A Taste of Nats Park


Matthew Wagner, Staff Reporter

It is mid-afternoon on a warm summer day at the ballpark. The crack of a bat sounds. The crowd cheers in excitement. As the smell of french fries and hamburgers wafts through the air, the Washington Nationals take the lead. 

Food is often an overlooked aspect of the time and money spent at a ballpark. The only thing better than the home team winning is a steaming hot burger with a basket of fries or a hot dog with tangy mustard and ketchup on top. 

At Nats Park, there are four premier restaurants that complete the experience of a game. These locations are ranked on taste, wait time and price. The games I attended were on a cool Friday night and warm Saturday afternoon in April.


  1. Change Up Chicken

Change Up Chicken has been at Nats Park for as long as I can remember. The fried chicken options are fine, but not outstanding. The location was a bit pricey considering the quality of the food, but the wait was not long — about five to ten minutes on average. Overall, it is worth visiting if there is a short wait and limited options. 


  1. Ben’s Chili Bowl

This food location is an institution at Nats Park. Do not be deceived by its third place ranking; it is a terrific spot to get delicious half-smoked sausages and chili dogs. When I visited Ben’s Chili Bowl, the lines were minimal, service was quick and the food was relatively inexpensive considering other ballpark prices. 


  1. Box Frites

Box Frites is delicious. It is inexpensive, and the garnishes on the fries are superb. The line is rarely long, and the only reason it did not place higher is because there are limited options for actual meals. This spot is a snack place but not a full-on restaurant. 


  1. Shake Shack

I love Shake Shack. It is simply the best food in the park. The crinkle cut fries are crispy on the outside and soft like mashed potatoes on the inside. The hamburgers melt in your mouth and are terrifically flavorful. While the long line is brutal at times, it can be mitigated by mobile ordering or going later in the game. 


Washington Nationals games are always a good time, even if the Nats are playing terribly. Part of this fun is the delicious food offered at the ballpark. Places like Box Frites and Shake Shack ensure flavorful experiences each and every time you visit the park.