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Best Stadium Food

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Best Stadium Food
There was a great article in the New York Times this week about food in American stadiums. So I wanted to ask you all, what stadium in Japan offers the best concessions? Or you can also just vote for a single best food item at any park in Japan.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Deanna | Posted: Jun 19, 2008 12:50 AM | NIP Fan ]

For single best item, I vote for the Bobby Burger that seems to only be sold at the Lotteria at Chiba Marine Stadium. I'm sad that you can't get them all over Japan anymore.

In terms of best concessions at a stadium I've been to, I'd have to fully go for the Sapporo Dome. Great variety of all sorts of food, awesome bento boxes, lots of stands all over the place in all parts of the stadium - and I mean, I don't really drink, but naturally the best beer in the country is in Hokkaido.

And of course, you have to go to Hillman's Hangout when you're in town. And so on. (I wrote a bit about this last month.)
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Jun 19, 2008 7:42 AM | HAN Fan ]

There is only one winner here, Jojoen beef bento at Tokyo Dome. Jojoen is an upmarket yakiniku (grilled meat) restaurant, and the beef bento is top quality. It's expensive, only available in limited quantities, and it always sells out quickly.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: number9 | Posted: Jun 19, 2008 10:13 AM ]

Gee, I didn't even know that there was a Jojoen yakiniku bento available! Didn't see it when I went to see Darvish pitch in a Fighters hosted game earlier this season, maybe it's a Giants thing?

The beer situation in Sapporo Dome was neat. Only Sapporo brand beers were being served by the famous beer girls who carry kegs on their backs. But Sapporo brand includes Yebisu, so I was a happy man. In other stadiums you usually get a choice of various beer brands, but Sapporo had all different kinds of Sapporo beer on tap from the beer girls.

Apparently there was a great tomato soup at Seibu Dome, but I never found it, and the stand is gone this season.

The famous sausage-mori at Jingu's right field concessions were just lukewarm and lacked kick, and generally didn't live up to the hype.

So, um. I don't have any favourites yet.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jun 19, 2008 1:18 PM ]

Although Koshien is my favorite stadium, it will win no awards for food. Sorry, but despite my love for Japanese baseball, I still can't associate baseball with curry and rice.

My favorite item, therefore, would have to be the hot dogs at SkyMark. Too bad there aren't more games there. It's the closest you can get to an authentic hot dog in a Japanese stadium - meaning it comes in a bun, not on a stick!

Of course we have to mention the beer, especially after the New York Times article. I read in the article that you now pay $11 for a Miller at Dodger Stadium! At Koshien I can get a far superior Asahi Super Dry for 600 yen!

Despite the hot dogs and other food, SkyMark loses points for beer. Although they have a selection, the beer girls sell way too much Suntory. Not for me.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jun 19, 2008 1:23 PM ]

Deanna, thanks for the great review of Hillman's Hangout! Somehow I missed it on previous trips, so I'll definitely have to check it out this summer.

As far as baseball-themed restaurants, Hiroshima has a good thing going. Yakyudori is a great yakitori shop with all items named after the Carp players. And there is another izakaya which has 71 yen beers until closing if the Carp win! Too bad they aren't an A class team! Maybe this year?
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Yakulto | Posted: Jun 20, 2008 8:12 AM | TYS Fan ]

- As far as baseball-themed restaurants, Hiroshima has a good thing going. Yakyudori is a great yakitori shop with all items named after the Carp players.

Yes! I went to this place and it was great, nice and cosy with a great atmosphere.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Jingu Bleacher Bum | Posted: Jun 19, 2008 9:43 PM | YAK Fan ]

Jingu Stadium food stinks. Save your money and just fill yourself up on beer.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jun 19, 2008 10:58 PM ]

Any of the older stadiums I have been to (Jingu, Koshien, Hiroshima) have awful food. I love the atmosphere of these charming old parks, though, so I just bring in my own food and have lots of beer.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: No.1BayFan | Posted: Jul 16, 2008 10:47 AM | YOK Fan ]

The best food would have to be at Skymark, IMO.

