Food and Drink
Food is a primary attraction for Fairgoers. Not only does the San Diego County Fair offer traditional "Fair fare," but we also offer some surprising upscale dining and sipping experiences, plus food "events." Here are just a few offerings for your culinary enjoyment.
There's always something new to eat at the San Diego County Fair. We're famous for deep-frying all sorts of foods, but we also have some new treats that are healthier, too. Use the Fair Food Finder map for details and locations. [PDF]
For the newest foods and drinks,
check out what's new at the Fair!
These exclusive adult beverage events are held at 2:00PM in the 17 Hands Lounge
At 17 Hands Lounge
Don Julio Family
At 17 Hands Lounge
2:00PM, with special guest Samantha Albertson
Casual dining: Head to the Heineken Red Star Café any evening from 5:00-8:30PM for wait-served meals of salads, sandwiches, upscale Mexican food and appetizers. The café is located on the second-floor outdoor patio on the west side of the Paddock. It overlooks the Plaza de México on one side and the Paddock on the other. Tuesday through Friday from 5:00PM to 7:00PM is Happy Hour at the Heineken Red Star Café.
17 Hands, an indoor eatery open from noon to 10:00PM, just off Plaza de Mexico. It features 20 taps of local and imported quality beers and a full bar in a roughhewn, warm atmosphere. Authentic Mexican food includes sopes and tacos with perfectly distinct flavors: Barbacoa, Adobada and Pollo Desebrado. Open-air rail bars and communal tables give a front-row view of the varied Paddock events. Happy Hour is 5:00-7:00PM, Tuesday through Friday, plus Monday, July 1. Choose one taco and a specialty draft beer for $8.
Also, you can enjoy a sit-down meal in air-conditioned comfort at Surfside Race Place, near the Del Mar Arena, Thursdays through Sundays. The Saddle Club is open for lunch on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. For specific hours, please see the Surfside Race Place page.
Concert gourmet dinner packages: Enjoy a gourmet meal in the famed Turf Club, followed by a concert in the Grandstand. Many shows this year have a dinner package.
Summer Concert Series
During the Toyota Summer Concert Series, a number of performances include a dinner package to make the Heineken Grandstand Stage that much grander. A dinner package option is included with these outstanding performances:
Huey Lewis and the News July 1
REO Speedwagon July 2
|Check out the dinner menu here...
Win a FAIR VIP Dinner Package
Enter for your chance to win a FAIR VIP Dinner Package from ARCO for any of the dinner package shows listed above. There will be two winners for each FAIR VIP Dinner Package. Each winner will receive admission for 4 to the San Diego County Fair, dinner for 4 in the Turf Club, reserved concert seating for 4 and a preferred parking pass. Winners will be notified two days before the show via email. You can enter once per day.
|Enter now for your chance to win a FAIR VIP Dinner Package from ARCO
Taste of the Fair
For light eaters, or those who can't narrow down the list of foods they want to try, Taste of the Fair is for you. Each Tuesday (11:00AM–5:00PM) you can buy a taster's portion of a featured Fair food item for $2 at each food booth. Find a list of offerings sorted by food item, stand, company, and location here.
Albertsons General Store
Our presenting sponsor, Albertsons | Sav-on, has a great food booth for those of you who crave some healthy eating. The Albertsons General Store, located on Wyland Way between the Theme Exhibit and AgriFair, has fruit bowls, salads, juice, nuts, baked chips, and more.
Ways to save...
PennySaver Value Day
Every Friday is PennySaver Value Day, where each Fairgoer receives a booklet loaded with discounts at more than 60 Fair food and product vendors. Purchase a gourmet sandwich of your choice and receive a small soda free!
Passport to Savings
Buy the Passport to Savings coupon book for $5 any day of the Fair. This coupon book has more than 100 offers totalling more than $1,000 in savings! Discover Passport to Savings here.
Kids' Meal Deal
Look for the Kids' Meal Deal signs throughout the Fair at participating food booths. The $5.99 meal includes an entrée, side dish and drink, plus a child's admission to the following local attractions after the Fair ends July 6 (with a paid adult admission): Living Coast Discovery Centr, Birch Aquarium, USS Midway, The New Children's Museum, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and the San Diego Children's Discovery Museum.
Bring your own food!
If you have special dietary needs (or your child will eat only jelly sandwiches), you may bring food and non-alcoholic beverages. Please see the Guest Services page Can I Bring...? for more information on what is allowed.
Beer, wine, and more
Alcohol is served in several beer gardens throughout the Fairgrounds. All ages may enter these areas; however, adults 21 and older must have photo ID to order and consume alcohol. The La Playa Bar is restricted to age 21 and older after 8:00PM, as is the Coors Light Rock On Stage.
5:00PM to 7:00PM
$2 off all draft beer, house wine, call cocktails
$5, 12 oz. margaritas
At beer gardens and Grandstand bars
Beer garden locations:
Del Mar Arena: westside, Concessions and Beer
Infield: Beach-Bar and Wine Tasting in the San Diego Pavilion
Grandstand: Concessions stands with food, bars, and beer/wine during concerts
Coors Rock On Stage Beer Garden
La Playa Bar: between Exhibit Hall and Seaside Pavilion
Bing's Beer: outside of Bing Crosby Hall
Wine Bar: Flower & Garden Show
Paddock: Beer and Wine
Red Star Café: (2nd level overlooking the Paddock area) Full Bar
Plaza de Mexico: Beer
Activity Bar: Inside the Theme Exhibit building
17 Hands: (Paddock area) Full Bar and Micro Beers
Big Bite Bacon Fest
Big Bite Bacon Fest is a fun-filled, walk-around tasting event featuring creative bacon dishes from the best chefs and competitive cooks in the county.
Each bacon booth will prepare and serve small plates of bacon-y deliciousness that will range from appetizers to desserts and everything in between. You will also be able to quench your thirst with refreshing bacon-based and bacon-inspired cocktails and brews. The Big Bite Bacon Fest takes place on July 5.