By Sonal Dutt
August 23, 2019 06:00 AM
Al Bello/Getty Images

Beginning on Aug. 26, tennis fans from all over the world will descend upon the grounds of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships to watch elite players and exciting matches. But they also are coming to eat.

That’s because the grand slam tournament in Queens, N.Y. is known for offering some of the best and most diverse dining options in all of sports. With dozens of food vendor choices—from exclusive celeb chef-run restaurants to gourmet food stalls to classic game day snack stands—there’s something for every taste and every budget. Don’t know where to start your tennis food crawl? We’ve got you covered.

FIRST, GET A DRINK—OR THREE 

SIGNATURE COCKTAIL: If you don’t order a Honey Deuce and post that photo on Instagram, did you even go?! The Grey Goose vodka-spiked raspberry lemonade garnished with a yellow melon “tennis” ball has become a must-have at the tournament. (Over 750,000 melon balls are made and served every year!) For something a little cooler on hot days, opt for a Frozen Honey Deuce—order one in the American Express Card Member lounge located above the Fan Experience. Grab one on your way onto the grounds or, if you can’t make it out to the tournament this year, make your own with the recipe Grey Goose shared with PEOPLE. To celebrate the 2019 tournament, Grey Goose is also launching a limited-edition US Open vodka bottle—available online for $49—featuring a modern design of tennis balls bouncing on a racquet.

WINE: Order a glass—or a full bottle—of Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc, rosé or pinot noir at the bar or at one of the drink carts peppered throughout the grounds. Pro tip: The Ace Frosé—their version of the slushy frozen rosé cocktail—is especially delicious on hot, humid days.

COFFEE:For a pick-me-up any time, Lavazza’s Cold Brew coffee bar at the Lavazza Cafe is the place to stop. Choose from one of their four cold brew options: Cherry Deuce or Mocha Ace for a sweeter blend; or Double Hazelnut or Ginger Smash for a bolder caffeine kick.

SUMMER SIPS: It’s August in New York, and it gets hot. Cool down with a refreshing Pineapple Green Tea (a tropical twist on iced tea) at Poke Yachty or a Strawberry Yuzu Lemonade (a tangy, fruity lemonade) at Korilla BBQ. For a drink with a little more punch, try the Mango-Lychee Mojito cocktail at JoJu.

HIDDEN GEM: American Express card members have special access to experiences and perks on the grounds—including the Card Member Lounge and the exclusive Centurion Suite (for Platinum card and Centurion card members). In the suite located near Louis Armstrong Stadium, guests who find the hidden library bar should order The Centurionside cocktail created by famed mixologist Jim Meehan.

 

SCOPE OUT THE ROOKIES

FIRST TIMERS: It’s an all-star lineups of new chefs! Look out for Butterfly (in the Food Village and Arthur Ashe Stadium) if you’re in the mood for creative tacos, tortas and a signature ceviche created by three-times James Beard Award winner José Andrés. For a quick grab-and-go, New York City favorite ‘Wichcraft, helmed by Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio, will be serving up their popular sandwiches and salads—including a Grilled Flank Steak and Kale Sandwich and vegan Chopped Chickpea and Roasted Pepper Sandwich.Looking to carb up before the matches?

Fans ofTop Chef should not miss former champ Joe Flamm, who along with star chef Tony Mantuano and Top Chef alum Joe Sasto, will serve pastas and Italian dishes at Café Spiaggia—a casual pop-up of their Chicago restaurant. (Pick up the current issue of PEOPLE magazine to get Flamm’s exclusive Penne with Pomodoro recipe that he’ll be making for the tournament.)

For a light snack you can share, drop by Dumpling Galaxy for Helen You‘s plump, Flushing, N.Y.-favorite dumplings. Choose from Lamb with Green Squash, Chicken with Broccoli, Pork with Cabbage or Mixed Vegetable. And you can’t leave the grounds without snacking on something sweet: Chocolatier Jacques Torres will be serving up the “NY Collection,” which includes caramelized peanuts, chocolate-covered blueberries, pomegranates, ginger, orange peels and graham cracker, chocolate chip cookies.

