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Citi Field Suggestions Please....

So I'm headed to the stadium tonight and I'm not sure where to start my eating tour. I know Danny Myer has a Shake Shack but I wasn't wowed by the burger I had at their Madison Square Park location (I know, I know I have to try it again). Plus I'd like to try some new items anyway, we eat everything so let 'er rip.

Citi Field
Roosevelt Ave and 126th St, Queens, NY 11368

Shake Shack
Roosevelt Ave 126th St, Queens, NY 11368

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  1. The lines at the Citi Field Shake Shack are absurd. If you don't get to the game early and go directly, you're pretty much guaranteed to miss a couple of innings there.

    I find myself getting the pulled pork sandwich at Blue Smoke most frequently. Also really like the corn on the cob from El Verano Taqueria.

    You can also check out:

    Citi Field
    Roosevelt Ave and 126th St, Queens, NY 11368

    Shake Shack
    Roosevelt Ave 126th St, Queens, NY 11368

    1. I enjoy the ribs at the Blue Smoke quite a bit and the line is always much quicker than shake shack

      1. to do Shake Shack, you need to get to the stadium 90 min or so before the game, so you dont brave any line that would make you miss the game.

        I enjoyed the lobster roll that they sell at the seafood stand in right field (Catch of the Day). Also, the fries at the Danny Meyer run Box Frites are excellent.

        El Verano Taqueria was good. I wasnt blown away, but it is good. Have not had the corn though, will have to try based on the above suggestion.


        Shake Shack
        Roosevelt Ave 126th St, Queens, NY 11368

        1 Reply
        1. re: metfan630

          Well there's no way we're getting there 90 minutes early so...I think I may be able to fit two meals in- lobster roll and pulled pork if I time it right...Thanks for the suggestions!

        2. I don't agree with the suggestion for the Blue Smoke pulled pork sandwich. To me, it was tasteless and was more like shredded pork with a weak sauce, not actual barbequed pork butt. I've also sampled Shake Shack and thought it was decent for the price, but definitely not worth waiting on a long line. You might be better off with something from the Mama's concession or bringing in you own food.

          Shake Shack
          Roosevelt Ave 126th St, Queens, NY 11368

          1. coco, where are you sitting? if you're in the delta360 section, then you can have shack burgers, blue smoke and tacos delivered to your seats.

            if you have access to the acela club, i'd suggest going, so long as you can get to the game early. $35-$40 per person gets you all you can eat of some very very good food. it's run by drew nierport of tribeca grill, etc. way above your standard food selection.

            if you don't have access to either, don't bother waiting on the shake shack line, you'll miss an inning or two, at the least. either get the combo taco platter + corn at el verano, the bologna sandwich at blue smoke, or the fried fish sandwich at catch of the day. i wasn't a fan of the lobster roll, too small and not good. also not a fan of the shrimp po boy. you could also just do the tried and true mama's of corona sandwich. the turkey with gravy and mozz is phenomenal. haven't tried the korean fried chicken, but when i looked at them they looked greasy and cold.

            if all else fails, you can't go wrong with a premio sausage with onions and peppers.

            have fun and let's go mets.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jon

              Hey Jon-
              Thanks for the detailed post! The tix are through a business contact of my husband's so we actually don't know where we'll be sitting 'til we get there- And since we're all coming from work, in Manhattan not sure how early we'll be able to get there. But Mama's sounds promising as does the combo taco platter at blue smoke- Yeah!! Can't wait

            2. I second the Blue Smoke pulled pork sandwich.

              And if you weren't wowed by the Shake Shack burger at Madison Square Park there is no reason to ever try it again. It's not the type of thing that takes time to comprehend.

              Shake Shack
              Roosevelt Ave 126th St, Queens, NY 11368

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bob Martinez

                The pulled pork sandwich is good, but gets boring halfway through. Go for the Mama's Italian sandwich and some fries from box frites.

              2. I recommend the lobster roll or crab cake sandwich. As for the tacos, you could get better tacos lots of other places, so I would skip them. Like others have mentioned, the Shake Shack line is ridic, and you will miss a good chunk of the game trying to get a burger. Have fun!

