Seven graduate students in the sports specialty program at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism traveled this summer to a number of Minor League baseball stadiums in the mid-Atlantic region. This is their report on reviewing the best of ballpark food.

WASHINGTON – I wasn’t excited at first, when I heard that we would be taking a Minor League baseball tour on the East Coast, especially being a Cubs fan from Chicago.

My mindset changed, though, after our first trip to the Potomac Nationals, the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals in Woodbridge, Virginia.

As a baseball fan, I knew that Major League teams have farm affiliates that they use to develop young players or to rehab injuries. The minors are revolving doors for big league teams, but after attending the games and going to the ballparks you understand that the MiLB is much more.

The MiLB is an experience. Everything from the food, to the players and especially the atmosphere is unique. It’s an experience that you can’t get anywhere else in sports.

The people (fans and players) and the atmosphere are both big parts of the MiLB experience, but the best part is the food.

At these ballparks, you can get much more than peanuts and crackerjacks, there’s all you can eat buffets, special theme burgers and hot dogs based on the city you’re in and unbelievable sweets for fans with a sweet tooth.

Throughout the tour we visited the Norfolk Tides in Norfolk, Virginia, the Reading Fightin Phils in Reading, Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (who I believe win the best name award) in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the Fredrick Keys in Fredrick, Maryland and lastly the Bowie Baysox in Bowie Maryland.

All the teams offered something different, but at the same time, they offered the same great quality of entertainment.

The Norfolk Tides offered fried Snicker bars while the Reading Fightin Phils sold chicken parmesan and buffalo chicken-stuffed pretzels. The foods at the ballparks were different in so many way; yet no ballpark lacked great quality.

After going to six different ballparks we decided to rate them with the highest rating being five stars. The ratings and criteria were based on taste, the food offered on the menu and quality of the food and the ballpark.

Check out each team rating and if you have the chance to attend a Minor League game please do it. You will not be disappointed.