Can You Bring Food Into Citi Field?

By Leah Rendon

Save money on meals when you visit the Mets' home turf

Can You Bring Food Into Citi Field?

Peanuts and hot dogs may be ballpark staples, but even such no-frills food can come with a hefty price tag at most Major League Baseball stadiums. Thankfully, Citi Field in New York City, home to the Mets, allows fans to bring outside food into the stadium, although the privilege comes with strict rules and regulations. The bustling ballpark, which opened to the public in 2009, also offers an array of on-site dining options, from fast food grub to sit-down restaurants.

Q: Is outside food allowed at Citi Field?

A: Yes, whether it’s homemade or takeout from a restaurant, outside food is permitted in the stadium. Just make sure the food is easily accessible as security guards must check the contents of your bags or packages before you enter the ballpark. Also, don’t store your food in a hard-sided cooler, a glass container or any item larger than 16-by-16-by-8-inches as it will not be allowed inside Citi Field.

Q: Are you allowed to bring drinks into the stadium?

A: Guests may bring in one, factory-sealed plastic water bottle measuring 20 ounces or less and one sealed, soft-sided child's juice box, but they cannot be frozen. Unfortunately, you’ll have to throw away all other beverages before entering the park or leave them in your car. Metal cans, glass bottles, alcoholic beverages and open containers of any kind are strictly prohibited as well.

Q: Can you tailgate before the game?

A: Tailgating is permitted in all official Citi Field parking lots. Just make sure you set up your gear in front of or behind your vehicle as you’re not allowed to occupy more than one parking space. You’ll also have to leave the hibachi and six-pack behind as cooking over an open flame and alcoholic beverages are prohibited. You won’t find any trash cans in the parking lot, so make sure you bring your own bags to dispose of your garbage.

Q: What kind of fast food is available at the ballpark?

A: Most food at Citi Field is served at quick-service concession stands, including international dishes like sushi, pasta and pozole. Some of New York’s most-beloved eateries have taken up residency at the ballpark, such as the legendary burger joint, Shake Shack, and the famed cookie dynasty, Momofuku Milk Bar. Eaters with strict diets may choose from an array of specialty items, from vegan pizza to gluten-free burgers and kosher hot dogs. Avoid the long concession stand lines by getting to the stadium at least 30 minutes before the first pitch. You’ll find the widest array of dining options located around the 100 section on field level.

Q: Does Citi Field have any sit-down restaurants or bars?

A: McFadden's, a laid-back bar and grill beyond the outfield on 126th Street, is open to the public, including ticketed and non-ticketed guests. Skip the extensive security lines by entering the ballpark through McFadden's. Citi Field also features six restaurant clubs throughout the stadium, each complete with full bars and high-definition televisions. Some all-inclusive restaurants include food and non-alcoholic drinks as part of your ticket. All sit-down restaurants, with the exception of the Foxwoods Club, provide seating with views of the playing field. In addition to views of the field, the Porsche Grille, an upscale restaurant on the Excelsior level, also features panoramas of the Manhattan skyline.

Q: What are the rules regarding the sale of alcohol?

A: Each guest is allowed a maximum of only two alcoholic drinks per transaction, but management may limit this further should problems arise. Concession stands stop selling alcohol after the seventh inning, although sales at Citi Field restaurants and clubs last through the game’s entirety.

About the Author

A travel writer since 2002, Leah Rendon has written countless articles for online pop-culture magazines and various travel-related websites, including Eurobooking and World66. Gosford also has experience in copywriting, having developed a series of articles related to network marketing. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in theater arts.