SWING THROUGH THE FOOD VILLAGE

FIELDTRIP: Get a taste of chef JJ Johnson’s Harlem restaurant, which will offer a variety of grain and rice bowls and wraps. Choose from hearty options like the Crispy Chicken Bowl with Carolina Gold rice, edamame, sticky BBQ sauce, and crispy chicken breast or vegetarian-friendly Quinoa Wrap with mushroom, corn, avocado, cilantro, creamy mozzarella, and yucca puffs.

Fuku: David Chang’s fried chicken sandwich shop is a fan-favorite at the tournament. This year, he’s serving the Rainbow Chicken Sandwich (spicy fried chicken topped with ranch and rainbow slaw) but don’t sleep on the 110 Burger (two beef patties topped with cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, pickles, and flavored mayo).

Melt Shop: Keep the sandwich theme going with a spin on the grilled cheese, like Grilled Cheese with Bacon or the Fried Chicken Melt (buttermilk fried chicken, pepper jack cheese and red cabbage slaw). And don’t forget a side of Shop Tots, potato tots dusted with parmesan.

Korilla BBQ & Poke Yachty: At Korilla, try chef Esther Choi’s Honey Butter Tater Tots and K-Bop—a sticky rice bowl topped with kale, kimchi, fire-roasted corn and your choice of protein (like bulgogi or ginger sesame chicken). For a lighter meal, grab a fresh tuna, spicy tuna, salmon, crab and shrimp, or tofu poke bowl at Choi’s Poke Yachty stall.

JoJu: For a spin on the classic game day hot dog, try the Vietnamese-style Banh Mi Bacon Dog, a sausage wrapped in bacon and topped with spicy mayo, green sauce, and banh mi fixings.

Melt Bakery: Speaking of dessert … don’t miss out on these hand-made ice cream cookie sandwiches made fresh daily. Snag a new Cinnamax (snickerdoodle cookies with cinnamon ice cream) or a Evil Twin (chocolate chip cookies with chocolate ice cream)

HAVE A PROPER SIT-DOWN MEAL 

Champions by Benjamin Steakhouse: At this stadium outpost of the iconic New York City steakhouse, feast on their signature Porterhouse steak with creamed spinach and thick-cut bacon strips. Reservations are highly recommended.

Mojito Restaurant: Chef David Burke’s spot, with a menu of Cuban-Asian-American fusion dishes and cocktails, is a perfect place to grab a relaxed meal in between matches.

ACES: Chefs Ed Brown and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto have created a seafood menu for all. Choose from olive oil poached salmon, tuna tartare, speciailty sushi rolls, or simply mix-and-match from the restaurant’s raw bar.

Lure Fishbar: Chef Josh Capon’s seafood restaurant is the spot for a fresh lobster roll—try the Lobster BLT!—at the tournament.

Emirates Sports Cafe: Located on the west side of the South Plaza, this is the spot for a casual meal with waiter service (read: no waiting in lines for your order). Outfitted with TVs, your group can order a variety of dishes and drinks without missing a minute of the tennis action.

SNACK AROUND ALL DAY, EVERY DAY

  • Curry Kitchen: Indian options like chicken tikka wraps, kati rolls, and lamb handi.
  • Farm2 Fork: Healthy grain bowls
  • Fish Shack: Offering everything from lobster rolls to shrimp cocktail
  • Franks & Fries: Covering all the game day food groups with hot dogs, Italian sausage, chicken tenders and French fries
  • Glatt Kosher: Think hearty sausage and peppers, pastrami, tuna wraps and knishes.
  • Hill Country: Barbecue staples like chopped brisket, pulled pork, and chicken tenders
  • OakBerry: Lighter options like acai bowls topped with fresh fruit and granola

According to the USTA, the tournament attracts more than 700,000 fans during the two-week run—which adds up to a lot of diners to feed. The US Open will serve approximately 225,000 hamburgers and hot dogs, 66,000 bananas, 9,000 pounds of lobster, and 7,000 specialty tennis ball cookies.

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