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Nosh Pit

What to Eat (and What to Avoid) at Citi Field This Year 

Our $20 Dinner columnist's guide to what culinary delights await you, the long-suffering Mets fan, at the stadium this year.

(Scott Lynch / Hell Gate)

Does rooting for the Mets really feel like getting run over by a truck? I honestly don't know. I picked my team, the Yankees, in the early 1970s—the Celerino Sánchez era—because they were my dad's team, and so have ridden that road full of chumps and champs in equal measure, ever since.  

Here's what I do know, though: Every spring, the PR and marketing teams at Citi Field throw an excellent party to showcase everything that's new to a packed house of media folks and various high-powered influencers, and it's a blast. You get to walk around the empty stadium, they play the peppiest bangers imaginable, there's decent swag, and most of the day is spent eating just a stupid amount of food. 

(Scott Lynch / Hell Gate)

I went to Citi Field's "New in 2024" affair last week, and on the eve of the Mets home opener, which will surely kick off a season in which they will tear through the league on their way to a World Series title, I present to you a non-exhaustive look at what culinary delights await you, the long-suffering Mets fan, at the stadium this year.

Note: Most dishes at the party were served in sample sizes, and had been sitting under heat lamps for an undetermined amount of time before we snatched them up. Also, prices were not revealed, so in keeping with ballpark traditions everywhere, everything will likely cost at least four dollars more than you want it to.  

First, the good. There are some new celebrity chefs lending their licensed image here at Citi Field in '24 and, somewhat surprisingly given her spotty track record in the Big Apple, one of the best things I ate on media day came from Anne Burrell's Italian Eats stand—a boat of "loaded pepperoni chips" which essentially treated a bunch of thick slabs of the crisp-fried sausage as nachos, piling on things like provolone cheese sauce, pickled onions, and hot cherry peppers. This was fun and delicious.

The "Juicy Lucy" double burger from Adam Richman. (Scott Lynch / Hell Gate)

Adam "Man v. Food" Richman is also on celebrity row, with a messy, meaty "Juicy Lucy" double burger oozing cheese and drenched in French onion soup.    

Shake Shack delivered the goods with a new to Citi Field (and uninspiringly named) "Chicken Shack," which nailed the crisp coating/juicy inside required for a successful fried bird sandwich, and came topped with enough pickles and mayo to bring both an acidic bite and fatty gloppiness to the proceedings.

Shake Shack rocks and deals a winner with this fried chicken sandwich. (Scott Lynch / Hell Gate)

The family-owned Astoria crowd-pleaser Comfortland arrived ready for an early season run (through May 14) at the "Coca-Cola Truck" in right field. They'll be slinging a decadent brisket sandwich with balsamic fried onions and melted gruyère. Another brisket-based winner: Pig Beach's smoky beef and BBQ sauce ladled atop a mound of gooey mac and cheese.  

Brisket sandwich from Comfortland. (Scott Lynch / Hell Gate)

Chiddy's Cheesesteaks busted out their ridiculously large "Chiddy Dog," a foot-long covered in steak crumbles, jalapeños, and melted Cheez Whiz. I liked this a lot, but my stomach was happy that I didn't eat the whole thing.

Chiddy's monster dog. (Scott Lynch / Hell Gate)

Less successful were the slices, both the pepperoni-laden square and the oversized regular, from Prince Street Pizza, which were slathered in a sauce so sugary they almost functioned as dessert. Even sweeter (and equally unappealing after a single bite) was the Wok n' Roll rainbow cookie egg roll with chocolate sauce, the Long Island-based shop clearly just gunning for a viral hit with this one.  

The Prince Street Pizza is super sugary. (Scott Lynch / Hell Gate)

Three local restaurants will take turns selling their wares in the "Taste of Queens" subsection of the "Taste of the City" section at field-level, starting with teriyaki chicken skewers laid across egg fried rice from Poprice, whose regular location is a stand inside the Union Mall in Fresh Meadows. Jerk chicken burgers from Jamaica's RyRy's Kitchen will follow at the end of May, and a classic Cuban sandwich from Benny's Cuban Cafe of Ridgewood will arrive in July to close out the season. 

"I'm a product of a Brooklyn family, born and raised in Bushwick, and my dad's a big Mets fan, we're all big Mets fans, and this is amazing," said Mike Lopez, the chef and owner of Benny's. "We're a small mom-and-pop operation, so it's really super exciting to be at Citi Field."   

Some other, not-food news: All Saturday games will start at either 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. (so maybe just go eat dinner somewhere along the 7 train on the way home); promo days include both Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden bobblehead giveaways, and there's also a pickleball paddle (shudder) day; and 30 games will feature an incredible new dance team/cheer squad called the Queens Crew, who will roam the stadium throughout the game hyping up some serious party vibes. 

The Mets's new hype team, the Queens Crew. (Scott Lynch / Hell Gate)

Finally, there are now, at long last, two Citi Bike docks located at Citi Field, though be warned: As of now, these are not those "valet docks" able to accept an unlimited number of bikes, so you might show up at the stadium and have nowhere to park. 

(Scott Lynch / Hell Gate)
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