Going to see a concert often carries one big challenge: finding a great dinner near the show that doesn’t also make you late for that show. These days, music and sports venues around California are offering an irresistible solution—high-caliber food and drink as part of the evening’s experience, often created by notable local chefs, restaurants, and wineries. Some classic venues have also introduced mobile ordering that allows you to order dinner from your seat (or sometimes even a day or two ahead of time). It’s a good reminder to download the app of any venue you attend these days—you can also usually manage your tickets or parking.
Here are 10 venues around the Golden State, listed south to north, where you can get an especially rich evening of food, drink, and entertainment.
Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, San Diego
This outdoor venue along San Diego’s Embarcadero Marina Park is the new home for the San Diego Symphony, but also hosts touring acts such as Jason Mraz and the Indigo Girls. Its Shell Provisions culinary program focuses on locally sourced ingredients and features past Top Chef winner Richard Blais, among others. Book seats in the front sections, for instance, to pre-order plated “Blais by the Bay” dinners of short ribs or salmon, or Blais Picnic Boxes stocked with a charcuterie board, chicken sandwiches, and chocolate chip cookies. Everyone in the audience, meanwhile, can browse the venue’s Street Food Pavilion, with options like Korean-chicken sandwiches from Urban Kitchen or carnitas tacos from Lola 55. Order with the Rady Shell app and you’ll get an alert when your food is ready.
Petco Park, San Diego
San Diego’s home for Padres and big-ticket acts prides itself on its array of local-cuisine favorites, such as Hodad’s, Board & Brew, and Ballast Point. Recent arrivals include irresistible tacos from Puesto and bacon-wrapped hot dogs from Barrio Dogg. In the Club and Terrace sections, you can order food ahead from your seat, using the Major League Baseball app.
Honda Center, Anaheim
The Anaheim concert venue, also the home ice for the Anaheim Ducks, is a rarity among sports venues: It has an impressive wine collection. For Club Level ticketholders, the Wine Cellar Preserved by Sub-Zero offers more than 250 different bottles and on-site sommelier who can advise you on your choice and equip you with a decanter and stackable, to-go wine glasses. Or sample local beers at the reservations-only Brewery X Biergarten, with menu items such as steak frites and truffle-butter pretzels. If you’ve come for a Ducks game, check out the food trucks and live music at the Puck Drop Patio—think bratwursts, protein bowls, and paella, along with beer, wine, and cocktails.
SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles
The new stadium and home to 2022’s Super Bowl LVI offers four concession stands, each themed for a specific street in Los Angeles. (Check them out on the stadium’s own app.) Come to a game or concert hungry for the sub-sandwich-style burgers at Fairfax Avenue, Mexican food from Olvera Street, Japanese cuisine at Sawtelle Boulevard, and the don’t-miss meatballs and other Italian fare at San Vicente.
Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles
The iconic band shell in Los Angeles has implemented a dining program that reflects this world-class foodie city: Choose from pre-ordered meals and picnic boxes created by James Beard Award-winning chef Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne of A.O.C. (just order by 4 p.m. the day before). Browse the venue’s Marketplace to make your own picnic, or use the app to either order a street food-style meal or to make a reservation for drinks and small plates at Ann’s Wine Bar, also created by Styne.
Greek Theatre, Los Angeles
This amphitheater surrounded by trees in Griffith Park offers an idyllic setting for concerts, and its Express Dining option lets you order a full meal before you arrive, to be picked up or brought to your seat. Or come early to enjoy onsite bars such as the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge and the Riboli Family Wines Lounge, an outpost of L.A.’s San Antonio Winery.
Vino Robles Amphitheatre, Paso Robles
This open-air venue within a Paso Robles winery attracts big-name acts—scheduled 2022 shows include Alice Cooper and Barenaked Ladies. No surprise, its concession options include the house estate wines, as well as local craft beers from Firestone Walker. Premium Seating ticketholders can get a dinner of seasonally inspired and local ingredients at theTerrace Club, while everyone can eat at the venue’s Bistro and Bar. On non-event days, you can also just come to the winery for a tasting or lunch.
Oracle Park, San Francisco
The San Francisco stadium offers a ton of foodie-magnet dining options, such as the Public House, a craft-beer-centric pub helmed by James Beard Foundation award-winning chef Traci Des Jardins, and The Garden Bar, which offers seasonal cocktails fueled by fruits and herbs grown onsite. If you’re here for a Giants game, using the MLB app makes it easy to preorder Bay Area classics such as Gilroy Garlic Fries or Crazy Crab Sandwiches.
Transcendence Theater Company, Glen Ellen
During a typical summer, Jack London State Historic Park in Sonoma County hosts the acclaimed Broadway Under the Stars concerts, featuring production numbers from shows like West Side Story, Book of Mormon, or Chicago. Come with your picnic blanket and browse the variety of food and wine from local gourmet vendors and Sonoma County wineries. Book seats in the Call of the Wild section (the first five rows) and you can access the Call of the Wild Lounge with curated food and drink.
Golden 1 Center, Sacramento
Sacramento’s big arena has a dining program befitting the Farm-to-Fork Capital: It boasts of only serving ingredients that have come from within 150 miles (including beer and wine) and offers local restaurant fare—such as Paragary’s pizza or the exotic sausages of Lowbrau. Use the app to order food, buy tickets, or upgrade your seats.