tacos from la tiendita photo by izaiah johnson

Your ultimate guide to eating at St. Louis City SC CityPark stadium

For the discerning eater, the experience of exploring many sports stadium concourses is an underwhelming Mobius loop of concessions offering near-identical menus of predictable items and little in the way of local flavor or independent restaurant presence. At its CityPark stadium, however, St. Louis City SC is pioneering an ambitious approach to in-stadium dining that starkly contrasts that offered in other stadiums – not only in the U.S., but around the world.

Over the past two years, the club has revealed the City Flavor program, developed by chief experience officer Matt Sebek in collaboration with the club’s “flavor officer,” Niche Food Group owner Gerard Craft, and hospitality partner Levy Restaurants. The program envisions matchday food that’s as exciting and diverse as the cuisines and communities that make St. Louis’ food scene one of the city’s most vibrant assets.

Walking the concourse at CityPark, the first thing you’ll notice is just how many local, independent restaurants are represented. Anyone who attends live sporting events knows this is not the norm. “There are stadiums that have some local vendors, but it's like three or four local vendors, and a lot of times they're the bigger players in the area,” Craft said. “We really wanted to give the opportunity to so many small restaurants that normally might not have the opportunity to go into some of these places.”

Normally, smaller restaurants are shut out of stadiums by pay-to-play fee structures. Not so at CityPark, Craft said. “For the people that we’ve picked, we’ve opened it up for free,” he said. “No entry fee at all to get in the door. The [club’s] ownership bought all their equipment, everything, outfitted them.” The amount of rent partners pay is calculated as a percentage of sales. “If they do bad one day, they pay less,” Craft said.

Balkan Treat Box co-owner Loryn Nalic described her excitement at becoming one of the restaurant partners at CityPark. “Once you see the project and everybody shows you what's going on, what the plans are, you realize you're a part of St. Louis history,” she said. “It's just an overwhelming feeling of being a part of something new and different and cool that’s just going to make the city even better.”

loryn and edo nalic, co-owners of balkan treat box // photo courtesy of st. louis city sc

From La Tiendita’s tacos to Chez Ali’s jerk wings and patties to The Fattened Caf’s pork belly sisig, City Flavor is intentional about reflecting St. Louis in its fullest sense, bringing in restaurants from across the region representing a broad range of cuisines, communities and demographics. “We really wanted to try to start seeing what the demographics of a soccer match look like,” Craft said. “It's such a diverse sport, and we wanted to try to have as many people feel seen with their cuisine.”

Bringing all these restaurants on board didn’t happen overnight. Very few of the restaurant partners involved in City Flavor have any experience operating inside stadiums. Most only have one brick-and-mortar location, and several are very small, family-run businesses. “This is a big deal – for your next location, you’re serving 24,000 people,” Craft said. What you see on matchday is the result of a long and ongoing process of building relationships, trust and communication between all parties, from the restaurants to Craft, Levy and St. Louis City SC.

Craft acknowledges there are “growing pains,” but he said he’s not expecting immediate perfection. With City Flavor, he believes that the club has assembled a group of restaurateurs with the ability, energy and drive to improve one game at a time. “Quite frankly, this has gone better than I could have ever imagined,” he said. “And I think only because there are so many talented people involved. We just had night one in a restaurant. And night one in a restaurant for 24,000 people.”

Nalic said Balkan Treat Box co-owners Edo and Emir Nalic were delighted by the energy customers brought for the first home game. “Customers were yelling their names,” she said. “I think people are getting excited, because it's familiar and that's not normal – you don't go to a game and walk up to get food or drinks and see the people you know.”

It would be easy to assume fans of other teams have it as good as we do, with their own version of City Flavor. Well, pinch yourself, because they don’t. Scan the feed of the Twitter account @FootyScran, which posts photos of soccer stadium concessions from around the world, for a reminder that great stadium food is, though not a total outlier, certainly not to be taken for granted

“This is something that's never been done in sports. There's a reason: because it's hard,” Craft said. “The ownership group wants to leave a legacy, and they want to show that a stadium can represent a city and not just a bunch of large corporate brands.”

photo courtesy of st. louis city sc


Union Loafers Cafe and Bread Bakery
Main concourse, section 118; Upper concourse, section 211
Union Loafers’ Bavarian pretzel is kind of perfect. The dough is naturally leavened, yielding a pretzel with tangy flavor and chewy texture. Dip yours in grainy mustard or the iconic sports arena condiment, neon-colored cheese. It’s all good.

