- Come for the tennis, stay for the food. From double cheeseburgers to poke bowls and ice cream sandwiches, we've mapped out all of the delicious offerings at the 2018 U.S. Open.
NEW YORK – When it comes to eating at sporting events, I typically follow a snacks-only rule: popcorn, peanuts (in the shells) and Cracker Jack, please! Bring on the soft pretzels, nachos and other munchies—and a nice cold beer, too! But every year, when I arrive at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for the U.S. Open in late August, everything suddenly changes. The year’s final Grand Slam tournament makes me go against my typical stadium food routine and order a full meal, one that I usually need a utensil for.
Starting on Aug. 27, more than 700,000 guests will walk the grounds at Flushing Meadows, watching high-level tennis matches, enjoying the last summer nights of the season and, of course, eating and drinking some of the city’s best grub. What is the best thing to eat at the U.S. Open, you ask? Honestly, there are so many options that it’s hard to choose just one. From traditional sports fare (hot dogs, hamburgers and fries) to local New York City hot spots serving up foodie-favorites (Melt Shop, Fuku and Korilla BBQ, to name a few) to fine-dining dishes at the restaurants, there truly is something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, nibble on some snacks or indulge in a full meal, we’ve got you covered. Below is a list of the foods (with prices) you’ll see on the menus in the Food Village, restaurants and around the grounds at the 2018 U.S. Open.
Food Village Mainstays and Newcomers
Many items below are quickly becoming U.S. Open staples at the Food Village, which is centrally located between Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong Stadium. You’ll find most of the concession stands here, including stations for water, coffee, beer, champagne and more.
A renowned local meat purveyor, Pat LaFrieda’s selection does not disappoint and is highlighted by the star of the show, the steak sandwich. Here are some of the options:
Filet Mignon Steak Sandwich: Ahh, the steak sandwich. Tender pieces of filet, topped with Monterey jack cheese, caramelized onions and au ju, all cradled in a toasted roll. It’s pure delicious-ness, and honestly one of my favorite choices at the U.S. Open. It’s huge, satisfying and feels like the kind of thing you should be eating at a tennis tournament. (Price $17)
LaFrieda Double Burger: All the flavors of the famed steak sandwich, piled into a burger with two LaFrieda patties, caramelized onions, American cheese and LaFreida steak sauce. *Insert drooling emoji faces here.*
Other menu items: Chicken parm sandwich, meatball sandwich, milkshake
Momofuku chef and founder David Chang always brings his mouth-watering must-haves to Flushing Meadows, including some new items for 2018.
110 Burger: New this year and exclusive to the U.S. Open, this burger has two Pat LaFreida patties topped with cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, pickles, and Fuku Mayo atop Hot Bread Kitchen Bing Bread. (Price: $15)
Knockout Sandwich: Another new item in 2018, this spicy fried chicken thigh is topped with seasoned cabbage and a spicy sauce. (Price: $15)
Fuku fingers and fries: Chicken fingers and fries are a staple at sporting events as much as they are a staple in a seven-year-old’s diet. The Fuku fingers are an ace: an adult version of a kid’s classic, they have just enough of a spicy kick and pair well with your condiment of choice. (Price: $15)
Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich: I’m partial to Fuku’s fingers, but the sandwich comes in as a close second as far as chicken options go. Habanero-marinated spicy fried chicken thighs are served on a Martin’s potato roll with pickles. Very easy to eat with one hand. (Price $13.50)
New in 2018 and located over by sort-of hidden Court 17 area is a preview of Chef JJ Johnson’s new opening this fall in Harlem.
Piri piri salmon and pineapple black rice: One of the fanciest new offerings this year, this dish pairs hand-caught Skuna Bay salmon with a spicy sauce and a mixture of Anson Mills Black China Rice, shaved cabbage, edamame and pineapple.
Grain bao bun with taro chips: Vegetarians, rejoice! This is a meatless burger made with quinoa, shitake mushrooms, roasted poblanos, corn and spices topped with smashed avocado and stracciatella cheese.
Other menu items: Crispy jerk BBQ chicken thigh and Carolina gold rice; grilled shrimp, crispy Coconut Rice and jollof sauce
What once was only a food truck has now grown into a restaurant with multiple locations—and a spot in the U.S. Open Food Village.
Bulgogi rice bowls: This may not look as pretty as some of the other dishes, but it really is tasty—and filling. Purple sticky rice is topped with your choice of bulgogi (ribeye steak, slow-roasted pork, sesame chicken or tofu) and homemade kimchi, kale and fire roasted corn. You can choose your sauce as well. (Price: $16.50)
Other items: Korean tacos; Kimcheese fries; Pork and veggie dumplings.
The poke spot led by Korilla BBQ chef Esther Choie is returning in 2018.
