Gourmet nachos, house-brined pastrami, family-recipe lumpia, pit-smoked meats and more
The Faithful are also foodies, so Levi’s Stadium and its hospitality partner, Levy, work hard each year to create craveable culinary experiences for those devoted Niner fans.
The offerings for the 2023-24 season include a creative new menu from Alvin Kabiling, the stadium’s executive chef; slow-smoked meats from Peninsula and South Bay pitmasters making their first appearances at Niners games; the return of a chef’s elevated, house-brined pastrami sandwich; a new pizza creation from celebrity pizzaiolo Tony Gemignani; and dishes from other locally owned enterprises.
Here’s a taste. Stay tuned because we’ll be adding more as chefs finalize their menus:
THE EXECUTIVE CHEF’S MENU
What did chef Kabiling have in mind when he and his culinary team met this summer to discuss the upcoming NFL season menu?
“Be daring,” he advised.
Fans in the stands will find Loaded Picadillo Sirloin Nachos with tender chunks of cumin-scented beef and Foot-Long NorCal Dogs with smoked tri-tip, crispy onions, and avocado crema when they arrive for the home opener against the New York Giants on Thursday, Sept. 21. Kabiling has already planned for cold weather by pairing the Crab Sandwich with a cup of tomato bisque, and the nacho and dog recipes will change throughout the season.
A Steakhouse “Tomahawk” Board with slices of a 49-ounce bone-in ribeye, fire-roasted linguica sausage, and charred local vegetables, served with a jalapeno-cilantro chimichurri and “atomic” horseradish cream will be available to suite guests. Slices of ahi tuna, marinated artichoke hearts, chorizo, pickled heirloom cauliflower, manzanilla olives, stuffed piquillo peppers, anchovy-cannellini bean dip, and feta cheese are served on the Ahi Tuna Tapas Board.
He also increased the number of vegetarian suite options. The Sicilian Muffaletta, a take on the New Orleans classic, layers grilled squash, roasted red peppers, provolone cheese, and the obligatory olive tapenade on an Italian sesame seed bouille (baked in-house) with garlic confit aioli. The Gold Rush Burrata Duo features platters of red and gold heirloom tomatoes with colorful balsamic “pearls” atop the burrata and marinated and grilled vegetables on the side.
NEW VENDORS, RETURNING FAVORITES
Tony G’s Slice House: Tony Gemignani, the Bay Area’s global pizza champion, has created a new themed pizza with a wild array of toppings. The Bootlegger pizza is topped with cup-n-char sausage (the industry’s trendy new topping, according to Tony G), cup-n-char pepperoni, applewood-smoked bacon, and mozzarella on a tomato-vodka sauce. Basil, oregano, grated Romano, hot honey, and garlic oil are the finishing touches. At the stadium, he’ll have several Slice House stands.
Breakwater BBQ: Chef-pitmaster Wyatt Fields, who recently realized a long-held dream of opening a barbecue joint in his San Mateo County coastal hometown of El Granada, will be featured at 49ers games for the first time. If you like your smoked meats saucy, try his Ancho Coffee BBQ Sauce.
Jackie’s Place: Diners who frequent Jackie Jackson’s restaurant on North First Street in San Jose are familiar with her soul food, but now a wider audience will be able to sample it as she becomes the first concessionaire at Levi’s Stadium. Please return for more information.
Chef Baca’s Shop: This San Jose chef, a comfort-food specialist, is bringing back his signature Baca Pastrami sandwich, which made his name. Chef Rodney brines and smokes the meat before layering it on a bun with pineapple molasses mustard, coleslaw, house-made pickles, and caramelized onions. In addition, he will serve his East Side Burger, which is topped with candied bacon, red relish, jalapenos, and cheese, as well as a Truffled Burrata BLT Panini.
Hula Bar and Kitchen: The Gorospe family has expanded their Pacific Island/NorCal fusion menu to include their first brick-and-mortar location in San Jose. But they aren’t too preoccupied to feed the faithful. Think Poke Nachos, gluten-free Poke Rice Bowls, and the secret-recipe My Mama’s Lumpia, which is filled with ground pork, shrimp, and water chestnuts this season at Levi’s. Finish with Dole Whip or Spiked Dole Whip (as in Malibu rum).
Mesquite and Oak Bar-B-Que: Mesquite and Oak Bar-B-Que, owned by Matthew Aranda, specializes in Texas-style barbecue, particularly a black pepper-crusted brisket. He and his pitmasters will make their Levi’s debut with brisket or pulled pork sandwiches and a pastrami burger.
What beats Curtis Lam’s popular Pork Belly Bao stuffed with miso-glazed pork and pickled daikon? A larger bao! In addition, look for the chef’s Asian street food truck in San Francisco to serve its best-selling Loaded Fries with pulled pork or (new this season) karaage chicken. Lam is also working on a new snack: Mongolian Beef Cheeseburger Egg Rolls.
Joey Camacho’s Konjoe Burger Bar, which is now located at the State Street Market in Los Altos, will return to Santa Clara with his customers’ favorites: his Classic Cheeseburger, Hot Chicken Tenders, and Savory Fries. The burger is accompanied by grilled onions, pickles, and Konjoe Sauce.
The Sarap Shop: On game days, Chef J.P. Reyes’ Filipino-American comfort food venture will travel south from San Francisco to make and serve lumpia (a pork version and a meat-free version) and their Manila Clam Chowder.
ChurWaffle: The Burgess Brothers of Sacramento have added a First Alarm Spicy Hot Link, BBQ Chicken Tenders with fries, and a Smokehouse Burger with fried crispy onions and house-made barbecue sauce to their menu. Naturally, they’ll be serving their famous Cinnamon & Sugar ChurWaffles, which are made from a family cornbread recipe.
Starbird: This restaurant group has expanded throughout the Bay Area and to Los Angeles since first appearing on the fried chicken scene in Sunnyvale in 2016. Crispy Chicken Tenders and Fries are cooked in non-GMO rice bran oil and served with housemade sauces such as Star Sauce, Greek Yogurt Ranch, Honey Mustard, and Honey Chipotle BBQ. Housemade Classic and Strawberry Lemonades are among the thirst-quenchers.
Puesto: This artisanal restaurant located near Levi’s Stadium serves chef-inspired dishes. There were potato taquitos with a zesty tomatillo salsa last year, as well as tacos stuffed with marinated, braised chicken al pastor, carnitas, or a mushroom-veggie medley.
Eureka, Poke Braddahs, Umai Savory Hot Dogs, Pardon My Cheesesteak, Nathan’s, Chicken Guy, Wing Squad, and Asian Street Eats are among the other vendors.
GOLDEN ROAD BREWING’S TAILGATE
Look for exciting news about an upscale tailgate party coming to The Faithful, the onsite pub partnership with Golden Road Brewery, in the near future. Tickets are $200 and include an upscale chef-designed buffet as well as beer and wine. The Tailgate will be open before and after the game.
Details: Visit www.levisstadium.com/concessions for more information on concessions and their stadium locations.