                Shake Shack
                Roosevelt Ave 126th St, Queens, NY 11368

                1 Reply
                1. re: killatofu

                  Just thought I would follow up- First of all the game was great- even though we lost in extra innings. We did indeed have the pulled pork and still missed an inning and a half waiting on line but we had to eat so...I thought the sandwich was good, great bun. Not enough sauce in the middle of the sandwich, a bit on the salty side, and I like salt...We also had the fries at Blue Smoke which I enjoyed. But I really wanted to try their salty jalapeno chocolate bar. Anyone ever get it? It sounds kind of great. Maybe next time....

                2. I suggest eating before the game since some of the best Chinese food in America is a stones throw away, and you can bring food into the ballpark

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: FrankieLymon

                    This is the answer these guys need!! Not just great CHINESE but great mexican,greatest thai,great famous burgers+with astonishing GUINNESS,even a great FRENCH crepe place on the way... if there is enough salivating readers will provide locations. I suppose it depends if people need to park at CITI or have some time to ramble by auto or subway prior to the game.

                  2. i know its a bit late on topic but the blue smoke has a killer smoked bbq bologna sandwich that i recommend highly. i used to get the pulled pork but the 1/2 inch thick slab of country bologna with the bbq grilled is soooo good, give it a try!

                    1. I'm going to a game this coming week and I have a few questions...

                      What's the big deal about Shake Shack? Do they have the best burgers and shakes in the area, like Edzo's in Evanston? Or is it just all hype thanks to its association with a big name chef?

                      Are there any worthwhile specialties not already mentioned here? I see additional options on the Mets website at http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/nym/ballp...

                      What about around the neighborhood? micheal says that there's some great stuff nearby, but doesn't mention specifics. I'll be getting there on the 7 train so I'd be interested in options within a short walk of the Willets Point station. Or am I just better off with what's available inside the ballpark?


                      3 Replies
                      1. re: nsxtasy

                        Shake Shack is a upscale version of a fast food burger. Their most famous burger is the Shack Burger: thin patty, special sauce, buttered potato bun, lettuce tomato. I really like the special sauce (it's kind of in line with an aioli/mayo sauce)

                        The patty itself is pretty heavy on the fat content and well seasoned. It's cooked in the "smash" technique" that usually causes a crust on the patty's edges when executed correctly. I love them but I prefer a thin style patty overall (think In'n'Out in California as a reference). They're usually cooked medium. I wouldn't send you there if you want tons of beefy flavor and/or a super rare burger and/or a nice thick juicy bistro style burger as big as your head. I think the main criticisms are that it's not "beefy" or "juicy" enough or "too salty" (I happen to like saltier food) or or people don't like the sauce. Or it wasn't "worth" standing in line for.

                        They're good, I don't know if they're worth standing in line for during a baseball game and missing 1 1/2 innings, but that's your call to make (I make an exception for a nice day out in the park with friends at the Madison Square Park one and don't mind the 30-45 min line).


                        I think the under-the-radar choice is El Verano Taqueria which is run by Floyd Cardoz (Tabla (RIP), Lespinasse). I haven't had the pleasure but friends have given it good reviews, particularly in light of the long lines at the other options.

                        There is really good Chinese food one stop further on the 7 train to Flushing Main Street, the Queens Chinatown. Other friends like to hit up Sripraphai or Korean fried chicken joint UFC on the way to or from the game dependent upon scheduling.

                        If you plan it right, it should be fairly easy to dine at a Chinese restaurant before the game, and/or bring some items to the park.

                        If you choose to dine in, there's a lot of regional Chinese in Flushing you probably won't find elsewhere: Shangdong/Qingdao, Henan, Dongbei, and Wenzhou. And Xian Famous Foods which is an regional Chinese restaurant slowly turning into an empire across Queens and Manhattan -- and the food is good, too! This is in addition to the more common (I suppose?) Taiwanese, Hunan, Cantonese, Shanghaiese, Sichuan, etc.

                        scoopG's got a nice link to dedicated threads here for some of the new regional Chinese restaurants:

                        I don't think there's really anything immediately within walking distance of Citi Field though. Happy to be proven wrong!

                        Here a Flushing walking tour (feel free to hit only a subsection):

                        1. Best North Dumpling (41-42 Main Street - NOTE NEW ADDRESS) - boiled "aquatic food" or pork/fennel dumplings. A bit of a thicker skin as these are of a northern style. They have some seating.