Although I love my takoyaki dearly, it was really nice to go "American Style" and eat a hot dog in a bun, even if it was for 2 games only last year. The Monster Dogs are the best hot dogs in Japan easily.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Guest: N26 | Posted: May 19, 2009 8:53 PM ]

I'm more of a drinker than eater at games. On cold evenings at Jingu shouchu oyu-wari and udon does the job.

Apart from that. Bento, curry rice, soba, udon, cup noodles, etc. are all good for me. Growing up in Yokohama, I grew up with shumai bentou. So that's my personal favorite. Tokyo Dome I think has got the best collection of food. Being able to walk freely around the Dome helps when you are in the bleachers which I usually am when I watch games.

My worst food experience was in Jingu bleachers. I ordered cup noodles and the water poured into the cup was cold.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: May 20, 2009 9:06 AM ]

Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium in Hiroshima might be the new winner. Great variety of food. Still an awful name for a stadium, but at least you can enjoy a hot dog or cheese steak with your baseball.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: No.1BayFan | Posted: May 20, 2009 1:21 PM | YOK Fan ]

Wow, decent food at a Hiroshima home game? I'll have to check it out when I go see Yokohama play there in late July.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Guest: Tex | Posted: May 21, 2009 12:13 AM ]

Is there really fried sparrow on a stick at one of the ballparks?
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: No.1BayFan | Posted: May 21, 2009 2:23 PM | YOK Fan ]

I haven't come across fried sparrow on a stick and I've been to all the major stadiums in Japan. But they do have fried chicken on a stick which is known as karaage in Japanese. That's quite common at ballparks all over Japan.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: SteveNovosel | Posted: May 21, 2009 1:37 AM | LOT Fan ]

I like the food selection at K-Stadium Miyagi (OK, I just like K-Stadium Miyagi, period). I like that they have a Chin-Ma-Ya in the bleachers as I am a sucker for Tan Tan Men - maybe not classic baseball food but I don't care. They also had some tasty and friendly food stalls on the outside.

Seibu Dome has a good variety as well, especially towards the infield areas.

Worst for me is probably Kyocera Dome, which I remember as having a pretty blah selection. And the food selection at Nagano last year was very dire - cold Yakisoba and cold hotdog, anyone? - but they get a pass as they weren't a real NPB park. They don't get a pass for their stupid bus queues, which were inexcusable.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: May 21, 2009 9:33 AM ]

- Wow, decent food at a Hiroshima home game?

Yeah, for variety, Zoom Zoom can't be beat. I won't say everything is top quality, as it is still baseball stadium food. But the variety is great. In addition to old favorites like Carp udon, you can get hot dogs, cheeseburgers, and the aforementioned Philadelphia cheese steaks. I won't say they are authentic, but I guess they just figured since they already copied the mascot they could put some Philadelphia food on the menu as well! Also be sure to check out the unfortunately named "C-men" noodle shop.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Deanna | Posted: May 21, 2009 8:19 PM | NIP Fan ]

Chiba Marine Stadium has had cheesesteaks for at least two seasons now, but since I actually grew up in Philly, it's hard for me to eat them anyway.

Tokyo Dome's food is overpriced IMO, but I guess some people like getting to run the gamut of generic stadium food. What bugs me there is that I don't have any items I particularly like, whereas at most stadiums I have certain habits and things that I actually like to buy, if I don't have time to bring a lunch/dinner with me. Chiba Marine it's always Bobby Burgers, Seibu Dome now will always be miso katsudon (assuming I can get to the infield, but that stuff was TASTY for not being in Chubu), Yokohama I always seem to get the star-shaped potato-cakes. Jingu, come to think of it, my habit is "buy whatever looks interesting from the vendors along the street from Gaienmae."

