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CityPark is redefining stadium food with 25 St. Louis restaurants

Rachel burns stands at the Bold Spoon Creamery stand in the St. Louis City Park soccer stadium.
Images courtesy of Rachel Burns
Rachel Burns at the Bold Spoon Creamery stand in St. Louis CityPark.

On March 4, some 22,000 people packed into CityPark, St. Louis' brand-new soccer stadium. They cheered as their team, St. Louis City SC, won its first-ever home game — and started a serious soccer boom.

But as the season continues, those fans have arrived to a different kind of treat: an array of 25 local restaurants serving food that’s far outside the typical stadium fare.

“What happened at CityPark is that the ownership wanted to prioritize the experience that sports fans would have through food,” Meera Nagarajan, executive editor of Sauce Magazine, said Thursday on St. Louis on the Air. “Soccer is a globally beloved sport. There are thousands of professional soccer clubs across the world. So, they wanted to have food that was culturally diverse, served a bunch of different kinds of people that come from different places, and make them feel seen through the diversity of cuisine.”

The stadium’s array of 25 local restaurants is the subject of Sauce Magazine’s April issue. The magazine’s cover story features the farm-made ice cream of Bold Spoon Creamery.

The shop’s owner, Rachel Burns, said she was surprised to get a call from the stadium’s food service provider. She was told that Gerard Craft, the James Beard award-winning chef behind Niche Food Group — and St. Louis City SC’s official “flavor officer” — wanted her creamery for the stadium.

Right now, Bold Spoon offers fans the choice of salted chocolate, as well as more unique flavors like goat cheese and fig jam, and crème brulee flecked with shards of caramelized sugar.

Burns praised the team’s focus on local food and businesses.

“It's amazing for a lot of reasons,” she said. “There's a real camaraderie among all of the local providers … everyone is cheering for everyone. It really is a very positive experience.”

To learn more about the local delicacies offered at St. Louis FC’s stadium, check out Sauce Magazine’s ultimate eating guide at CityPark. You can also hear the full St. Louis on the Air conversation with Meera Nagarajan and Rachel Burns on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or by clicking the play button below.

Meera Nagarajan and Rachel Burns on "St. Louis on the Air"

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Miya Norfleet, Emily Woodbury, Danny Wicentowski, Elaine Cha and Alex Heuer. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr. Send questions and comments about this story to talk@stlpr.org.

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Danny Wicentowski is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air."