The average football game lasts three hours, ten minutes. Within that span of time, there will be a flurry of penalties and television timeouts, as well as the general halting that's built into the game. It's also a long time to go without eating.
Should find yourself in the stands of any of these stadiums, tear yourself away the next time your team gets a first down and hightail it to one of these concessions stands, at which big-name chefs have eschewed standard stadium fare for the signature dishes that made them famous.
FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland, OH)
After many a rough season, Browns fans have things to cheer about: new controversial QB Johnny Manziel ("Johnny Football"), a $70-million stadium revamp and (most importantly) a slew of new food options available to all game goers—and all made by proud Clevelanders. Jonathon Sawyer's Sausages & Peppers stand turns out the classic plus breakfast link sausage nestled into a waffle bun, while Michael Symon's slinging burgers from B Spot. Fahrenheit's Rocco Whalen proves Philly isn't the only cheesesteak capital with Buckeye State renditions, and Chris Hodgson (Hodge's Cleveland) gussies up hot dogs with fancy toppings. We're eyeing the golden mustard BBQ glaze, maple bacon and green onion.
Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia, PA)
Not to be outdone by their bat-swinging next-door neighbors' Federal Donuts location, the Eagles can now brag about not one but two new Pizzeria Vetri locations (one in the SCA Club, the other in the Panasonic Club). Each mini outpost of chef Marc Vetri's popular Philly pizzeria of the same name bakes its pies in custom on-site brick ovens. The menu is limited to the only three items you need: margherita pizza, sausage pizza and rotolos, a Vetri signature that's a pizza-dough rollup of ricotta, spicy soppressata and marinara.
NRG Stadium (Houston, TX)
Bayou City has plenty to brag about regarding its food scene. Adding to that list: the expansion of Underbelly's Chris Shepherd's offerings in the Texans' stadium. In his second season at the stadium, the winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest 2014 adds a Hay Merchant location (order the PB&J chicken wings with sriracha) in addition to the club-level Underbelly (with a new belly-bombing Texas Two Step braised beef sandwich served with a side of tater tot casserole) that opened last year. Another Tasting Table favorite—Goode Co. Seafood—joins the roster with its ever-popular campechana, a seafood cocktail with crab and shrimp doused in tomato and hot sauce.
Levi's Stadium (Santa Clara, CA)
It should surprise no one that the "Field of Jeans" (seriously, that's what they're calling it) is on a mission to the most vegan-friendly stadium in the country. We're not sure that's going to be much of a fight (are there any other contenders?), but should you not want to get in on the vegan hot dogs, wander around for rotisserie chicken, frankfurters on Le Boulanger buns, duck steamed buns, paninis and Indian-style curries, plus wines on tap. As for its chef bragging rights, the San Francisco 49ers home field now houses Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak & Pub, which includes a rotisserie that can fit a whole ox. But unless you want to cough up $5,000 to be part of Michael Mina's Tailgate, granting game-day access to the restaurant, you'll have to stick to away games and non-game days.
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