I still think the stadium bento are a lot of fun though, and I enjoyed trying the Rhodes bento at Kyocera, the Kawasaki and Wada bento at Yahoo Dome, and the Inaba bento up in Sapporo.

I can't wait to get back to Hiroshima this year -- the food choices there in the past were atrocious, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they have now at the new stadium.

By the way, Seibu did a great job with food trucks at Omiya earlier this week -- lots of variety and a real kind of festival atmosphere since it was so colorful with all the food truck flags all over the place. I liked the Lions taiyaki -- no idea if they usually have that at the Dome, come to think of it (most of the time I'm not sitting infield enough to actually get much of a choice about what I eat).
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Guest: N26 | Posted: May 21, 2009 9:59 PM ]

Do they have Japanese food in MLB? Anyone who knows anything about food knows that the Japanese cuisine is superior to American cuisine. Hamburgers, which are not bad but since Americans eat that stuff too much they basically all turn fat by the age of 30 and die of heart attack. So, before you opinion about Japanese food in ball parks, know that Japanese food is better for body, health, and has a better ring on a global scale.

[Editor's Note: Sarcasm impaired people should not be reading this.]
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Guest: Isaac | Posted: May 23, 2009 6:50 AM ]

Safeco Field in Seattle has a variety of Asian food, including sushi and features the Ichi-roll. Never tried it though, too expensive. I think it is unlikely you would find Japanese food at any of the other stadiums. Maybe California or New York.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Guest: Tex | Posted: May 24, 2009 5:47 AM ]

I found this in an article at The story was written over 10 years ago though so the menu may have changed.
YAKITORI are bite size bits of chicken (actually the name for bird, or tori) grilled on skewers. But watch out; gizzards and skin may also be offered. A popular variation that you probably won't find at the ballpark are skewered sparrows, eaten heads and all.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Guest: N26 | Posted: May 24, 2009 7:34 AM ]

What is skewered sparrows, called in Japanese? Curious to know. Where do they sell it?
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: May 24, 2009 1:21 PM ]

Is it sparrows or swallows? I remember a yakitori shop that sold a whole bird on a skewer -- I think it was suzume on the menu. But have never seen such an item at any stadiums in Japan.
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Guest: N26 | Posted: May 24, 2009 6:24 PM ]

I never knew they ate suzume yakitori. I learn new things each day on Must be some special thing not so wide speed dish.

Here [] is a picture. Looks pretty tasty. But doesn't sound too tasty.

Maybe Jingu needs to start selling swallows on a stick to improve attendance figures. ?
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Guest: J.T. Cassidy | Posted: May 25, 2009 3:56 PM ]

Hold the relish! For my money, the single best deal in delectable Japanese stadium snacks has to be the canned mandarin oranges delicately plopped over shaved ice and then topped off with heavy syrup that they serve at Yokohama Stadium. It is actually the heavy syrup that keeps the canned oranges in your stomach on the train ride home and satisfies your healthy sugar intake needs for the rest of the month or more.

The last time I was there I peaked behind the counter and just knew I was in for an exotic epicurean adventure. The kitchen while oozing with local flavor, looks vaguely like my own. It screams "CLEAN ME!" which just adds to its charming allure.

In an age where they have turned the everyman's game on its head with out of this world food and out of this world prices to match, it is nice to see they are willing to dispense with the relish and practice the old fashioned fundamentals at Yokohama Stadium.

Way to go BayStars!
Re: Best Stadium Food
[ Author: Brad BT | Posted: May 26, 2009 11:53 PM | SEI Fan ]

I don't know much about stadium food in Japan. And the closest I've ever come to a ballpark here in the States is a field used by the Washington Nationals' Single-A affiliate, our own Vermont Lake Monsters. And the food here is good and the history as well. (Look up the Vermont Lake Monsters on wikipedia.) And, yes, the team is named after the lake monster that lives in Lake Champlain. (CHAMP IS REAL! I'VE SEEN HIM BEFORE WHEN I WAS 5!)

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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