Food & Drink

What’s To Eat?

Eating is a major San Diego County Fair activity, with more than 100 food booths, several sit-down restaurants, and food-and-beverage events.

Every year, our food vendors come up with tasty new treats to try. Check back about mid-May to see what will be new for 2019!

For a complete list, download our Food Map or pick one up at an Information Booth. (Food Map is from 2018, but it will give you an idea of what to expect for 2019.)

The Fair has several restaurants and bars, most outdoors, some indoors. Among them are:

  • Paddock Tavern, on the east side of the Paddock, serving sandwiches and salads, along with craft beer, wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages. Sponsored by Ballast Point.
  • 17 Hands Restaurant and Cantina, an indoor eatery between Plaza de Mexico and the Paddock. It features 20 taps of local craft beers and a full bar in a roughhewn, warm atmosphere. Sponsored by Saint Archer Brewing.
  • Surfside Race Place, near the Del Mar Arena, provides a sit-down lunch in air-conditioned comfort Thursdays through Sundays. Choose from the Carving Stand with sandwiches, salads and daily lunch specials, or the Saddle Club with soups, appetizers, burgers and more.
  • Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. & Diner, in the Paul Ecke Jr. Garden Show. (This name and menu changes each year to match the Fair theme; check back in the spring.)
  • The Tangerine Unicorn Bar, smack dab in the center of the Fair. This large bar has wooden tables supported by barrels, and it serves a beer brewed especially for the Fair, “Tangerine A-Fair,” a special citrus infused IPA, brewed in partnership with Mike Hess Brewing, one of San Diego’s premier craft breweries.  (This name and beer changes each year to match the Fair theme; check back in the spring.)

Several shows in the Toyota Summer Concert Series offer a gourmet dinner package in the Fairgrounds’ famed Turf Club. The Terrace B seating offers table side food & beverage service.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 5:00-11:00PM

Somewhere on the Fairgrounds is a sweet speakeasy with a fabulous view and equally fabulous craft cocktails. It’s up to you to find it. Ask around!

On Thursdays from noon to 5:00PM, food vendors offer a small portion of one of their featured foods for $3.00. Great for small appetites, or for grazing your way through the Fair.

Albertsons | Vons, our presenting sponsor, has a food booth for those of you who crave healthy eating options. Located on Wyland Way, near the east end of the Grandstand, the Albertsons | Vons General Store has fruit bowls, sandwich wraps, salads, juice, nuts, baked chips and more.

Several food stands have gluten-free or healthy options. For example, Roxys and Biggys list gluten-free items on their menus, and many food stands offer salads or grilled chicken.

For a more complete list, download our Food Map or pick one up at an Information Booth. (Food Map will be available sometime in May.)

Participating food vendors offer the Kids’ Meal Deal, an entree, side and drink for $5.99. Look for the Kids Meal Deal sign at the booth.

If you have dietary restrictions, or if your child will only eat jelly sandwiches, you may bring food and factory-sealed, non-alcoholic beverages. Please see our Guest Services section for more information on what is allowed.

Food Map

Sometime in May, we will have a Food Map showing where to find those delicious Fair treats, both the ones you’ve come to love, and some new ones, too!

Food Map
Download Food Map (button hidden)
San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds