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A New York Red Bulls pre-match guide for visitors

Ross Haley has some helpful advice for those who want to make the most of a trip to Red Bull Arena

Soccer: Concacaf Champions League-Club Tijuana at New York Red Bulls Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

While doing my regular perusal of the RBNY subreddit, I came across this question from an inquisitive Red Bulls fan.

It just so happens that Once a Metro has a private pre-match guide to the area surrounding Red Bull Arena. It is policy that we only share it with those who can do the secret handshake (it’s a complicated series of motions culminating in something called the Bajan Boogaloo), but it’s time to share our painstakingly gained knowledge with the rest of the world. Perhaps the fan base can gain some valuable insight into improving their pre-match routine.

Presenting the Official Once a Metro Pre-Match Guide:

Nosh on a burger

What better way to fuel up for 90 minutes of heart-pumping MLS action than with some authentic local cuisine from one of the area’s finest restaurants? There is no finer burger in the Newark-area than a small, cozy enclave called Wendy’s.

Located a mere five minutes away from Red Bull Arena, this no-frills eatery boasts an ever expanding menu comprised of pure decadence. True connoisseurs will be tempted by the compelling flavors of the Baconator, a delightful stack of farm-fresh beef and bacon lovingly surrounded by warm, soft bread that evokes the sight and smell of mother’s kitchen. Those who shy away from red meat can enjoy an Artisan Bacon Egg Sandwich or a Homestyle Asiago Chicken Club to get a true taste of Harrison.

Indulge in a sweet treat

Trying to get in a quick brekkie before an early kick off? Look no further than Dunkin’ Donuts, a local hole-in-the-wall beloved for its fresh baked goods, rich breakfast sandwich creations, and wide assortment of hot and cold drinks. Take a leisurely stroll over the Jackson Street Bridge into Newark’s Historic Ironbound District and enjoy what many consider to be the city’s best bakery.

Each and every menu item is lovingly crafted around the clock to maintain maximum quality. “DD” – as it’s referred to by hip locals – provides a boost to anyone’s day. The lively spot recently introduced delightful delicacies known as Munchkins, which are made out of the unused holes of donuts – nothing goes to waste at this eco-minded spot. It’s early days for this young pastry shop, but it already specializes in being an essential stop on match days.

Get rowdy with the supporters at the pub

Want to engage in a little bit of “footie culture”? Sing some spirited songs about the team you love, purchase a scarf, and march into the stadium with 500 of your closest friends? Look no further than the local supporters bar, Ruby Tuesday.

This uniquely American-English fusion gastropub boasts a clubby, refined setting perfect for partying with supporters. Located at Terminal A-19, Gate 39 in the historic Newark Liberty International Airport, the popular pre-game spot is a quick 2 hour and 30 minute walk to Red Bull Arena. Nosh on some upscale-casual appetizers and entrees like Cheesesteak Potstickers or Double Decker Chicken before leading the Supporters’ March with fellow passionate fans.

Relax on the beautiful beach

Looking to avoid the chaos and get a little sunshine before the match? Bring a beach chair or a blanket and spread out alongside the beautiful Passaic River. A short walk from Newark’s top resorts, beach access is free and easily accessible via a short walk and a few hopped fences.

The peaceful strip is so remote and low-trafficked that it doesn’t even have a proper name, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a favorite beach spot for Once a Metro writers. Whether it’s time for a swim or a quick game of paddleball, there’s plenty of pure black water or blacker rock sand to fulfill your fun-in-the-sun needs. It’s frequently said that if you fill a glass with fresh Passaic River water, you can drink it. You’ll die, but you can still drink it.

As is the case with most field guides, expect all of these fantastic under-the-radar experiences to become more popular after they gain more attention. What was once someone’s hidden gem or local watering hole becomes something that everyone wants to experience. Once a Metro offers a sincere apology to anyone whose more solitary pre-match ritual is about to become more crowded. However, this could be taken as a challenge to seek out other obscure delights surrounding Red Bull Arena that are deserving of your attention.

There’s rumored to be another fantastic, no-frills burger joint in the area that is producing high quality pre-match classics. I don’t want to give it away, but here’s a hint for all of you urban explorers out there: _ive _uys.

I can say no more, but happy hunting and feel free to send in any other suggestions for local pre-match merriment you may enjoy.