When the San Francisco 49ers opened the 2019-2020 season at Levi’s Stadium on Sept. 22, faithful fans from all over did more than revel in a four point victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers and third win of the season; they were treated to a number of new dining options hand picked by hospitality partner Levy to showcase some of the best in Bay Area food and branch further away from the standard frozen burgers and stale nachos traditionally offered in stadium concourses.
“We’re always looking for new ways to bring the Bay Area’s spectacular food culture to 49ers game days,” said Jon Severson, Senior Executive Chef for Levy at Levi’s Stadium. “This season we expanded our roster of amazing restaurants and chefs from around the bay. We’ve also enhanced our menu with fresh, seasonal produce sourced locally, and in some cases grown in our own Faithful Farm. Levi’s Stadium is truly one of the best places to experience fresh Bay Area dining.”
As part of the expanded options, Levi’s opened Cafe Red, a BBQ-themed concept in partnership with Pleasanton-based Safeway, and announced a partnership with San Francisco-based Gold Bar Whiskey to create a signature cocktail. Additional offerings from local eateries include: ChurWaffle from Burgess Brothers, Konjoe Burger, Nathan’s Famous, Sauced BBQ, Super Duper, Blue Line Pizza, Buena Vista, Chicken Guy!, Slice House by Tony Gemignani and Iguanas Burritozilla.
Even though Iguanas has a restaurant within walking distance of Levi’s and has long-been a place to grab a bite before each game, CEO and Co-Owner Jimmy Orozco said the family-owned business couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join the growing list of stadium choices, despite having no plans to open new locations in 2019.
“We are incredibly excited to be in Levi’s and to bring our products to 49ers fans,” he said. “Our menu is condensed to four of our top items [because] we needed to be able to push food out as quick as possible so attendees can get back to watching the game, or other events … Being a lifetime 49er fan made this one close to my heart. We couldn’t be happier to be at Levi’s feeding 49ers fans this season.”
Another Bay Area local with a lifetime love of all local teams is Gemignani. The 13-time World Pizza Champion grew up in Fremont and has concepts at both Oracle and Chase arenas and is no stranger to the science behind quickly serving Sicilian-style pizza, which is pizza served on focaccia bread, using fresh dough.
“You get a lot of value to that slice, and when you think about football fans, they’re just eaters in general,” he said, noting his concept will always have a cheese, margarita and pepperoni offering in addition to eight pizzas like purple potato pesto and spicy picante with Cholula hot sauce and chorizo.
“Being in the stadium and being around the product we bring in is really amazing,” he said, “People aren’t just there for the game. They’re looking for atmosphere. It’s pretty amazing just walking around that stadium and the chefs that are there. It’s impressive and so beyond nachos and hot dogs.”
Fans can check out all of the new food concepts when the 49ers play the Cleveland Browns on Monday, Oct. 7.