2023 Preakness: Five things to eat in the grandstands at Pimlico

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Baltimore heads back to the racetrack Saturday for the 148th Preakness Stakes, and we’re looking forward to the thrilling matchups, the elaborate hats and a Black-Eyed Susan cocktail or two.

A full day of horse racing always stirs up an appetite, so we decided to preview some of the snacks on hand this year at Pimlico Race Course. These can all be found in the grandstand, one of the track’s main gathering places. Preakness Live concertgoers will find different offerings in the infield — we’ve included a list of vendors below.


Crabcake sliders and chips, $22

Can it get more Maryland than this? Snack on one of the state’s culinary staples while partaking in one of its great cultural traditions with a pair of crabcake sliders from the Pappas stall, served with potato chips. The local seafood chain, which got its start in Parkville and is a favorite of Oprah Winfrey, serves its sliders on basic potato buns, which don’t distract from the star of the show: thick lumps of crab meat bound together by minimal filler. We didn’t see any tartar sauce at the stand (when we asked about condiments, we were directed to an assortment of ketchup, mustard and relish packets), but these crabcakes don’t need any extra help anyway. We only wish they lasted a little longer. When crab meat costs a small fortune, it’s perhaps no surprise that these sliders were on the smaller side.

Pit beef and BTI crab chips, $16

The meat isn’t piled quite as high as at Chaps, and it’s not quite as smoky as the sandwiches you can find at one of the city’s farmers’ markets, but the pit beef sandwich at Pimlico still makes for a solid and satisfying meal. This is another signature Baltimore snack, and it’s even tastier with a smear of horseradish and a top layer of thinly sliced onions. You can opt for plain potato chips on the side, but we recommend the BTI Crackin’ Crab chips: the thick, ridged crisps are coated in a special crab seasoning from Bill’s Terrace Inn in Essex.


Pepperoni pizza slice, $8

Underground Pizza Co.’s Detroit-style pizza is more of a square than a slice, with a foundation of dense, focaccia-like crust that’s crisped at the edges.

This Baltimore-based pizzeria Underground Pizza Co. launched during the pandemic and has skyrocketed in popularity since then, with specialty pies like the Pickle Bacon Ranch and The Jawn, an ode to Philly cheesesteaks. At Pimlico, you have just two options: cheese or pepperoni, but they’re both worth a try. Underground Pizza Co.’s Detroit-style pizza is more of a square than a slice, with a foundation of dense, focaccia-like crust that’s crisped at the edges. Make sure to say yes to thick, tangy tomato sauce ladled on top.

Lobster blossom, $21

We all know about lobster rolls, but have you ever tried a lobster blossom? It’s something of a healthier alternative: instead of bread and melted butter, you’ve got lobster meat piled atop a sliced-open tomato. The “blossom” seems like it would be a good handheld snack, but it’s a lot messier than it looks, so grab a fork, knife and napkins before digging in. After trying it out, we’d probably still go for the roll, though we thought the cold tomato was a refreshing and relatively neutral base for the sweet lobster meat. Give it a little Maryland flair with a dusting of Old Bay on top.

Death by Chocolate ice cream, $7

Maggie Scheidhauer, 15, right, and her best friend since elementary school, 16-year-old Anna Thompson, left, are the duo behind the Maggie & Anna's dessert stall at Pimlico Race Course.

If all those salty crabs chips and piles of meat have you craving something sweet, head to Maggie & Anna’s for cookies and ice cream. The Pimlico stall is run by 15-year-old Maggie Scheidhauer and her best friend since elementary school, 16-year-old Anna Thompson. Maggie’s father, Jeff Scheidhauer, runs JET Services, a concessions business, and gave the girls a shot at taking over an empty booth at Pimlico after they expressed an interest in entrepreneurship. This is their third year at the Preakness, serving up generous scoops of frozen custard from Cumberland’s Queen City Creamery. We went with a cup of Death by Chocolate, which adds chocolate chunks to a rich, very chocolaty custard base.


Headed to Preakness tomorrow? Here are some of the grandstand food options available - from crab cake sliders to lobster blossoms.

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Infield vendors

Those attending the Preakness Live festival on Saturday will find a different lineup of vendors in the infield. Here’s a preview:

  • Brookside Market: cheesesteak egg rolls ($15), Italian cold cut hoagies with chips ($15), smashburger with chips ($16)
  • HoodFellas Bistro & Catering: half-rack of BBQ ribs ($17), steak burger ($16), fish bites ($16), jerk chicken leg quarters ($14)
  • Boardwalk Fries: cup of fries ($6), cheese fries ($9), chicken tender platter ($14)
  • Shareef’s Grill: half-dozen wings and fries ($17), nachos topped with chicken, steak or veggies ($14), wraps stuffed with chicken, steak or fish ($16), tacos with chicken, steak or fish ($15)
  • Funnel Fare: funnel cake ($11.50), fried candies ($9), gelati ($9.50), Italian ice ($9)
  • Jimmy’s Seafood: crabby dog ($13), crab cake sandwich ($26), crabcake egg rolls ($20), crabby fries ($14), chilled shrimp salad sandwich ($16), chopped Greek salad with grilled shrimp ($16), Chesapeake oysters ($11)
  • Neapolitan pizza: wood-fired, 12-inch cheese pizza ($15), pepperoni pizza ($18), Caprese pizza ($19), pepperoni calzone ($16)