Upper concourse, section 218
The crab Rangoon at Nudo is made fresh at the stadium. When just fried, these crispy, cheesy pockets pair perfectly with a beer – try 2nd Shift Brewing’s Brewligans hazy IPA or Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.’s Balkan Lager.

Mayo Ketchup
Main concourse, section 110
The empanadas at Mayo Ketchup are the stuff of legend. The tender, flaky dough is filled with picadillo-style ground beef flavored with tomatoes, onions and spices. It’s the ideal handheld snack for when you’re cruising around the stadium.


Bold Spoon Creamery
Ultra Club*, upper concourse (entrances near sections 242 and 251)
Whether it’s hot or cold out, Bold Spoon Creamery’s ice cream is always in season. They’re made with local cream and quality ingredients. Their salted chocolate is sensational on its own but, in combination with a scoop of more unusual flavors like goat cheese and fig jam or crème brulee flecked with shards of caramelized sugar, it makes for an irresistible trio.

Ices Plain and Fancy
Main concourse, near section 139
The nitro ice creams are made with a dash of liquid nitrogen to flash churn the custard base, giving the finished product a silky smooth, dense texture. We’re partial to the classic cookies and cream but vanilla, chocolate and the wild-card, cherry cordial studded with chocolate pieces, are always a great idea.


The Fattened Caf
Ultra Club*, upper concourse (entrances near sections 242 and 251)
Yes, CityPark has interesting vegetarian dishes! At The Fattened Caf, you can find meaty options like Filipino pork belly topped with calamansi (citrus) cream and chicken longganisa (sausage) with jasmine rice. But their chargrilled eggplant flavored with tomatoes, onions and soy vinegar, served with rice and topped with salted duck eggs and quick-pickled red cabbage with ginger, took us by surprise.

DD Mau
Main concourse, near section 101
We love the filling and fresh vermicelli bowl at DD Mau. It’s a pile of noodles served with red cabbage, lettuce, pickled veggies and cucumbers topped with crunchy peanuts and crispy shallots. The bao sliders, also available in a vegetarian option, have a soft, sweet bun with veggies, red cabbage, pickles and cilantro.

vermicelli bowl at dd mau in maryland heights // photo by izaiah johnson


Pie Guy
Main concourse, near section 118
We’ve long been fans of a late-night slice at Pie Guy in the Grove. Here, the menu is pared down to a giant slice of New York-style cheese or pepperoni pizza on a paper plate. It’s the pepperoni for us.

Main concourse, near section 142
Dewey’s also has pizzas by the slice in either cheese or pepperoni, but don’t miss the garlic knots made from their pizza dough.


Ultra Club*, upper concourse (entrances near sections 242 and 251)
Malinche’s Del Trompo tacos come in corn tortillas filled with achiote-roasted pork with pineapple, cilantro, onions and lime. Don’t forget a side of their esquites, street corn flavored with queso fresco, lime and piquin for a spicy kick.

La Tiendita
Main concourse, near section 140
This unmissable taco stop is making carne asada and pollo pibil tacos served in their thin-yet-sturdy housemade tortillas. The pibil sauce for the chicken is brightly colored from achiote and has layered heat with a fruity finish. The carne asada served with cilantro and onion is simpler, but a dash of their salsa kicks it up a notch.

Main concourse, near section 120
You can always opt for the classic al pastor tacos – pork marinated with onion and pineapple and served with onion and cilantro in a corn tortilla – but the tacos de papa, with potato, lettuce, cheese and sour cream served inside a crispy corn tortilla sounds like a winner. Whatever you choose, don’t miss their frozen house margaritas to wash it down.


Together Credit Union Club*, Upper concourse (entrance near section 135)
One of our favorites at Pastaria is the Caprese deli sandwich with fresh mozzarella, tomato, pesto aioli and arugula layered on a Union Loafers hoagie roll. The crucial ingredient is their giardiniera: pickled, spicy vegetables in a little olive oil that deliver heat and brine to each bite. Their Italian deli sandwich puts the giardiniera to work too, balancing the richness of prosciutto, salami, ham and provolone.

