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Nationals Park Food

nwdchound Jun 24, 2009 08:16 PM

Noticed there hasn't been much on this board about the food options at the park this season. One string that started out promising but then veered into a beer string.

Can anyone comment? Making a first trip to the stadium tomorrow and would love 'hound guidance on right answers. I read something online that they allow food to be brought in from outside. Is that true?


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  1. beauxgoris RE: nwdchound Jun 24, 2009 11:03 PM

    I always just go to the Ben's counter and get a dog and chili cheese fries. Sorry I haven't even tried anything else. I do recommend Ben's though.

    1. d
      dcopeland RE: nwdchound Jun 25, 2009 06:21 AM

      The "W" pretzels are pretty cool.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dcopeland
        erinnf RE: dcopeland Jun 25, 2009 12:12 PM

        I'm a huge fan of the Hard Times counter. The chili is just as good as the non-park locations. You can get a frito pie or nachos. If you're looking for a great value, go with the nachos.... seriously, it's a lot of food, but delish!

      2. s
        sacrilicious RE: nwdchound Jun 25, 2009 12:24 PM

        You are allowed to bring in food and one bottle of water:


        Last season there was an "On the Fly" cart outside the park that sold Julia's Empanadas. I've been to a bunch of games year but keep forgetting to look whether it's still there.

        But if you're eating in the stadium, stick to the known quantities - Ben's, Hard Times, or Five Guys. Everything else I've tried has been standard stadium food.

        Next time I'm going to try the kosher stand which sells shwarma, knishes, and falafel.

        I have brought my own food the past couple of times, and just buy beer and/or ice cream at the park. The lines can be slow-moving even when the stadium is half-full, and for the Red Sox series they've been even worse!

        12 Replies
        1. re: sacrilicious
          mjhals RE: sacrilicious Jun 25, 2009 12:48 PM

          Sacrilicious- do you know approx. where the kosher stand is located in the stadium? I'm going tonight and have sworn not to give in to ballpark concession temptation, but a knish sounds awfully good...

          1. re: mjhals
            sacrilicious RE: mjhals Jun 25, 2009 01:55 PM

            Kosher stand - I can't remember exactly, but if you enter at the main (center field) gate and turn left, it's near where the concessions start. Please try it and report back!!

            Ok, according to the website, it's in Section 143:


            1. re: sacrilicious
              mjhals RE: sacrilicious Jun 26, 2009 06:34 AM

              I tried it- awesome (but then, I'm a sucker for a good knish)! The kosher stand is not one of the concessionaires against the wall, rather it's a free-standing cart. Clos to an open area by Teddy's BBQ. They have kosher sausages, falafel, sharma, knishes, and brownies of all things.

              The knish was $5 and about the size of a tennis ball. Well seasoned potato inside with a nice golden brown crust. Fiance had the falafel and that was good as well, but messy- knishes are much more easily contained. I'm a fan!

              1. re: mjhals
                Jacey RE: mjhals Jun 26, 2009 10:15 AM

                Did they have chicken schwarma or kabobs, too?

                Are there are any healthy options at the stadium this year: sushi, sandwiches, salads, ect? I know a lot of stadiums these days are adding them.

                1. re: Jacey
                  mjhals RE: Jacey Jun 26, 2009 10:29 AM

                  The swarma looked like lamb to me, and I don't think they had kabobs.

                  As for healthy options, I'd say there's a big gap there. Seemed to be the same sort of offerings over and over again (variations on grilled hotdogs/sausages, with assorted nachos, chili, and fries thrown in). No sushi to speak of, a few sandwiches, but none that I'd consider healthy (bbq brisket was probably the closest thing, which should tell you something). The BBQ place may have had bbq'd chicken, I didn't check.

                  Maybe other visitors spotted something I didn't though? We were only on the main concourse level. So far it looks like I'll be sticking with the moderately sized carb ball that is the knish for the rest of our games.

                  1. re: mjhals
                    repete RE: mjhals Jun 26, 2009 10:39 AM

                    Photo slide show -- a year old, however




                  2. re: Jacey
                    sacrilicious RE: Jacey Jun 26, 2009 11:11 AM

                    There is freestanding cart on the main level called "The Healthy Plate," with wraps (vegetarian and turkey), hummus with vegetables, and a couple of salad options. I found the veggie wrap kind of bland, but it did seem healthy.

                    1. re: Jacey
                      Mister Big RE: Jacey Jun 26, 2009 07:02 PM

                      Hard Times Cafe offers veggie chili. I believe Ben's may, as well.

                      1. re: Mister Big
                        nwdchound RE: Mister Big Jun 27, 2009 10:30 PM

                        Thanks for the advice everyone. We ended up going to Bens and were disappointed. Should have persevered to find the kosher stand but with an all-time record crowd of 42,000, the lines were really long. The main Ben's outpost by the center field gates was staff by a nice enough guy who had to have been filling orders at the rate of about one every few minutes. Took forever and the chili dog was much greasier than what I'm even used to on U street. It's a shame the stadium doesn't have more variety given its newness. Agree with the post that most of the places are just different themes on low quality grilled dogs and sausages, pizza, etc. Also, I don't think anyone in the string answered whether food from outside is allowed in but we asked and were told no. Not surprising except that we were allowed to bring in bottled water. Bad team, bad food...no wonder the place is so empty when the Red Sox aren't in town.

                        1. re: nwdchound
                          Henry Spencer RE: nwdchound Jun 28, 2009 05:57 AM

                          Whoever told you you weren't allowed to bring outside food was incorrect. If we have enough time, we go to Five Guys by the Metro and take the food in. This is the official policy from the Nats' website:

                          All food items must be contained in single serving bags within a soft-sided container or cooler, that does not exceed 16" x 16" x 8". Metal, plastic or glass containers of any kind (except for factory-sealed, plastic water bottles, no larger than 1 liter and juice boxes) are prohibited at Nationals Park. Only one bottle of water per person will be permitted.

                          1. re: nwdchound
                            Bethheth RE: nwdchound Jun 29, 2009 07:34 AM

                            We bring in food all the time. I can't bring my self to pay ballpark prices. If we have time, we make stuff up at home and bring it in a cooler, if not we stop at Subway.

                            Also in terms of variety, I gotta say National's Park has got a pretty good selection. We were at Camden a couple of weeks ago and I was suprised at how little there was.

                            1. re: Bethheth
                              ktmoomau RE: Bethheth Jun 29, 2009 08:38 AM

                              At Camden they have really liberal policies for bringing in food and drinks we always get stuff at the stands right outside and bring it in...

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