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Get Carnival Inspired Eats At These 5 San Diego Restaurants

Common Theory's Chicken-Fried Cheeseburger
May 24, 2016

We can almost taste the gluttonous flavors of summer. With only a few days before the opening of the San Diego County Fair with some of the best snack foods in town, everyone has been waiting nearly a whole year to get their hands on some delicious carnival eats. But you don’t always have to head to a fair to eat your favorite foods. You can get your carnival inspired eats all year round at these five San Diego establishments.

Head over to Common Theory Public House in Kearny Mesa to kick off the carnival festivities. A must have is the Chicken-Fried Cheeseburger! This fried version of a fair favorite does it up right with an all-beef patty, dipped in tempura batter flashed fried before being finished off in the over. A toasted Sadie Rose bun with charred scallions and a slice of horseradish Havarti cheese to top it all off. If you’re looking for something a little cheesier, order the Cheese Balls, breaded with panko crust and fried to perfection with a side of creole dipping sauce for that extra kick!

Encontro's pulled pork sliders
The corn dog is an iconic carnival snack. The fact that it’s on a stick just makes it easier to eat and Encontro in North Park is making the iconic snack more delicious than it already is. Baron’s Mini Corn Dogs steal the spotlight on the protein portion of the menu. Perfectly sized cheddar-bratwursts coated in house made corn batter dipped in the fryer until they are crispy and golden, served with whole grain mustard for dipping. The Pulled Pork Sliders are another carnival favorite. Encontro makes theirs with shredded duroc pork tossed in house made bbq sauce topped with coleslaw on a brioche bun.

Tavern in Pacific Beach makes soft pretzels better than any pretzels you would find at a fair! Soft Garlic Butter Pretzel Sticks made and baked in house served with your choice of jack honey mustard, peach honey mustard, whole grain honey-porter mustard and roasted serrano beer-cheese for dipping! Who else gives you that many dipping choices for your pretzels? Try the Kegs In A Blanket, pretzel wrapped cheddar-beer brats and baked to golden flawlessness with house crafted mustard for dipping. Carnival food by the beach; it doesn’t get any better than this!

PB Shore Club has some delicious carnival treats by the beach too! Their TJ Corn is a twist on a traditional fair favorite with a hint of San Diego. Three grilled corn ears spread with parmesan butter and flakes of cotija cheese. The Nachos Gigantes, as their name implies, are loaded and giant! Crispy nacho chips topped with refried beans, jalapeño cheese sauce, black olives, sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo. You will not find nachos like these at any festival.

1919 in the Gaslamp Quarter is kickin’ it old school with their carnival treats. Start off with the Roasted Nuts served warm and toasted with house signature spice mix. For some fried deliciousness try the Fried Pickle Chips. Slices of perfectly pickled cucumbers, deep fried and served with homemade ranch for dipping. You can’t go to a fair and not smell freshly popped popcorn in the air. 1919 has Fancy Popcorn, hot kernels popped upon ordering and sprinkled with white truffle parmesan. These are the original carnival snacks.

Head over to these restaurants and get your carnival food fix with a twist! They don’t come and go, and are always ready to celebrate with you!