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I don’t think I could ever be a real spy, but when it came to sneaking food into a concert, sporting event or movie when I was a kid, the CIA could’ve taken a page from my playbook. I was the James Bond of stashing snacks in order to save some money at the arena … and enjoy the thrill of getting that popcorn past security. But times, they are a-changin’.

With the creation of Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, ticket holders not only have access to some of the best food in the city, but it’s offered at a fair price. (Notice I didn’t say “best arena food in the city” – the dining options come from some of the most talented chefs and restaurateurs in Atlanta.) What this means is that we can chow down on a pulled pork sandwich from the Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q’s stand, enjoying the same quality and price that we would at their brick-and-mortar restaurant in Edgewood.

Located at the main entrance of the stadium, the Front Porch features more than 100,000 square feet of open gathering space for ticketed fans to hang out and enjoy live entertainment inside the secured perimeter.

Located at the main entrance of the stadium, the Front Porch features more than 100,000 square feet of open gathering space for ticketed fans to hang out and enjoy live entertainment inside the secured perimeter.

Good food at a fair price seems relatively obvious, but tell that to the hundreds of soda cans and snacks I’ve snuck in over the years. (I’m assuming that this article is a judgement-free, safe zone where we all wink and nod with the understanding that everyone has brought in outside food to a show or game once in a while.) Seriously, Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS) is the first major sports facility to offer Fan First pricing. This means there is no price mark-up on food and beverages for specialty items, so the price inside the stadium is the same as it is in a restaurant outside the stadium. Gone are the days where you and your family had one soda cup with four straws to share for the entire game — a Coca-Cola refillable cup is $2 at MBS. Fan staples like cheesy nachos, waffle fries or a pizza slice are $3 each.

So, you’re probably thinking: “Pretzels are delicious and all, and I’m glad they’re only $2, but it doesn’t sound too gourmet, Melanie.” Let us continue on a dining tour of Mercedes-Benz Stadium …

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Concourse 100

Now that we know we won’t go completely broke on the food, it’s time to check out the culinary offerings that will make you drool. The easiest way to tackle (get it, Falcons fans?) the extensive food variety is to tour the stadium concourse by concourse. On Concourse 100, we’ll have to start with Molly B’s, a full-service restaurant developed by the people from Two Urban Licks and Concentrics Restaurant Group, which overlooks all the action on the field. We recommend the burger – a short rib double patty, smothered in Gruyere, French onion soup mayo, Dijon, pickles, caramelized onions and a brioche bun. The buttermilk fried chicken and heritage baby back ribs with Coca-Cola barbecue are also spectacular.

Molly B’s is the stadium’s custom restaurant concept, looking out right onto the field. The dining spot offers an exclusive club dining experience pre-game during Atlanta United and Falcons games, opening to all fans after the first quarter (Falcons) and after match start (Atlanta United).

Molly B’s is the stadium’s custom restaurant concept looking right out onto the field. The dining spot offers an exclusive club dining experience during Atlanta United and Falcons games, opening to all fans after the first quarter (Falcons) and after match start (Atlanta United). Image: Mia Yakel

Chef Michael Bertozzi formulated a rotating menu that evokes Southern-inspired dishes with a modern angle. Menu highlights include mac ‘n’ cheese, baby back ribs and insanely good fried chicken. Image: Mia Yakel

Chef Michael Bertozzi formulated a rotating menu that evokes Southern-inspired dishes with a modern angle. Menu highlights include mac ‘n’ cheese, baby back ribs and insanely good fried chicken. Image: Mia Yakel

Serving up Molly B's famous buttermilk fried chicken. Image: Mia Yakel

Serving up Molly B’s famous buttermilk fried chicken | Image: Mia Yakel

RELATED: Art Smith’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken … the BEST!

On the same concourse, hit up Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand for their famous … sausage. (Our recommendation: The Hot Mess featuring sausage, chili, cheddar, pickled jalapeños and comeback sauce.) We’ve already mentioned the amazing barbecue from Fox Bros., but there’s also yummy, smoked goodness from Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q on this concourse. Staying on the meaty train, the Shock Top’s bratwurst comes with beer mustard, sautéed onions and kettle chips. Watching your figure? Hit up Snackology 101 and order the Market Tray, featuring a selection from six different small salads, a choice of protein and non-GMO black rice crackers.

The Shock Top bratwurst is topped with tangy beer mustard and sautéed onions and served with kettle chips.

The Shock Top bratwurst is topped with tangy beer mustard and sautéed onions and served with kettle chips. Image: AMB Sports & Entertainment

Wash all that tasty food down by visiting the Budweiser Biergarten or one of the many neighborhood bars featuring Terrapin, Jack Daniel’s, Heineken, Absolut Vodka and more – as long as you’re over 21. In fact, you’ll find neighborhood bars with awesome views of the field and lots of TVs on every single concourse.

This Bud's for you when you head to the Budweiser Biergarten!

