EDITED TO SAY: Just realized how old this thread is. Sorry!
When there's time, I bring my own food, usually home made. However, thinking outside the box at Shea can help: if you aren't a drinker, the kids meal is pretty tough to beat. For $4.50, a nathans hot dog, a bag of wise potato chips, a small soda (its pretty cold, so request no ice), and a bag of teddy grahams.
The knish is very good. I'll take a knish at Shea over Yonah Shimmel any day! The Mamma's sandwiches are good, but pricey. $9 is a lot for one sandwich, and the ones they sell up on the mezzanine always look a lot less appetizing than the ones downstairs.
For beer, your choices are very limited, although there was s Sam Adams stand on Opening Day. I'd rather have the Smithwicks stand back, but I'll take what I can get. Those aluminum bottles of Bud don't make bud taste any better.
PS, stop at a market and buy your own peanuts in the shell for a buck or two. A smallish bag will run you $4.50 (at least) at the ballpark.
trust me, foodpyramid, once you've had leo's mozzarella, all other options are pointless!! i also recommend fresh turkey sandwich with mushrooms and gravy.
One other note, the kosher hotdogs are pretty good too--better in my opinion than the standard shea dog, but nathan's foot long takes the prize.
Here's my own 2 cents about the food at shea, since I've never visited Leo's (but will the next time I go!!):
No one's mentioned the option of ordering, if you're in the box seats...this is fairly new, but they give you a menu, and while it's wildly expensive, it's still worth it if you don't have time to stop off beforehand and pick up something for the game, plus you'll waste NO time waiting in line, as they bring it to your seats fairly speedily. Again, it's very expensive, but some days the convenience is just worth it. Their hamburger is pass-able (better than the cheaper ones sold in the concessions area), and their turkey sandwich is simple and quite good...as is the pizza.
The mini-food court hasn't been mentioned either-- it's all the way on one end of the Loge level (I think-- you can ask someone) and there's a Subway there, so if you like subway sandwiches, you're set...it has the basic fare of any Subway in the city...Plus, there's a Dunkin Donuts in the same area, which is good is you're a coffee (rather than soda) person...
And then, just pick up some peanuts & crackerjacks for dessert (and maybe some of those futuristic ice cream balls) and you're set...!
can't argue with bringing your own food--gotta credit shea for permitting it, but they won't let you bring any drinks in, even water. I'm not sure what a "Harry M. Stevens" dog is, but the nathan's foot long is a quality dog in my book. if you're driving, you can stop all along 108 st and get kick-ass sunflower seeds which will not only taste great, but will ruin your appetite and save you money at the park!!
re: abu applesauce
Agreed that Nathan's are great franks although that stipulation only holds for the natural casing variety which have a different spice blend than the skinless ones.
Harry M. Stevens is the concession company for Shea and all the NY area sports venues. They operate on the theory that you're a captive audience so they can extract the maximum money for the least value. They really don't care a bit about quality.
I've been eating at Shea since the late 70's and it's rare to get anything that's decent. For awhile they had stands serving freshly grilled Italian sausage. I was really happy about this until I realized that I was getting excited about the same type of stuff that I regularly pass up at street fairs. The bar is set so low that even mediocre stuff looks good.
re: abu applesauce
In a word, no.
Most of the food at Shea is awful and the exceptions are minor and inconvenient. Down on the Loge level there's a concession stand that sells Hebrew National franks, far better than the Harry M. Stevens junk. (If there's a concession stand in Hell, Harry M. Stevens is behind the counter.)
On the Field Level there's an outpost of Leo's Latticini, reknowned Queens sandwich maker. Assume you're sitting in the Mezzanine and your trip to Leo's will eat up 3 innings. Not exactly convenient.
Far better to bring food to the ballpark. Virtually any deli sandwich in the city is lightyears better than anything you can get at Shea.
Or stop off before the game and eat along the #7 line. Options include -
Donovan's in Woodside for outstanding burgers
(61st St. stop.)
Sriphaphai for the best Thai in NY
(69th St. stop
Spicy & Tasty in Flushing (1 block from the Main Street station) which I consider the best Szechuan restaurant in the city.
re: Bob Martinez
The Leo situation is not quite as bad as you portray it. There are two locations, one on the field box level,third base side, and a second location on the Mezz level, first base side. The box seat location is easy to find and I have always found the service to be fast and efficient. Never much of a line. If however you do not have a box seat ticket they make you go a back route that could not be more difficult and could well take you an inning just to find. The second location on the Mezz level is easy to spot, it is a simple stand out on the walkway. The downside is that it is not always open. If it is light attendance it will not be open. The sandwiches are excellent.They are better then sandwiches from Italian Food Center, a place revered by chowhounds. Grab an order of Nathans fries, never hot enough, and a Brooklyn Lager and you will be happy. Despite all I have written, Bob is right in suggesting Srip, S&T and Donavans. If time and transportation allow, there is great eating on the way to Shea. I would add Taqueria Coatzinga and Rincon Criolla to the list of great chow steps from the 7 train.
The Italian sausages are pretty good, however the bread overwhelms the sausage a bit too much for my flavor. Go the the Leo's stand (aka mama's). I believe you need to take Gate B, field level. ask an usher if you need help--they all know where it is.
Also, the kids stands (in the upper deck at least) seem to have the nathan's foot longs (serious dog), but they don't sell beer. if there's two of you, send one on beer run, and the other to get the foot longs, which i swear taste better than the regular ones. As for beer, some vendors have cans of brooklyn lager, fyi.
wow, i guess i'm a met-food freak. don't let my wife read this!!