Your Guide to Eating and Drinking at Nationals Park in 2022

We’ll always have peanuts and Cracker Jack, but at Nationals Park, fans can proudly sing “buy me some pupusas and chili half-smokes,” too. As always, the Nationals have partnered with a deep bench of local chefs and restaurateurs to bring exciting, global flavors to the stadium in Southeast DC. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic ballpark dog, or a locally made banh mi-inspired sausage, there’s plenty to pick from.

When it comes to new things to look for at Nationals Park, one of the biggest recent innovations is mobile pre-ordering—no line standing necessary. In the pandemic, the park adopted a cashless policy for parking, ticketing, retail, and concessions. They also launched the MLB Ballpark App, which in addition to allowing fans to purchase and manage tickets, helps them find food and drink with cuisine searches, order food and drinks online, and scout pickup locations.

New in 2022

Roaming Rooster chicken sandwiches. Photograph courtesy of Roaming Rooster.

Roaming Rooster (Section 238) DC’s smash hit fried chicken sandwich purveyor now serves its hearty creations at the park. Heat seekers should try the hot chicken or Nashville hot-hot variety—or skip the burn with the honey-butter chicken.

Hard Times Café (Section 105) The Washington classic, which opened in Alexandria in 1980, made a stadium comeback after a hiatus. On the menu: all things chili (vegetarian and meaty)—chili dogs, cups, fries, loaded nachos, and more.

Duke’s Grocery (FIS Champions Club) A spinoff of the Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom gastropub is now located in the revamped FIS Champions Club, and dishes up their signature burgers, tenders, and mac’n’cheese to members only.

Foodie Fan Favorites

Grazie Grazie’s Italian sandwich at Nationals Park. Photograph courtesy of Grazie Grazie

Arepa Zone (Center Field Plaza) The popular Venezuelan vendor, which operates several operations around DC, serves stuffed arepas, cachapas (fried corn cakes), and cheesy tequeños.

Medium Rare (Section 105) Restaurateur Mark Bucher is known for his menu of steak, fries, special sauce, and bread. Here, you’ll find all that wrapped up in one handheld sandwich.

Haute Dogs and Fries (Sections 105 and 223) A longtime Washingtonian favorite, Alexandria’s specialty hot dog purveyor dishes up snappy franks with creative toppings; past winners include Chicago dogs and Vietnamese-style banh mi.

See. You. Tatter. (Section 106) This stall is dedicated to crispy tater tots and wings. Tot towers come in themed flavors like “backyard barbecue,” while there are five styles of wings ranging from Buffalo to Old Bay.

Harris Creek Oyster Co. (Section 107) Fans of Chesapeake Bay oysters can get freshly shucked bivalves from this family-owned company, which has been operating on Maryland’s Eastern Shore for over a dozen generations.

Ben’s Chili Bowl (Sections 109, 141, 318) Spinoffs of the U Street icon, these kiosks dish up DC’s signature chili-cheese half-smokes. Their chili-cheese fries are great for soaking up beer beyond the seventh inning.

Dolci Gelati (Sections 113, 235, 309) Cool off during the peak playing season with treats from this local gelato shop.

Grazie Grazie (Section 114) Taylor Gourmet founder Casey Patten’s Wharf sandwich shop is relatively new to the roster. The menu includes hearty Italian cold cut subs; herb-roasted turkey with mozzarella, prosciutto, and pesto; and a vegetarian Caprese sandwich.

Jimmy’s Famous Seafood (Sections 114, 140, and 307) You don’t need to drive to Camden Yards for a tasty ballpark crab cake. Jimmy’s, a Baltimore fixture since 1974, joins the opposing team with three kiosks for crab cakes, crab nachos, and more.

La Casita Pupuseria (Section 116) Salvadorian pupusas are the catch here, stuffed with fillings like pork or beans and cheese, and served with kicky cortido slaw.

Taqueria Del Barrio (Section 130) Anna Bran-Leis’s Petworth taqueria joins a growing roster of women-owned businesses at the stadium. Look for crowd-pleasing dishes like chicken tinga or beef barbacoa tacos and nachos.

Melissa’s Field of Greens (Section 136) There are a number of meatless dishes around the Park, but dedicated herbivores can go all-in at this kiosk without worry.

Shake Shack (Section 240) Pre-pandemic, long lines sometimes thwarted us from a double Shackburger fix—but now, thanks to mobile pre-ordering, you don’t have to waste game time.

Rocklands BBQ (Section 243) The wood-fired barbecue specialist dishes up meaty pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, tasty sides like slaw and mac n’ cheese, and gluten-free barbecue bowls.

Nationals Park food 2019
Medium Rare’s ultra-beefy steak sandwich at Nationals Park. Photo courtesy of Medium Rare.

Ballpark Classics

Senators Sausage (Sections 108, 308, 134) Get your fill of grilled ballpark sausages topped with peppers and onions.

Steak of the Union (Sections 117, 133, 227, 315) Phillies fans may turn up their noses, but these punny cheesesteak spots have their local following.

Nats Dogs (Sections 109, 129, 227, 310, 314) There’s nothing fancy and everything reliable about these ballpark dogs.

Change Up Chicken (Sections 117, 136, 313) Kids and kids-at-heart go for the tenders and fries.

Specialty Drinks and Stadium Bars

Photograph courtesy of BetMGM.

BetMGM Sportsbook (near the Main Entrance) Sports betting is on the rise around DC, and the Nationals have partnered with BetMGM to open the first sportsbook at a MLB stadium. The swanky 4,000 square-foot space near the main entrance boasts 40 TVs, a bar with pub food, and multiple betting windows and kiosks. While fans can’t go between the stadium and the sportsbook during games, a new app allows users to place mobile wagers within a two-block radius of the park.

District Drafts (Multiple locations) Local beer supplier District Drafts continues its expansion within Nationals Park—now with 13 locations. For the 2022 season fans will find beers from 3 Stars, Atlas, DC Brau, Denizens, Fair Winds, Hellbender, Other Half, Old Ox, Port City, Solace, Right Proper, and City State.

Cocktail Counter and District of Cocktails (Multiple locations) Cocktail fans will find new creations from Tory Pratt, the founder of DC’s Pratt Standard Cocktail Co. She will have two specialty batched cocktails wherever liquor is sold, though the drinks can also be made non-alcoholic. One is a Cherry Blossom Cocktail to match the Nationals’ new uniforms. The other is a cranberry-orange crush.

Budweiser Brew House (Center Field Plaza) The bar near the main entrance runs true to name—go for plenty of beers, views, and nostalgic baseball/brewery decor. Fans can also book tables outside during special events and theme nights, or as part of seasonal ticket packages.

Budweiser Terrace Bar and Ultra Loft (Section 242 and 243) The bar and picnic area is a popular place to gather during games, and neighbors popular concessions like Shake Shack and Rocklands.

Devils Backbone Left Field Lodge (Section 301) The Virginia craft brewery—which was acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2016—added a bar and picnic area to the stadium. In addition to their staple beers, the brewers sometimes team up with the Nats for exclusive specials.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

Leave a Comment