Poke Bowls: Pick from classic tuna, spicy tuna, salmon, crab and shrimp or tofu, which is spooned over seasoned sushi rice. Depending on your choice, the bowl will be served with the accompanying veggies and dressing. For example, the vegan tofu comes with avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots and edamame slaw, with a creamy tofu Caesar while the spicy tuna is served with avocado, cucumber, masago, pickled daikon and fried shallot with a creamy togarashi and gochujang dressing. (Price: $15-$17.50)
A go-to NYC lunch spot, Melt Shop’s U.S. Open offerings always deliver on three things food should always be: cheesy, crunchy and comforting.
Classic: American, cheddar, white bread—perfection. (Price $11)
Fried Chicken Melt: When you’re feeling a bit hungrier, go for this buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with pepper jack cheese and red cabbage slaw. (Price $15)
Shop Tots: Is there a better way to watch tennis than to sit and pop tater tots (with a sprinkle of parmesan) in the stands? (Price: $7)
Other menu items: Cheesy tots; Deluxe grilled cheese with bacon.
Fish Shack by David Burke
A new addition to the Food Village in 2018 serving up a variety of seafood options.
Fried Shrimp Po' Boy: This sandwich combines panko-breaded jumbo shrimp, corn, red onion, cole slaw and bacon relish, but I recommend skipping out on this item and trying the classic fish (or shrimp) & chips or one of the salads. (Price: $13)
Other menu items: Lobster roll, fish & chips, shrimp and crispy cod filet sandwich.
Pizzas: What’s better than a bubbly, delicious persona pizza pie? New to this year’s menu is the urbani truffle and artichoke pizza, but they also have margherita, pepperoni and meatlovers and the nutella dessert pizzas on the menu. (Price: $10-$18)
Farm 2 Fork
If you’re trying to keep it sorta-healthy while you spend the day watching tennis, grab a cold bottle of Evian and head over to Farm 2 Fork, where you can find some more nutrition options, such as salads with superfoods and more.
Hill Country BBQ
Hill Country is a standard in the Food Village, bringing authentic Texas barbeque to Flushing Meadows.
Chopped Brisket Sandwich: Served on a potato roll with pickles and sliced onions, this is a meaty, delicious sandwich that goes great with a side of fries. (Price: $15)
Other menu items: Fresh-cut fries; Longhorn mac and cheese
Chef David Burke serves up a flavorful Mexican street food menu.
Chipotle chicken tacos: If I’m being honest, I’d skip these tacos (served with pico de gallo, shredded lettuce and crema fresca) and go for the loaded nachos or chips and guacamole instead. (Price: $13)
Other menu items: Carne asada beef tacos; fish tacos; Nachos; Chips and guacamole
Back again for 2018, this is a Vietnamese sandwich shop. It’s not the best Vietnamese you’ll ever have, but it is satisfying, and who can complain when watching tennis and chowing down on a Banh Mi Bacon Dog?
Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi: 24-hour marinated chicken thigh on a toasted baguette with spicy mayo, fresh cucumber, pickled daikon and carrots, and fresh cilantro.
Banh Mi Bacon Dog: Juicy hot dog wrapped with bacon loaded with spicy mayo, green sauce, and banh mi fixings.
Hand-made ice cream cookie sandwiches are coming to the U.S. Open in 2018.
Try the Classic, with chocolate chip walnut cookies with vanilla ice cream, the Lovelet, with red velvet Meltcake with cream cheese ice cream or the Bramblebee, with honeycomb cookies with blackberry violet ice cream.
Creperie by Le Chef Paul
Choose from a chicken and Dijon mustard crepe, if you’re feeling savory, or an apple, brown sugar and caramel crepe if you’re yearning for something sweet.
For the fourth year in a row, the popular NYC spot is offering its classic and refreshing cold pressed juices as well as "superfood hydration" juices, including beauty (dragonfruit, passionfruit, lemon and maple), sport (lemon, lime, blue magic, maple, electrolytes) and immunity (ginger, lemon, turmeric, cayenne, maple, black pepper) varieties. (Price: $6-9)
Restaurants and fine-dining
Champions by American Cut: For the first time, LDV Hospitality is bringing chef-partner Marc Forgione’s American Cut to the U.S. Open as the signature steakhouse. You can eat some of the restaurant’s distinctive dishes, including the OG 1942 Hotel caesar, the 40oz porterhouse steak and more.
Lure Fishbar: Get a taste of this Soho restaurant at Oyster Bar 7 by Grandstand stadium and at the Oyster Bar on the Club Level in Arthur Ashe Stadium. The returning star of the menu is the lobster roll, served regular or club-style with a healthy piece of crunchy bacon.
Wine Bar Food: Located in the South Plaza above the Mercedes-Benz Brand Center, we suggest you order the mozzarella and burrata plate.
More fine dining: Mojito Restaurant & Bar, ACES and Café Spiaggia
Don’t Go to the U.S. Open Without Having A….
Grey Goose Honey Deuce: More than 275,000 melon balls will be used to garnish the U.S. Open’s signature cocktail. You should definitely get one and take the glass home as a souvenir—this year’s glass commemorates the U.S. Open’s 50th anniversary. The tournament also has a special version of its signature drink for its birthday: a Grey Goose frozen Honey Deuce. Think frosé, but with a U.S. Open twist.