                        2. Corner 28 duck bun window (40-28 Main St sidewalk window) - duck buns in a mantao, skip the cheung fun, they're gooey. Duck buns come in a takeout container, but I usually eat them on the street.

                        3. White Bear (135-02 Roosevelt Ave #5) - wontons with spicy sauce on top. Not sichuan style (wontons in hot oil) spicy, but still quite good. They have a little seating but not much.

                        4. Zhu Ji Guo Tie (40-52 Main Street is the technical address, but the actual window is on 41st Avenue across from the Starbucks) - fried dumplings (guo tie). I scarf these down on the sidewalk.

                        5. Xian Famous Foods in the maze-like Golden Mall (41-28 Main Street, stall #36, basement level) - hand pulled noodles with cumin lamb, cumin lamb burger, liang pi (cold skin noodle "salad"). This one is skippable if you plan to go into Manhattan at some point as they have two Manhattan Chinatown locations and one East Village location now. But the lamb burger to go might be good. You'll know it when you see the giant photos on the walls and pictures of Anthony Bourdain. Super-friendly staff. Some seating but it's often full.

                        6. Chengdu Heaven in the Golden Mall (41-28 Main Street, stall #31, basement level) - dan dan noodles or whatever else looks good. Maybe mapo tofu? Some seating but it's often full.

                        7. Wang-Zheng's Halal Snacks (41-28 Main Street, #C6, ground floor, towards the back in an open eating area) - chive box/pancake stuffed with chopped up noodles and fried cruller, note no English menu, so gesticulating may be required.

                        8. Old Wang Ji (41-28 Main Street, #C5, ground floor, same open eating area, with a counter) - Fujian style fish ball soup with pork stuffed into the center of the fish ball. No English menu, so gesticulating may be required.

                        9. Temple Snacks in the Flushing Mall (133-31 39th Ave, food court is on bottom floor, located on the way left hand side) - Taiwanese (pork) burger aka gua bao. This Western style mall has announced its closure in the near future, hopefully Temple Snacks will find a new home in a different food court.

                        10. Sun Mary Bakery (13357 41st Road). They specialize in pineapple cake which is more like a Chinese fig newton but have a huge variety of products: cakes, cookies, biscuit like things, cream puffs, hilariously decorated cakes.

                        11. The Xin Jiang BBQ Master at 41st Ave. & Kissena Blvd. Skewered meats on a stick.

                        I've done this tour, too, by cutting a few spots and either starting at Guang Zhou restaurant for dim sum or ending with Nan Xiang for xiao long bao.

                        Serious Eats also has maps of the Golden Shopping Mall but some of the stalls have changed, since. Golden Vietnam Bakery is now a baos/buns/scallion pancake/fried dumpling type of place. The bubble tea place is gone now. BTW, I'd skip Shandong Dumpling as the last batch we got was a bit burnt.

                        Basement map
                        First floor map

                        These stalls change hands so quickly that any map is likely to go out of date in 6 months but at least you'll get the general layout OK.

                        BTW, you can get from Manhattan to Flushing in 20 minutes using the LIRR if you're worried about time. And it's only $3.75 on weekends under the CityTicket program.

                        Golden Shopping Mall
                        41-28 Main St, Queens, NY 11355

                        Corner 28
                        40-28 Main St, Queens, NY 11354

                        Unidentified Flying Chickens
                        71-22 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                        Flushing Mall Food Court
                        133-31 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11354

                        Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao
                        38-12 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354

                        Sun Mary Bakery
                        133-57 41st Rd, Queens, NY 11355

                        White Bear
                        135-02 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11354

                        64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                        136-59 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11354

                        Friendship Shopping Plaza
                        41-42A Main St, Queens, NY 11355

                        Zhu Ji Guo Tie
                        40-52 Main St, Queens, NY 11354

                        Citi Field
                        Roosevelt Ave and 126th St, Queens, NY 11368

                        Shake Shack
                        Roosevelt Ave 126th St, Queens, NY 11368

                        1. re: kathryn

                          That's a lot of great information - thanks so much!

