ballpark food: Wrigley Field & Chicago Dogs

Don’t eat it.

No, seriously. I was warned by my boyfriend, who went to school in Chicago, that the food at Wrigley is terrible, that people go to the McDonald’s across the street and bring that food into the game. I ignored this, and decided instead to follow the suggestion of a Wrigley Field usher, who recommended the Italian beef from the stand on the concourse along the third base line. Feeling bold, I even went for the beef-and-sausage combo. The sausage was marginally tasty, the beef grey and inedible, and the roll the sandwich was served on crumbly and inadequate, disintegrating before I was 1/3 of the way through the sausage. I abandoned it all into a trashcan without regrets.

While I was attempting to eat, I watched people walk up to the condiment bar with their hot dogs, and, with distaste and slight disgust (at the size and appearance thereof), comment loudly on them. I suspect that they, like me, were trying to eat something, anything, at 12 noon, was because they started drinking on Waveland Avenue around 10am, and were now going to be sitting through a day game at Wrigley Field, where two beers would seem to be the mandatory minimum.

I’m proud to report that we accomplished far more than that, even though we did not get to partake in any pre-game festivities because, this being our first visit to Wrigley Field, we walked inside as soon as the gates opened.

After the game, we walked down N. Clark Street to the Wiener’s Circle in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. It is not exactly close to Wrigley Field, but it is close enough. I will warn you that the Wiener’s Circle during the day is not the same as it is at night. The establishment has a slight reputation for, shall we say, insulting customers as part of the meal, especially if you order your hot dog incorrectly. My companion ordered a red hot (Chicagoland for hot dog) with just mustard, and was not ridiculed. I, however, came to Chicago for a Chicago hot dog, and here it is:


If you order french fries at the Wiener’s Circle, you will get an enormous scoop of skin-on, hand-cut fries on a big sheet of wax paper. Do not try to eat them all. Unless it is 4am and you are drunk and likely need the salt and grease.

But do not try to eat at Wrigley Field.

Read more about my Midwestern baseball adventure at

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