If you’re ever thought to yourself, “This might taste better if it’s deep-fried,” it just might be at the San Diego County Fair. The fried delights make news every year, but the Fair is also famous for gourmet and other unique offerings. All of the food items below are new this year, plus we have the low-down on value options. Not all require countless hours on the treadmill, thankfully.

A twist on classic favorites: Peanut butter and jelly is well-loved by all ages for its simple recipe, ease of a last-minute toss into the lunch box, and delicious taste. Also, who doesn’t love a giant bowl of cereal with milk? Can either be made better by deep frying? You tell us. Find both new items at Chicken Charlie.

Out of this world options: The astronauts drank Tang in the 1960s and you may have mixed up a batch at home on a hot summer day. Well, we’re not sure how exactly they do it, but (get ready) try it deep-fried at the Fair. Find Deep-Fried Tang at the Del Mar Diner, along with Pie Fries (deep-fried pie crust).

Everything is better with bacon: Why stop at just a hot dog? Wrap it in bacon and deep fry it in a beer batter. It’s called, “Meat Lovers Hot Dog on a Stick.” Or, perhaps go for the “Caveman Turkey Club” which is a turkey leg wrapped in bacon and then (of course) deep-fried. Find both at Bacon-A-Fair.

Dessert time: The Gingerbread House will offer cookie dough on a stick. Skip the traditional funnel cake and go for the new must-try flavor, red velvet funnel cake. Find it at the Funnel Cake Express.


Healthy fare at the fair: Not to worry, there are plenty of waistline-friendly options at the San Diego County Fair. New this year are the Lobster Shack’s steamed lobster tails, fresh from Maine. The Pineapple Express by Chicken Charlie will offer a variety of dishes, including fruit bowls, served in hollowed out pineapples. Gluten-free choices such as falafels, kebabs, grilled vegetables and more are available as well.

Value bites: For just $2.00 per taste, sample fair favorites on Taste of the Fair Tuesdays. Each booth will feature a small portion of a favorite, at this price. Kids meal deals are all around the park where just $5.99 buys little ones an entrée, side dish and drink, plus a child’s admission to a handful of popular San Diego attractions. If you really want to go big, the $5 Passport to Savings coupon book offers up $1000 in value on food and products.

If you’ve tried anything unusual at the fair, we want to hear about it. Because, admit it, if someone handed you a bite of Deep Fried Tang, you’d probably take it out of sheer curiousity.

San Diego County Fair
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Del Mar, CA 92014
858-755-1161
Online: sdfair.com

What are your family’s favorite eats at the County Fair

— Katie Dillon

Photo credits: San Diego County Fair