If you're looking to get into the game early, we recommend entering through the Center Field Gate, but not before checking out the statues of some of Washington's baseball greats. Once inside, head over to the Red Porch Restaurant right inside Center Field Plaza or the Red Loft above to grab a drink and watch batting practice from one of the best views in the ballpark. For something more family friendly, there's a Family Picnic Area and a Kids Jungle Gym near the Right Field Gate.
Food and Drink:
Nationals Park does allow outside food and one bottle of sealed water per person into the park, but here are also plenty of good choices to eat once you get inside. You'll find a fairly wide range of concessions - lots more than just standard ballpark classics, although there's plenty of that as well.
We love Ben's Chili Bowl, one of DC's most popular food establishments and now open at a couple of locations on the Main Concourse and Gallery Levels. For something healthier, head to Field of Greens at Section 110 for grilled vegetable wraps, hummus and veggie plates, salads, and Gluten-free beer and chips. Veggie Burgers can be found at Georgetown Grill (Sec 130 ) as well as at Grand Slam Grill (sec 318). There's a Kosher Grill at section 143 that serves up knishes, falafel, and shwarma - not things you can find at every park. What DO other parks serve? Find out at the two Taste of the Majors stands, serving up food from other parks around the country. We're also fans of the Value Pack deal at Nat's Dogs where you can get a Hot Dog, Chips, and a Soda for $7.
New to the park are a few offerings from the Union Square Hospitality Group which includes some of NYC's best restaurants and is also the group serving up some our favorite foods from inside the Mets' Citi Field. Do check out Blue Smoke for some amazing BBQ as well as El Verano Taqueria for some Mexican fare and Shake Shack for its famous burgers, dogs, and frozen custard.
As for beer, you can find top-notch microbrews like Dogfish Head and Flying Dog. Check out the Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk on the Mezzanine Level, which serves up more than just classic domestics and has a multi-level outdoor patio. Baseline Brews stands, found at several locations throughout, serves up a variety of premium beers as well. If beer isn't your drink of choice, there are a ton of stands serving up premium liquors - check out the All-Star Bars on the Main Concourse (Sec 117) and Mezzanine Level (Sec 240).
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The Ballpark and Neighborhood:
Nationals Park is one of the newest in the country, and just over a mile south from the Capitol. With the field being 24 feet below street level, over half the fans will be able to get to their seats without the use of escalators, ramps, or stairs. Attractive architecture inspired by the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in addition to views of the Capitol and the Washington Monument for some upper deck seat make this park along the Anacostia River a pretty great place to see a game.
The area around the park is still in development so there aren't an abundance of things to do in the immediate area. We recommend taking the Metro to Eastern Market (about a mile and a half away), grabbing a bite to eat, and then catching the super cheap Circulator Bus to the game. Check out our "Before & After the Game" map for a couple of places to go near Eastern Market and closer to the Capitol.
Street parking is becoming increasingly difficult as most streets are being rezoned to be geared towards residents. There are various parking lots and garages in the area that range between $10-$40. There are 4 lots run by the stadium right outside the ballpark that are $40. We recommend trying Lot W on 7th and L Streets. It will only be about $10 and is a 15 minutes walk (see our exterior map)
As for tailgating, it's been known to happen in various lots but no official word yet if it's technically allowed or not. The Bullpen Beer Garden across from the Center Field Gate is a good alternative.
The DC Metro is a fast and convenient way to get anywhere in the city. For the closest stop to the park, take the Green Line and get off at Navy Yard, only a couple of blocks away. If you're taking a different line, you can transfer to the Green Line at L'Enfant Plaza.
Also, the Circulator Bus is a fun way to get to the game. At only $1 you can catch the bus at Union Station or other areas, with extended hours during game days. (http://www.dccirculator.com for more info on routes)
For more tips for inside the park, be sure to check out our Fanzooloo Faves section found within the interior stadium map.
1500 South Capitol Street
District of Columbia 20003