Opening Day for the Washington Nationals is Thursday, April 7, and hungry fans have a handful of fresh options to look forward to during the 2022 Major League Baseball season.
While the pandemic sparked some shakeup in concessions over the past two years, there’s still plenty to eat and drink while taking in a full-capacity game or show in the 41,000-seat stadium. New additions include homegrown favorites Roaming Rooster and Duke’s Grocery, in addition to a massive BetMGM sports book bar attached to the park (1500 S. Capitol St SE).
Medium Rare, See. You. Tater., and Haute Dogs & Fries rejoin the concessions roster this year, but David Chang’s stadium-friendly fried chicken brand Fuku and Max’s Kosher won’t be back.
Concessions also compliment the team’s new cherry blossom-themed Nike jerseys. Matching souvenir soda cups and ice cream helmets pay homage to the city’s iconic pink buds, and D.C.-based Pratt Standard Cocktail Company also makes an exclusive cherry blossom cocktail that’s served all over the park.
D.C.’s World Series-winning team hosts the New York Mets for Opening Day at 4:05 p.m. on Thursday. This summer’s concert series at Nationals Park welcomes big headliners like Bad Bunny, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and more.
Update: Due to a rain delay, the game has been rescheduled to 7:05 p.m.
Here’s a snapshot of what ticketed fans can expect inside Nationals Park this year:
New food vendors
Duke’s Grocery (FIS Champions Club Level): The beloved British-style pub takes over the grills within the newly renovated club level. Along with its essential burger, the abbreviated menu will include Duke’s sandwiches and fries. The homegrown gastropub will open a new Navy Yard location — its fourth in D.C. — this fall. Fans with seats inside FIS Champions Club can also find dessert stations, cocktails, all-inclusive fountain beverages, and more.
Hard Times Cafe (Section 105): Founded in 1980, the reliable chili chain across Maryland and Virginia brings its famous chili, nachos, and chili dogs back to Nationals Park this year.
Roaming Rooster (Section 238): The fast-growing local chain imports its wildly popular buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches to Nationals Park. The Ethiopian-owned business got its start in 2015 as a food truck and now has six standalone stores across D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, with more on the way.
A new BetMGM sports book operates out of a 4,000-square-foot sports bar attached to the stadium, complete with six betting windows, 17 kiosks, sleek lounge seating, and a 40-foot bar. The QR code-enabled bar slings quesadillas, wings, flatbreads, BLTs, and salads. For alcohol, there’s bottled, canned, or draft beers, wine, a cherry blossom highball, Cognac Old Fashioned, top-shelf liquor, and more. Open 11 a.m. to midnight for gambling and dining.
Other Eater favorites
Check out the full list of Nats Park vendors here
- District Drafts: Nationals Park pours 3 Stars, Atlas, DC Brau, Denizens, Fair Winds, Hellbender, Old Ox, Port City, and Right Proper, along with new on-site options from Solace, Other Half, and City State. Find the homegrown lineup at 13 dedicated sites around the stadium.
- Jimmy’s Famous Seafood (Section 114, 140, and 307): The decades-old Maryland restaurant serves crab cake sandwiches and crab cake nachos.
- Taqueria del Barrio (Section 130): Anna Bran Leis’s Mexican restaurant in Petworth brings chicken tinga and barbacoa tacos and nachos to Nats Park.
- Arepa Zone (Center Field Plaza): The Venezuelan fast-casual place on 14th Street NW and inside Union Market district’s La Cosecha market serves pork, chicken and beef arepas.
- Grazie Grazie (Section 114): The Wharf sub shop from Taylor Gourmet founder Casey Patten serves hefty Italian and turkey sandwiches and salads.
- Ben’s Chili Bowl (Sections 109, 141, 318): A beef-and-sausage half-smoke from Ben’s, served “all the way” with brown chili, mustard, and onions, might be D.C.’s most iconic dish.
- La Casita (Section 116): Pupusas from one of the D.C. area’s top Salvadoran food companies.
- Medium Rare (Section 136): People who frequent the local chain of steakhouses know the brand serves a set dinner of rustic bread, mixed green salad, and culotte steak with fries in a secret sauce. At the ballpark, Medium Rare is ditching the veggies and combining everything else, stuffing fries, steak, and sauce into a sandwich.
- Harris Creek Oysters (Section 107): The family-owned oyster farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore shucks its bivalves in Nationals Park.
Tried and True
Shake Shack (Section 240): Prepare to burn an inning or two waiting in line, but the smash burgers and soft potato buns from Danny Meyer’s chain are worth it.
Budweiser Brew House (Center Field Plaza): The beer-fueled hangout is filled with nostalgic baseball decor, a built-in bar, and patio seating with a breathtaking view of the field. Patrons can book four-top tables for a casual alfresco meal overlooking center field.
Nats Dogs: No day at the ballpark is complete without a hot dog (for meat eaters at least). Find all-beef tubes at stands all over the stadium.
Dolci Gelati (Sections 113, 235, 309): The local gelato chain has three kiosks for scoops and nitro cold brew.