Like springtime itself, every new season at Target Field is filled with promise — both for the renewed potential of solid wins (and no injuries) from the Twins, and for the new slate of culinary offerings at the stadium.

And while the Twins may or may not improve year-over-year, the food certainly does. The Taste team went out to the ballgame to sample the latest upgrades to the stadium menu and revisit some old favorites. We loved the fried chicken automat as well as the spicy Hmong noodle bowl and hearty hamburger.

Here are the seven best new foods at Target Field — plus five all-stars we hope keep coming back — to enjoy as the Twins return for a nearly weeklong homestand. And all summer long.

Home runs

Everything from Official Fried Chicken
Fried chicken is a summer staple for a reason, and the bone-in, crispy fried version from Official Fried Chicken at Target Field is a perfect example of why. Even cold fried chicken is tasty, but this one is served piping hot, made fresh and able to be ordered via an app from your seat in the stands. Or, order at the counter and pick it up after a surprisingly short wait from a personal cubby you unlock with your phone. The chicken is so good, you might just want to get the whole menu. The sandwich hits every flavor pocket: spicy, crunchy, juicy, saucy with the bonus of being a handheld. And the genius crispy side is somehow the unholy union of a French fry and a potato chip. It is all the things. Four pieces $14, sandwich $9, fries $5; Official Fried Chicken, Section 133

Khao Sen Rice Noodle Bowl
Chef Yia Vang proved during his debut at last year's Minnesota State Fair that his Union Hmong Kitchen culinary team knows the perfect flavors to pair with a sunny day. Same is true at Target Field, where the khao sen rice noodle bowl is a cool tumble of zesty noodles topped with hot-off-the-grill Hmong sausage (which brings a little juicy heat) and a side of verdant sauce that pops with flavor and spice. It's balanced and a delicious full meal in a bowl that's easy to eat in the stands. $14; Union Hmong Kitchen, Section 127

These locally made ice lollies just keep getting better as the company continues to expand the flavor offerings. Dairy fans would never know that the Fudgesicle-like chocolate pop is made with oat milk. The other varieties are basically edible rainbows of fun. Find them individually packaged in coolers at the self-serve market. $6.29 each; Section 126

Cowboy Burger
It doesn't hurt that the Town Ball Tavern staff extended the best hospitality of the day, but the doubled-up Cowboy Burger will certainly have us coming back to this 21+ bar inside the stadium for another bite. Two beef patties sandwich gooey cheese, and the whole thing is topped with tangy barbecue sauce and a pile of crispy bacon. Served alongside plenty of hot French fries and a pickle for good measure, this is one hearty meal. $16.50; Town Ball Tavern, Section 229

Belgian Waffle & Chicken
New vendor Waffles & More will whip up a giant Belgian waffle to order from irons on their little cart, like a mobile hotel breakfast. It's not revolutionary — until they top the waffle with classic ballpark chicken tenders (you know, the frozen kind) and a few pumps of sticky-sweet "syrup" from a giant jug. It's like stadium junk food meets a Holiday Inn. What's not to love? (You can get the waffle plain or with a syrupy berry topping, too.) $14; Waffles & More, Section 114

Hot Honey Crisp
This sweet and appley cocktail has a slight burn at the end, thanks to the addition of hot honey syrup. It's one of five new drink offerings featuring Keeper's Heart whiskey from Minneapolis' O'Shaughnessy Distilling Co. The Hot Honey Crisp, by far our favorite of the bunch, is made with Keeper's Heart Rye. $14; Truly on Deck (club level in right field), Town Ball Tavern, Section 229

Lovejoy Bloody Mary
The vodka pour is heavy-handed and, depending on where you are in your day, that could be a good or a bad thing. Still, it's worth ordering the double if only for the skewer of crispy pork belly you can use to stir all that vodka into the kicky Thai basil bloody Mary mix from local maker Lovejoy. $25 (for a double); Gate 34 Pub, Gate 34


These five foods aren't new, but our favorites always knock it out of the park.

Kramarczuk's Sausage: Nothing says game day like a dog, but the Ukrainian deli's Polish sausages, piled high with bacony kraut, is a major upgrade. Always juicy and highly flavorful. $10; Sections 101, 112, 312

Bub's Aussie Pies: One of our favorite new additions to the stadium in recent years, these hand pies are delicious little Hot Pockets of portable goodness, one filled with chicken wild rice stew and another with sloppy Joe. $12.49; Section 126

Murray's Smoked Beef Sandwich: When you're feeling rich, this luxe steak sandwich is filled with Murray's signature beef, perfectly seasoned. $15; Section 103

Mini donuts: Warm, sugary and shareable, there's nothing fancy about these scrumptious fair-like treats, and that's the way we like it. $15 for a bucket; Section 134

Hot Indian: It's worth noting that this is now the last place we can consistently get Hot Indian, and the bowls are still as flavor-packed as ever. One of the best vegetarian bites to be found at the stadium. $14; Section 120