Guaranteed Rate Field 2019 Pre-Opening Day Food Power Rankings
With the White Sox off to a blistering (relatively) start to the 2019 season, buzz around the White Sox fan world as the South Siders return to Guaranteed Rate Field for their home opener today. When we got Yoan Moncada looking like an MVP, Eloy on the MLB roster, and Carlos Rodon pitching like a Cy Young, it’s hard for a success-starved fan base to not get fired up. While the hype may be slightly overblown, I’ll be out here pouring gasoline on the flames as Mayor of the Meatballs. I mean, someone’s gotta do it.
But I digress. With Opening Day at Guaranteed Rate Field on the horizon, I’m here to catch my breath and focus on something other than the on-field product. I’m of course talking about the food the Rate has to offer, easily the crown jewel of the Palace at 35th and Shields.
If you’re attending Opening Day today, you may be wondering “What should I ever get to eat? There’s so many options” or something along those lines. Well, you’re in luck, because I’m here to breakdown the top options for you with my Opening Day edition of the Food Power Rankings at Guaranteed Rate Field. I know, this is quite a treat from an expert in the subject like myself. You’re welcome, the Mayor takes care of his constituents.
Let’s quickly touch on some basics:
- I plan on doing a few of these this season, depending on how the new options fare. Stay tuned throughout the season for any updates.
- I’m not evaluating new food options at Guaranteed Rate Field for the 2019 season. You can see the new options here, but as an honest man I’m only reviewing what I’ve had. Maybe the Elote Nuggest will get on here by midseason.
- No promotions included, so price isn’t considered. So, while I enjoy Dollar Dog Day as much as anyone, that doesn’t boost the value of the Hot Dog.
- I’m ranking individual food items, not specialty areas. So, don’t expect to see the Stadium Club, Kraft Kave, Scout Seat Lounge, or anything like that here. I’m a man of the people, so these are available throughout the park.
So now that the ground rules are laid out, let’s get to it. What are the best food options at Guaranteed Rate Field? We start with…
Honorable Mention: Italian Beef – Buona Beef
Where is it at Guaranteed Rate Field? Sections 101, 120, 149, 163 (Pub), 531
What a beauty. Couldn’t complete a list of food at a Chicago stadium without at least giving the Beef an Honorable Mention. This is a classic for Chicago, and having Buona Beef as the Beef Supplier at Guaranteed Rate Field certainly gets no complaints from me. Yuge Buona Guy, as far as chains go. Juicy and full of meat, this gets the job done. If this were a more unique option it may have broken into the top 5, but it retains a spot here as the savvy veteran of the Rate’s food lineup.
Where is it at Guaranteed Rate Field? Sections 102, 109 (Bar), 112, 115, 126, 130, 139, 152, Centerfield, 510, 522, 534, 538, 555
We start off the power rankings with another classic, the Bratwurst. Simple, sure, but you cannot go wrong here. I’d guess I get one of these puppies at at least 50% of the games I am in attendance at at the Rate. Throw some mustard and grilled onions on this? Heaven on a bun. If there’s one thing they figured out how to do at 35th Shields, it’s grill up a damn good brat.
Accessibility is key here too – the sheer number of areas this can be found at Guaranteed Rate Field definitely are a boost. If you’re not one for lines, this is certainly a good starter. Some of the best brats outside of the state of Wisconsin.
4. Corned Beef Sandwich
Where is it at Guaranteed Rate Field? Sections 109 (Bar), 544
Now I start to deviate from your standard Chicago food, with the Corned Beef Sandwich clocking in at 4. Sure, this is a Chicago staple on St. Patrick’s day, but you can enjoy it all summer long at the Rate. Not everyone is a corned beef fan, but if you enjoy this cut of meat I recommend getting this bad boy. It has a little bit of a bar feel to it, coming with chips and living up to the billing as a gourmet sandwich. Certainly one way to change it up while you’re at a baseball game.
3. Comiskey Burger
Where is it at Guaranteed Rate Field? Sections113, 163 (Pub), 529u
Back to some more classic food, but with a twist. Trust me, housing one of these with a Modelo or 4 is a hell of a way to spend a summer Sunday afternoon at the House that Paul Konerko built.
You may be thinking, why does this get ranked higher than the Beef and Brat, when it’s a pretty standard ballpark option? Well, let me stop you right there. This monster comes with two patties, Merkts cheese, celery salt, mustard, and Chitown Pico, which is a twist on Pico that includes various Chicago dog toppings. So what this burger does well is combine a classic option with some unique toppings you can’t find anywhere else. Hey, to break the top 3 you have to innovate. No room for food with the innovation of a John Fox offense in these rankings.
Where is it at Guaranteed Rate Field? Sections 104, 127, 142, 528
Now we’re at the real contenders. While certainly a strong option, the Elotes come just short of being the top billing on my power rankings of food at Guaranteed Rate Field. So why do Elotes get slotted in the top 2? For starters, this is a unique item you can’t find at many stadiums. This isn’t your cookie cutter Churro, Dippin Dots, or Hot Dog you can get at Wrigley – this is an authentic staple of the Rate. Also, the Elotes serve as a lighter option, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to try multiple options, this gives you a great taste of the food Guaranteed Rate Field has to offer while saving room for some others.
And, they’re just really damn good. Easy as that. Unique, versatile, and delicious. Can’t really beat that when it comes to ballpark food. I “Guarantee” you will not be disappointed if you get these (yeah I know that’s a bad pun get over it).
1. Cuban Sandwich
Where is it at Guaranteed Rate Field? Sections 148, 529
This is it. The Granddaddy of them all. If you are going to Guaranteed Rate Field and only have the option to eat one thing, you’re making a beeline to Section 148 or 529 and you’re getting a Cuban. When I bring friends who have never been to the stadium before, this is where I bring them for food. If people ask me for a recommendation before they go to a game? You guessed it, Cuban is the first thing out of my mouth. You cannot beat this in the stands at the Rate.
Why is this so good? To be frank, the culinary masterpiece that is the combination of Ham, Swiss, Pork, Pickles, and Mustard is a hard one to beat. And like they say, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I mean, just look at the picture. You know you want one. First game I go to this year, this sandwich is the first thing in my hand. With a pair of Cuban nationals leading the way on the field this year with Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada, what better way to celebrate every bomb they put over the wall? I’ll wait.
Give me one of these Cuban Sandwiches and an ice cold Modelo on a hot summer day and I can die a happy man. Doesn’t matter if I’m watching Yoan and Jose belt dingers or Yolmer butchering a ball at second. I’m at piece with one of these puppies in my hand.
There you have it, the definitive Power Rankings. Looking for something else? You can find the full listing of food at Guaranteed Rate Field here. Disagree? Let me know, I’m always up for hearing about other food I need to try.
Most importantly, Happy 2019 Opening Day. Keep Calm and #RideWithUsOrGetRunOver