(The Washington Post)

I hate the idea of spending a fortune on playoff tickets only to spend a third of the game waiting in line for a cheeseburger. Having said that, food has always been a part of the baseball experience. Hot dogs, chicken tenders and pretzels remain plentiful, but Nationals Park takes things up a notch. The solution: Plan your eats ahead of time and arrive early enough to find your ballpark favorites with the map above.

Ben’s Chili Bowl (Sections 109, 140, 301, 315): This District food icon has been a Nationals Park standby since the ballpark opened, and the main draw is its plump half-smoke.

Flippin’ Pizza (115, 214, 225, 310): The foldable cheese, pepperoni and tomato-basil varieties and cost $6 each; if you’re feeding a group, a full pie goes for $36.

Dolci Gelati (112, 135, 235, 307): Enjoy the flavors of peanut butter, stracciatella, mint chip, lemon and strawberry. A cup costs $5 to $7.

Hard Times Cafe (106, 116, 128): Keep your eyes open for a notebook-size vessel of tortilla chips, the local chain’s signature chili nachos.

Taste of the Majors (117, 313): Regional dishes from 17 Major League Baseball cities.

Red Porch (100): The stadium’s sit-down restaurant prioritizes beer pairings with slightly-upgraded stadium fare.

Shake Shack (240): Shack burgers, Concretes and a line that usually takes an inning or three to wait through.

El Verano Taqueria (239): A surprisingly authentic taco stand, with quesadillas, churros and Mexican elote — grilled corn on the cob dipped in mayo and cheese.

Box Frites (238): Belgian-style fries with your choice of five creamy dipping sauces, but let’s be honest: you’re going to pick the smoked bacon aioli.

Blue Smoke (237): The barbecue options here provide a great synthesis of summer’s favorite food with summer’s favorite sport.