Our Top 5 Picks For the 10th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival | November 18-24

November 4, 2013

We've covered the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival for the past two years, and although the events vary year after year, we have a good idea of what to expect.  We've looked over the schedule of nearly 30 meals, demos, classes and events offered throughout the weeklong epicurean extravaganza and have broken down our top 5 picks for the 10th incarnation of Southern California's largest culinary festival.

The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival spotlights the ever thriving and evolving culinary scene of America's Finest City. There are event packages offered that will give participants an overall discount and help guide the experience, but a la carte may be the best option for attendees looking to truly customize their SDBWFF experience. We've scoured the events, and although it wasn't easy, below we run through down our top 5 choices from the lengthy list of options taking place durng the week of November 18-24.

1) La Plancha Pop Up Dinner: Celebration of Baja & Tequila Tasting (Monday, Nov. 18) - Chefs Chad White, Javier Plascencia, Jason Knibb and Food Network Star Marcela Valladolid will collaborate on 6 Baja-inspired courses paired with handpicked tequila.  Taking place at Javier Plascencia's Romesco Baja Med Bistro, this dinner will be fantastic, and you'll likely leave pleasantly stuffed and tipsy. For $75, it's a bargain for a meal that may later be declared the event of the festival.
2) San Diego Bay Wine & Food Fest Grand Tasting (Saturday, Nov. 23) - This is the biggest party of the festival, featuring more vendors than you can count, dishing out everything from jelly beans to jambalaya.  Held on the Embarcadero Marina Park North behind Seaport Village, this lavish seaside affair features live entertainment, cookbook signings, 170 wine and spirit purveyors, 70 of San Diego's top chefs, over 30 gourmet food vendors, and a riveting "Chef of the Fest" competition, making for the premier tasting opportunity. Come very hungry.
Grand Tasting!
Photo by Kevin Hulett
3) The San Diego Classics: Fish Tacos & Craft Beers Featuring the Fish Taco TKO Competition (Tuesday, Nov. 19) - San Diego is widely known for two additions to the epicurean world - amazing craft beers and delicious fish tacos, and at this event, both will be showcased.  Hosted at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens Liberty Station, this event will feature a fish taco competition between some of the best in SD including The Blind Burro, Casanova Fish Tacos, Bull Taco, Fat Fish Cantina Grill, PB Fish Shop, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Romesco Mexiterranean Bisto and Sandbar Sports Bar & Grill. Oh, and plenty of San Diego craft beer!
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens Liberty Station
4) SWISH Serious Sips & Urban Eats: Burger Bash Edition (Wednesday, Nov. 20) - We're not exactly sure what this event entails, but in our experience, any party hosted at the San Diego Public Market is a good one.  Plus, "Burger Bash" is in the event's title, and that sounds right up our alley!  We assume that the Top Chef All Star winner hosting this event will be Chef Richard Blais, as he will soon open up Juniper & Ivy in San Diego's Little Italy (his SDBWFF cooking class almost made it on this list).
San Diego Public Market
5) Celebrity Sunrise Yoga & Brunch (Sunday, Nov. 24) - After a week of over-indulgence, it would be nice to get in a bit of exercising before devouring yet another meal. Cooking Light and Health magazines invite participants for a refreshing and revitalizing Sunday morning yoga session at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. After becoming one with the universe, congregate with your fellow yogis for a delicious and nutritious brunch, featuring a keynote address by a spokesperson from celebrity trainer Kristin McGee. Namaste!

Most SDBWFF events require that participants be over 21 years of age to attend.  For more information on the 10th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival and to purchase tickets, visit sandiegowineclassic.com, and be sure to follow on Facebook and Twitter.