Dining

Where to Find Your Favorite Fair Foods After the Fourth

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In San Diego, the County Fair is a summertime staple, and while the games and rides are great, I think we can all agree that the true appeal of the fair lies in the food. Whether it’s a once-a-year treat or something so wild you can’t find it anywhere else, fair food is what keeps us coming back. Finding time in your schedule and budget, and dealing with the crowds and parking, can make a trip to the fair a little less enticing, so we’ve highlighted seven San Diego County eateries offering elevated twists on popular fair food, to give you a taste of the fair without the madness.

Funnel Cake, Herb & Wood

To find one of the fair’s most cherished treats, head to Herb & Wood’s delectable Sunday Brunch, where Funnel Cake is a year-round staple. Herb & Wood’s take on funnel cake comes topped with Lavender Sugar, Strawberry Sauce, and Vanilla Gelato, elevating the classic fare to a gourmet brunch offering.

Photo Credit Jim Sullivan

Vegan Sriracha Corn Dogs, Bagby Beer Company

Stop by Bagby Beer Company in Oceanside to experience the brewery’s signature sriracha corn-dogs, which come with a surprising twist —they’re vegan. Made with housemade vegan dogs, spicy cornmeal batter, tomato bourbon ketchup, and house mustard, Bagby is offering a guilt-free way to experience the fan-favorite fair food.

Bagby Beer Company Courtesy Photo

Cafe 21 Courtesy Photo

Cotton Candy Cocktails, Cafe 21

Cafe 21, San Diego’s freshest local eatery, is bringing a childhood classic into the adult realm, with their cotton candy martinis. Built to be big enough to share, Cafe 21 offers three cocktails incorporating cotton candy: the Chocolate Martini with Dorda Chocolate Liquor, Frangelico, Cotton Candy, the Jalapeno Lime Martini, with Tequila, Lime, Jalapeno, Simple Syrup, Cotton Candy, and the Cosmopolitan, with Vodka, Lemon, Simple Syrup, Fresh Fruit Puree, Cotton Candy.

Fried Pickles, Moto Deli

No fair inspired menu would be complete without something a little out of the ordinary being deep fried, and Moto Deli is here to answer that call with their fried pickles. Made with spicy pickle spears, which are then fried in a crispy cornmeal batter, with a hint of horseradish, and dipped in ranch, these savory bites will satisfy everyone’s craving for a fried snack, without compromising on quality.

Madison On Park Courtesy Photo

Churro Waffle Sticks, Madison on Park

Madison on Park is evoking the sugary-sweet taste of a beloved treat with one of their most delectable brunch items, the waffle churro sticks. The dish starts with waffle pieces coated in cinnamon and sugar, then adds maple cream cheese sauce and jalapeno blackberry jam, and finishes it off with fresh fruit. Designed to share, we won’t hold it against anyone who wants to keep them all for themselves.

Street Corn Off the Cob, TJ Dog, and Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos, The Blind Burro

Bringing street fare to downtown San Diego, The Blind Burro is serving up and abundance of fair favorites. The restaurant’s fair worthy selection includes the TJ Dog, a bacon-wrapped all-beef hot dog, with griddled onions & peppers, candied jalapeños, ketchup, mustard, and mayo, Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños with house-made chorizo, queso oaxaca, applewood bacon, chipotle-tomatillo-piloncillo sauce, and Street Corn Off the Cob, with rema, tapatio, lime, and queso cotija, offering all the flavor of your fair favorite without the mess.

The Blind Burro Courtesy Photo

S’mores Dessert Courtesy Photo

Smokin S’mores, Prep Kitchen

Prep Kitchen is serving up the ultimate summertime sweet treat with their smokin s’mores. Served in the restaurant’s signature smoking dome, the smokin s’mores combine layers of gooey marshmallow, chocolate cookies, and chocolate sauce, taking the campfire delight to a whole new level.

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