Young and Hungry

Meatless Eats at Nationals Park: A Vegetarian’s Batting Rotation

Although the view of Shane Victorino's backside kept me fairly sated at a recent Nationals vs. Phillies game, I also required some real food in between sips of my $7 pint of Miller Lite.

My boyfriend, a regular meat eater, ordered easily from the server in the 100 section of center field. Our limited menu there consisted of burgers (beef and turkey), tenders, and dogs. I hoped the chicken Caesar wrap could be fixed minus chicken, but they were pre-made so the answer from our server was a quick no.

What could a vegetarian eat? I rescanned the menu and choose a soft pretzel and split fries with my companion. I thought, hey, if everyone else gets a pass on eating healthy on game nights, why should I not indulge too?

I have since scanned the rest of the stadium concessions guide and put together a list, a sort of guide to the guide, if you will, on how to eat meat-free while watching Jayson Werth take the Nats to last place in the division. Herewith, my vegetarian batting rotation:

1. Cheese Pizza

You know what combats sizzling humidity mid-summer: sizzling cheese.
From: Flippin' Pizza
Where: Section 214

2. Hummus and Chips

Keep your protein up – you'll probably have to stand up to cheer for this year's breakout, Wilson Ramos.
From: In-seat Menu
Where: Throughout stadium

3. Soft Pretzel

What better way to up your mustard intake than a salty pretzel. Be warned, don't let the Gulden's mustard packets fool you: there's yellow mustard inside, not its famous spicy.
Where: Throughout stadium

4. Black Bean Burger

Use the no booze rule after the 7th inning stretch to refuel before post-game drinks at Das Bullpen's "beer garden."
From: Red Porch Restaurant
Where: Section 244

5. Sno Cones

Is your beer not keeping you cool enough? Try ice.
From: Hawaiian Shaved Ice
Where: Section 143

6. Veggie Wrap

I get it. It's beach weather. Way to stick to your diet.
From: Field of Greens
Where: Sections 110

7. Falafel

Certified kosher by the Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington, eating falafel is basically like praying for a win.
From: Kosher Grill
Where: Section 143

8. Gelato

Ice cream, it's what's for dinner.
From: Dolce Gelati
Where: Sections 112, 135

9. French Fries

Oh, fuck it. You know you could eat fries for a meal, like, every day, might as well use the game as an excuse.
Where: Throughout stadium

Photo by lrargerich/Creative Commons Attribution License

  • Kevin

    You do know that almost all Caesar dressings have fish in them? So the Caesar wrap should have been a no go from the start

  • Kirsten

    Thanks! If I make it to a game, it's nice to know there's some real food available in addition to the usual pretzels-and-fries option.

  • Kate

    Don't forget the veggie options at Ben's Chili Bowl...they usually have veggie chili.

  • muckraker

    Thanks for the rundown. Though none of it sounds particularly good. I was hoping the new fancy hot dogs place would offer a veggie one. Disappointing overall.

  • Jim Ed

    You do know that the in seat menu is only available in one section in center field and in the premium seats around home plate, not the entire ballpark?

  • B

    Warning: the vegetarian chili at hardtimes contains peanuts. found that out the hard way.

  • Kev29

    "Although the view of Shane Victorino's backside kept me fairly sated"

    Go back to Philadelphia

  • Kev29

    "while watching Jayson Werth take the Nats to last place in the division."

    Seriously, go the fuck back to Philadelphia

  • Frank the Tank

    There is a kind of generic soy based veggie burger available at a few of the burger/dog stands around the stadium.It's nothing special but not too bad.Also I have gotten the Hard Times nachos with their veggie chili on top and that's decent.

  • sprite

    I fail to understand why it is that RFK could give me a veggie dog nearly every game I attended, but Nats Park comes up empty day in and day out. C'mon, people! It's a ball park -- give me a hot dog I can eat!

  • Liz

    Re: Kate: I heard that Ben's is leaving the stadium, and also, I've checked and not seen veggie chili on their menu there.

  • Ginny Simmons

    You forgot my favorite veggie food at the ball park. The veggie nachos (with delicious fake soy meat) at Hard Times Cafe. Seriously, sometimes I go to the park just for their nachos.

  • Liz

    Well, others have already pointed it out, but you can get veggie chili at both Ben's and Hard Times. At Ben's, I like the veggie chili cheese fries and at Hard Times, the veggie chili mac (served over spaghetti). At Hard Times, you can also request that they include beans.

    Veggie burgers, but not dogs, are available at Georgetown Grill (behind Sec 130), South Capitol Grill (sec 211) and Grand Slam Grill (sec 318).

  • scott

    Anyone interested in finding fast or slow vegetarian/healthy places to eat should take a look at the new edition of “Healthy Highways: The Traveler's Guide to Healthy Eating.” It includes 2800 listings of healthy eateries throughout the US complete with local driving directions. For more visit

  • Sara

    WHY can't they get a veggie dog somewhere?
    Kills me.
    I agree totally though- this is my excuse to eat pizza and fries!!