Your friends are suddenly unavailable during the week, traffic around that one section of I5 is a trash fire, and everyone’s wearing navy and teal. It must be baseball season. If you, too, are geared up for weeks and weeks of singing about Cracker Jacks while working on your farmer’s tan, a great meal is absolutely necessary to fuel all the cheering you’re going to be doing. Our guide is full of spots that aren’t too fancy, have excellent drinks, and are at most a 20-minute walk from T-Mobile Park. Go Mariners.
For $10, you could buy 40 mini bouncy balls or a used microwave on Craigslist. But for the same price, you can have an excellent fried chicken sandwich, steak fries, and a can of Rainier at Pioneer Square D&E. It’s not so classy that you’d look out of place in your Mariners jersey, but it’s also not so casual that you couldn’t come here with well-dressed coworkers for Happy Hour.
Slice Box Pizza
There’s pizza at the field, but why settle for expensive, mass-produced stadium food when Slicebox is .2 miles away? This is a New York-style spot that serves slices and whole pies - and the only one you really need is the Sicilian pepperoni pizza, which is thick and crusty, unlike the pizza at T-Mobile Park. Either sit down to have it in room covered in vintage gardening posters, or take it to-go and eat it on your walk over.
One of our favorite places to drink a big boot of German ale. Grab a communal picnic table with your friends and pass around plates of homemade pretzels, bratwursts, spaetzle mac and cheese, and many, many fries while you all get a good base layer of beer happening.
Derby is a very sporty place to have a meal - it doubles as a car club (as evidenced by the back room full of expensive automobiles). The menu has semi-upscale gastropub-style things, like poutine with smoked brisket and red eye gravy, but also Italian dishes like burrata and fresh pasta. Plenty of booths make this a great spot for a group.
If you have the option to eat some of the best Mexican food in the city before seeing a Mariners game, you really should jump on it. And you do. So get a table at Casco Antiguo, where anything with the orange-and-clove-braised pork will be delicious (we’re also very big fans of the beer-battered fish tacos). Start with an order of black bean plantain empanadas and do a good luck toast with your on-tap margaritas.
Yes, there’s a Din Tai Fung at the field, but wouldn’t you rather sit down and relax with your soup dumplings, wontons, and dan dan noodles? Dough Zone makes some of the best pork buns in the city, and hanging out in the comfortable space sounds much better to us than eating fried rice, drinking a beer, and trying to catch a foul ball simultaneously in your stadium seat.
Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar
The perfect oyster bar to spend time in before a baseball game. At Taylor Shellfish, there’s sports swag on the walls and a kind-of-casual atmosphere perfect for a group dinner before the game. Drink some wine while eating Dungeness crab, or have a fried prawn po’boy with a cold beer.
For a reliably great cubano and fries, go to Cafe Con Leche. Service is always pretty speedy whether you sit down or order to-go, and don’t get us started on the green sauce that comes with the fries. Come with friends for sandwiches and drinks before the game.
The burger at Quality Athletics is something you could probably whip up at home, and the steak on the loaded carne asada waffle fries can be kinda tough, despite the rest of the plate being awesome. But if you really want a sporty place to drink alcoholic slushies and eat slightly creative bar snacks until you don’t care what baseball even is or how many goals they score, you’re in good hands here - especially with the addictive spicy bratwurst queso mac and cheese.
Flights of beer and some pub food before a Mariners game are always a good idea, and Ghostfish is the closest brewery to T-Mobile Park that also happens to have excellent food. The kitchen is 100% gluten-free, which does mean cheeseburgers on wheatless buns and an IPA made with sorghum and brown rice - but it also means pork belly croutons on salads. We promise that it’s all delicious. Just remember to ask for extra bone marrow aioli if you order the aforementioned burger.
If you’re not eating cheesesteaks and pastrami hoagies and buffalo wings, is it even baseball season? Well, yeah, it is - but you should be eating cheesesteaks and pastrami hoagies and buffalo wings. Do that at Tat’s, where the explosion of Philly sports paraphernalia should get you angry enough to cheer on the Mariners like a maniac all night.
OK, Pick Quick is our 20-minute-walk exception (it’s a 26-minute walk). But if for some reason you have to drive to the game, there will likely be absolutely no parking near any of the other spots on this guide, leading to you circle the block, scream some possibly profane things, and eventually give up and have subpar chicken fingers at the field when you show up very late. Don’t do that. Do the drive-thru at Pick Quick for some great cheeseburgers, fries, and soft serve root beer floats that will fill you up before the first pitch. As for traffic and parking at T-Mobile Park… good luck.
Baseball reminds us of summer, which reminds us of barbecue, which reminds us of Pecos Pit. This chill BBQ spot makes tasty classics like pulled brisket on onion rolls with a lot of sauce, and smoked mac and cheese, which just so happen to go well together. There are a couple of picnic tables where you can sit and get pumped about athletes going crazy over a white ball.