Stadium Food Power Rankings: Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati Bengals

This week, Stadium Food Power Rankings covers the clash between the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals, to find out which team's stadium has the best food
Week 2 of our Stadium Food Power Rankings takes a look at Paul Brown Stadium (pictured) and Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

This week’s matchup in The Daily Meal’s Stadium Food Power Rankings is the Denver Broncos versus the Cincinnati Bengals. Paul Brown Stadium and Sports Authority Field at Mile High are both relatively young stadiums, on their 12th and 11th seasons, respectively. Paul Brown sits on Cincinnati’s riverfront adjacent to the Reds’ home field, Great American Ballpark. Mile High was built to be the same size as its predecessor, and is scenically located in downtown Denver. Right now, the Broncos (4-3) have a slightly better record than the Bengals, who are at 3-4, but let’s see how well their home fields do stack up against each other. (Full disclosure: This writer is from Cincinnati, is a die-hard Bengals fan, and even had her senior prom at Paul Brown Stadium, but is putting all that aside for the sake of journalistic integrity.)

Each stadium offers a variety of unique menu items. Mile High puts a twist on the average slice of pizza with hand-tossed artisanal flatbreads, which are then grilled for an authentic Colorado touch. Toppings include Black Forest ham, pepperoni, Swiss, or Muenster cheese. But Bengals fans can get all their favorite things in one sandwich: the Who Dey Melt (pictured below). This gooey sandwich takes your classic grilled cheese… and adds bacon and mac and cheese. If that’s not enough decadence for you, try the Porkopolis: pork loin, Black Forest ham, grilled mettwurst, Farmer’s Longhorn cheese, pickle, and spicy mustard on a hoagie bun. (Photo courtesy of Aramark.)

For those who need to be a little more conscious of what they eat, even when at a football game, Mile High offers a plethora of allergy-free options for patrons with dietary restrictions. Their aforementioned grilled pizza has gluten-free and vegetarian options, Cover 2 Carvery serves oven-roasted turkey or top round on gluten-free bread, and there are various types of gluten-free and vegetarian noodle bowls. Paul Brown Stadium, on the other hand, doesn’t have as many creative options for health-conscious fans, but Sabra hummus, black bean burgers, almonds, and Smart Chips are all on offer. (Photo courtesy of Centerplate.)

Both stadiums show off what their cities have to offer with hometown favorites available for fans. In Denver, fans can chow down on Alpine Dogs, a hot dog from Denver’s Continental Sausage Company topped with Colorado craft ale sauerkraut. Cincinnatians can enjoy cheese coneys from Gold Star Chili, a classic southwestern Ohio dish made of a hot dog topped with Cincinnati chili, onions, mustard, and a (giant) mound of shredded Cheddar cheese. Coneys come in packs of two or four, but you might as well go straight for the 20-pack "Coney Crate." In addition, local favorite LaRosa’s pizza is available. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/Navin75.)

This is hard for me to admit (like, really really hard), but this week’s winner of Stadium Food Power Rankings is the Bronco’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High. While the food costs slightly more overall, the stadium is generally a better experience than Paul Brown Stadium, largely due to its large variety of options for the fans. One Yelp reviewer even goes so far as to say that the carnitas burrito with green chili was, "the greatest meal at a sporting event that I'd ever had." But in Cincinnati, the vendors are poorly laid out and look identical, making the offerings much less exciting. While the cost at Paul Brown Stadium is on par with average stadium pricing, the lack of options isn’t enough to make up for its affordability.

Click here to see last week's matchup, Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans.

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