Stadium Food Power Rankings: Atlanta Falcons Vs. New Orleans Saints

This week in the NFL, the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints are battling not only for a football win, but for bragging rights in terms of their stadiums' food options. With hospitality company Centerplate (thus far, a resounding matchup winner) and opposing company Levy Restaurants (newcomer to our stadium food power rankings) running concessions at the stadiums, the stakes are high, and we are anxious to declare a winner.

The Atlanta Falcon's Georgia Dome is acclaimed as the largest cable-supported domed stadium in the world. Located in downtown Atlanta, the stadium has been home to two Super Bowls (XXVIII and XXXIV), NCAA Final Four games, and has hosted an array of Olympic events. The Dome's permanent seating capacity sits just more than 70,000 and the stadium provides three times the code-required number of restrooms. Generally, it is one of the largest combined sports, entertainment, and convention center facilities in the world.

Georgia Dome's Monster Burger. Photo courtesy of Levy Restaurants.

Unique/Popular Items
A client of Levy Restaurants, the Georgia Dome has a slew of unique items. Two dominating themes on the menu? Tater tots and jalapeños. Among the choices is the Nacho Dog, an all-beef hot dog that is topped with Cheddar cheese, sour cream, house-made pico de gallo, and jalapeños. The Monster Burger, another fan favorite, features a 1-pound all-beef burger that is loaded with BBQ pork, bacon, fried onions, and American cheese. The stadium's Steak and Chicken Rojo Tacos consist of Coca-Cola-braised beef short ribs or chicken, wrapped in a flour tortilla with lettuce, cilantro vinaigrette, and chipotle aioli. The Mug of Tots, which would be this writer's personal dish of choice, features a 32-ounce Falcons souvenir mug, filled with layered tater tots that are topped with chili, nacho cheese, sour cream, and jalapeños (can you say, heaven?). Their Pot Roast Steak Sandwich also features a tater tot base, topped with roma tomatoes, fried onions, romaine, cilantro vinaigrette, and Levy signature steak sauce. Carvery Carts also offers succulent sandwiches for the fans, among them their Coca-Cola-glazed ham sandwich, a Muffaletta, and hot pressed options, like the Caprese, Cuban, Roasted Chicken, and Roast Beef Melts. Also offering up tasty dishes is a venue called Genki Noodle, which features authentic Asian street food, namely yakisoba noodles.

Georgia Dome's Nacho Dog. Photo courtesy of Levy Restaurants.

Healthy/Allergy-Friendly Options
The Dome also offers options for gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian fans (and those who are simply craving a vegetarian option). The Going Green Salad with Fried Green Tomatoes comes with a bed of romaine and spinach with green beans, broccoli, cucumber, and herbed-champagne dressing (and of course, the fried green tomatoes). The Sloppy Jane, a vegan riff on this popular favorite, includes tempeh, peppers, and onions, topped with molasses and brown sugar barbecue sauce. The stadium is also offering a Summer Vegetable and Tofu Flatbread, featuring marinated tofu with grilled zucchini, romaine, tomatoes, chipotle "veganaise" sauce, and sun-dried tomato pesto on grilled flatbread. Their Appetizer Dip Trio appeals to even the most meat-loving fans, offering handmade guacamole, white bean hummus, and spicy salsa, all served with pita and crisp tortillas. The Georgia Dome's gluten-free options include hot dogs, nachos, as well as a selection of muffins and cookies.

Georgia Dome's vegetarian Sloppy Jane. Photo courtesy of Levy Restaurants.

The Georgia Dome and Levy Restaurants also bring local Atlanta vendors to the stadium each home game, and feature a local celebrity chef at 2View Restaurant, which overlooks the end zone. Not too bad, Falcons fans. Not too bad.

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints, has been revamped since the city's Hurricane Katrina disaster. Although only the roof was majorly damaged in the storm, the bathrooms have also undergone renovation, and in 2011, an $85 million renovation completely modernized the original 1977 facility. As the largest fixed-dome structure in the world, the Superdome will host the Super Bowl XLVII in February 2013. The seating capacity can range from just less than 77,000 when expanded and just more than 73,000 when not.


Gumbo is one of the many secret treats of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Photo by -flickr_Kent-Wang.

Unique/Popular Items
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is not without unique food fare. A fan favorite and at the top of our must-try list is the alligator sausage. Crawfish pie; chicken and sausage jambalaya; shrimp, catfish, oyster, and hot roast beef po'boys; gumbo; meat pies; and red beans and rice are also among the popular regional options. The stadium also serves the "Ultimate Nachos," which include taco meat, sour cream, salsa, and olives, as well as a Pork Shanks Sweet Potato Pasta, Kobe beef sliders, smoked pork loin with cane syrup, beef tenderloin sandwiches, and crabcake sliders.

Other popular items include chicken tenders, shrimp and fries, 4/1 Rickey Jackson Angus dogs, and the stadium's nachos.


Oyster po'boys are a Louisiana favorite. Photo by flickr_goodiesfirst.

Healthy/Allergy-Friendly Options

Healthier options at the stadium can be found in their selection of "fresh and healthy gourmet gyros." Most ordered are the original beef and lamb versions, but blackened Cajun chicken, "Geaux green veggie," and Cajun shrimp are also available. Southern Louisiana flavors, unique to the area and to New Orleans, dominate the Superdome and its menu offerings.

And for the matchup winner... you had us at alligator sausage, Louisiana. New Orleans Cajun flavors are one of a kind, and a game at the Superdome is a stadium experience like no other. So while tater tots and jalapeños make us very happy and the vegetarian options at the Georgia Dome are better than we've seen anywhere else, the winner this week will have to be the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, home to crawfish, alligators, oyster po'boys, and gumbo.


Look out for next week's NFL Stadium Food Rankings, featuring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus the Carolina Panthers, and the Jacksonville Jaguars versus the Houston Texans

Click here to see the other stadium food ranking from this week. 

Click here to see last week's Stadium Food Ranking.


Tyler Sullivan is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on twitter @atylersullivan.