The question of what to eat at Nationals Park got substantially easier to answer with the arrival of New York restaurateur Danny Meyer's four ballpark concepts — Shake Shack, El Verano, Blue Smoke and Box Frites. But the ballpark has always been one of the city's better options, food-wise — there are also the outposts of Washington's iconic Ben's Chili Bowl, plus Hard Times Cafe and much more. Additionally, this is the first year where stepping outside the ballpark will be a viable option, too. Gordon Biersch and Park Tavern are aiming to open their doors by opening day, and Neighborhood Restaurant Group's highly anticipated Bluejacket Brewery plans to come later this summer. But here now is an updated guide to the best of what you can find within the ballpark.
Nationals Park's Five Standouts
Shake Shack: Nationals Park has one of Meyer's growing number of ballfield Shake Shacks. Here they're serving the classic ShackBurger as well as the Shack-Cago Dog, Shroomburger, cheese fries, frozen custards, and shakes. [Section 241]
Ben's Chili Bowl: This U Street institution has a couple of outposts in Nationals Park, where they're selling their signature half-smokes — an iconic DC dish if there ever was one — chili cheese fries and more. [Sections 109, 140, 301, 315]
Blue Smoke: A satellite of Danny Meyer's famed Manhattan barbecue joint serving Kansas City spare ribs, a smoked bologna sandwich, a pulled pork sandwich, beer and desserts. [Section 241]
El Verano Taqueria: Launched by Danny Meyer chef Floyd Cardoz, El Verano sells chicken mole Pipian, carnitas, vegetarian tacos, chile-marinated skirt steak, Barbacoa quesadillas, and more. [Section 241]
Shawafel: The H Street favorite will have its own stand at the ballpark this year. Customers can find their signature shawarma and falafel sandwiches there. Here's a look at the stand under construction. [Section 104]
*denotes Eater recommendations
Base Line Brews Sections 103, 106, 108, 110, 115, 117, 129, 133, 136, 139, 141: Sells premium and domestic brews
*Ben's Chili Bowl, Sections 109, 140: An outpost of the U Street restaurant, serving DC's iconic half-smoke, chili cheese fries, chili dogs and more.
Beltway Bar, Section 132: This bar offers beer, wine, cocktails and margaritas on the rocks.
Boardwalk Fries, Section 106: Boardwalk-style fries and chicken tenders.
Capitol Candy, Sections 109, 129, 137: Cotton candy and kettle corn.
Capitol Club, Section 113: Liquors
Change Up Chicken, Section 130: Selling chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, chicken and waffles.
Diamond Classics, Section 136: Typical ballpark fare such as hot dogs and soft pretzels. Also peanuts and cracker jackets, of course.
Daq's & Rita's, Section 106: Serves frozen daiquiris and margaritas
Dippin' Dots, Section 109, 129, 134, 143: The old "ice cream of the future" shopping mall favorite, flash-frozen ice cream mix in little pellets.
*Dolci Gelati, Section 112, 135: Italian gelato.
Field of Greens, Section 110: Healthier ballpark options such as veggie wraps, hummus and salads.
Frozen Rope, Section 135: Soft-serve ice cream in cones or miniature Nationals helmets.
Funnel Cake, Section 143: Selling, you guessed it, funnel cakes.
Georgetown Grill, Section 130: This one offers a bunch of burgers — Hawaiian, veggie, and "cowboy" among them — plus fries, peanuts and Cracker Jacks.
*Gluten Free,Section 136: Sells a variety of gluten free food items as well as beer
Grand Slam Grill, Sections 110, 141: Fries, chicken fingers, hot dogs and burgers.
*Hard Times Cafe, Section 106, 118, 129: A local chain serving chili in all forms — over spaghetti, in a bowl, over nachos and hotdogs. They've also got wings.
Jamming Island Outpost, Section 143: This centerfield option offers jerk ribs and jerk chicken, plus sides of cole slaw, potato salad and corn on the cob.
*Kosher Grill, Section 143: The Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington oversees this one to ensure the hot dogs, knishes, falafel and shwarma are kosher.
*Hawaiian Shaved Ice, Section 143: The sno-cone style Hawaiian treat
Nats Coffee and Fruit Smoothies, Sections 111, 142: What it sounds like - coffee and smoothies
Nats Dogs, Sections 108, 115, 129, 136, 141: Hot dogs, y'all.
Curly W Pretzels:, Section 106: Featuring the "Curly W Pretzel", slushy puppies, and pretzel dogs
Papa John's Pizza Section 115: Pepperoni and cheese slices from the national chain
Pop Fly Popcorn, Section 129: Regular popcorn and kettle corn.
Pretzels, Section 106: Pretzels, pretzel dogs and "slush puppies."
Rookie's, Section 143: For the kids, selling Uncrustables and kid-size hot dogs.
Senators Sausage, Sections 108, 134: One of many Washington pun-named vendors, this one selling a variety of sausages from spicy Italian to bratwurst.
*Shawafel Section 104: Features Shawarma and Falafel Sandwiches
Steak of the Union, Section 117: Cheesesteak place.
