As the 49ers prepare for their first preseason game tomorrow, it’s time to check back in on Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, which the team has called home since 2014. The roster of concessions this year include rookies Starbird Chicken, Red Rooster tacos, Oren’s Hummus Shop, Shalimar, and The Organic Coup. It’s also added Off The Grid food truck programming. And by the time you get to the stadium, which is obviously more distant than the Candlestick of yesteryear, you’ll probably need something to eat.
Meanwhile, the main concessions at Levi’s Stadium, as operated by Centerplate, have some new items for sale this season. Those include a Dungeness Crab sandwich on toasted sourdough garlic bread, lobster rolls, and po’ boy sandwiches. This being stadium food, there are also “loaded onion ring petals,” which look to be inspired by an Outback Steakhouse dish that shall not be named.
When Levi’s Stadium opened, its concessions sold more than 180 different foods. The early spotlight was on Bourbon Steak, Bourbon Pub, and a members-only “Tailgate” from noted restaurateur Michael Mina. There, Mina has experimented with meat feasts like an absurd take off on the already insane “Turducken”: A thing called “lambpigcow,” which is those three meats nested together like Russian dolls. Mina is something of a stadium food fanatic, and even penned an ode, in Eater, to the art of the tailgate.
The biggest development of the last two years at the stadium, in terms of food, has likely been the Faithful Farm. That garden was built as the first-ever rooftop farm at an NFL stadium, and it’s produced nearly two tons of food, much of it served right on premises. Baba ganoush sold at games, for example, uses eggplant and herbs from the Faithful Farm.
That’s in keeping with the stadium’s sustainability goals — which the team is more likely to meet than any lofty predictions for on-field success. When it opened, Levi’s Stadium officials touted the fact that 85 percent of stadium food came from California suppliers, with 78 percent of it within a 150 mile radius. Those are some solid stats.