diet, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite smart concession choices from Major League stadiums across the country. Low in fat but full in flavor, these healthy picks hit a homerun.
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg: Tropicana Field knocks it out of the park with mouth-watering, nutritious selections like citrus-cumin marinated grilled chicken wings, garlic lemon hummus with pita chips and Florida Fresh whole-wheat pasta salad.
Wrigley Field, Chicago: Vegetarians and carnivores alike will delight in Broadcast Grill’s signature veggie burgers made with wholesome black beans and brown rice and served on a whole-wheat bun. Or, grab a lean bison burger from Sheffield Grill and root on the Cubs while enjoying the succulent taste of meat without the fat.
Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia: Citizens Bank Park thinks beyond peanuts and Cracker Jacks with many innovative offerings. Phillies fans can take a break from the standard cheesesteak and stop by Philly Fresh for a tasty char-grilled turkey burger or grilled chipotle chicken wrap.
Coors Field, Denver: Covering all bases, Coors Field keeps gluten-sensitive consumers in mind with a dedicated gluten-free stand. Introduced in 2009, the first-of-its-kind stand offers gluten-free chicken sandwiches, hot dogs and even beer.
Safeco Field, Seattle: Safeco Field caters to health-conscious baseball enthusiasts with The Natural in Section133, which serves up everything from all-natural fruit smoothies to vegan-friendly soup.
Yankee Stadium, New York: Bringing deli-fresh fare to the ballpark, Boar’s Head Brand, with stands in sections 112 and 222, prepares made-to-order deli sandwiches featuring their famous hand-carved meats. Order an Oven-Gold turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread for a healthy and satisfying meal.
AT&T Park, San Francisco: AT&T Park steps up to the plate with a wide variety of gourmet and healthy fare. Giants fans can savor farm-fresh strawberries and other seasonal produce at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market or enjoy a sesame seaweed roll made with sweet Thai shrimp.
Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati: The home of baseball’s oldest professional team brings a new twist to ballpark grub with healthy offerings such as vegetable crudités, vegan grilled vegetable wraps and cheese and fruit trays.
Miller Park, Milwaukee: It may be located in the land of brats and beer, but Milwaukee’s Miller Park also offers lighter fare, like flavorful Thai vegetable lettuce wraps and vegetarian-friendly Portobello mushroom focaccia sandwiches.
Target Field, Minneapolis: Visitors to Target Field will have no problem fulfilling their 5-A-Day—the Farmers Market stand features wholesome fresh fruits and vegetables, while Section 133 dishes up marinated grilled veggie kabobs.