The 10 best foods you can get at a baseball game

Big League Stew
You might be surprised at where hot dogs ranks on our list. (AP Photo)
You might be surprised at where hot dogs ranks on our list. (AP Photo)

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of joy. It’s a chance to gather around with friends and family and discuss what you’re thankful for this year.

But let’s face it, things are rarely perfect. Maybe one of your family members forgot to bring your favorite dessert. Perhaps the house you’re at doesn’t have the football game on. And you know one of you relatives is just itching to bring up politics at the dinner table.

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We here at The Stew are here to help … at least where that last part is concerned. Instead of talking politics, why don’t you guide the conversation toward our list of the 10 best ballpark foods.

We asked the Big League Stew crew to rank 10 different items available at every Major League Baseball park. We’ll reveal our list from best to worst, and then provide you with everyone’s individual rankings at the bottom of the post.

These rankings are absolutely definitive and cannot be argued in the comments. Sorry, if you hate them, you’ll have to express that to your family and friends around the table Thursday. Here we go:

Nachos were our surprise No. 1. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
Nachos were our surprise No. 1. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

1 — Nachos
Right off the bat, we’re hit with a surprise at No. 1. Nachos get the nod based on consistency. The lowest they ranked on anyone’s list was fourth. They did not, however, rank first on anyone’s list. Nachos are generally not polarizing, unlike this ranking.

2 — Hot dogs
There is it. The favorite for the No. 1 spot was defeated by nachos by a single point in our rankings. Three of our voters had them No. 1 overall … but the fourth had hot dogs all the way down at No. 10. That was enough to skew the rankings.

3 — Peanuts
Perhaps this is just us carrying over our propensity to munch on sunflower seeds during Little League. It’s ingrained in every kid’s mind that they must crack and then eat some type of nut or seed while playing baseball. Apparently, that carries over into adulthood. We didn’t ask whether our writers consumed the entire shell because we just assumed they aren’t total monsters.

4 — Pizza
Here’s the thing … you’re probably getting below replacement level pizza at every baseball game you attend. By ballpark standards, though, that’s enough to elevate it to fourth on our list. It’s tough to totally screw up a pizza unless you live in St. Louis.

5 — Burgers
Can you remember the last time you ordered a burger at a baseball game? We can’t either, but here they sit at No. 5. We’ve noticed a bit of a trend near the top of our ranks. It appears our writers have favored foods that are entrees over snacks or sides. Peanuts are the exception, probably because they are in the song.

Ice cream may have been criminally underrated in our poll. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Ice cream may have been criminally underrated in our poll. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

6 — Ice cream
A seventh or eighth inning staple. How many games have you gone to where you’ve loaded your stomach with nachos and hot dogs early, but then forced yourself to eat a giant bowl of ice cream later? All of them, right? Ice cream probably should be higher. It’s versatile. You can eat it while celebrating a lead or consume it to drown your sorrows during a loss. Plus, sometimes you get a souvenir helmet out of it.

7 — Soft pretzel
We can hear the soft pretzel truthers in the comments already. The soft pretzel is a food item you either love or hate, and it appears more of us here at The Stew fall into the latter category. If you want to consume copious amounts of gooey yellow “cheese,” just get nachos.

8 — Cracker Jack
When you’re a kid, Cracker Jack seems like a good idea because it’s sweet, you remember it from “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and you get a small prize. At some point, you realize the toy is lame and Cracker Jack just isn’t all that tasty. We can’t even remember the last time we saw it at a baseball game. We only included it here out of respect to the song.

9 — Popcorn
Who knows, maybe we’re just biased against different types of popcorn? The reason ballpark popcorn ranks so low is that it’s just a salt bomb. It’s dry, sometimes stale and just loaded with salt. We know it’s a ploy to get us to keep buying beverages at the park. It also hurts that movie popcorn is tremendous and highly addictive. You can drown that in butter until you hear your arteries clogging themselves. This is nothing like movie popcorn, and that really brings it down.

10 — Cotton candy
You can question the maturity of our writers, but we’re not children. Unless you’re between the ages of three and six, cotton candy is not an acceptable snack at a baseball game. We would say we’re sorry, but that just wouldn’t be the truth.

For anyone so furious they have to contact us individually, here’s how all four of our writers voted.

Buy us some peanuts, but forget the Cracker Jack.
Buy us some peanuts, but forget the Cracker Jack.

Enjoy the holiday. And if these rankings make you angry, just use it as an excuse to treat yourself to another slice of pie.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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