Our Top 7 Event Picks For The 14th Annual San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival This November 12-19 | Check Out THE List & Enter To Win Tickets

November 3, 2017

The fourteenth edition of the weeklong San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival is coming up fast! We've covered Southern California's largest epicurean event for the past six incarnations, and although the schedule varies year after year, we have a good idea of what to expect. We've looked over the lineup of over 30 meals, demos, classes and festivals taking place from November 12-19 and have narrowed them down to our top 7 event picks. Because we adore our readers so much, we are also raffling off 2 general admission tickets to the San Diego Wine & Food Festival's Grand Tasting on Saturday, November 19, as well as passes to various other events, so read on for our picks and be sure to enter our giveaway for a chance to win!


The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival spotlights the ever thriving and evolving culinary scene of America's Finest City. There are packages offered that will give participants an overall discount, as well as discounts on hotel accommodations at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, but a la carte could be the best option for attendees looking to truly customize their SDBWFF experience. We have scoured the many events being offered, and although it was not easy, below we run through our top 7 choices from the lengthy list of options:

7) Steve Brown's Farmers Table - ($95, Friday, Nov 17, 11am, Olivewood Gardens & Learning Center) - Since returning to his hometown of San Diego, Chef Steve Brown has been making a name for himself with his pop-up farm and wagyu centered meals. Inspired by his own farm, Chef Brown and his chef friends will prepare a multi-course dining experience at the beautiful Olivewood Gardens using high-end proteins, including Heritage Berkshire Kurobuta pork, A5 Satsuma Wagyu Beef and Imperial Wagyu, combined with straight-from-the-farm produce.

6) FLIX: Fermented - ($65, Monday, Nov 13, 6pm, THE LOT Liberty Station) - Food and film converge at this year's opening night party and film screening of celebrity chef Ed Lee's new documentary, Fermented. From beer and wine to cheese and bread, Chef Lee will show how fermentation serves as a catalyst to many of the foods we eat and drinks we consume. This event will include a screening of Fermented, followed by a panel discussion and post-screening party featuring cocktails, beer, wine, music, and tasting stations from some of the city's top chefs who are bringing the art of fermentation to new heights. 

5) Whiskey & Wagyu - ($189, Wednesday, Nov 15, 6pm or 9pm, Born & Raised) - Head to the hottest restaurant in San Diego right now for a dinner made for whiskey and beef loves alike. Chef Jason McLeod opens the doors to his newest endeavor for an amazing five-course culinary experience at Born & Raised including pairings with The Singleton Scotch, 110 and 260-day Dry-Aged Beef and American and Japanese Wagyu. There is a 6pm and 9pm seating for what is sure to be a most memorable event. 

4) The Tasting at SommCon - ($65, Friday, Nov 18, 5:30pm, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina) - Get ready for the Grand Tasting with up close access to over 100 wineries and winemakers from around the world in this exclusive pre-Grand Tasting epicurean event at the beautiful Marriott Marquis in downtown San Diego. Really want to go all out? Turn this tasting into a full night by booking dinner at Marina Kitchen's Roots Dinner Experience, featuring two-star Michelin chef Suzette Gresham of Acquerello in San Francisco, Chef Bernard Guillas from The Marine Room and Chef Aron Schwartz of Marina Kitchen. A separate ticket purchase is required for the Roots Dinner Experience. Make it a real night out and book a discounted hotel room at the Marriott and be right on location for Saturday's Grand Tasting! That's what we're doing!!

3) Fish Taco TKO ($45, Tuesday, Nov 14, 6-9pm, Port Pavillion at Broadway Pier) - Get ready for the ultimate Taco Tuesday! The Fish Taco TKO is back for its sixth annual competition to see who serves up the best fish taco in San Diego. Featuring 14 competitors facing off head-to-head for your vote, this event takes place at the waterfront Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego and also includes unique beer and tequila stations, as well as live music. We have attended this event for the past four years, and it's a steal at $45 a ticket.

2) Cali Baja Brunch ($85, Sunday, Nov 19, 11am, Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa) - What's a better way to finish a week worth of indulgence than a boozy brunch? Close out the 14th annual SDBWFF with brunch on the property's picturesque pier, featuring four courses from Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa Executive Chef Michael Poompan, renowned Chef Ruffo Ibarra - known for showcasing the unique cross-border flavors - and Gilberto Morales of the acclaimed NĂ³mada Cocina. Wines will be featured from Baja’s Guadalupe Valley and there will also be a bloody mary and bloody maria bar.

1) San Diego Bay Wine + Food Fest Grand Tasting ($85-$250, Saturday, Nov 18, 11am-3pm) - If you are only going to one event at this year's San Diego Bay Wine & Food Fest, make it the Grand Tasting. This is the biggest party of the festival, featuring more vendors than you can count, dishing out everything from jelly beans to jambalaya. Held at the Embarcadero Marina Park North behind Seaport Village, this lavish seaside affair features live entertainment, cookbook signings, celebrity chefs, cooking demos, 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, very hungry, and if you can, get early entry to avoid the crowds, at least for the start.

For more information on the 14th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, including packages, hotel discounts and to purchase tickets, visit sandiegowineclassic.com.