Your Guide to Eating and Drinking Inside Nationals Park

New concessions for 2024, foodie fan favorites, and ballpark classics.

Franks at Haute Dogs and Fries. Photograph by Scott Suchman .

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. The Nationals have partnered with a deep bench of local food and drink vendors to bring exciting, global flavors to the stadium in Navy Yard. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic chili half-smoke, or a Korean-style corn dog,  there will be plenty to pick from, including six new food stops, when the ballpark opens Monday, April 1.

Ballpark fare can get expensive, but arrive early and you’ll find happy hour pricing on some beers. From when the gates open to the scheduled first pitch, you can score $5 beers—12 ounce cans of Budweiser, Bud Light, and Michelob Ultra—and $6 Bud Light Hard Seltzers at the Budweiser Brew House (Center Field Plaza), and Budweiser Terrace and Ultra Loft (sections 242 and 243). 

And the park will host two non-baseball food and drink events in the coming months: DC Beerfest (April 13) and Tacos and Tequila (May 18).


New in 2024

Korean-style corndogs from Ssong’s are one of the new vendors at the ballpark. Photograph courtesy of Gabrielle Scheder‑Bieschin​​​​.

Grab-and-Go Marketplaces (Sections 110, 129, 136, 141, 205, 233, 306, and 314) Speed is the name of the game—and that extends to beer. At nine Grab-and-Go Marketplaces,  fans can walk up to coolers and select snacks and drinks (anything from Bud Light to local Port City, seltzers, and canned cocktails). A self-checkout system, with ID verification, makes things even faster. A new location in section 129 will have hotdogs, nachos, pretzels, and more.

Los Cinco Tacos (Section 136), a sister restaurant to Capo Italian Deli on Florida Avenue (and also inside the ballpark), will serve Veracruz-born chef Jose Candelero’s barbacoa, chicken, nopal, and al pastor tacos, along with nachos.

Ssongs Korean Hot Dogs (Section 130) is an elevated Korean corn-dog stand with two existing locations in local malls. At Nats Park, Ssongs will serve the chewy, slightly sweet corn dogs—some filled with mozzarella instead of sausage—and canned boba tea.

Taste of the Majors (Section 111) a concept from Nats Park chef James Pryor, will serve a rotating selection of hot dogs with toppings inspired by whatever team the Nats are playing at home— Pryor says he’s looking forward to a Nats vs. Yankees game, when the stand will serve pastrami-and-sauerkraut-topped franks.

Emerald Amor Cafe will serve barbecued turkey legs next to the stadium’s Ultra loft area.

Eli’s Crepes (Section 114) will serve sweet and savory crepes, with fillings like chicken pesto and Nutella-strawberry, in the park’s main concourse.

Rita’s Italian Ice will land in the Left Field Alley area with Italian ice, frozen custard, and other refreshers.

On the beer front, the stadium now serves brews from Ashburn’s Lost Rhino and Fredericksburg’s 6 Bears and a Goat. They join 12 other local breweries represented here.


Specialty Drinks and Stadium Bars

The Bet MGM sportsbook. Photograph courtesy of MGM
The Bet MGM sportsbook. Photograph courtesy of MGM.

BetMGM Sportsbook (near the Main Entrance) In 2022, the Nationals partnered with BetMGM to open the first sportsbook at an MLB stadium. The swanky 4,000 square-foot space 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. It showcases such breweries as DC Brau, Denizens, Hellbender, Port City, and more. 

Cocktail Counter (Center Field Plaza, section 305) and Pratt Standard Craft Cocktails (section 243) Cocktail fans will find batched creations from Tory Pratt, the founder of DC’s Pratt Standard Cocktail Co.  

Budweiser Brew House (Center Field Plaza) The bar near the main entrance stays true to its name—go here for plenty of beers, good views, and pub fare. It’s also one of the places you’ll find $5 beer before first pitch. Fans can 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 fun place to gather during games, and neighbors popular stands like Shake Shack and Rocklands.

 Devils Backbone Left Field Lodge (Section 301) The Virginia brewery has a bar and picnic area serving its staple beers, and the brewers sometimes team up with the Nats for exclusive specials.

Casamigos Sky Deck (section 222) Frozen margs and other tequila and mezcal drinks are the draw at this newcomer, which opened last year.


Foodie Fan Favorites

Photograph courtesy of Roaming Rooster
Photograph courtesy of Roaming Rooster.

Capo Italian Deli (Section 136) The popular Italian deli will offer its huge Italian subs and pasta salads.

Swizzler (Sections 105, 132, and 318) What started as a food truck is now a multi-platform business that’s rethinking fast food with grass-fed (and very tasty) burgers on locally made potato buns and homemade fries. Its first brick-and-mortar is just blocks from the stadium, but you can get the smash-burgers and crispy chicken sandwiches inside, too.

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

South Mountain Creamery (Sections 115 and 135) The family-owned farm and ice cream purveyor out of Frederick is a nice break from all the Dippin’ Dots.

Rocklands BBQ (Section 117) The wood-fired barbecue specialist dishes up pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, tasty sides like slaw and mac n’ cheese, and gluten-free barbecue bowls.

Hard Times Café (Section 133) The Washington classic, which opened in Alexandria in 1980, specializes in all things chili (vegetarian and meaty)—it’s ladled on dogs, fries, nachos, and more.  

Ben’s Chili Bowl (Sections 110 and 141) This spinoff of the U Street institution dishes up DC’s signature chili-cheese half-smokes. Its chili-cheese fries are great for soaking up beer beyond the seventh inning.

Roaming Rooster (Section 239) DC’s smash hit fried-chicken-sandwich maker serves its hearty creations at the park. Heat seekers should try the hot chicken or Nashville hot-hot variety—or skip the burn and order the honey-butter chicken sando.

Arepa Zone (Sections 148 and 304) The popular Venezuelan vendor serves stuffed arepas, cachapas (fried corn cakes), and cheesy tequeños.

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

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) It’s now easier to get a double Shackburger fix, thanks to mobile pre-ordering.


Ballpark Classics

Steak of the Union (Sections 227 and 308) Phillies fans may turn up their noses, but these punny cheesesteak stops have a local following.

Grand Slam Grill (Sections 110, 117, 130, 136, 141, 302, and 313) No-frills concession for ballpark dogs and chicken tenders.

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.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

Ike Allen
Assistant Editor