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What to Eat at PNC Park, Home of the Pittsburgh Pirates

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Photo: Navin75/Flickr

2012_4_stadiumlogo.jpgPNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is often singled out as the best baseball stadium in the country. One of the reasons for that is its concessions program. It doesn't include famous chefs or restaurants but does boast a number of comfortable club options, craft beer stands, and outposts of solid local spots.

Now, in honor of the first day of the 2012 baseball season, here's a guide to what to eat at PNC Park and where to find it.

PNC Park's Three Standouts

SMORGAS.jpgSmorgasburgh, Section 110: Probably the best place to eat in the entire stadium, the Smorgasburgh food plaza offers a whole bunch of solid local options. Choose from Quaker Steak & Lube (tons and tons of wings), Primanti Brothers (monstrous sandwiches, all of which come with tomato, cole slaw and french fries inside), and Beers of the Burgh (the best option in the park for craft beers).

HOFCLUB.jpgHall of Fame Club, located behind left field: Open to all ticketed guests. Table seating with standards a step-up from the normal burger and sandwich stands, a full-service bar, and a whole bunch of television screens. The outdoor patio is especially nice and has views of the Riverwalk and the Allegheny.

POPS.jpgPop's Plaza Food Court, Section 129: This food court on the main concourse is named after Willie Stargell and offers a whole bunch of ballpark standards. There's Chicken on the Hill (chicken sandwiches, buffalo tenders), Pub 475 (lots of beer, pretzels), Familee BBQ (barbecue platters, burgers), Pop-A Duke's Gyros (gyros and gyro salads), and Pop's Potato Patch (huge baskets of garlic, bacon and cheese, and chili fries. New additions this year are Chickie's & Pete's (crab fries!) and Nakama (sushi and sashimi, egg rolls, and hibachi items).

* indicates special Eater recommendations

Field Level

Allegheny Beverage, Section 137: A stand for basic beer, water, and peanuts. Look out for beer stands under the same brand scattered around the stadium.
All You Can Eat Seats, Sections 145, 146, 147: Depending on availability, 38 bucks gets you a ticket to the game in right field and a wristband that magically grants you all you can eat burgers, hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, peanuts, and soda.
Atria's Restaurant & Tavern, Section 137: A bar/tavern offering nachos, pastes, burgers, and sandwiches.
Diamond Pizza, Section 138: Here you can get pizza by the slice, 14" and 18" pies, hoagies, cheese sticks, and more healthy options.
Federal Street Grille Stand, Sections 136, 143: An "exhibition-style" grill serving burgers, chicken sandwiches, buffalo chicken tenders, fries, nachos, and peanuts.
JD Kettle Corn, Section 141: If Cracker Jacks don't hit the spot, go to JD for old-fashioned kettle corn in original, caramel, and cheese flavors.
*Manny's, behind center field seats: This barbecue stand is named after former Pirates catcher Manny Sanguillén, who has been known to hang around and sign autographs for fans as they wait for their smoked meats. On the menu: pulled pork, burgers and sliders, and chips.
North Shore Refreshment Company, Sections 135, 147: Your standard ballpark food and beer stand, with hot dogs, pizza, nachos, and fries. New to the menu this year: a Reuben dog (thousand-island dressing, swiss cheese and sauerkraut), a smokehouse dog (pulled pork, onion straws, and Kansas City-style barbecue sauce), the Polish Hill dog (cole slaw, mini potato pierogies, and onion straws),and jumbo Cajun fries.

