Will the Broncos redeem themselves after last season’s last-place finish in the AFC West division? Only time will tell. But what we can assure you, dear Bronco fan, is that attending a home game in 2023 or 2024 should be a delicious experience. So, worst-case scenario, if there’s not a whole lot of clapping or high-fiving going on, you can at least be clutching a juicy Cherry Cricket burger or a cup of boozy ice cream.

The Broncos’ regular season starts on Sunday, September 10, with a home game at Empower Field at Mile High against Denver’s biggest rival, the Las Vegas Raiders. 

On the food front, Empower welcomed some new vendors to the stadium for the upcoming season, including Tipsy Scoop and Tater Keg (the maker of fancy tater tots).

If it’s been a while since you’ve made it to a home game, Empower got a tasty shake up in 2019, when Aramark Sports and Entertainment replaced Centerplate as the stadium’s concessionaire. As a result, you’ll recognize some concepts from the Denver dining scene like chef-restaurateur Frank Bonanno’s Osteria Marco, which is slinging pizzas in the Downtown Mile High food hall. The Italian eatery joins the Cherry Cricket, Wild Taco, and Breckenridge Distillery at the food court, where fans can order from touch-screen menus and chow down in a sit-down dining area on the lower concourse level.

Thirsty? Get a cocktail from a robot. Empower now has three TendedBar stands, self-serve, mixed drink machines that use facial recognition when processing drink orders. (There is a staff member on hand to make sure you’re not being overserved, though.) 

Looking for winning options for game-day grub? If you scored tickets to the game or any others this season, here are our top picks for what to eat and drink inside Empower.

What’s New at Empower Field for the 2023–2024 Season

Brunch Banh Mi

How does Sunday brunch sound? If you’re attending a day game at Empower, you can order up a hand-held brunch banh mi. The baguette cradles an egg patty, pork belly, chorizo, carrots, and radish slices and is slathered in a spicy mayo. (Section 512 – Sideline Grill)

Grain Bowl

Looking for a plant-based meal on game day? Your best bet is Empower’s new grain bowl, which has a wild rice and arugula base. The hearty dish is topped with sweet potatoes, black beans, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and chickpeas. (Sections 318 and 518)

Boozy Ice Cream From Tipsy Scoop

Tipsy Scoop boozy ice creams. Photo courtesy of Tipsy Scoop

You’ll need to show an ID for these 21-and-up-only scoops. New to Empower this season, Tipsy Scoop will be serving four flavors of its boozy artisan ice cream. They are: Dark chocolate whiskey salted caramel, vanilla bean bourbon, as well as dairy-free, vegan sorbets like mango margarita and raspberry limoncello. (Section 326)

Ice Cream Sandwiches From Little Man

We’re cheering for the ice cream takeover in Empower this season. Beloved Little Man Ice Cream will sling a few different flavors of ice cream sammies at the stadium. The flavors are red velvet with a cream cheese icing, peanut butter with chocolate, and vegan chocolate chip with vegan vanilla. (Section 326)

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Wings at a football game aren’t too practical. Fortunately, there’s a workaround that doesn’t require wet naps: A new mac and cheese dish with pulled chicken thighs that’s doused in a tangy, spicy Buffalo sauce and then topped with green onions, blue cheese crumbles, and crumbled bacon. (Sections 318 and 518)

Gourmet Tater Tots

Not only is it football season, but it’s also green chile season in Colorado. The Colorado Tater Keg is a newcomer to Empower this year and you can think of it as a riff on green chile cheese fries. Crispy tater tots are smothered with pork green chile and pork belly and topped with cheddar cheese. (Section 512 – Sideline Grill)

Tried-and-True Favorites

Tacos and a Frozen Marg from Wild Taco 

Carnitas tacos from Wild Taco. Photo by Brittany Anas

On a recognizance mission to find Denver’s top taco, Aramark’s Brian Tuscano visited 15 restaurants in the city before inviting Wild Taco in Cap Hill to open up a second location at the mini food hall inside the stadium. The spot dishes out two tacos: chicken tinga or pork carnitas. Be sure to add chips and salsa and a white strawberry frozen marg. (Section 127)

Cherry Cricket Burger 

The Cherry Cricket’s bacon cheeseburger. Photo by Brittany Anas

We asked stadium employees for their recommendations for the best bite at Empower, and almost unanimously they pointed us to Cherry Cricket, where bacon cheeseburgers smothered in melty white cheddar and dripping with bacon-onion jam await. You can also get the eponymous Cricket burger as well as a specialty sandwich made with barbecued pulled pork, ancho apricot barbecue sauce, and coleslaw. Pair it with fries, onion rings, or the diplomatic combo of both, which appears on the menu as “frings.” (Section 127)

Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich 

Hot honey chicken sandwich. Photo by Brittany Anas

We credit Nashville for the hot chicken sandwich. But how do you give the fiery foul a Colorado spin? The answer: Douse it in a hot sauce made with homegrown peaches and spicy habaneros. The sandwich isn’t kick-you-in-the pants hot, but the crispy chicken does have a nice bite plus a generous heap of slaw and some pickles that cools things down. (Sections 303 and 342)

Denver Cheesesteak 

The Denver cheesesteak. Photo courtesy of Aramark Sports

Stadium chefs drew some culinary inspiration from Philly to craft the Denver Cheesesteak. The Mile High riff on the meat and cheese hoagie sandwich is filled with shaved sirloin, topped with 505 Southwestern roasted green chiles, and slathered with chile con queso. (Sections 106, 131, 513, and 529)

Orange Thunder

The Orange Thunder cocktail. Photo by Brittany Anas

Every stadium needs a cocktail that’s concocted with mixers that match the team’s colors. The Broncos have Orange Thunder, which is made with Deep Eddy orange vodka, orange juice, and Triple Sec (an orange liqueur often used in margs) then capped off with lemon-lime soda. It’s fizzy, citrusy, and spirited. (Plaza Level Concourse)

505 Southwestern Monster Chicken Nachos

505 Southwestern offers an upgraded riff on loaded nachos, a stack of tortilla chips buried under flame-roasted Hatch green chile, salsa, cheese, chicken, and other fixings. For convenience, you’ll find lots of nacho stops throughout the stadium. (Sections 103, 110, 116, 128, 231, 303, 342, 503, 207, 511, 526, 531, 535, and 539).

Brittany Anas
Brittany Anas
Brittany Anas is a Denver-based food and travel writer.