NYC

What To Eat At Barclays Center

PHOTO: Noah Devereaux

Whatever you like, there’s something for you at Barclays Center. If you’re into sports, catch the Islanders or the Nets. Or if you like watching Disney princesses break character by figure skating at a professional level, Disney on Ice has you covered. Plus, people like Rihanna, Springsteen, and the Biebs perform here - so you have to assume that you’ll wind up at this huge Downtown Brooklyn arena eventually. And when you do, you’ll need to eat.

The cool thing about Barclays is that most of the food is from Brooklyn. Junior's, Williamsburg Pizza, Nathan’s Famous - those are just a few of the local options. There are so many concessions that deciding what to eat here can get overwhelming, however, so we went ahead and put this guide together for you. These are a few of the best things to eat at Barclays Center.

Pastrami Fries from Boomer and Carton Kitchen (Main Concourse, Section 17)

Some foods are hard to describe. Language just doesn’t do them justice. Not the case here, however: these are pastrami fries. Imagine you had some crinkle-cut fries and a pastrami reuben and you were given thirty seconds to combine them. For the first 29 seconds you’d chop up the meat, and in the final second you’d dump everything over the fries. So, yeah, you’re going to want these. Depending on much you need thousand island dressing in your life, a whole serving might be a little much. Play it safe and share.

Noah Devereaux
Arancini from Boomer and Carton Kitchen (Main Concourse, Section 17)

Arancini are deep-fried balls of risotto stuffed with good things. These are from Brooklyn’s Arancini Bros, and they aren’t your traditional varieties. At least we assume Sicilian grandmothers aren’t stuffing their balls with buffalo chicken and Philly cheesesteak - but maybe they are. We honestly know very little about Sicilian grandmothers. But if you’re hungry, and you want to eat something that’s super classy (because it’s European) but still pleasantly unhealthy, get these.

Baja Prime Burger from Paisanos Burger (Main Concourse, Section 3/29; Upper Pavilion, Sections 211/221)

If it’s been awhile since the last time you went to a game or a show and you want to mark the occasion with something substantial, get this burger. It has bacon, guacamole, and pepper jack cheese, and it stays warm in a bizarre space-age wrapper that looks like a dumpling. If, on the other hand, going to Barclays is a more-or-less common thing for you, get a regular burger. Paisanos is a local butcher shop that’s been open for over 40 years, so either one will be better than what the average stadium offers.

Cuban Sandwich from Habana (Main Concourse Section 25; Upper Pavilion, Section 209)

You know what this is. Crunchy bread, roast pork, ham, pickles - that’s a Cubano. This one comes from the Habana concession, the same guys who run Cafe Habana and the nearby Habana Outpost. Sure, this sandwich looks thin, but don’t get overconfident and order two. Habana’s cuban sandwich is dense (in a good way), and, unless you suffer from disparnumerophobia, one should do just fine. Also, enjoy looking up disparnumerophobia.

Ice Cream Sundae from Sugar Factory

People aren’t going whisper about your refined taste when you walk by with a couple of these, but you shouldn’t care about any of that. Respect yourself. These pie/sundae hybrids are surprisingly good and difficult to stop eating. Yes, they look ridiculous, but we think that’s an evolutionary defense mechanism that keeps them from selling out in five minutes. Get the lemon drop or the s’mores one. The meringue (on both) is soft and warm, and there’s ice cream underneath. It’s pleasant.

Baja Fish Taco from Calexico (Main Concourse, Section 3; Suite Level, South Side)

Calexico has four locations in NYC, two of which are in Brooklyn. Their Mexican food is pretty Americanized, so you aren’t going to find them on too many “best Mexican” lists. But that doesn’t mean their stuff isn’t good. They do comfort food, the sort of things that make you feel better and fuller and cared for. Like a hug or that moment just before you realize the nice-looking stranger waving at you on the subway platform is actually waving at a person behind you. The menu at the Barclays Calexico is shorter than normal, but get a few fish tacos and you’re good to go.

Chicken Souvlaki from Thomas’ Greek Kitchen (Suite Level, North Side)

So you want to be healthy. That makes sense. Just because you’re going to a hockey game or attending a show where 24-year old Selena Gomez sings her greatest hits doesn’t mean that you have to eat like you just ran marathon. If you’re looking for something a little healthier, try Thomas’ Greek Kitchen. Tomato, cucumber, feta, roast chicken - the ingredients in this souvlaki are all pretty fresh and straightforward. You aren’t going to reminisce about this chicken pita when you get home, but it also won’t coat your stomach in grease.

Nachos from Boomer and Carton Kitchen (Main Concourse, Section 17)

There are only four scenarios in which you should acquire this 5lb half-basketball bowl of corn chips covered in cheese, guacamole, and pulled pork, and we’re going to lay them out for you:

1) You’re with 4+ people, and you all need nachos.

2) Your grandma wants a plastic Nets-themed bowl for her foyer.

3) A horse just asked you to feed it Tex-Mex.

4) A horse just talked to you, and now you need to stress eat.

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