June 21, 2024
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, make a concerted effort every year to come up with craveable culinary experiences for those devoted Niner fans.

For the 2023-24 season, the offerings include a creative new menu from the stadium’s executive chef, Alvin Kabiling; 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; plus dishes from other locally owned enterprises.

Here’s a sampling. Keep checking back because we’ll add more as chefs finalize their menus:

Steakhouse “Tomahawk” board at the 2023 Levi’s Stadium Concessions Showcase on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023, in Santa Clara, Calif. The board includes bone-in ribeye, fire roasted linguica, charred vegetables, jalapeño cilantro chimichurri, and horseradish cream. The event featured food and drink items available to fans for the upcoming San Francisco 49ers football season. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group) 

THE EXECUTIVE CHEF’S MENU

What was chef Kabiling’s plan when he and his culinary team huddled this summer on the upcoming NFL season menu?

“Go bold,” he said.

That starts with the fans in the stands, who will find Loaded Picadillo Sirloin Nachos, with tender chunks of cumin-scented beef, and Foot-Long NorCal Dogs, with toppings of smoked tri-tip, crispy onions and avocado crema, when they arrive Thursday, Sept. 21, for the home opener against the New York Giants. The nacho and dog recipes will change up during the season, and Kabiling has already planned for cold weather by pairing the Crab Sandwich with a cup of tomato bisque.

Fans sitting in the suites will find a Steakhouse “Tomahawk” Board featuring 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. The Ahi Tuna Tapas Board offers slices of ahi, marinated artichoke hearts, chorizo, pickled heirloom cauliflower, manzanilla olives, stuffed piquillo peppers, anchovy-cannellini bean dip and feta cheese.

The Sicilian Muffaletta is a savory vegetarian version of the famous sandwich. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group) 

He also amped up the suite offerings for vegetarians. In a twist on the New Orleans favorite, the Sicilian Muffaletta layers grilled squash, roasted red peppers, provolone cheese — and the requisite olive tapenade — on an Italian sesame seed bouille (baked in-house) with garlic confit aioli. The Gold Rush Burrata Duo plays on the team colors with platters of red and gold heirloom tomatoes with colorful balsamic “pearls” atop the burrata and, on the side, marinated and grilled vegetables.

Loaded “Picadillo” Nachos at the 2023 Levi’s Stadium Concessions Showcase. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group) 

NEW VENDORS, RETURNING FAVORITES

Tony G’s Slice House: The Bay Area’s global pizza champion, Tony Gemignani, has created a new themed pizza with a wild array of toppings. Called the Bootlegger, this pizza piles cup-n-char sausage (that’s the trendy new topping in the industry, Tony G says), cup-n-char pepperoni, applewood-smoked bacon and mozzarella on a tomato-vodka sauce. The finishing touches are basil, oregano, grated Romano, hot honey and garlic oil. He’ll have several Slice House stands at the stadium.

Breakwater BBQ: Chef-pitmaster Wyatt Fields, who just a few years ago achieved his long-held dream to open 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, his concoction is an Ancho Coffee BBQ Sauce.

Jackie’s Place: Diners who patronize Jackie Jackson’s restaurant on North First Street in San Jose know all about her soul food, but now a wider audience will get to try her specialties as she joins the ranks of Levi’s Stadium concessionaires for the first time. Check back for specifics.

Party Time Lumpia from Sarap Shop will be featured at Levi’s Stadium. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group) 

The Shop by Chef Baca: This San Jose chef, a comfort-food specialist, is bringing back his signature Baca Pastrami sandwich, the one that made his reputation. Chef Rodney brines and smokes the meat, then slices it thickly and layers it on a bun with pineapple molasses mustard, coleslaw, house-made pickles and caramelized onions. He will also offer his East Side Burger, topped with candied bacon, red relish, jalapenos and cheese, and a Truffled Burrata BLT Panini.

Hula Bar and Kitchen: The Gorospe family has expanded their Pacific Island/NorCal fusion lineup to include a San Jose restaurant, their first brick-and-mortar. But they’re not too busy to feed the Faithful. For this season at Levi’s, think Poke Nachos, gluten-free Poke Rice Bowls and the secret-recipe My Mama’s Lumpia, filled with ground pork, shrimp and water chestnuts. Finish off the meal with Dole Whip or Spiked Dole Whip, as in Malibu rum.

Brisket Sandwich from Mesquite and Oak at the 2023 Levi’s Stadium Concessions Showcase. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group) 

Mesquite and Oak Bar-B-Que: Owner Matthew Aranda’s San Jose restaurant specializes in Texas-style barbecue, particularly a black pepper-crusted brisket. He and his pitmasters will make their debut at Levi’s with sandwiches loaded with brisket or pulled pork and a pastrami burger.

The Chairman: What’s better than Curtis Lam’s popular Pork Belly Bao stuffed with miso-glazed pork and pickled daikon? A bigger bao! In addition, look for the chef’s San Francisco-based Asian street food truck to offer its best-selling Loaded Fries with pulled pork or (new this season) karaage chicken. Lam also has a new snack treat in the works: Mongolian Beef Cheeseburger Egg Rolls.

Konjoe Burger Bar: Joey Camacho’s enterprise, now located at the State Street Market in Los Altos, will be back in Santa Clara with his customers’ favorites: His Classic Cheeseburger, Hot Chicken Tenders and Savory Fries. The burger comes with grilled onions, pickles and Konjoe Sauce.

The Sarap Shop: Chef J.P. Reyes’ Filipino-American comfort food enterprise will head south from San Francisco on game days to make and serve lumpia (a pork version and a meat-free one) and their Manila Clam Chowder.

Crab Sandwich with Tomato Bisque for cold days at Levi’s Stadium. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group) 

ChurWaffle: The Burgess Brothers of Sacramento are amping up their offerings with a First Alarm Spicy Hot Link, BBQ Chicken Tenders with fries and a Smokehouse Burger with fried crispy onions and house-made barbecue sauce. Naturally, they’ll be serving their signature Cinnamon & Sugar ChurWaffles, made from the treasured family cornbread recipe.

Starbird: Since launching on the fried chicken scene in 2016 in Sunnyvale, this restaurant group has expanded throughout the Bay Area and to Los Angeles. They’ll be serving Crispy Chicken Tenders and Fries, which are cooked in non-GMO rice bran oil and accompanied by housemade sauces: Star Sauce, Greek Yogurt Ranch, Honey Mustard and Honey Chipotle BBQ. Quenchers include housemade Classic and Strawberry Lemonades.

Puesto: Expect chef-inspired offerings from this artisanal restaurant located not far from Levi’s Stadium. Last year, there were potato taquitos with a zesty tomatillo salsa and tacos stuffed with marinated, braised chicken al pastor, carnitas or a mushroom-veggie medley.

Other vendors include Eureka, Poke Braddahs, Umai Savory Hot Dogs, Pardon My Cheesesteak, Nathan’s, Chicken Guy, Wing Squad and Asian Street Eats.

Commemorative cookies and treats at the 2023 Levi’s Stadium Concessions Showcase on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023, in Santa Clara, Calif. The event featured food and drink items available to fans for the upcoming San Francisco 49ers football season. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group) 

TAILGATE BY GOLDEN ROAD BREWING

Look for tempting news soon on the upscale tailgate party coming to The Faithful, the onsite pub partnership with Golden Road Brewery. Tickets, $200, will give attendees access to an upscale chef-designed buffet plus beer and wine. The Tailgate will be open pregame and during halftime.

Details: For more information on concessions and their stadium locations, go to www.levisstadium.com/concessions.

>