Fenway Park

Boston Red Sox

Last visit: June 13, 2024

Fenway is the most written-about ballpark in the world. Try as I may to be semi-original, I doubt there’s anything I can say here that hasn’t already been said by some New England-based ink-stained wretch, wannabe scribe, baseball philosopher or award-winning novelist.

Fenway Park is Baseball’s Mecca. No other in-park experience is as pure as Fenway’s. Boston Red Sox fans, while no longer the tortured soles they once were, are still among the most zealous in baseball. The hot dogs are served in the right type of bun. The “new” video boards are focused solely on baseball information during the play. And the seats are on top of the field putting you in the game.

Stadium Dude’s #5 MLB Stadium

What other park has as many named areas in the field of play? There’s the Triangle in centerfield. The Green Monster dominating left. And BOTH foul poles are named: The Pesky Pole in right (the shortest porch in MLB, named after legendary light-hitting infielder Johnny Pesky) and the Fisk pole in left (home to the famous 1975 Game 6 home run that Pudge willed fair).

There are flaws. Many seats are tiny. The concessions are cramped. The tickets are expensive. The good seats are too few. Parking is a nightmare. And the weather often sucks. Still, I look forward to going to Fenway Park more than any other venue in baseball, except maybe one.


Exterior aesthetics 9/10; Interior & Concourse Aesthetics 5/10; Sightlines 3/5; Seating 1/5; Traffic flow 1/5; Scoreboard 9/10; Amenities & entertainment 3/5; Bars & Restaurants 2/5; Celebrating history 5/5; Grand entrance 5/5; Sense of place 25/25; WOW Factor 10/10. Total 78 points divided by 2 for 39

It’s always hard to compare a jewel box park with the modern ones. Fenway had to squeeze its park onto 9 acres of irregularly shaped land. The Braves had 74 acres to work with. But on that small footprint, the Red Sox squeezed a lot of good.


  • The look of the park is the most iconic in North American sports. No other stadium owns a color like Fenway owns Monster Green. The red seats and harsh angles create a look that can’t be copied.
  • The infield seats are among the best seats in baseball. Close to the action thanks to very little foul territory, you feel like you’re legitimately part of the game.
  • They found a creative way to overcome the lack of concession space along the first base line. Opening up Yawkey Way (or Jersey Way as we now must call it) allowed the Red Sox to put concessions on the OUTSIDE of the stadium and create a festive game day atmosphere (while collecting revenue) BEFORE a fan even enters the stadium proper. This added 25,000 square feet of space and may well be the coolest concession area. It makes for one of the best Grand Entrances in MLB.
  • The 21st Century renovations have been spectacular. If you weren’t in the park before they were completed, you’d swear they’ve been there the whole time. From the two upper level clubs, the videoboards, the patio seating, the Green Monster seating, the new concessions, the dugout club, and even the kids’ area, everything feels in harmony with the overall park
  • While other parks honor the history of the game, this place IS history of the game. You’re sitting in a stadium that opened the day the Titanic sunk. It’s home to Game 8 of the 1912 Series; Ted Williams’ home run in the 1946 All-Star Game; Carlton Fisk’s 1975 Game 6 walk-off home run; Bucky Bleeping Dent; Ted Williams returning for the 1999 All-Star Game; Varitek smacking A-Rod; Dave Roberts’ stolen base; Big Papi’s game-tying grand slam in the 2013 ALCS, etc.
  • The “upper deck” seats are on top of the action and provide a nice view. Fenway is perhaps the only park that rewards height.
  • The exterior brick architecture has flare reflective of its time and probably wouldn’t be copied today.
  • The field is sunk, so the exterior structure doesn’t overwhelm the neighborhood
  • The signage around the park adds to the old-timey feel


  • The seats were built for the smaller people of 1912. The Grandstand seats are the tightest in baseball and can be outright uncomfortable for larger fans. If you’re a bigger person like I am, consider an aisle seat, or pony up for a box seat or an upper deck pavilion seat.
  • The seats down the right field line are awful. They do NOT angle toward the infield and when you contort your neck to watch the pitcher and hitter, you’re looking right into the setting sun. You’ll see a lot of fans doing the “Fenway salute” with their left hand flat above their eyes shielding the blinding light.
  • Forget walking the concessions 360-degrees. You’re lucky to get base to base. Fenway hallways change elevation and/or just dead end in so many different places. It takes several visits to know the route well enough to do it without aid of the signage. And as much as they’ve been able to make things better in certain spaces, the concession areas are still the most cramped in the game.
  • The loge seats aren’t elevated enough from the aisle separating the loge from the box seats, so the people walking the aisle between will block the view of those in the first two or three rows of the loge
  • Old-timey stadiums bring old-timey issues like support posts that can potentially obstruct a few for those in the Grandstand seats
  • A rat is not an uncommon sight

Despite its age, the park is better than many on its own merits. I’m thrilled that Boston Red Sox ownership eschewed the idea of a New Fenway and instead spent the money to update their original jewel.