                          1. re: nsxtasy

                            btw, I used to eat at Little Pepper before Mets games. It was a 12 minute walk. But they moved and are now too far away. My current choice for eating before a game would be the Golden Mall (there have been plenty of posts about it besides this thread) but it's several blocks further away and is a 20 minute walk.
                            Based on the Mets play of the last few days, I'd make sure I had a great dinner. It will certainly be the highlight of the evening.

                      2. Well, I went to Citi Field. I was still somewhat full from lunch, so I didn’t get much to eat. But what I got… was dreck.

                        I went to Shake Shack. I guess my hopes had gotten a little higher when, earlier in the day, I walked by a Shake Shack in Midtown and the shake menu sounded really creative (they even had a shake for dogs!). Well, not at Citi Field. The menu was not very exciting. So… I decided to get a vanilla shake. How badly could they screw that up? Pretty badly – it was like a McDonald’s shake. Just awful. Edzo’s, this place is not. (Edzo’s has the best milk shakes ANYWHERE, the kind where they use real ice cream and they make it in an old-fashioned shake maker and give you the leftover in a metal cup.) I didn’t try the burgers, but based on the shake, I just don’t get why anyone would wait in those looooong lines at this place. < shakes head >

                        I also went to El Verano Taqueria and tried the chicken mole pipian tacos. That was another loser, with absolutely no pipian mole and just some shriveled pieces of chicken. I should have known better; there are some types of food that New York does better than Chicago, and others that Chicago does better than New York, and I had already been told that Mexican was one of the latter. I guess would have been better off trying one of the hot pastrami sandwiches at Citi Field. They can’t screw that up… can they?

                        On a humorous note, I thought the Dunkin’ Donuts booths were funny – the first ones I’ve ever seen that didn’t have donuts for sale!

                        Anyway, thanks for the advice, which is appreciated nonetheless!

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: nsxtasy

                          @nsxtasy, I have to laugh. You are the GREATEST guide to Chi-bound hounds. I live in NY and the food here is generally too expensive and drecky. Chi is a great eating city, even for a vegetarian like me. I am sorry for your experience but eating in NY in general is nowhere near as diverse or satisfying, and at a good price, as it is in Chi.
                          Heading out to Chi first weekend in June. Can't wait. Always look forward to finding great veg stuff.
                          Happy trails!

                          1. re: mrsdebdav

                            In all fairness, I had some great meals on this trip, including several in New Jersey (about which I reported in that forum) and one of my top all-time meals, lunch at Per Se. I realize that food at the ballpark isn't going to be as good as elsewhere, and it's going to be more expensive, but just within the context of ballpark food, I wasn't impressed. (And the food at the two Chicago ballparks isn't all that great as ballpark food goes, either!)

                          2. re: nsxtasy

                            Stop, just stop! El Verano Taqueria is a ballpark taco window, not representative of New York mexican food. Any number of restaurants or trucks on Roosevelt Ave., under the 7 train on your way out there, would have served to compare to anything, outside Puebla.
                            I doubt that I'd go to Wrigley to find a sample of Chicago's best Mexican. Stop.
                            Having said that, El Verano Taqueria is pretty good for stadium food.
                            Also, I had their black and white shake the other night, and it was very good, too. That was at 6 cuz I got there early, which may make a difference.

                            1. re: Paulomet

                              we also found the food at Shake shack to be subpar when we went also--lousy shake, and limp not very tasty hamburger according to my kid...we also tried the taco's, again, not good or fresh--best bet was the fresh mozzarell sandwich from Mama's. for us--go to Tortilla Nixtamal, or the empanada cafe and bring food in for 1/2 the price--when and if Timmy's frozen custard reopens--in Corona, their vanilla milkshake was heads and shoulders above any frozen custard I ever had from Shake Shack.

                              Empanadas Cafe
                              56-27 Van Doren St, Queens, NY 11368

                              Timmy O's
                              49-07 104th St, Queens, NY 11368

                              Tortilleria Nixtamal
                              104-05 47th Ave, Queens, NY 11368

                            2. re: nsxtasy

                              let's take it easy. you were eating ballpark food, nothing fancy. is the food at citi great? no, but it's better than you would get at most ballparks. the shack burger is a close approximation of the one in madison square park, the tacos are fine, the box frites are actually pretty tasty (with the bacon aioli), mama's turkey and mozzarella hero is phenomenal, and the fried fish sandwich at the daily catch is also very good. if you had had the time, the acela club happens to have an excellent spread as well.

