Illustration by Jandos Rothstein
Illustration by Jandos Rothstein

Let’s be honest: If you only go to one baseball game this season, your lone meal should be a hot dog in a foil wrapper paired with a cold domestic pilsner in a plastic cup. Tradition and history demand it. But if you frequent Nats Park and want to eat something that’s actually good, here’s a power ranking (factoring in quality and price) of the stadium’s wide range of concessions, including new additions and old favorites. (1 = the best.)—Matt Terl

6. The DMV, Grand Slam Grill + Others

Every ballpark needs an over-the-top, Guy-Fieri-ready treat, and this is ours. The components pay tribute to D.C., Maryland, and Virginia: a footlong D.C. half-smoke topped with Maryland crab cheese and Virginia ham. Though somewhat diminished by the crab cheese, this is a pretty good novelty food.

5. Commonwealth Biscuit, Virginia Country Kitchen

This is chicken fried steak on a slightly dry biscuit with cheddar cheese and half-smoke gravy. Though not an obvious outdoors-on-a-hot-summer-day food, this hand-held rendition of the diner standby is better than it has any right to be.

4. Bourbon & Cinnamon Babka Push Pops, On Rye

The babka ice cream sandwiches at On Rye didn’t do it for me, but their new, more portable siblings are great. There are many ways to get ice cream at Nats Park, but this is the best by a wide margin. Suck it, Dippin’ Dots. Extra points for non-sticky hands.

3. Chesapeake Bay Tots, See. You. Tater.

This year’s big stadium food innovation is buckets of gussied-up tater tots with toppings ranging from the quotidian (pulled pork with mac and cheese also known as totchos) to the unexpected (pork belly, spicy cucumber, kimchi slaw, and sriracha aioli). They’re decent in a hangover-food-before-you-get-to-the-hangover way, but the Chesapeake Bay ones are the standout.

2. Potato Knish, Kosher Grill

Knishes, especially with yellow mustard, are an underrated baseball food, landing somewhere in the middle of french fries, a soft pretzel, and an actual baseball. They’re filling, handheld, good for vegetarians, and go great with beer such as 3 Stars saison, available at the ballpark.

1. Dumplings, Pinch

A set of six dumplings is an unexpectedly good baseball-watching snack. They’re lightly fried but still pliable and come with a vinegary dipping sauce. There are three flavors, including a vegetarian option, but the onion-heavy beef one is the best. Dumplings reveal themselves as the can’t-eat-just-one snack food they were always meant to be and allow for mindless eating while watching the action on the field.