Sweet Spot, Section 105: Ice cream place with sundaes. Also candy.
Taste of the Majors, Section 117: This stand sells signature food items from other Major League ballparks across the nation such as a Florida Cuban, Philly hoagie, and New York pastrami.
Triple Play Grill, Section 141: Selling sliders.
Turkey Hill Ice Cream, Sections 115, 129 Eight flavors of Breyer's ice cream, and Nationals Helmet Sundaes
All-Star Bar, Section 240: Premium liquor and domestic beer.
Base Line Brews, Sections 205, 223, 229, 231: Features variety of premium and domestic brews
*Blue Smoke, Section 239: A satellite of Danny Meyer's famed Manhattan barbecue joint serving Kansas City spare ribs, a smoked bologna sandwich, a pulled pork sandwich, beer and desserts.
*Box Frites, Section 239: This Danny Meyer concept is just fries, both regular and a roasted garlic with grated Parmesan variety. Fries come with dipping sauces that are well worth trying.
Capitol Creamery, Section 217: Breyer's ice cream.
Diamond Classics, Section 202, 203: Typical ballpark fare such as hot dogs and pretzels. Also peanuts and cracker jackets, of course.
*Dolci Gelati, Section 235: Italian gelato.
*El Verano Taqueria, Section 241: Launched by Danny Meyer chef Floyd Cardoz, El Verano sells chicken mole Pipian, carnitas, vegetarian tacos, chile-marinated skirt steak, Barbacoa quesadillas, and more.
Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk, Section 242: Beer, plus premium and top-shelf liquor.
Jammin Island BBQ, Red Loft: Features Jerk Chicken and RIbs
Nats Dogs, Section 229: Good old hot dogs.
Papa John's Pizza, Section 225: Pepperoni and cheese slices
Pop Fly Popcorn, Section 205: Regular popcorn and kettle corn.
*Red Porch and Red Loft Bar, Section 244: The sit down Red Porch has wings, onion rings and potato skins to a variety of salads and hamburgers. The bar above at centerfield has a nice list of draft beers with an emphasis on the local such as Dogfish Head, Heavy Seas, and Flying Dog.
Senators Sausage, Section 225: One of many Washington pun-named vendors, this one selling a variety of sausages from spicy Italian to bratwurst.
*Shake Shack, Section 241: Nationals Park has one of Meyer's growing number of ballfield Shake Shacks. Here they're serving the classic ShackBurger as well as the Shack-Cago Dog, Shroomburger, cheese fries, frozen custards, and shakes.
Anacostia Station, Section 218: This stand can be found inside the Stars and Stripes Club and it offers items such as jerk chicken, braised short rib sandwiches, sweet potato fries and more.
Capital Carvery, Section 214: Also inside the Stars and Stripes Club, this stand offers carving stations of top round beef and smoked turkey.
Homestead Grays Pub, Section 217: Inside the Stars and Stripes Club, a full-service bar with beer, cocktails, wine and more.
Hot Dog Bar, Section 215: Features Hot Dogs
Nacho Bar, Section 217: Inside the Stars and Stripes Club, they've got nachos in three sizes: regular, supreme and grande, the last of which comes with an option of barbecue chicken on top.
Nats Bar, Section 209: Also full-service bar inside the Stars and Stripes Club.
Papa John's Pizza, Section 214: Featuring pepperoni and cheese slices
South Capitol Grill, Section 211: Selling strip steak sandwiches, fish and chips and veggie burgers.
Triple Play Grill, Section 210: Three kinds of jumbo dogs: brats, sausages and regular jumbo dogs.
All Star Bar, Section 318: Features premium and top-shelf liquors as well as domestic and local brews
Baseline Brews. Sections 301, 303, 305, 307, 309, 314, 315, 320: Features variety of premium and domestic brews
*Ben's Chili Bowl, Sections 301, 315: An outpost of the U Street restaurant, serving DC's iconic half-smoke, chili cheese fries, chili dogs and more.
Boardwalk Fries, Section 318: Boardwalk-style fries and chicken tenders.
Capitol Candy, Section 312: Cotton candy and kettle corn
Dippin' Dots, Sections 307: Wacky ice cream
*Dolce Gelati, Sections 307: Local, Italian-style gelato
Foggy Bottom Diner, Section 302: Your standard American fare, including burgers, sandwiches and chicken fingers.
Funnel Cakes. Section 316: Funnel cakes made fresh to order
Nats Dogs, Sections 310, 314, 317: Here are all manner of hot dogs. You can also get a "value pack" that includes a hot dog, chips and a drink for $7.
Papa John's Pizza, Section 310: Pepperoni and cheese slices
Pretzels, Section 318: Pretzels, pretzel dogs and "slush puppies."
Steak of the Union, Section 309: Cheesesteak place.
Sweet Spot, Section 310: Features Breyer's soft serve, served in a cone or in a mini Nationals helmet as a sundae
Taste of the Majors, Section 313: This stand sells signature food items from other Major League ballparks across the nation such as a Florida Cuban, Philly hoagie, and New York pastrami.
The Union Pub, Section 306: Full-service bar.
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