Why settle for peanuts and Cracker Jacks?

Photo: Atlanta Braves

When the Atlanta Braves take the mound for their first regular-season game on Friday, April 14, against the San Diego Padres, fans will have to adjust to a brand new home and a slew of new eats (and beer) at SunTrust Park.

Beyond the structural brickwork, clear sightlines, and 41,149 forest-green seats that give this Cobb County stadium an all-new yet familiar feeling, you can still enjoy the soft pretzels in the shape of an “A” and the "Burgerizza," a delicious cacophony of cheeseburger packed between two personal pan pizzas that forms one harmonious, delectable bite. But what you won’t find on Opening Day is run-of-the-mill hot dogs and the standard foamy beer you’re accustomed to at other ballparks. No, these stadium bites are absolutely worth doing the Tomahawk Chop for, while singing the war chant in tandem.

From Southern regional favorites and baseball-themed bites to quintessential Atlanta cuisine and brewed specialties, you’ll want to head to SunTrust Park this season, just for the mouthwatering grub alone. You’ll come for the view and pinch-hitters, but stay for the food. 

1. Pizza galore! If you can’t get enough of cheesy slices, try The Slice. It’s a pizza stand located on the park’s lower level.

2. It can be Taco Tuesday at every home game, thanks to the Taco Factory, which has plenty of stuffed shells to choose from, including pork tacos with slaw and nachos drizzled with queso and chili aioli.

3. Get signature beer on tap at the Athens-based Terrapin Taproom. There's even a brand-new "Chopsecutioner" beer, which is aged with baseball shavings. Yes, you read that correctly. The beer is brewed from old baseball bats.

4. Healthy eats—like salads, sushi, wraps, fresh produce, and gluten-free hot dogs—can be found at Centerfield Market. It's like a big convenience store planted smack dab in the middle of SunTrust Park.

5. The kiddos will enjoy the snacks at the Sandlot Snacks kiosk, plus they’re peanut-free for those with allergies.  

6. No small potatoes at the Potato Cutter. Not only are these spuds pretty fancy, but they also come with flavorful toppings and unexpected seasonings.  

Photo: Myrydd Wells

7. As part of an incentive to get fans to savor the taste of the South, the Braves will initiate their Taste of Braves Country Passport. Once you get all 11 meals stamped on your passport, you’ll score a new T-shirt. But you’ll also get to sample signature dishes that show off the best of the region, too. The passport dishes include Alabama’s white barbecue sauce slathered on a fried Tomahawk-shaped pork chop (pictured above), South Carolina’s pimento cheese patty melt, Nashville’s hot chicken sandwich, North Carolina’s smoked whole-hog barbecue and slaw sandwich, and Mississippi’s blackened catfish po’ boy taco with comeback sauce.

8. Georgia restaurateur and Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson snagged a permanent reservation at the ballpark for his meat shack First & Third. It’s basically your average dog (or sausage) in a bun—slightly elevated, of course.

9. Atlanta is the king of the double-stack patty, so beef up at H&F Burger.

10. You can get the brew at Terrapin Taproom, and the treasured smokehouse Fox Bros. will provide the ‘cue. Go-to favorites like Frito pie, smoked pork sandwich, and chopped brisket are available as well. But when you’re feeling more adventurous, indulge in the "Tomminator" tots, drenched in the Southern classic Brunswick stew.

11. Break away from tradition by ditching the burgers and hot dogs in favor of Asian fare at Gu’s Dumplings.

12. Looking for the best frozen treats to cool down while you watch the game? Carts throughout the stadium will be peddling the signature Tomahawk ice cream bar. But for an icy dessert on a stick that’s better than anything you could find in the frozen food section, you’ll want to splurge on a few popsicles from King of Pops.

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If none of these satisfy your cravings, there’s always food available at The Battery Atlanta, a bustling entertainment district that sits just outside the gates. Welcome to Braves Country!