We headed to a game against the Cardinals, and I was ready for my self-guided unique eats search! Along the way I had to take some fun pics and, yes, that’s a nacho helmet on my head, but more on that later…
Moerlein Lager House was there to greet us at the entrance and the guys in our group were pretty hyped up about it. Well, one of them was. The other was excited for the beer but not so excited for picture time. They grabbed the first IPA they saw and headed to the seats.
Little did they know, just around the corner was the brewery district that had beers from everywhere you could imagine. Taps-a-plenty! Later in the game we walked by that and they started drooling and whining like kids in a candy store! “Which one do you want?" "I don’t know – what about you?" "Let’s get them all and share!”
Of course you can get all the standards: brats, metts, pretzels and nachos. Those are the ball park norm and they’re plentiful! I love that Great American Ball Park serves Queen City Sausage – I have a great relationship with those guys and their metts are the best.
And for the traditionalists there are a couple of fun options: the All You Can Eat Stand near Sections 139, 144 or 428 offers unlimited sodas, popcorn, peanuts, chips and five hot dogs for just $20 per person! (That’s a lotta food.) Note: The All-You-Can-Eat pass can be added to any game ticket. The $20 pass does not include the game ticket.
The Reds are also great at hosting lots of fun events. We were there on Bark in the Park night (which they do several times each season) and ZOMG were there some adorable pups! I can definitely say I petted every dog I could. That bulldog…I can’t even. Thanks to all the super-friendly owners that let me take pics of their four-legged Redleggers.
After the ballpark food traditionalists, we have the ‘Nati traditionalists. It’s not Cincinnati without Skyline Chili, LaRosa’s Pizza, Frisch’s Big Boy and Montgomery Inn. I love that all of these favorites are available at the ballpark. Especially so those out-of-towners that have heard of this “freakish Cincinnati chili” can be in town for a game and still get to try it. I have to say – the LaRosa’s was calling my name. It smelled soooooo good! It’s always better at Great American Ball Park and Kings Island. Why is that?
Also, don’t miss Mr. Red’s Smokehouse (Section 137). The Smokehouse has a huge patio area that’s near the Fan Zone area, so you can grab a bite while the kids are running around. The food is Montgomery Inn and they have a couple of amazing NEW offerings this year: The Smokehouse Bowl is a fried tortilla shell filled with pulled pork, BBQ beans and sides – but get there early, once the bowls are gone, they're gone! They also have the Triple Play featuring a turkey wing, chicken wing and hog wing (my favorite!) – so...meat, meat and meat!
So, I’m a bit of a dork, and I always Go Big or Go Home. When faced with the question, “Do you want your nachos in a helmet?” I am definitely saying YES! These nacho booths are all around the stadium, but one side note – if you want chicken on the nachos you’ll have to forgo the helmet. No idea why. Also, I have a large head and that helmet was perfect for my head! So yes, after we finished the nachos we rinsed out the helmet and on my head it went.
Near the end of the game, those boys were all begging “mom” for ice cream so off we went. My husband is allergic to eggs so we couldn’t stop at Graeter’s, but UDF was there to help us out with a soft serve booth that sold sundaes in MINI-HELMETS! I had to get a matching mini helmet for my nacho helmet. They’re both currently proudly displayed in the “man-cave” at home.
I URGE you to hold off on your growling stomach when you get to the game and take the time to walk around the concourse – from one end to the other – and THEN decide what you want to eat. There are so many specialty finds at Great American Ball Park! A few of my favorites were:
- Kettle Corn & Caramel Corn (Main Entrance) – what’s a baseball game without some popcorn?! The smell that wafted from this booth was amazing.
- Fry Box (Sections 133 & 532) had Buffalo Chicken Fries, Pulled Pork BBQ Fries and even Goetta Gravy Fries! #drool
- Cotton Candy Waffle Cones?? Yes! Near the Fun Zone (Section 131) there's a UDF Ice Cream booth that serves cotton candy waffle cones! They'll fill them up with the soft serve of your choice and even add sundae toppings like sprinkles and more! Yum!
I think my favorite part of the night was catching this moment when one of the Bark in the Park pups was putting in his order at the concession stand. The blur at the bottom is because his tail was furiously wagging!
I did save my favorite food item from the night for last. Two words people: Cheetos. Popcorn. It’s at the Kroger Sweet Spot (Section 113) in a special section. Dale was friendly enough to let me POP over for a sample. This stuff is GOLD! First of all – to answer the questions – it’s Cheetos AND popcorn. It’s all got extra Cheetos cheese and is rolled in a drum and served toasty warm. Oh Mylanta – this stuff was the BEST! My Instagram feed was blowing up over this one! And – if you ask nicely – they’ll even let you try a sample!
I really didn’t even scratch the surface of all the tasty food options after my night at the ballpark, but I sure tried. There are also sit down restaurants –The Handlebar and The Machine Room Grille. Next time you head to Great American Ball Park, take a walk around and explore all the amazing dishes you have to choose from.