Probably the most unique characteristic of the ballpark is The Western Metal Supply Co. Building, a 100-year old brick structure, originally set to be demolished to make room for Petco Park. Instead, it was reinforced and updated to comply with current building codes, and today serves as the signature feature of the park, supporting the left field pole. Inside, you'll find the Padres Majestic Team Store on the first floor and on the fourth there's the Padres Hall of Fame Bar and Grill. Rooftop bleacher seating is available for groups on top of the structure, and the second and third floors offer private party suites you can rent.
On the Mezzanine Level beneath the Right Field Grandstand, you'll find The Power Alley - an entertainment area offering interactive games like a batting cage and fast pitch game. Also family friendly is The "Park at the Park" - a 2.7 acre area just beyond the outfield fence. You'll find a Little League Infield, kids' play area, picnic area, and you can even purchase cheap tickets and watch the game from there.
There's a cool sand area beyond the right field fence called "The Beach." You can watch batting practice from there pre-game, but once the game starts, it's reserved for Bleacher ticket holders.
Food and Drink:
There's a pretty good variety of concessions inside. You won't have a problem finding traditional ballpark fare at stands like Friar Franks (multiple locations) or K Street Grill. On the Field Level near Section 108, there's the Mercado which includes a variety of local food like Anthony's Seafood Grotto where you can get items like Fish and Chips or Clam Chowder in a bread bowl, and Randy Jones BBQ for some really good pulled pork.
One of our favorites in San Diego is the Fish Tacos found at any Padres Mexican Cafe. If you're only going to try one thing at Petco - that would be it. There are some new concessions for 2011, and one of the most popular is Filippi's Pizza (multiple locations), serving up cheese, pepperoni, and veggie pies.
For the health-conscious fan, there's Friar Fit (Field Level Section 101) which has a variety of healthier items including Sushi, and there's Veggie Burgers at Bay View Grill and Veggie Dogs at Friar Franks. (multiple locations). In addition, there's a new Gluten Free stand on the Field Level near Section 104.
There are also a few sit-down restaurants inside. We love Baja Bistro (terrace level) for a pre-game meal. Great shrimp tacos and Carnitas plate - plus they serve alcohol until the end of the game. (most others stop at the end of the 7th). Or stop by Club 19 on the Terrace Level. They have a really interesting (albeit not cheap) menu, serving up items like Beef Short Rib with Bacon Bread Pudding, Caprese Salad, and a Chorizo Sausage Corndog. They also have a full bar. For a different bar scene, hit up the Hall of Fame Bar and Grill inside the Western Metal Supply Building and grab a jalapeño hot dog wrapped in bacon and a few beers.
Another favorite is Westwinds, a sushi restaurant with a cool view of the field. When the attendance is below 30,000, they're open to the public, otherwise it's just for Terrace Level ticketholders. They also serve alcohol until the game is over.
There are a couple of Ballpark Brew Stands (Field and Upper Levels) offering over 20 different beer options. Behind the Mercado on the Field Level is La Cantina Bar - an outdoor full bar specializing in margaritas.
Petco Park offers some of the best standing-room only tickets around. There are several standing room rails around the concourse, and the views aren't bad. In the Field Pavilion, there's All You Can Eat seats for roughly $30, which is good choice if you plan on dining on just standard fare like hot dogs and soda.
The "Park on the Park" is a pretty great deal at only $5. If you buy these $5 park passes try to then stop by the Hall of Fame Bar and reserve a table on the outdoor patio with a much better view of the game. You can get a table for the beginning of the game until the end of the 3rd inning or one from the 4th until the end of the game - and enjoy a great view for cheap.
I love this park! My first time here and not being a Padres fan per se, I took fanzooloo's advice and got a fish taco at baja bistro. it was delicious!. My friend got a veggie burger and said it was really good. Then we checked out the Hall of Fame bar an
The Park and Neighborhood:
No longer sharing Qualcomm Stadium with the San Diego Chargers, the new PETCO Park is modern with an open-air concourse, and is one of the nicest parks around. Petco is situated in downtown San Diego at the edge of the Gaslamp Quarter. The convention center is nearby, as are numerous hotels and great bars and restaurants. The park is definitely at the top of our list of best locations, after maybe Fenway and Wrigley. Take a look at some food and drink suggestions on our "Before & After the Game" map for spots to hit up nearby, as some do game day specials (check out Tivoli's or The Field for example).
Getting There and Parking:
If going by car, the I-5, I-163, or I-94 will easily get you there. More than 27,000 parking spaces are located near the stadium, with 9,000 specifically designated for the park. Prices range from $5-$15 depending on proximity. A couple of the cheapest lots are the Horton Pacific Garage ($8) at First Venue between E and F Streets and 11th and C Lot for only $5. If you're going to a Sunday game, street parking is free, so try to find a spot in the surrounding area if you get there early.
You can also park for free at the Old Town Transit Center and take the trolley in. See below for more info on public transportation.
Due to it's central location, there are a few good alternatives to driving to the ballpark. One of our favorites is taking the Trolley. The Gaslamp Qauarter (5th Ave and Harbor Dr) and 12th and Imperial Trolley Station are both a couple of blocks away, serviced by the Orange and Blue Lines. On game days, the Trolley offers "special Event" service from Qualcomm Stadium and Mission Valley stations via the Convention Center route. For more information on schedules and fares visit HERE.
If you're coming from the North, the COASTER train is a good way to go. The train ends at Santa Fe Depot and you can then connect to PETCO from the station via San Diego Trolley or walk about 20 minutes. Go to www.sdcommute.com to purchase COASTER tickets.
Two other options are by ferry or water taxi. The San Diego Bay Ferry departs from the Coronado Ferry Landing Shopping Center and takes you to 5th Ave Landing behind the Convention Center, and is the cheaper of the two aquatic options. Or you can call 619-235-TAXI (8294) for an on-call water taxi service which services downtown San Diego, Coronado, Harbor Island, and Shelter Island.
Be sure to also check out our "Info Inside the Stadium"" section for some great suggestions once inside the Petco Park.