By: Dana Rozansky
Usually when I go to sports games, I fall prey to the copious amounts of junk food, typically from uninspired chain restaurants, that await me. And while you might chalk it up to the post-tailgate munchies, I’m going to take an easy out and say it’s due to lack of options. Because it’s far easier for stadiums and arenas to serve up your typical fast food items than it is to curate a food program that offers local flare, variety and even healthy (gasp) options for game day.
One stadium, however, happens to be doing things right and sparing me from yet another flavorless, fattening meal. Listen, if I’m going to consume the calories, at least make it worth my while, people!
Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Dolphins and Canes (among many other concerts and events) just debuted a multi-year, $500 million+ renovation. And after seeing it for myself, I can say with confidence that this stadium put their money where their mouth is.
Thanks to its partnership with Centerplate, its food and hospitality partner, Hard Rock stadium is truly bringing its A-game this year when it comes to its food and beverage offerings.
“We take great pride in curating a food and beverage experience that offers something for everyone. Our culinary team collaborates closely with our in-house chefs and restaurant partners,” said Kevin Mitchell, Centerplate general manager at Hard Rock Stadium. “Win or lose on the field, what we can control is giving fans an authentic slice of the diverse South Florida food scene when they come join us here.”
If you have ever been to a game at Hard Rock Stadium, it’s immediately evident how proud fans are to call Miami home. Whether they’re sporting their Phins gear or rocking a turnover chain, the connection to this city is undeniable. That’s why it’s no surprise that Hard Rock Stadium decided to place a major emphasis on local brands as part of its new strategy.
Chris Clements, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Miami Dolphins explains, “We have sought out local brands to provide a wide variety of quality food & beverage options to our fans. Just this past season we brought in 7 new brands at 14 locations in Hard Rock Stadium. Jackson Soul Foods, O-B House, Los Ranchos, Coyo Taco, and Shorty’s BBQ all were local and new for the 2017 season for Dolphins and Canes games.”
Since I’m SUCH a good sport, I recently spent a Sunday afternoon traipsing through Hard Rock stadium and sampling a variety of their new offerings so I could report back and spare you from the guesswork.
Here’s the rundown:
Craving Breakfast Items? Check out O-B House, which serves up pancakes, breakfast sandwiches and even mimosas all day long.
Trying to Stay Healthy on Game Day? Stop by Grown, which has a wide variety of paleo, vegan and organic options. Owners Ray and Shannon Allen want to remind fans that game day doesn’t have to be cheat day.
Trying to Make #TacoSunday a Thing? You can’t go wrong with Coyo Taco. With two locations inside the stadium, you can fill up on tacos, burritos, chips and guac to your heart’s desire.
Burger on the Brain? With five locations across the stadium, Shula Burger is slinging up some seriously loaded burgers and sweet potato tots that are sure to satisfy.
Ready to Trade in the Chicken Fingers? Instead opt for a spicy chicken sandwich (don’t forget the SAAM sauce) and fries. Brought to you by the same owners of NYC’s famed Momofuku, you know this is going to be the real deal.
Need a Beer to Wash Down all the Food? Trade in your Bud Light for some local craft beers at Tap Room. With two locations and more than 1,000 tap handles throughout Hard Rock Stadium, even the biggest beer snobs will be impressed.
So next time you visit Hard Rock Stadium, make sure to put on your game face and get ready to indulge in any of the delicious options. No matter what you choose, you’re guaranteed to win.