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Your guide to finding Pittsburgh flavors, local craft beer and ballpark staples
With iconic views, fireworks nights and Buccos baseball, PNC Park is consistently named one of the best ballparks in America for a reason. In 2022, the ballpark upgraded its Riverwalk area along the outfield, opening up the view of the city while also adding new play areas and, most important, new food and drink options.
What follows is two yinzers’ quest to eat their way around PNC Park and recap their favorite finds and flavors.
Our journey began at the newly refurbished Riverwalk, once a more closed off region of the park and since expanded into a vibrant collection of new concession areas, seating right along the outfield and gigantic Pirates bobbleheads of the all-time greats.
This revitalization also led to the park infusing this area with authentic Pittsburgh cuisine, partnering with local restaurants to develop next-level ballpark food with Only In Pittsburgh inspiration. Chicken on the Hill (section 144/145) features a menu inspired by Coop de Ville in the Strip District, and Cannonball Burger (section 145/145) features Station in Bloomfield’s creations, transforming this stretch into one of PNC Park’s best food spots.
Jeremy: The Pimento fried chicken sandwich from Chicken on the Hill is topped with pimento cheese, ranch slaw and coated with delicious honey. I really like the combination of the ranch slaw and honey. It’s a sandwich that was new to me and I came to love it. P.S. A Sprite goes great with this sandwich.
Jared: These BBQ bacon waffle fries from Cannonball Burger are the perfect ballpark snack. The seasoned waffle fries hold the rest of the toppings easily and that first bite is a showstopper. The pickled onion and the bacon give this a great balance with a slightly sweet aftertaste, and it’s easy to share or attack with a fork yourself.
Bonus Tip: Don’t go back to your seats yet. Enjoy your meal at one of the seats right against the outfield railing for an amazing view of the game while you chow down.
Making our way into left field, two new food options immediately made us stop and load up before we got to our seats. Deli Dogs (section 135) features upscale takes on the classic ballpark hot dog, with high-quality dogs and buns served Reuben, Chicago and chili style. Nachoritas (section 137) again elevates the simple nachos and cheese we love and adding queso and crema to satisfy the most sophisticated taste buds.
Jeremy: If you love nachos that are drowned in toppings, this is the place for you. These Nachos Nachorita come topped with queso, beef, black beans, jalapenos, sour cream and salsa. The nachos have a little kick, but aren’t too spicy, and the queso mellows out the salsa very nicely.
Jared: Full disclosure I grabbed Jeremy’s nachos and finished them, too. I went simple on my Deli Dog and got the chili cheese, but what a difference a deli-quality hot dog and bun make. The crisp snap of perfectly grilled dog in every bite is going to make me a Deli Dogs fan every time I come to the park.
Watching pitchers warm up is always fun at PNC Park, but there was never anywhere to sit. Enter the Bullpen Tap Bar, which offers eight of local brewer Fat Head's signature beers on tap along with a rotating selection of other breweries such as Trace Brewing, Helltown Brewing and Cinderlands Beer Co. Seats are available on the railing overlooking the bullpen, making this a perfect way to pass a few later innings.
Jeremy: I think it’s awesome that the Pirates are doing their part to promote local breweries, and Fat Head’s has plenty of awesome selections. My favorite is this Lime Feein’ Good Mexican-Style lager. With a 4.9% ABV, it has a fruity taste that I thought was really unique. It’s a great beer to day-drink too.
Jared: I went German and loved the Recreational Pils from Helltown Brewing. The pale color hides a crisp, refreshing taste that is hop-forward without veering into IPA territory. I could stay here all afternoon and discover new beers for my Untapped profile.
Jeremy: For those of us with a sweet tooth, the cookie sundae is the best dessert option in the park. You can find it at the Sweet Spot (section 106) or The Cookie & Creamery (section 119) in the infield concourse. Every ice cream/cookie combination goes great with each other, especially during a hot afternoon game, and comes served in a Pirates batting helmet.
Error. This is not that type of article.
Seriously though, there’s some fresh, innovative salads at the Market behind home plate, but the only vegetables we touched were the celery than came with the wings.
We were stuffed after our culinary tour, but it’s still worth mentioning a few other spots for great grub in the park. Grab some Only In Pittsburgh Primanti Bros. sandwiches, piled high with coleslaw and french fries, and a bucket of Quaker Steak & Lube hot wings (both located behind section 108).
My personal PNC Park tradition is to always make sure I stop by Manny’s (also sporting a newly-designed space) in left field, where you can often find Pirates great Manny Sanguillén seated near the end of the line, who is always happy to chat with fans and relive some of his greatest moments.