It’s hockey season. Oh you didn’t know? That’s because hockey is usually degraded as the least major of the major American sports. Heck, at this point Nascar and professional wrestling get more love than hockey. But we find that exceedingly unfair. Hockey is faster than football, takes as much skill as baseball and has at least as many missing teeth as professional wrestling. NHL arenas also offer some great food for hungry fans. Here are the best places in the NHL to pound on the glass and have a bite to eat.
1. Bridgestone Arena, Home of the Nashville Predators
There’s not much in the way of actual ice and snow in Nashville, but the city still scored a hockey team in 1998. Predators' fans can eat what is most likely the best if not the only chicken-and-waffles in all of professional sports. And the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich is another local pick that's worth the wait.
2. Rogers Arena, Home of the Vancouver Canucks
This year the Canucks have introduced lobster rolls and a dozen variations on stadium tube steaks, including a "perogy dog" topped with cheese and potato perogies and sauerkraut and a croque monsieur dog topped with ham and gruyere. They’ll also pour you a Negroni right from a concession stand. Not a bad way alternative to the $8 swill beer most arenas offer.
3. The Staples Center, Home of the L.A. Kings
Nachos and hot dogs are available, but a lot of the menu options at the home of the defending Stanley Cup champions read fit L.A.'s health conscious stereotype: roasted beet salad, sesame-crusted tuna, even gluten-free beer. The big winner here though is the sushi that’s made fresh at every game.
4. Nationwide Arena, Home of the Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus, Ohio is on this list for one reason and it ain’t fancy. The arena here serves the ultimate “drunk at the stadium” food. The Dancing Kevin sandwich is named after this guy, Dancing Kevin. And like him it is a fantastically oversized piece of work. A pork bomb on a pretzel bun, the sandwich features ham, pulled pork and bacon topped with mozzarella sticks.
5. Bell Centre, Home of the Montreal Canadians;
Montreal takes a few things very seriously: French, food and hockey. The latter two are on display at the Bell Centre, which sells smoked meat sandwiches from Lesters Deli, which has been cranking out delicious, fatty sandwiches in Montreal for over 60 years. And because this is Canada, expect mountains of poutine.