Eric Laignel

The Washington Nationals have a ton of talent—and a dizzying variety of delicious ballpark food. We’ve got fans covered with our guide to eating on game day.

Amy McKeever
June 23, 2015

The Washington Nationals have some of the most exciting players in the game: fans are especially fired up after Max Scherzer pitched a no-hitter June 20 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and 22-year-old Bryce Harper is in the midst of an MVP-caliber season. Just as promising? Nationals Park and the Navy Yard neighborhood have put their full support behind the Nats, offering dining options that elevate America’s favorite pastime. Here’s our guide to the best of eating and drinking by the park come game day.

Ben’s Chili Bowl

(Sections 109, 140, 301, 315)

This offshoot of the legendary U Street eatery allows fans to enjoy the classic half-smoke, chili dog, chili cheese fries, or chili bowl from the stands.

Bluejacket

This two-year-old brewery (pictured) has become the go-to spot for game day drinking and eating. The sizeable draft list pairs well with classed-up bar food like house-made tater tots, soft pretzels with beer mustard, smothered fries, charcuterie, and burgers. The on-site restaurant Arsenal offers an even wider menu, with beef heart tartare, bucatini with meatballs, and braised lamb.

Bonchon

This Korean fried chicken chain has a cult following for its crispy double-fried wings and finally hit the District this year with its Navy Yard debut. Don’t miss the drums and chicken strips, or branch out to the fried rice, bulgogi sliders, sesame ginger salads, and potstickers.

Dolci Gelati

(Sections 112, 135, 235, 307)

We’re partial to the bacio (chocolate hazelnut), stracciatella, mint chocolate chip, mimosa, and dulce de leche flavors at this artisanal Italian gelato and sorbet stand.

Fairgrounds (no website)

(1201 Half St., SE, Washington, DC 20003)

The quintessential game-day experience starts about two hours before the first pitch—at the Fairgrounds, an enormous outdoor space across from the park. Filled with live bands, cornhole, food trucks, and hot dogs and beer vendors, it stays open for two hours after a home game, and offers a $5 happy hour between the third and seventh innings.

G Sandwich Shop

(Section 136)

Restaurateur and Top Chef alum Mike Isabella opened a branch of his popular G Sandwich Shop in Nats Park to the delight of many baseball fans last year. Go for the classic chicken parm the killer roasted cauliflower sandwich.

Ice Cream Jubilee

Washingtonians fell for Ice Cream Jubilee when owner Victoria Lai was still operating out of her apartment in her spare time. Her first storefront, this location ensures flavors such as banana bourbon caramel, gin and tonic sorbet, and strawberry white chocolate are always available.

Justin’s Cafe

Justin’s Cafe is the original spot for fans, having been open a block and a half from the ballpark before the competition came in. There are five flat-screen TVs for watching the game, a progressive happy hour with food and drink specials, and a menu full of nachos, sandwiches, and “American-Neapolitan” pizzas.

Osteria Morini

Chef and restaurateur Michael White’s spin-off of his popular New York City restaurant gives hungry fans pasta, antipasti, grilled meats, and dishes like roasted half chicken and branzino. There’s a kids menu for family baseball outings, and $5 small bites at happy hour.

Shake Shack

(Section 240)

Fans brave the lines at Danny Meyer’s coveted burger chain for its thin patties and crinkle-cut fries. But if the line overwhelms, Meyer’s other stands include a taqueria (El Verano), barbeque (Blue Smoke), and French fries (Box Frites).

Shawafel

(Section 104)

H Street’s popular Lebanese restaurant offers hungry game-goers shawarma platters, falafel sandwiches, hummus, and tabouleh.

TaKorean

(1212 4th St SE & Tingey St SE, Washington, DC 20002)

One of the biggest success stories to come out of DC’s food truck scene, TaKorean has a customizable menu of tacos, rice bowls, and slaw bowls to which you can add slow-roasted semi-cured pork shoulder or thinly sliced beef marinated in a soy-based sauce. For two hours before a home game you’ll get $2 off an order of $8 or more.

Amy McKeever is on the D.C. beat for Travel + Leisure. You can follow her on Twitter at @AmyMcKeever and on Instagram at @amykmckeever. 

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