Upper concourse, near section 207
Whether you want the Amighetti’s special sandwich – their version of a classic Italian sub loaded with ham, roast beef, salami and Provel balanced with pepperoncini, pickles and onions – or the turkey and Provel or veggie sandwiches, they are bringing the familiar flavors of The Hill to CityPark.

steve ewing of steve's hot dogs // photo courtesy of st. louis city sc


Main concourse, near section 148
As you walk past Farmtruk you can smell the aroma of the meat sizzling on the flattop; it would be wise to stop. Their Farmtruk burger is made with Missouri grass-fed beef, cheddar, smoky bacon and crispy fried onions and served on a brioche bun. We’d be remiss if we didn’t suggest also ordering the brisket mac – it’s saucy, cheesy and has Red Hot Riplet crumbles on top.

Together Credit Union Club*, Upper concourse (entrance near section 135)
Whether it’s a single, double or vegetarian burger made with black beans, they’re all winners. They get served up with American cheese, dijonnaise, onion and pickles on a Companion bun. It’s a classic combo of ingredients that is most complete when paired with their marshmallow or coffee soft serve ice cream for dessert.

The Block
Upper concourse, near section 219
The Block has built a reputation around sourcing local ingredients. Their eponymous Special Burger is the one to get. Housemade bacon jam brings a smoky-sweet note that plays off caramelized onion and sharp white cheddar. It’s all tucked into a squishy potato bun and served with a side of fries seasoned with garlic and herbs.

Steve’s Hot Dogs
Main concourse, near section 105; also accessible to the general public from outside the east side of the stadium
If you’re looking for something more than a hot dog with mustard (not that there’s anything wrong with that), look no further. At Steve’s, standouts include the Bacon Bacon Jamaican with grilled onions, peppers and a honey-chipotle barbecue sauce or the St. Louis CITY Dog with provolone, banana peppers and smoky mustard.


Chez Ali
Main concourse, near section 108
You will not go hungry at Chez Ali. From the fried samosas with an array of fillings to the patties with curry chicken, nem (similar to spring rolls) and fried plantains, there is much to choose from. Maybe best of all are the spicy-sweet jerk wings, with notes of allspice and heat from Scotch bonnet peppers; they’re actually chargrilled chicken thighs – so more substantial than a wing – and served with pickled vegetables, ciabatta bread and a zesty habanero aioli.

Beast Butcher & Block
Main concourse, near section 128
The pork steak is beloved by St. Louis barbecue enthusiasts. At Beast, it’s special. They butcher the meat then smoke it with hickory wood, baste it with a thinner, St. Louis-style barbecue sauce, and torch it. The result is a giant, juicy, tender cut of meat that’s got a caramelized crust with charred fat and developed flavors, sandwiched in a soft bun and served with pickles.


Balkan Treat Box
Main concourse, near section 105; also accessible to the general public from outside the east side of the stadium
Balkan Treat Box’s popularity seems to grow by the day, and with new offerings exclusively at CityPark, there’s only more to love. Go for the beef or vegan kebabs with strips of beef or plant-based meat, tomato, onion, cabbage and ajvar kajmak (a savory roasted red pepper spread) wrapped up in their Turkish wood-fired flatbread. Another newcomer to the BTB menu is their orange-pistachio chocolate chip cookie that has bright and bold citrus flavor, bringing a familiar dessert to new heights.

Anthonino’s Taverna
Upper concourse, near section 222
Go for the gyro! A combination of beef and lamb is rolled in a fluffy pita and served with tomato, onion, cooling tzatziki and feta for a sharp, salty bite.

Lona’s Lil’ Eats
Ultra Club*, upper concourse (entrances near sections 242 and 251)

This Fox Park eatery is known for offering vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes. Their tofu wrap has stir-fried rice, a cool, refreshing lime, ginger and peanut cabbage slaw, mixed lettuces dressed with a smoked vinaigrette and wrapped up inside a flour tortilla. It’s got bright pops of flavor from ginger and vinegar with a satisfying crunch from the cabbage.


If you’re dialed in to the game or just don’t want to bother with waiting in line, take it easy: You can order ahead from these spots through the STL CITY SC app and pick it up once it’s ready.

The Block
Balkan Treat Box
Beast Butcher & Block
Steve’s Hot Dogs

*Note: Club seating ticket required for entry to Ultra Club and Together Credit Union Club sections.