Opening day is April 4, and the 2016 Phillies are looking toward a season of "improvement and growth". It's a rebuilding year, and that's okay, because whether they win or lose, the fans will be eating and drinking well. Here's a rundown of the new, the tried, and the true at Citizen's Bank Park.
New and Of Note at Citizens Bank Park
Rita's Water Ice — Complete the ultimate Philly experience of eating a soft pretzel at a Phillies game with a cup of cherry water ice. For the first time ever, Rita's will have a stand inside the park, and once July and August rolls around, a spoonful of the stuff turns into a cure for the common heat stroke.
Chick-fil-A — Despite whatever judgements you carry regarding the company's moral compass, one thing remains true: Chick-fil-A knows how to make a killer fried chicken sandwich. And for 2016, they'll be serving their signature sandwiches and lemonades, Monday through Saturday, closed on Sunday as usual.
Harry the K's new Korean Fried Pork Belly Sandwich — Designed by Andrew Zimmern, yes the Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods, Aramark's new sandwich will consist of a batter-fried pork belly, grilled pineapple, gochujang sauce and chili lime salt, all carefully layered between a toasted bun. Also new to the menu, cheddar-topped Turkey burger and smoked brisket sandwich.
Three new Hatfield dogs — At the concessions, hot dogs get fancy with your choice of a cider-braised dog with sweet onions and grain mustard, coddled in a pretzel roll; an Asian-inspired dog with a sweet and sour slaw, dressed in Sriracha mayo on a poppy roll; and the bacon-wrapped, smoked tomatillo-topped, Tabasco mayo kicked Sonoran Dog.
Greatest Hits — Rivaling the new Chick-fil-A, hit up Philly's favorite fried chicken and doughnuts specialist at the Federal Donuts stand. New this year, the FedNuts chicken sandwich, putting them in direct competition with the "EAT MOR CHIKIN" chain. You can never go wrong with cheesesteaks from Tony Luke's and Campo's, or barbecue from Phillies legend Greg Luzinski at Bull's BBQ. And if you've never had the pleasure of snacking on Chickie's and Pete's famous crab fries, not to worry, you'll find crab fry stands all over the stadium concourse.
Stadium Dining By Location
Many of the best bets on the main level are in or around Ashburn Alley, which runs between the right- and left-field gates. There you'll find crab fries, two good cheesesteak options just steps away from each other at Campo's and Tony Luke's (fans of spicy food should try the Heater at Campo's), ice cream and shakes from Turkey Hill Creamery, and the park's craft beer destination, Alley Brewing Co. (you'll also find pretty good pastrami sandwiches at the latter).
For barbecue sandwiches and giant smoked turkey legs, hit Bull's BBQ by the Right Field Gate. Inside the Left Field Gate, Harry the K's is a popular sit-down spot that opens up a couple of hours before the game and offers a full menu with tons of options (including the new-this-year "brisket stack") and a full bar. Nearby, clustered behind sections 140 to 142, track down the Schmitter, Federal Donuts, ballpark newcomer Wayback Burgers, this year serving a pork roll-topped cheese burger with adorned with a mini-corn dog for good measure. If you're more of a wine 'n' cocktail sort of spectator, look out for the bar serving just that, cocktails and Phillies Wine.
Closer to home plate, you'll find a full bar at sports pub McFadden's behind section 127, and a new location of the gluten-free dedicated stand at section 126. If cheesesteak nachos sound like a thing you could get into, you'll find them behind section 122, not far from another Wayback Burgers around section 120.
Harry the K's patio level offers great views (and, again, a full bar). Sandwiches from Bull's BBQ are available in an abbreviated format behind section 209. Another Wayback Burgers is at section 208, but if you're in need of some lighter options, Baker Bowl Bistro in the Hall of Fame behind section 215 is your best bet.
All of the standard concession options live up here, but you should head to the area behind sections 318 to 320 to check out the new Wayback Burgers or snag some Chickie's and Pete's crab fries. The kid-friendly Phanatic Food Stand sells simple snacks like pb&j, Gogurt, and trail mix, if you find yourself in need. For drinks, head to the High and Inside Pub, where you're not limited to just beer.