This Bud’s for you when you head to the Budweiser Biergarten! Image: Melanie Preis

Concourse 200

After climbing a few stairs to reach the 200 level, you’ve earned those extra calories. Visit the Miller Lite Nest to play shuffleboard, watch the game from a new perspective and, of course, drink your fave beers and cocktails.

Fit in some "exercise" in between all these delicious meals by playing shuffleboard (and drinking beer) at the Miller Lite Nest.

Fit in some “exercise” between all these delicious meals by playing shuffleboard (and drinking beer) at the Miller Lite Nest. Image: Mercedes-Benz Stadium

A highlight on Concourse 200 is Kevin Gillespie’s GameChanger. Atlanta’s golden child created a menu full of creative offerings with even better names. Try The C.O.S. (“Closed on Sunday”), Kevin’s take on that famous Atlanta-based chicken chain featuring a fried chicken sandwich that’s covered in hot sauce, smeared with pickled mayonnaise and served on a honey-butter sweet roll. SB TIP: Don’t miss the sour cream and onion crinkle cuts!

Farm Burger is also represented on this concourse and offers their Georgia grass-fed beef burgers with fan-favorite Farm Burger sauce.

For those vegetarian sports aficionados, ATL Fan Fare and ATL Grill, located on all three concourses, offers tasty food with and without meat. Herbivorous fans can order a vegan dog, a vegetarian Cobb salad or the portobello mushroom burger and wash it down with The Varsity frozen orange.

Prefer to eat fresh food while cheering on Atlanta United? This vegetarian Cobb salad from ATL Fan Fare features romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, red onion, gorgonzola cheese, eggs and blue cheese dressing.

Prefer to eat fresh food while cheering on Atlanta United? This vegetarian Cobb salad from ATL Fan Fare features romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, red onion, gorgonzola cheese, eggs and blue cheese dressing. Image: AMB Sports & Entertainment

Concourse 300

When hitting up Concourse 300, our must-visit is the 100 Yard Club. This Atlanta Falcons-themed dining spot features TVs and a football-inspired area to socialize and, of course, stuff your face. Bars include Redd’s Apple Ale, Blue Moon and Deep Eddy, as well as Miller Lite and the Anheuser-Busch Marketplace.

Besides eating and drinking at the 100 Yard Club, learn a little about some of your favorite Atlanta Falcons players!

In addition to eating and drinking at the 100 Yard Club, learn a little about some of your favorite Atlanta Falcons players. Image: AMB Sports & Entertainment

One of our favorite, don’t-miss spots on this concourse is West Nest. This concession stand developed and operated by the Westside Works Culinary Academy, a jobs-training program for Atlanta’s Westside communities, serves chicken, fries, sandwiches and beer. Their fresh chicken options include tempura-battered chicken tenders and waffle fries stuffed into a waffle bowl and served with Cool’ade pickles and honey hot sauce.

Fox Bros. has another innovative stand in the stadium, this one called TexMex-A-Cue, which serves brisket tacos, fried chicken tacos and Tex-A-Cue nachos featuring smothered tortilla chips.

West Nest's signature menu item has to be their chicken in a waffle bowl, filled with chicken tenders, waffle fries, and of course, the sweet waffle bowl itself.

West Nest’s signature menu item must be their chicken in a waffle bowl filled with chicken tenders, waffle fries and, of course, the sweet waffle bowl itself. Image: AMB Sports & Entertainment

Fresh Mex, located on Concourse 300, offers its Dos Tacos -- barbacoa beef or ancho chicken, shredded lettuce, jack cheese, pico de gallo and cilantro all wrapped in two flour tortillas.

Fresh Mex, located on Concourse 300, offers its Dos Tacos – barbacoa beef or ancho chicken, shredded lettuce, jack cheese, pico de gallo and cilantro all wrapped in two flour tortillas. Image: AMB Sports & Entertainment

Clubs and Suites

Some of us may never see this level of the stadium, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t drool at the thought of visiting these delicious concession spots. The Mercedes-Benz Club and Delta Sky360 Club have great dining options at the field level including Antico Pizza (that pizza crust!) and Terminus Grill. It’s only natural to balance all that savory with something sweet, and that’s when Sublime Doughnuts swoops in for the win. Lucky diners can order the doughnut ice cream burger featuring one of their famous creations like Dulce de Leche, Strawberries and Cream or Dirty D.

Harrah’s Cherokee Clubs on the 200 Concourse features The Iberian Pig Kitchen and Bar with mouth-watering options like the Haute Dog (bacon-wrapped hot dog, Manchego cheese sauce, shallots and red pepper aioli), Bocadillo (jamón serrano, garrotxa cheese and local tomato) and Spanish fries. All of these club levels have fully stocked bars as well.

This is just a literal and figurative taste of the many food options awaiting you at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Stop snack smuggling, and enjoy yourself in a stadium that puts fans’ needs first. Just make sure to wear your stretchy Falcon sweatpants to make room for all this delicious, fairly priced food and drink on your next game day!

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