Food Road Trips: Game-Day Eats
Peanuts! Popcorn! Cracker Jack! They’re all great, but when it comes to chowing down as your team takes the field, order one of these favorites.
Ohio Stadium, Columbus: With well over 100,000 fans packing The Horseshoe on autumn Saturdays, it’s easy to see how this place sells an average of 1,500 pounds of smoked meats on game day. Fans love the in-house smoked pork and brisket sandwiches topped with barbecue sauce and house-made coleslaw. Columbus’ North Market Spices creates the signature rub that goes on the meats. 411 Woody Hayes Dr., Columbus 43210, 614/292-6330, buckeyestastethetraditions.com
Nationwide Arena, Columbus: This home of the Columbus Blue Jackets has a variety of food options, but maybe none as attention-grabbing and strangely alluring as its bacon-on-a-stick. The thick, seared applewood-smoked bacon is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, making for a satisfying snack that’s become a favorite among hockey fans. 200 W. Nationwide Blvd., Columbus 43215, 614/246-2000, nationwidearena.com
Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati: It’s a quintessential Queen City experience to take in a game along the Ohio River, and Great American Ball Park executive chef Gary Davis has amped up the ballpark fare with The Big Red Machine Burger. It’s topped with a split Big Red smokey, sauerkraut, beer cheese and Grippo’s potato chips and served on a pretzel bun from Servatii Pastry Shop. 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati 45202, 513/765-7000, reds.com
Progressive Field, Cleveland: The Indians’ ballpark prides itself on offering a flavor of the city’s culinary scene, with casual options such as Barrio tacos and Melt Bar & Grilled sandwiches. It even offers a twist on the classic hot dog, courtesy of the city’s Happy Dog restaurant. The hot dog is topped with mac and cheese, bacon and Froot Loops. And while it sounds outrageous, the sweet-and-salty combo offers a pleasant surprise. 2401 Ontario St., Cleveland 44115, 216/420-4487, indians.com
Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland: LeBron may be gone, but Cleveland’s culinary MVP Michael Symon still reigns inside the Cavaliers’ home. Symon’s Burger Joint, which serves up “smash-patty” single and double cheeseburgers, opened after the arena’s 2019 renovation. Try The Big Cleve Burger topped with kielbasa, French fries and nacho cheese. 1 Center Court, Cleveland 44115, 888/894-9424, rocketmortgagefieldhouse.com