Nothing says summer time like a beer and hotdog at the ballpark and thankfully we’ve got one of the best minor league teams in town, the Durham Bulls. The Durham Bulls are riding high after winning the 2021 Triple-A National Championship. And while you might not find Crash Davis or Nuke LaLoosh at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, what you will find is top-notch baseball and great ballpark food! While I covered some of the great food choices around DPAC and the American Tobacco Campus next door in earlier posts, let’s dive right in to find out what the best eats are behind those brick walls. Whether you’re in the mood for a hot dog, shaved ice, fries, or more, it’s time to eat AND play ball!
(Post updated for 2022 season!) If you’ve got tickets to a Durham Bulls game, gates open an hour before the game. It’s a good time to catch all the pre-game warm-ups and get autographs from some rising baseball stars (especially if you’re a little kid). The Durham Bulls always run a lot of game specials: Fireworks on Friday and Saturday night games (starting May 28), Kids run the bases on Sundays after the game, and Bark in the Park (bring your dog into the outfield seats).
New in 2022 for food is Kids Eat Free on Wednesdays! Check in at the Lowes Food Guest Services stand and children will get a voucher for a free hot dog, chips, and soda. Afforda-BULL Thursdays are also back with $2 hot dogs and Pepsi products, $3 nachos with cheese, $4 sausages and chips, and $5 burgers, chicken tenders, and select beers.
Also new for 2022 are the unique concessions food items, below:
- Carolina Cue Dog: Sahlens’ Grilled For You hot dog topped with BBQ pork and coleslaw
- Boom Boom Hot dog: This hot dog includes slaw, Boom Boom sauce, bacon and is topped with crunchy Cheetos.
- Pig Kahuna Sausage: Lowes Foods Sausageworks pineapple teriyaki sausages topped with pineapple slaw and sweet & spicy boom boom sauce
- BBQ Loaded Sweet Potato Tots: Sweet potato tater tots topped with BBQ pork and nacho cheese
- Street Tacos, Nachos, Chips and Guacamole, and Roasted Corn from El Jefecito: Durham’s own El Jefecito food truck and restaurant will be set up near the Compass Real Estate Left Field Gate with street tacos, nachos, chips and guacamole, and roasted corn
The Durham Bulls will also be having monthly foodie experiences – Wine Pairing (April 27), Brunch (May 30), Low Country Boil (June 15), Caribbean (July 6), Fiesta (August 25), and Oktoberfest (September 5) along with a foodie mini-plan to enjoy these special events. The new concessions and food map (above) will help you find some of what you need. More menu pictures from the 2022 season are below to help you get a feel for concession prices at the ballpark.
Climb up the concrete steps at the main entrance and you’ll find the concessions stands are all decorated with a consistent, wood siding motif, all looking quite spiffy. You’ll find your usual hot dogs, burgers, sausages, pretzels, fries, and beer options along the 1st and 3rd base sides of the stadium concourse. Note: There are more concessions on the 1st base, right-field side of the concourse since it’s the home team side!
The concessions are all well-marked and usually offer candy, peanuts, popcorn, and more. Pretty much all the eats at the Durham Bulls ballpark are under $10 (most $4 to $8) so it’s not expensive to eat at this ballpark! Note that some Durham Bulls tickets come loaded with $5 worth of concessions and beer credit, double-check your ticket. What’s really cool is that the Durham Bulls Ballpark has brought in some local businesses for concessions so keep an eye out for these specialty spots!
In the center of the concourse, you’ll find the very popular Pie Pushers pizza! Pie Pushers does an excellent NY thin-crust slice of za, and it’s only $25 for a whole pepperoni pizza! Hog Heaven Barbeque is also in the front of the concessions area, serving up NC barbeque and other Southern favorites. There’s also a Foothills beer garden for a leisurely sip of beer.
At the front of the concourse you’ll also find a variety of local food stands. It’s really a fun way to enjoy some uniquely Durham spots and their eats! Lemonade, funnel cakes, cotton candy, and more. There’s a bit of a state fair feel to these little stands.
Out on the left-field side of the park, you’ll find El Jefecito, a Mexican restaurant that’s also a food truck. An attached bar makes for a nice space to hang out and enjoy a drink.
Out in right field you’ll also find a terrace area offering up some other delicious options underneath blue skies. First up is a full patio bar (Jackie’s Landing) complete with craft brews and cocktails so you can have an adult beverage in style! Behind the bar you’ll find Smokebox Barbeque serving up barbeque and smoked meats. And further in you’ll find the Wool E. World children’s play area along with some additional food stands. Note that there are also two beer stands down the left and right-field sides of the ballpark seating areas on the walkway. Super-convenient for a craft beer and they save you a walk to the concourse.
The Durham Bulls have quite a few promotions and specials going down, check their promotions schedule for the latest information!
In addition to the great ballpark and food, I really love how the Durham Bulls entertain the crowd beyond the action on the field. Sumo-wrestling, gunning t-shirts into the crowd, kids catching bean bags in their pants, Wool E Bull racing around the field in a go-kart, there’s always something happening between innings! And fireworks on Friday and Saturday night games are always super festive. The Durham Bulls are really minor league baseball at its very best…
Now how can you not enjoy a great night of Triple-A baseball, food, and fresh air?! Given the Durham Bulls are part of the Tampa Bay Rays farm system, you’re guaranteed to see a future major-leaguer during your visits here. And I really can’t think of a better way to spend a warm summer evening than at the Durham Bulls ballpark munching on fries, dogs, and custard, bon appetit!
So what’s your guilty pleasure at the ballpark? Fess up people!