San Diego County Fair
Attractions & Exhibits  
Man at grill

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:

For new food and drink, check out what's new at the Fair!

Use the Fair Food Finder for details and locations. [PDF]

Table Service

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 and Sundays; and lunch and dinner on Saturdays. 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.

Toyota Summer Concert Series
New dinner menu for Grandstand acts

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:

The Beach Boys June 8
REO Speedwagon June 11
Steve Miller Band June 15
Martina McBride June 20
Colbie Caillat June 21
Bad Company June 25
Train June 27
"Weird Al" Yankovic July 1
Adam Lambert July 2
Dinner PackageCheck out the dinner menu here...

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. Also at the "Grilled Cheese A-Fair," taste delicious apple reduction french fries!

Albertsons logoAlbertsons 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.

Gluten-free Food

For those on gluten-free diets, we have falafel and salad at the Roxy booth near Bing Crosby Hall, grilled corn on the cob in several locations, grilled vegetables at Pan Fried Chicken on Spud Shack, both on the Avenue of the Palms; several items at the Albertsons/Sav-on General Store, and chicken kabobs at Chicken Charlies. We recommend those on restricted diets bring food with them (see below).

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 (or online before the Fair for $4). This coupon book has more than 100 offers totalling more than $1,000 in savings! Discover Passport to Savings here

$1 off any taco or sope (regularly $4)
At 17 Hands Tequileria

$4 off all natural Brandt Beef Burger or Turkey Burger (regularly $13.50)
At Red Star Cafè

Kids' Meal Deal

Also, look for the Kids' Meal Deal signs throughout the Fair at participating food vendors. The $5.99 meal includes an entrée, side dish and drink, plus a child's admission to each of the following venues with a paid adult admission, valid after July 5: Chula Vista Nature Center, Birch Aquarium, The New Children's Museum, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Air & Space Museum and the U.S.S. Midway 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 gardens and bars

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.

Happy Hour!

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 Festival

June 8, June 15, June 29
Join us for a taste of over 60 craft beers
Sessions between 12:00PM-5:00PM, plus tequila tastings daily
At 17 Hands Tequileria
More here...

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

Educational Samplings

Thursday, June 13

Ketel One

Ketel One Vodka

At 17 Hands Tequileria

Thursday, June 20

Don Julio

Tequila Reserva de Don Julio

At 17 Hands Tequileria

Thursday, June 27

BulleitBulleit Bourbon and Crown Royal

At 17 Hands Tequileria

Wine Tasting, Culinary Series

Each day in the Infield are two food events: The Culinary Series, where local chefs demonstrate how to create a special dish; and Wine Tasting, sponsored by the San Diego County Vintners Association. Please see the Infield page for additional information.

Happy Hour!

5:00PM to 7:00PM
$2 off all draft beer, house wine, call cocktails
$5, 12 oz. margaritas
At beer gardens and Grandstand bars

Wine Tasting

Hosted by the San Diego County Vintners Association

Taste Fruits of the Vine at 4:00PM and 5:00PM daily in the San Diego Pavilion

Wine Festival

June 15
11:00AM to 2:00PM
3:00PM to 6:00PM
Paul Ecke Jr. Flower and Garden Show
More here...

Big Bite Bacon Fest

Big Bite Bacon Fest

Big Bite Bacon Fest, presented by Farmer John, 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 first annual Big Bite Bacon Fest takes place on Father’s Day, June 16, 2013.