There is truly nothing like opening day at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. That’s when our boys in blue, the Kansas City Royals, take to the baseball field for the first home game of the season. It is simply impossible not to get caught up in the action. In the morning, as you make your coffee, you notice it’s all the local morning news programs can discuss. On every street corner, on your way to work, you will see people standing in the center median waving newspapers in the air and shouting. They are selling the local Kansas City Star newspaper, just like the old newspaper boys did. Inside the paper, is a special section dedicated to the Kansas City Royals opening day.
Of course, everyone is wearing royal blue and white, as folks dust off their Royals apparel and wear it with pride on opening day. Many people in Kansas City actually take the day off from work to head to the ballpark early to start tailgating. If you are one of the unfortunate souls headed in to work, you will notice as game time approaches the people in your office will begin to thin, as most will sneak off to catch the first pitch of the season either at the ballpark or at the local watering hole close to the office. There is an undeniable energy in Kansas City on opening day that fuels the city for the coming season. It is a day reserved for baseball . . .and it’s fans. But what about it’s food?
So, say you have your tickets to attend the first home game of the Royals season; you need to know where to eat and drink once you make it through the gates on opening day. There, I can help.
To start, there are over 79 different food stalls and drink stands within Kauffman Stadium. These places are spread all over the ballpark for convenience and to make sure that there is something for everyone to enjoy. The menus and food offerings were revamped last year, by the executive chefs at ARAMARK, the food service company for Kauffman Stadium. Now, depending on where you are sitting, you can get everything from a hot dog and a beer at your seat, to BBQ, burritos or burgers at the food stands. If you are a VIP, you can even score a KC Strip steak and a martini in the Diamond Club. There are also a few new restaurant chains occupying booths out at the ballpark like The Blue Moose, Stroud’s, Papa John’s Pizza and Jose Pepper’s Burrito Carts.
The biggest food and drink news we saw at Kauffman Stadium happened just last year with the addition of our local brew, Boulevard, to all the beer taps at the ballpark. They now offer Pale Ale, Wheat and usually one seasonal beer, which if you love good craft beer, honestly makes the baseball experience just that much better.
In terms of what and where to eat at the ballpark, truth is, I would keep it simple. I would suggest sticking to the most traditional ballpark favorites of all time. Try the classic combination of a hot dog and a beer. Nothing is more all-American than that dynamic duo and baseball. But, before you think this is a cop-out, I do suggest a certain stand and a most unusual dog while dining at the ballpark, so you are actually going to have to leave your chair to find this good grub.
Head for Dugout Doghouse, located in Section 208 or 247 of Kauffman Stadium. Get yourself the BBQ Dog and a Boulevard Wheat beer. You’ll be getting a foot long hot dog topped with tender pulled pork, BBQ sauce, pickles and coleslaw and an ice cold craft beer made right here in Kansas City. We are good at a lot of things in Kansas City . . . opening day is only one of them.
Written for the VisitKC.com blog.