NOTE: This post on Mets Citi Field food was originally published in 2010 and has been updated to reflect the most recent concession information for the 2018 season.
When Shea Stadium made way for Citi Field in 2009, the prospects for stuffing your face while watching a Mets baseball game improved considerably. Back then, Shake Shack was still an only-in-New-York phenomenon and David Wright was a fresh-faced 26-year-old heading into his fourth consecutive All-Star season with a .390 OBP.
For TEN seasons, I’ve been roaming the ballpark concourses, sampling my way through almost every concession stand in every corner. When the Mets were down, I consoled myself with the fact that at least I’d be eating well. When the Mets were streaking toward the World Series, I celebrated with the fact that I’d be eating Box Frites into October. (WHAAAT.)
While you can still get a basic Nathan’s hot dog and fries, a bag of peanuts, or a helmet filled with chips doused in rubbery yellow cheez sauce (“best deal in the ballpark! these are best deal in the park!” according to the dude who sat behind us on Opening Day 2016), there’s far more to snack on. And you don’t need high-priced seats to get the good stuff.
From years and years of research, following are my top picks for Citi Field food and drink at Mets games—all of it accessible to all fans.
The New Stuff
There’s always a certain amount of turnover in the offseason, but in 2018, there’s really only one big story: the grand opening of Mikkeller Brewing NYC.
It’s the second permanent US location for this Danish cult brewery (the first is in San Diego) and I can’t think of a better use for this former storage space tucked between the right field and bullpen gates. It’s cavernous but cozy, with long biergarten tables, a phalanx of bright red barstools, and signature Mikkeller cartoon murals brightening the room. The Endy Chavez-inspired image over the kitchen door (shown above) is unbelievably cute.
With 60 draft lines, the bar showcases Mikkeller beers from all locations (those brewed in-house, like Henry Hops and Say Hey Sally, along with selections from San Diego and Denmark) as well as other local options like those from Transmitter, Other Half, and Industrial Arts. With so many to try, it’s a relief that you can get anything in a 4-ounce pour and sample up to 3 beers at a time.
And yes, there’s food too: an abbreviated but variety-packed lineup of dishes from NYC spots Great Northern Food Hall, Whitmans, and Unidentified Flying Chickens.
If you’re not willing to brave the crowds on game days, the brewery is open to the public—no Mets ticket required—so you can always take the 7 line out and watch a Mets road game on the bar TVs, or just come for the beer and food alone. That’s our plan, anyway.
Other New Items:
This year, it’s all about the fries at the rest of the premium concession stands. Catch of the Day [Section 102] has replaced its clam strip-topped Bayside Fries with Loaded Lobster Fries, topping thick spiralized curls of Old Bay-seasoned fries with lobster fondue and a generous pile of real lobster meat.
But my professional recommendation is to stick with the lobster tacos here (yes, they’re really worth it) and move to Fuku next door for their loaded fries, which are tossed in jalapeño ranch seasoning and topped with spicy cheese sauce, ranch dressing, bacon, and scallions. If the windy chill of an April game is too much for you, these will warm you up.
Nicoletta [Taste of the City by Fan Fest] has also fry-focused their menu, switching out their mozzarella sticks for mozzarella-pepperoni fritters this year, and adding pizza fries with pepperoni meat sauce, stracciatella, and basil. Caveat emptor with this stand, though, because they’re notoriously slow, even if there is no line.
The Old Reliables
Technically, the food court behind the center field scoreboard is called Taste of the City, but we’ve always called it Danny Meyerland. The four flagship spots—Shake Shack, Blue Smoke, Box Frites, and El Verano Taqueria—were the pride and joy of the food offerings during Citi Field’s first few seasons. Their field-level neighbors have come and gone (along with some of my favorite foods of years past—RIP, Pat LaFrieda ricotta meatball sliders, I’ll never forget you!), but the big four remain.
Everyone except me loves the Pat LaFrieda filet mignon sandwich [on the left side of Taste of the City by Section 139], a massive beast soaked in jus and topped with caramelized onions, so I’m all too happy to skip that line. Instead, I go with:
Forget that guy and his helmet nachos—for my money, anything you get at this stand is the best deal in the ballpark. I lean toward their nachos, laden with charred corn and bean relish, cotija, and fresh white queso, or go for a pair of street tacos with tender chicken mole or carnitas, but Dan can never resist an ear of elote corn.
Yeah, they’re fries. And there are a lot of fries at Citi Field. But can you get fries with this particular smoky bacon sauce anywhere else in the ballpark? You absolutely cannot. (The garlic parmesan fries are worthy of entree status as well, should you be feeling that way.)
While I tend to save my Blue Smoke snacking for a spot at the actual restaurant bar, sometimes I feel the pull of the sweet, succulent, smoky brisket sandwich while I’m at Citi Field. There’s less distraction from all the other stuff I love there (deviled eggs, bbq chips and blue cheese dip, smoked wings in Alabama sauce) with the limited menu! Blue Smoke does full-on barbecue platters as well—pulled pork, brisket, or chicken—if you really want to go whole hog.
This mix-and-match Italian rice ball stand [Section 103] was the sleeper hit of the Mets 2017 season and I’m thrilled to see it’s back for 2018. Freshly fried and boasting a winning lineup of fillings—meat ragu, pesto, pizza, buffalo chicken, a bucatini-stuffed mac and cheese version, and cinnamon-dusted Nutella—they’re the ones to line up for. And I cannot get over the smart to-go packaging: a 6-slot egg carton!
Empire State Craft
Located on both the field level [Section 133] and Promenade level [Section 418], this small kiosk only sells beers brewed in New York state. Pretty great, huh? You can get a wider selection of regional and national beers at the Big Apple Brews stands at Taste of the City and the Promenade Plaza too (Elysian, Victory, Lagunitas, etc.), but I like seeking out this little stand and having something local.