The Red Sox have improved in this area a lot over the past 5 years. Given the lack of kitchen space, I think they do a good job. And what they may lack in choice, they often make up for in quality.

The Fenway Frank may be the most discussed concession in all of North American sport. I think it’s the near perfect hot dog, and vies for the best in baseball. Served on a New England-style roll (with the slot on top instead of on the side), the Kayem-made frank has just the right amount of flavor. A little mustard and maybe some onions are all you need.

Just as Forrest Gump does shrimp, Fenway Park does lobster: Luke’s Lobster offers both lobster rolls and lobster bisque. You can also get classic foods like the Savenor’s Tri-tip sirloin sandwich, pot roast sandwich, and a turkey gobbler (Thanksgiving on a bun).

Sal’s serves the pizza. Dunkin Donuts the coffee. On Jersey Way, there’s a Taste of Boston stand offering rotating local delights. The King’s Hawaiian stand offers a good pulled pork. Irish nachos, chicken & waffles, and cuban sandwiches are also pretty good. And “standard” ballpark fare is available to those who prefer sausages, giant cookies, fried dough, and/or chicken sandwiches.

I am also going to include the sausage carts lined up and down Landsdowne in this review. A long-time staple of the Fenway experience, these guys sell great Italian sausages smothered in peppers and onions for a perfect pre-game nosh. The Sausage Guy has been my long-time go-to, but I hate that they toned down their old almost-NSFW logo.

My personal fave is still the New England clam chowder. Perfect on one of those chilly Boston nights. And you know you’re in Boston when you hear the “chowda vendor”.

BEER 8/10

The beer selection at Fenway is solid but not as deep as in other ballparks. But it gets a good score due to the availability of lots of local craft from the vendors. It’s the only park where I can drink exceptionally well and not leave my seat. My last visit, I enjoyed a Lord Hobo 617 IPA, Mighty Squirrel Cotton Candy NEIPA, Harpoon IPA, and a Sam Adams Wicked Hazy from classic beer vendors bring those to me.

The concession areas offer other local gems from brewers such as Narragansett, Fiddlehead, Jack’s Abby, Night Shift, and Ipswich. All three of the big macros have representation, as does Sam Adams. If you’re into seltzers, they are absolutely everywhere. And there’s a surprisingly large wine offering as well.


The area around the ballpark is among the best in sports even with all the post-pandemic turnover.

Hungry? Within sight of the ballpark you can find Italian sandwiches, Greek souvlaki, southern BBQ, Japanese izakaya, and Singapore noodles amidst brasseries, burger joints, taquerias, oyster bars, and clam shacks. Heck you could hit the nearby Time Out markets and choose from 13 options right there!

Thirsty? There must be a dozen worthy watering holes (many of whom also offer decent grub). The Cask & Flagon is the most famous, but there are so many others: The Bleacher Bar (where you can actually see the field), Landsdowne Pub, a Yard House, Game On!, Loretta’s Last Call, Bill’s Bar, Fenway Johnnies, Bullpen Bar, and two brewery taphouses. Then there’s all the great places in nearby Back Bay including City Bar (where Babe Ruth once drank) and Bukowski’s.

Being a baseball shrine, Fenway also attracts a lot of baseball-themed shops for memorabilia or Red Sox gear. So if you bring the kids, you can get into the vibe beforehand without stepping into a bar.

And it’s legitimately hopping post-game as well. On weekend nights, you see the young partiers mixed in with ball fans of all ages all out for a ripping good time be it at a live music event, a dueling piano bar, a traditional club, a packed bar, or a cozy-ish pub. Fun is there for those who want it.

COST 1/5

Treat Fenway like a vacation, and don’t worry about it for a day. Tickets, especially the coveted good ones, are expensive. Parking is obscene. Concessions are on the high side ($38 lobster roll). Merchandise is more than average. The Fenway experience will cost a pretty shekel, but many of the better things in life don’t come cheap.


If you have the option, don’t even think about driving. Boston streets are confusing, traffic is nuts, and parking is among the most expensive in the game. Being a college town, the public transit system in Boston is good. The subway is the superior option. The Kenmore green line T-stop is close and assuming you don’t have an extra innings game stretching well into the night, it’s your best bet (The T stops running earlier than in other markets). The Commuter Rail network is fairly extensive if coming from the burbs. Bus service isn’t bad either.


I’ve had a greater percentage of “hoodie games” (i.e. needing a warm fleece with a hood for protection against the cold, the wet or both) here in Boston than anywhere else.

