Ohio State has done a great job at getting a variety of food and beverage options to Ohio Stadium. Now you can get pretty much anything you want to eat or drink while watching the Buckeyes. Pizza, tacos, beer, smoothies, and much more will be for sale at The Horseshoe this fall.
Even though there are tons of food and drink options, we were hoping there might be more local options. Do we really need three Panera locations at Ohio Stadium? We don’t even need one. Some of the generic “Brutus’ Best” locations could be turned into places where more local fare is sold. There are 19 “Brutus’ Best” locations between A, B, & C decks. Surely we could spare a few of those to highlight some of the best Columbus has to offer.
Not that Ohio State hasn’t made advancements in that department recently. This year Chicky Chicky Waffle and The Wicked Lobstah have been added to the Ohio Stadium lineup after being a couple of the best food trucks in Columbus the last few years. Drink Local will sell beer from four Ohio breweries, three of which are in Columbus.
Today’s question: What Columbus food or drink staple would you like to see at Ohio Stadium?
For this exercise, let’s presume there are no contracts and sponsorships that Ohio State has to abide by. If you want Adriaticos instead of Donatos, then so be it. Do you agree with our choices or do you want to see something else at Ohio Stadium? The only thing that will be frowned upon is Skyline, because life is too short to eat that slop.
We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.
Brett’s pick: Buckeye Donuts
When we came up with this question, my first thought was of Buckeye Donuts. When it comes to the campus area, there isn’t anywhere that is held in higher regard than Buckeye Donuts. Even those who have been out of school for years, and maybe returning to Columbus after years away, make it a point to stop at Buckeye Donuts.
A big reason I think Buckeye Donuts would be a smash hit at Ohio Stadium is becasue their food is easy to transport, and hard to make much of a mess out of. You may get a little glaze or donut filling on your scarlet and gray duds, but at least it’s better than having some ketchup or mustard stream down from a hot dog.
Sometimes you don’t need a couple slices of pizza, chicken tenders, of a burger. All you want is a little sweet treat that could wake you up a little with a rush of sugar. Not having some big box meal on the menu will also help keep the lines moving, so you don’t have to worry about missing much of the action down on the field. Buckeye Donuts has the finest selection of donuts and other treats at their High Street location. They wouldn’t even have to bring all the options to the stadium, even if they brought just a few it’s still be a tremendous addition to the food lineup.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice, cold beer at a football game. I don’t really care to pay $10 for it or whatever Ohio State will be charging, though. Instead, give me some of that Buckeye Donuts coffee. Maybe not so much for a noon game in September, but imagine grabbing a warm coffee in the second half of a 3:30 game in late November. The only thing that would warm the soul any more is a Buckeye victory.
When I go to Blue Jackets games, I usually stop at Tim Horton’s either before the game or during one of the intermissions to grab a coffee and maybe some Timbits. I don’t see why we can’t do the same for Ohio State football with Buckeye Donuts, especially as we get later in the season. And who knows, maybe that second half coffee will help you take the postgame victory celebration a little later than it would be without switching to a little caffeine.
Meredith’s pick: Literally any ice cream what the heck?
Let’s be real. Traditional “stadium” food is pretty dull. How many overcooked burgers and nachos with flavorless cheese sauce can you really eat? The good news is that Ohio Stadium, like many venues across the country, has gotten wise to this notion, and has been steadily expanding its menu in recent years to offer a more diverse set of fare that makes attending a football game a palate pleasing experience.
For starters, there was the addition of beer, available stadium-wide, in 2016. Then came craft beer of the likes of Land Grant (shoutout!) and Rhinegeist. The addition of craft beer makes a big difference as an of-age adult attending games. Not only are fans willing to shell out for it, it’s a local flavor (lol) that’s certainly preferable to the selection of light beer generally available for purchase in the aforementioned “traditional” stadium food environment.
Ohio Stadium and its concessions partner, Levy, have also been rolling out new food additions that tend to build on local brands. For example, Barrio announced last week it would be serving tacos and margs at games this fall. These additions of things outside the realm of burgers, hot dogs and brats also mean food options that can serve a variety of dietary restrictions (huge thanks from all the vegetarians in the room). Levy has also brought in a “Taste of the Competition” which brings special menu items that highlight Ohio State’s opponents and adds to the variety.
But what could Ohio Stadium add to its menu moving henceforth?
Well, there are certainly limits to the types of food one can reasonably serve at a stadium. Anything requiring a knife and fork is a recipe for disaster, and while my initial instinct was for Skyline Chili, tbh that’s probably far too messy. Additionally, having spent the last year watching sporting events firmly from my couch, I feel out of the loop with what I used to eat at football games back in the day (cough, 2019).
But there’s something that Ohio is REALLY good at that seems to be missing. And it’s something that, especially on a hot September afternoon early in the season, I probably want maybe even more than a local craft brew.
Where’s the ice cream?!
Ohio is known for its premium ice cream selections, with Graeter’s and Jeni’s being the two most prominent. Unfortunately, they’re not to be found at Ohio Stadium on game days.
Jeni’s would be a cool story because ICYMI Jeni herself went to Ohio State, and her scoop shops first popped up in Columbus in North Market (as I remind everyone I encounter in Chicago who is convinced that the ice cream originated in Chicagoland). The Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks in particular recalls one of our favorite Ohio treats and would be a welcome addition to a game day menu.
But of course Graeter’s is the classic, the staple — and for goodness’ sake they have an ice cream called Buckeye Blitz. Folks will lost their minds over Black Raspberry Chip (though I myself can’t get enough of the Cookies and Cream with literal entire cookies just thrown in there), and it’s a shop that, despite being from Cincinnati, still engenders all the love from the locals.
So why no ice cream? Well, there are probably too many varieties to achieve economies of scale. Then there’s the storage and serving part.
Then there’s the fact it’s only ice cream weather for maybe two games per season.
Oh well. I’d still buy it.