Detroit Lions Bring the Tailgate Indoors, Show Off New Seasonal Menu


The Detroit Lions previewed an expanded menu at Ford Field on Thursday as a prelude to Monday night’s opening season game against the New York Giants. The offerings included everything from the foot-long Detroit Style Chili Cheese Fry Coney Dog (Dearborn Sausage Co.) to Sugar House cocktails to Zingerman’s Gelato.

Every year we bring out new culinary creations for our fans, and we’re really excited about offering a true representation of the flavors of Detroit,” says Chef Joseph Nader with Levy Restaurants, who oversees all aspects of food service at the 65,000-seat stadium. “I could do my own barbecue, and it would be very good, but I can’t create barbecue like Slows (in Detroit). That’s why we’re bringing in more local partners, because we want to be authentic to Detroit.”

At a strolling tasting event Thursday, the Lions culinary team included American Coney Island, Mercury Burger Bar, Russell Street Deli, Bigalora, Levy’s Restaurants, Slows Bar BQ, Zingerman’s Creamery, Sugar House, Sweet Dreams, Corridor Sausage Co., and an array of Michigan-based craft beers.

Bigalora, with locations in Royal Oak, Southfield, and Ann Arbor, presented its Piedmontese Meatballs alongside pulled pork and mac and cheese from Slows Bar BQ. Next up were mini burgers and tots from Mercury Burger Bar in Detroit, followed by sausages from Corridor Sausages.

In addition to a corned beef sandwich from Russell Street Deli and Coney dogs from American Coney Island, the offerings included an array of cheeses and gelato from Zingerman’s Creamery, Sugar House craft cocktails, and ice cream desserts from Sweet Dreams.

New for this year is the Breadstick Bar and Bistro, which offers a variety of deli-style sandwiches, premium hot dogs, nachos, baked potato fries, and other offerings on the second level concourse above Gate A. The bar is named after the cafeteria at the famed J.L. Hudson Department Store (the stadium is attached to the former Hudson’s warehouse).

The beers include selections from Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., Goose Island Beer Co., Atwater Brewery, Dragonmead Microbrewery, Rochester Mills Beer Co., Bell’s Brewery, and Detroit Beer Co. In addition, there’s hard cider from Angry Orchard Crisp Apple, Johnny Appleseed Hard Cider, and Stella Cidre.

Overall, Ford Field offers 132 luxury suites, five restaurants, 40 signature concession stands, and the Hall of Legends.