VIBE 24/25

It’s the purest baseball vibe in the game. Even though the fan base isn’t nearly as fatalistic thanks to 4 World Series Championships after an 86-year drought, there’s no better place for the die hard baseball fan, even as the place has become a little more corporate. If you are lucky enough to sit beside a semi-friendly New Englander (there are a few), you may have some of the best baseball conversations you’ll ever have.

Hearing the familiar refrain of The Standells’ “Dirty Water” after a win (especially a walk off) is great. Hearing The Dropkick Murphy’s “Tessie” as you’re leaving the stadium brings chills. The singing of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” in the 8th, is twee but still kinda fun.

At no park will the fans self-start better than Fenway. At no park do the scoreboard operators make it easier for the more intense fan to know exactly what’s going on. (I love how they flash how a play was scored for those keeping book.)

As a fan interested in seeing all the parks, ask yourself, “Which one do I look forward to the most?” Fenway Park has got to be on a very, very shortlist.

It’s everything you want a baseball experience to feel like. It’s a feeling that sticks with you long after you’ve paid the credit card bill and once the crick in your back heals up after sitting in those seats. For all the romance and cliched waxing that Fenway gets, it’s earned. It’s baseball nirvana.



Three fun Boston eateries:

  • Neptune Oyster (North End. Acclaimed as home of the best lobster roll in town.)
  • Saltie Girl (Back Bay. Tiny, always packed seafood place.)
  • Sweet Cheeks Q (Fenway. Open since 2011, this place offers really good smoked short ribs and pulled chicken, but the buttermilk biscuits slathered in honey butter are killer!)

Three places to imbibe before the game:

There’s been a lot of turnover in the Fenway pre-game scene these past 5 years. Fortunately, as old favorites like Boston Beer Works, Lower Depths, and Baseball Tavern close, great new options open up.

  • Trillium Brewing Fenway (I’m cheating because I like the vibe in their other locations more, but you can get amazing New England IPAs from a world-class brewer just a few minutes west of the park)
  • Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co. and Mighty Squirrel Brewing Co. (Two breweries within a long fly ball of Fenway. Mighty Squirrel, north of the park, makes the better beer; Cheeky Monkey, south of the park, is a more fun vibe. Do both.)
  • Bukowski Tavern (A ten-minute walk from the park in Back Bay. Dive bar with a strong beer list)

One bar in the area worth hitting:

Seaport District Pub Crawl. (Not just one bar, but a fun area with a bunch. If you, like me, are into breweries, Lord Hobo, Harpoon, and Trillium Fort Point are all perfect for day drinking. If you prefer bars, choices include Cisco, City Tap, and Tony C’s. There’s a Legal Sea Foods and Yankee Lobster virtually side by side, as well as cheap eats aplenty.)

Three craft breweries in the area worthy of your time:

  • Tree House Brewing (Charlton, MA. About one hour west of Fenway is the brewery that vies with Russian River as my favorite in the country. Churning out best-in-the-world hazy IPAs, this place is worth the trip to New England alone. Often crazy busy, and you only enjoy 2 or 3 pints in the taproom, but it’s absolutely worth the drive out.)
  • Widowmaker Brewing Co (Braintree. A great beer run is Trillium in Canton, this place, then Vitamin Sea in Weymouth. Widowmaker cranks out NEIPAs that hold up with the best of the area, and that’s saying something!)
  • Remnant/Lamplighter CX/Aeronaut (Somerville: Hit three lesser known breweries within a 20-minute walk of one another. Remnant has great staff and good coffee too. Lamplighter CX is very Instagrammable. Aeronaut offers some cool stuff in addition to solid IPAs.)

Three fun tourist attractions in the area:

  • Freedom Trail (Easily the “must do” on a nice day in Boston as it takes you to many of the top sights including Fanheuil Hall, Paul Revere House, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground and Bunker Hill Monument. Walk and see American history come to life)
  • Cheers (Beacon Hill) or Sam Adams (Jamaica Plain). Boston is a great drinking town, so why not celebrate your trip with a pint? Cheers features nothing but tourists 45+ (and their families) who remember the show, but it is kinda fun drinking in what feels to be a TV show set. Sam Adams offers a great brewery tour and has a nice beer garden to relax afterwards.
  • John F Kennedy Presidential Museum (Dorchester. I.M. Pei designed Museum and library commemorating the 35th president)


Fenway bills itself as “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark”. And after a visit, assuming you have decent seats, you very well may be agreeing with that sentiment. With an unparalleled baseball vibe and a reverence for the game, it’s truly a bucket list ballpark for any true baseball fan. While it has its limitations and flaws and only scores as the 5th best park, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more memorable place to watch a game.