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. In 2017, here are some of them:
- Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus, Bacon-Wrapped Cactus, Bacon-Wrapped Brussel Sprouts and Luau Kabob, all from Bacon A-Fair
- Krispy Kreme Chicken Ice Cream Sandwich, Peanut Butter Meatballs, Beignets on a Stick, from Chicken Charlie’s
- Maui Cowboy Burger from Grantburger
- Cowboy Pastrami and the Sloppy Chicken, from Grinders
- Jalapeño Popper and Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and the Animal Style Patty Melt, from Grilled Cheese A-Fair
- Deep-Fried Octopus, from Reno’s Fish & Chips
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.
- 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.
- Iron Skillet and Smoke, in the Paul Ecke Jr. Garden Show. The menu showcases hickory-, alder- and oak-smoked ingredients, with healthy, fresh and satisfying entrees.
- Into The Sunset 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, “Into The Sunset,” a special Blood Orange IPA, in partnership with Mike Hess Brewing, one of San Diego’s premier craft breweries.
Several shows in the Toyota Summer Concert Series offer a gourmet dinner package in the Fairgrounds’ famed Turf Club.
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. Because more and more food vendors want to join this movement, check the menu or ask!
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 non-alcoholic beverages. Please see our Guest Services section for more information on what is allowed.
Taste wine from local vineyards nearly every day at 4:00 and 5:00PM in the Paul Ecke Jr. Garden Show. Pay the $5.00 glass fee at the Wine Garden Bar. Hosted by the San Diego County Vintners Association.