Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, a vegetarian attended an NFL football game. “Is there any vegetarian or vegan food here?” she may have asked. All her friends turned to look at her, dumbfounded. Perhaps they hoisted their all-beef hot dogs and cheeseburgers into the air, pointed their big foam fingers at her and giggled at such a silly notion.
Thankfully, those days are over. NFL stadiums around the country are now well aware that America’s diet is shifting toward more healthy, or at least more animal-friendly, options.
Now that we’re smack dab in the middle of football season, there’s no better time to salute the 10 most veggie-friendly NFL stadiums around the country. We’ll adopt the first five from PETA’s just-released Top 5 Vegetarian-Friendly list for 2013, and move on from there:
1. Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia Eagles
PETA has voted the Eagles’ home stadium into the number one spot for four years in a row, and it’s easy to understand why. Vegetarians and vegans have a terrific smorgasbord to choose from at the Lincoln Financial Field general concessions vendors. Try a black bean burger, a garden burger, a vegan steak sandwich or veggie tacos. How about breaded eggplant hoagies, hummus and chips, and fresh fruit platters? The choices will make your head spin.
2. Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City Chiefs
The munchies available for Kansas City fans to chow down on sound pretty darn tasty. Go for the lentil burger, the veggie burger, the Sloppy Jane, as well as vegetarian standbys like cheese pizza, cheese-covered nachos and popcorn.
3. O.co Coliseum – Oakland Raiders
You know this stadium is in sunny California because here you’ll be noshing on veggie burritos, veggie fajitas, a veggie burrito bowl, salsa, guacamole and the Southwest Tortilla Salad, in addition to veggie burgers and hot dogs. Don’t forget the 7-layer-dip, hummus-spinach-artichoke dip, and — saints preserve us — vegan chocolate fondue.
4. Ford Field – Detroit Lions
You wouldn’t think Detroit would be this veggie-friendly, for some reason, but you’d be wrong. At Ford Field, you’ll be able to enjoy a vegan sloppy joe (the Sloppy Jane), a veggie and hummus cup, tofu flatbread sandwiches, a veggie burger, a fruta cup with chili lime salt, garlic parmesan fries, a vegan chopped salad and more.
5. Qualcomm Stadium – San Diego Chargers
In San Diego, vegheads with the munchies can load up on the three-grain vegetable burger, a roasted vegetable wrap, farm stand nachos, hummus, fresh fruit, chopped salads, Portabella Carpaccio, pinto bean nachos, and cheese or veggie pizza. Oh, and vegan chocolate chip cookies. Again, that’s vegan chocolate chip cookies.
6. CenturyLink Field – Seattle Seahawks
Veggie football fans in Seattle will never go hungry. Wander around the concessionaires and partake of the pad thai, asian tacos, potachos, edamame wow bao, truffle herb fries, roasted vegetable hummus with pita, Field Roast burgers and dogs, cheese pizza, and the list just goes on. Nom nom nom.
7. Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis Colts
Attend a Colts game and you can have your fill of veggie stir fry, “The Combine” (a veggie sub sandwich), the grilled veggie burger, nachos, fries, cheese pizza, pasta with marinara or pesto and veggies, vegetable wraps, crudites, baguette sandwiches, apple-jalapeno cole slaw, caesar salad, salt roasted golden beets and those lovely vegan chocolate chip cookies.
8. Everbank Field – Jacksonville Jaguars
Sally forth to Florida and while you’re cheering the Jaguars on to victory, stuff your face with the vegetarian burrito, veggie burger, Garlic Potato Frip, veggie wrap, taco salad bowl, cheese quesadilla, pico de gallo mac and cheese, the Sloppy Jane (made with tempeh, peppers and onions), and the ZLT (zucchini lettuce and tomato) flatbread. Yum yum, we say. Most definitely yum.
9. Sports Authority Field at Mile High – Denver Broncos
How does a grilled veggie wrap or a “no chicken” chicken bowl sound? Or a Goal Line Greens Salad, teriyaki rice bowl, tamales, smothered burritos or quesadillas? Pretty delish? We thought so, too. You can have all that and more at a Broncos game in Denver. Bundle up and get to the stadium with your appetite at the ready.
10. Gillette Stadium – New England Patriots
While you’re freezing your butt off in snowy New England, warm your tummy with veggie delights like the portabella mushroom burger, Caesar wrap in a spinach tortilla, field greens salad with cranberries, veggie burrito with black beans, rice, bell peppers and onions, a black bean burger, or try building your own vegetarian nachos. Let us not forget the premium level, which offers vegetable lasagna, focaccia and a cheese platter. Do I hear stomachs rumbling out there?
Fear not, veggie football fans. Your sporting event food choices are getting better every day. Get out there, cheer on your favorite team, and down a few tofu dogs or vegan sloppy joes. Maybe you’ll even win some converts to the veggie cause.