Could this be the season that the Orioles’ yearslong rebuilding efforts pay off big? The team’s chances for a postseason run are finally legitimate after a strong 2022 showing and with a roster full of young, exciting talent.
Baltimore fans will have a lot to chew on this season, both on the field and in the stands where ballpark snacks are upping their game, too.
Visitors to Oriole Park at Camden Yards will find a mix of returning favorites and new menu items this year at the stadium, which opens April 6 for opening day against the New York Yankees.
Behind the scenes, the team struck a new concessions deal at the start of the year, signing Chicago-based Levy as the ballpark’s new hospitality operator. The partnership ended a long-standing contract with Delaware North, the Buffalo, New York-based company that had been in charge of food and beverage sales at Camden Yards since 2010.
[ Orioles fans can now bring bags — with restrictions — to Camden Yards ]
Some of the stadium’s most recognizable vendors, such as Boog’s Barbeque and Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, will stay on under the new operator. Visitors can also opt to bring their own food, packed in one clear bag per person, and factory-sealed, nonalcoholic beverages in plastic containers no larger than 20 ounces.
As for what’s new, Levy tasked Chef Adam Carter, a Harford County native who worked at Camden Yards early in his career, with building a menu of stadium fare that’s heavily inspired by Maryland’s culinary markers.
“I’m a Marylander: it’s all about Old Bay here, it’s all about crabs — it’s what we do,” Carter said. “So we’re bringing a lot of Baltimore cuisine, Maryland cuisine to the park.”
Count on finding staples like crab dip pretzels and a Baltimore chicken box with Old Bay fries. Or lean into your Maryland pride with the Yard Dog, a combo of three foot-long hot dogs stuffed into a bun and topped with crab dip and Old Bay potato sticks.
The Baltimore Sun got a first look at some stadium snacks ahead of opening day. Here’s what we thought was a home run — and what we would send back to the dugout.
BTI crab chips: You’ve heard of Herr’s Old Bay chips and its competitor, the Utz crab chip. But the Orioles went hyperlocal with their supplier of this Maryland classic in 2023, naming BTI Crackin’ Crab Chips the “official crab chip” of Camden Yards. “BTI” stands for Bill’s Terrace Inn, the Essex seafood restaurant that manufactures this snack with its own special spice blend. We appreciated the sturdiness of the ridged chips and their generous coat of seasoning.
The Yard Dog: This order is a Maryland hot-dog lover’s dream, with three foot-long dogs (three feet make a yard — get it?) and a hearty ladle of crab dip and Old Bay-dusted potato sticks on top. Is it a little gimmicky? Yes, but the combination works. The potato sticks added a nice crunch and the creamy dip elevated what would otherwise be standard ballpark fare. Consider sharing this with a friend or two: neither the Orioles nor representatives from Levy could tell us how much the Yard dog — or any other ballpark fare — will cost, but we imagine it won’t be cheap.
Havana sandwich: This spin on a classic Cuban sandwich gets a boost from a layer of tender, seasoned pulled pork. You can find it in one of the ballpark’s new eateries, the Butchers Hill sandwich shop.
Signature crab pretzel boule: It’s hard to go wrong with a crab pretzel, and this one hits all the right notes, with a coating of garlic butter and cheddar jack cheese that adds to the smooth, Old Bay-infused dip.
Bmore chicken box: The team’s nod to a Baltimore classic combines a hunk of nicely breaded fried chicken with a Hawaiian roll and Texas Pete’s hot sauce for some kick. The Old Bay wedge fries were a welcome complement.
Swing and a miss
Buffalo bird dog: This new menu item swaps out a hot dog for Buffalo chicken in a bun. It’s not a bad idea in theory, but we thought the chicken was a little dry and could have benefited from some more Buffalo sauce and ranch. A sprinkling of celery on top added some crunch but couldn’t save the dish.
Spicy pepperoni pizza: Not everyone is a hot dog fan, which makes pizza a key stadium staple. This slice, sold at the 1729 Pizzeria, promised some zing with a drizzle of Mike’s Hot Honey on top, but we couldn’t taste the honey.
Baltimore Sun emerging news editor Judy Kim contributed to this article.