Main Level

Allegheny Beverage, Sections 116, 125: A stand for basic beer, water, and peanuts. Look out for beer stands under the same brand scattered around the stadium.
Beverage Wall, Section 115: In addition to snacks, candy, and a whole bunch of bottled beverages, this grab-n-go options offers frozen drinks. No alcohol.
*Budweiser Bowtie Bar, Section 101: A new, U-shaped bar that offers a bit of shelter from the rain and the option to drink after alcohol sales have come to a close throughout the rest of the ballpark. It's not the prettiest place in the world, but it's convenient and open to anyone with a ticket.
Confections, Section 118: Pretzels, popcorn, and sweet stuff like cotton candy and lemon chill.
Dippin' Dots, Sections 114, 131: The peculiar ice cream orbs are on sale in different areas throughout PNC, by the cup.
Federal Street Grille, Sections 114, 120, 127-128: An "exhibition-style" grille serving burgers, chicken sandwiches, buffalo chicken tenders, fries, nachos, and peanuts.
Federal Street Grille Stands, Sections 111, 117: The portable stands of Federal Street only offer hot dogs, Italian sausages, and, at selected locations, kielbasa.
General Robinson Grill, Section 115: A slightly better option for grilled burgers, foot longs, and a whole bunch of french fries.
JD Kettle Corn, Section 126: If Cracker Jacks don't hit the spot, go to JD for old-fashioned kettle corn in original, caramel, and cheese flavors.
*Just4u, Section 128/129: New to the ballpark this year is Just4u, which offers vegetarian and gluten-free options. Also: good title for a Prince song.
North Shore Nacho Express, Sections 115, 120, 124, 128, 129: Nachos!
North Shore Refreshment Company, Sections 108, 113, 114, 123, 129: Your standard ballpark food and beer stand, with hot dogs, pizza, nachos, and fries. New to the menu this year: a Reuben dog (thousand-island dressing, swiss cheese and sauerkraut), a smokehouse dog (pulled pork, onion straws, and Kansas City-style barbecue sauce), the Polish Hill dog (cole slaw, mini potato pierogies, and onion straws),and jumbo Cajun fries.
*Pop's Plaza Food Court, Section 129: This food court on the main concourse is named after Willie Stargell and offers a whole bunch of ballpark standards. There's Chicken on the Hill (chicken sandwiches, buffalo tenders), Pub 475 (lots of beer, pretzels), Familee BBQ (barbecue platters, burgers), Pop-A Duke's Gyros (gyros and gyro salads), and Pop's Potato Patch (huge baskets of garlic, bacon and cheese, and chili fries. New additions this year are Chickie's & Pete's (crab fries!) and Nakama (sushi and sashimi, egg rolls, and hibachi items).
*Rita's (103/105): An outpost of the Italian ice chain, serving all sorts of basic flavors, as well as a Misto, a blended drink of custard and ice.
*Smorgasburgh, Section 110: Probably the best place to eat in the entire stadium, the Smorgasburgh food plaza offers a whole bunch of solid local options. Choose from Quaker Steak & Lube (tons and tons of wings), Primanti Brothers (monstrous sandwiches, all of which come with tomato, cole slaw and french fries inside), and Beers of the Burgh (the best option in the park for craft beers).
*Sweet Spot, Section 119: Soft serve in waffle cones, cake cones, and helmets. Also: root beer floats.

Club Level

Bierbauer's Grill, Section 213: Carved turkey sandwiches, pulled pork, fries, grilled chicken, and a bit more.
Buc's Wok, Section 210: A stand serving saucy Asian food like teriyaki, sweet and sour chicken, and stir fries.
Club 3000, Section 207: A sports bar open to anyone with premium seats. It's named after Roberto Clemente.
Club Cambria: A private club with a bar, suite attendants, and "chefs' tables" (that's swanky ballpark talk for "little buffet tables").
Gunner's Lounge Bar, Sections 214, 216: This bar/club is named after the broadcaster Bob Prince and offers beer and booze, as well as hot dogs.
*Hall of Fame Club, located behind left field: Open to all ticketed guests. Table seating with standards a step-up from the normal burger and sandwich stands, a full-service bar, and a whole bunch of television screens. The outdoor patio is especially nice and has views of the Riverwalk and the Allegheny.
*Keystone Corner, Section 228: Beer and billiards.
North Shore Refreshment Company, Section 202: Your standard ballpark food and beer stand, with hot dogs, pizza, nachos, and fries. New to the menu this year: a Reuben dog (thousand-island dressing, swiss cheese and sauerkraut), a smokehouse dog (pulled pork, onion straws, and Kansas City-style barbecue sauce), the Polish Hill dog (cole slaw, mini potato pierogies, and onion straws),and jumbo Cajun fries.
PBC Grill, Section 219: Basically the same as the standard grill options throughout the park, simply renamed for the club level. Also: a killer steak sandwich called the Pittsburg Slugger.
Score Amore, Section 222: Pizza and other Italianish items, like a bruschetta wrap.

Upper Level

Allegheny Beverage, Section 321: A stand for basic beer, water, and peanuts. Look out for beer stands under the same brand scattered around the stadium.
Dippin' DotsSection 315: The peculiar ice cream orbs are on sale in different areas throughout PNC, by the cup.
Federal Street Grille, Sections 310, 314, 332: An "exhibition-style" grille serving burgers, chicken sandwiches, buffalo chicken tenders, fries, nachos, and peanuts.
Federal Street Grille Stand (308): The portable stands of Federal Street only offer hot dogs, Italian sausages, and, at selected locations, kielbasa.
North Shore Nacho Express, Section 313: Nachos!
North Shore Refreshment Company, Sections 303, 307, 319, 322, 328: Your standard ballpark food and beer stand, with hot dogs, pizza, nachos, and fries. New to the menu this year: a Reuben dog (thousand-island dressing, swiss cheese and sauerkraut), a smokehouse dog (pulled pork, onion straws, and Kansas City-style barbecue sauce), the Polish Hill dog (cole slaw, mini potato pierogies, and onion straws),and jumbo Cajun fries.
*Quaker Steak & Lube, Section 323: The popular local "motor-themed" restaurant famous for its wings. The menus are limited at the ballpark, and the best bet is to go for what they're known for; flavors include BBQ, ranch, and Louisiana Lickers.

· All Stadium Dining Guides on Eater [-E-]

PNC Park

115 Federal Street Pittsburgh, PA 15212

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