It’s a pleasure in and of itself to attend a game at one of the many stadiums across Texas, but within it are infinite smaller joys, like commemorative beer steins and eleven-dollar hot dogs. From giant pretzels to nachos, stadium food conjures up memories of past games, of wins and losses. In Texas, innovative chefs and even local recipe contest winners have elevated fan favorites, made them bigger (of course), and injected local flavors. There’s stadium food that tests the bounds of how much meat one can consume in a single sitting, and stadium food that seems specifically crafted for disappointed fans looking to eat their feelings. There are luxurious, Popovich-approved stadium foods, and then there’s a dog bowl of nachos that you can shove your whole face in. The dishes below are a small sampling of the many over-the-top menu items our teams have to offer, but by our calculations, they’re the Most Texan stadium foods in the state.
The criteria for Most Texan concession items took serious consideration. Given the magnitude of our beloved home, we first examined portion size. Since Texas produces more beef than any other state, we included stadium foods made to satiate hungry carnivorous fans. (We’ve also chosen some vegetarian options, because skipping meat does not make a die-hard fan any less Texan.) Finally, since Texas is made up of so many cultures, we selected foods reflecting the diverse past, present, and future of this great state. To help you make the most quintessentially Texan decision next time you find yourself at a ballpark concession stand, we’ve put in the legwork. We’ve quested for queso, been elated by elote, and vibed with venom sauce. Now, it’s up to you to make the right decision on game day.
The Cowboys Cheesesteak
Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium
The Dallas Cowboys–Philadelphia Eagles three-decade rivalry runs so deep, there’s a sandwich about it. After Michael Irvin’s career-ending injury during a 1999 matchup against the Eagles, it was decided that America’s Team needed to serve their own, superior version of Philly’s favorite dish. Made with sliced sirloin steak and grilled onions and served on a hoagie bun topped with white queso, the grudge sandwich appeared on the menu the year after that fateful game and has stayed put for over twenty years. For mess-averse Cowboys fans, there’s also a hand pie version containing the same beloved filling as the sandwich, upgraded with a flaky crust. Hating on the Eagles is easy as pie.
The Crawford Dog
Houston Astros, Minute Maid Park
Is a hot dog a sandwich? The Crawford Dog at Minute Maid Park settles the debate once and for all. The setup of this meat-filled ode to the Astros: two split and griddled all-beef hot dogs served on a potato roll, topped with a bacon onion jam made with Astros-themed Crawford Bock beer from Houston’s Karbach Brewing, plus a squeeze of mustard. Sandwich or not, the Crawford Dog is a sure bet for sustaining fans through nine innings.
Tecolotes de Los Dos Laredos, UniTrade Stadium
Like many of their fans, the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos (“Owls of the Two Laredos”) call both sides of the Texas-Mexico border home. Since the 2018 season, fans of this Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (Mexican Baseball League) team have cheered on their team at home games at Uni-Trade Stadium in Laredo and at La Junta Park just across the border in Nuevo Laredo. Founded in 1940, the Tecolotes are one of oldest teams in the league and began playing cross-border home games in 1985. The team’s la frontera ethos is embodied in its logo, an “L” with the red, white, and green of the Mexican flag wrapped around a “2” emblazoned with stars from the U.S. flag. For a true sensory celebration of the team’s dual homes, look no further than concessions at Uni-Trade Stadium. There you’ll find Elote Preparado: Mexican street corn on a stick, covered with lime juice, mayo, chile powder, and queso fresco.
IPA Glazed Bacon on a Stick
FC Dallas, Toyota Stadium
We claim all foods on a stick for Texas. Please see the State Fair of Texas and Neil Fletcher’s corny dog if you have questions about that. The IPA Glazed Bacon on a Stick at Toyota Stadium isn’t technically bacon; it’s pork belly, which is not cured or smoked. Swine semantics aside, this shiny skewered slice of meat is still the most Texan item on the menu. We may not know which IPA the chef used for this glaze, and the IPA may or may not be Texan. Still, bacon-esque meat on a stick served over a tray of glistening pretzels matches the exact level of saltiness we fans feel when the visiting team scores a goal.
Pan con Lechon
San Antonio Spurs, AT&T Center
Leave it to the NBA team coached by Gregg Popovich, foodie hall of famer, to offer the widest variety of stadium foods we’ve seen. On the charter level of the AT&T Center, fans can find Pan con Lechon, slow-braised pork shoulder marinated in mojo sauce, served in a sourdough roll and topped with pickled red onions and spicy aioli. A Cuban specialty (insert Mark Cuban joke here), the Pan con Lechon is also served on the Spurs Street Eats Food Truck, which travels to San Antonio neighborhoods, parks, restaurants, and breweries four days a week. Pop’s elevated taste and level of culinary excess at team dinners make even this Cuban dish feel like the most Texan item on the menu.
Austin FC, Q2 Stadium
At the Austin FC’s inaugural home game on June 19, Oscar-winning actor and club minority owner Matthew McConaughey led the sold-out crowd of 20,000 fans in a chant of “¡Listos! ¡Verde!” The team’s famous hype man wore a green suit with black trim to match the Austin FC colors, and accessorized with a djembe drum to play in time with his chant. The crowd was fired up, but in the end, the score on opening night was 0–0. The real winner was Q2 stadium’s Queso Fountain. This fount of dairy devoted to Austin’s sacred dip serves a variety of quesos, including Queso Verde, a recipe created by Austin resident Laura Morales in a contest of community-submitted recipes. A mixture of salsa verde, queso, and a few secret ingredients, the Queso Verde matches the team’s Austin FC green and we are listos/ready to claim it for all of Texas.
The Rattler: Rattlesnake Sausage with Venom Sauce
Texas Rangers, Globe Life Field
It’s summertime in Texas and snake sightings are blowing up your Nextdoor notifications. If you want to bite back, there’s the Rattler, a sausage dog made with a rattlesnake sausage link topped with grilled onions and “venom sauce.” We don’t quite know what’s in the sauce, but we assume it’s a spicy condiment formulated to dress up (and perhaps even disguise) the sausage dog in case Senator John Cornyn wants to give this ballpark delicacy a try.
El Paso Chihuahuas, Southwest University Park
Nacho cheese sauce flows at ballparks around the nation, but only the El Paso Chihuahuas serve it in a souvenir dog bowl. This alpha dog of ballpark nacho concoctions is topped with fajita beef or chicken, pinto beans, crunchy lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, and jalapeño crema. Our love for nachos is supreme indeed, and we claim these nachos for the residents of Texas, our four-legged citizenry included.