                              give me a break if you think food at a ballpark is going to compare with food outside a ballpark. that said, be thankful that you weren't subjected to the culinary delights at shea stadium.

                            3. Don't know if this should be classified as a downhill alert, but the tacos at El Verano Taqueria were pretty horrendous. I've actually enjoyed them in the past (in spite of some posters saying it isn't "real" Mexican food), but the meats were dry and flavorless. The beef was incredibly chewy where I wanted to spit out because I couldn't get it down.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                Update for 2012 -- the tacos are still not very good. They changed the size in that they're serving mini-tacos. Plus is you get to try more variety. Minus is that you don't get as much value. The shells were also pretty dried out and floppy.

                                Blue Smoke's ribs are smaller than last year. And they're not giving wet naps anymore with them. Instead of raising prices they're cutting back on product.

                              2. To start off, I grew up in Queens so, technically, I have to be a Mets fan. No, I'm not proud of that. That out of the way..

                                What I've had there so far:

                                My favorite is the Korean style taco/wraps found in the World's Fare section. It's your typical Korean style beef with some onions on a rice bun style taco/wrap. It was made well, and what made it favorite is the fact that trouble was taken to go with a rice bun, which added a lot, instead of a ho-hum invisible vehicle for the beef.

                                Right next to the taco/wraps are Korean style wings. Good, if you like the style/batter. Came with, I think, 4 options for sauce, all of them typical/common.

                                Catch of the Day's Shrimp Po'Boy smacked me with its mustard and peppercorn flavors. They were of the sinus-clearing strength. The shrimp were of the large variety and nicely cooked. The bun... sigh. Anyway, the flavors were a bit too much for me, but it's also easy to like.

                                Their lobster roll is good stuff, lobster wise, but I'm not so sure it's worth the $20 when, if you tried, you can fit the whole thing in your mouth. Good portioned, flavorful lobster with a light sauce on a roll, which... sigh.

                                The tacos at verano, filling wise, I like, as well as the accompanying salsas; all had good, fresh flavors. The soft tortilla... sigh.

                                Blue smoke's pulled pork was probably my second favorite item. It's pulled pork - Not many ways it can go wrong, as long as it's the genuine deal. Served on a sturdy brioche, which was nice, but at the same time... sigh.

                                And, of course, Shake Shack. To me, it's the best of the burger chains. Sadly, no portabella option here. Great beef blend on a toasted potato bun. Good. Fries... Not so good, and aggressive with the salt. It didn't have much of a crisp and the salt just overwhelmed the potato flavor.

                                One thing I haven't tried yet is the burger from Keith's Grill. It's sort of my #1 goal the next time I find myself there.

                                Shake Shack
                                Roosevelt Ave 126th St, Queens, NY 11368

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: ediblover

                                  I don't eat in the ballpark because the best Chinese food in United States east of California is about a 10 minute walk away

                                    1. re: AubWah

                                      Aww, come on. One of life's greatest pleasures is to eat some good food while watching baseball. My perfect day would be a day game where I eat at the stadium then have dinner in Flushing afterward!

                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                        Here, here! You just gave me a plan for the next Mets home stay.

                                        1. re: Miss Needle

                                          I usually bring food into the stadium

                                          1. re: AubWah

                                            hmmmm you guys are scaring me now… I am going to a game on Sunday and was looking forward to a Chicago dog from shake shack. Husband and I had one this time last year and it was actually pretty good. Sorry to hear some of the quality of the food is going down.

                                            1. re: Asumnuthin

                                              i dont think the food at citi is that bad, but its definitely stadium food. the fries at box fries are solid, and shake shack is shake shach (except without the very very good veggie option available at all other locations, whats with that?)

                                              my big issue with eating at the ball park is that the thing i want the most (shake shack) im usually too annoyed to wait for, the lines are totally outrageous unless its over an hour before first pitch. for that time investiture i may as well get something to go from a place in flushing and bring it in with me.

                                              1. re: tex.s.toast

                                                The only time I eat at citi is bringing in Chinese