The Seattle Mariners kick off their season against the Rangers April 4, but the real fun comes at their home debut against the A's Friday, April 8, when you can settle into your seat at Safeco Field with a hot dog and a cask-conditioned beer.
In the food and drink department, restaurateur Ethan Stowell continues to up Safeco’s game, bringing in ever more local producers so the concessions at the stadium reflect the quality food movement happening everywhere in the city. Few ballparks in the country are competing at this level.
Read on for notes on new items, as well as a breakdown of major venues in the ballpark. Got another favorite? Leave a comment below.
NEW THIS YEAR
Rotisserie-style hot wings — At all five High Cheese Pizza & Wings locations in the stadium, find wings prepared rotisserie-style and served with bleu cheese dressing and Frank's Red Hot Sauce on the side. Flavors include Original Cayenne Pepper, Slammin' Sriracha Chili, Chile n' Lime, and Kickin' BBQ.
Liege waffles — From downtown shop Sweet Iron Waffles, these Belgian treats are made from a rich Brioche yeasted dough studded with pearls of sugar topped with powdered sugar or dipped in dark or white chocolate. They're made with local and organic ingredients, like flour from Shepherd's Grain alliance. [Section 136, Main Level]
More good beer — These days it's rare to find traditional cask-conditioned suds even at craft beer bars, but for the past couple seasons Safeco has featured rotating "real ale," as it's known, from local brewers. This year, try offerings from Black Raven, Diamond Knot, Georgetown, Naked City, Machine House, Stoup, and more. There are also tons of drafts and cans from these and other hometown heroes like gluten-free Ghostfish and Schooner Exact, which is pouring perhaps the country's first regularly-available sour beer in a major league stadium, Jawja Peach Berliner Weisse. Washington Beer Blog has a detailed breakdown of where to find the best brews during the game, now served in 16 ounce and 24 ounce sizes.
Stimson Estate Cellars wines — Washington-grown Red Blend and Chardonnay from Stimson are Safeco's "house wines" this year, available throughout the stadium.
Hempler's meats — Based in Ferndale, Washington, Hempler's meats will be available throughout the park this season. Look for double-smoked Polish, jalapeño cheddar Andouille sausages, and more at five Safeco Field Sausage and Double-Play Chicken & Sausage locations. Try some of the company's cottage-style bacon paired with Beecher's Just Jack cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich from The Big Cheese near section 111 on the Main Level.
MAJOR VENUES TO HIT
There are several major concessions venues at Safeco—some with multiple locations—plus additional stands scattered throughout the park. Here are some of the best bets.
Hamburg+Frites [The ‘Pen]: Alongside its beloved SeattleDog, Hamburg+Frites has a classic Seattle Burger with cream cheese, pickled peppers, and grilled onions. Stowell has said it's what he eats most at Safeco.
Edgar’s Cantina [The ‘Pen] and Edgar’s Tacos [Main Level and Club Level, Section 212]: Go for the bacon-wrapped hot dogs topped with grilled onions, jalapeños, and chipotle sauce, or the fish tacos. The menu is the same around the park, except at Club Level, where fish tacos are not available.
The Natural [Main Level, Section 132]: This outpost for health-minded palates has expanded vegetarian and gluten-free options to include quick-serve sandwiches and salads stuffed with beets, fennel, quinoa, and kale. Field Roast vegetarian hot dogs can be found here, as well as at select stands throughout the park.
Hit It Here Café [Club Level]: Hit It Here features Stowell’s own Swingin’ Wings, nachos, a bacon and egg burger, and a plethora of flatbread pizzas: arugula and prosciutto, Calabrian chiles and fontina cheese, BBQ chicken and raspberry jalapeño sauce, and more. The business pours more than two dozen beers from the Northwest and beyond, rotated monthly. Dessert here is a particular highlight, too.
Club Bistro [Club Level, Section 216]: A selection of Stowell’s famous fresh pasta is served with a variety of sauces. Don't miss the range of sandwiches, including muffaletta and chicken pesto, grab-and-go salads, and wine by the glass.
Sound Bar [Club Level, Section 248, & 249]: Rob Roy owner Anu Apte whips up a craft cocktail menu utilizing small batch spirits from Woodinville Whiskey Company, Oola Distillery, Rogue Spirits, and Fremont Mischief Distillery.