Our Top Five Event Picks For The 13th Annual San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival | Taking Over America's Finest City This November 14-20

November 3, 2016

Get ready for lucky #13! The thirteenth 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 five 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 14 to 20 and have narrowed them down to our top 5 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, so read on for our picks and be sure to enter!

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, but a la carte may 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 5 choices from the lengthy list of options:

5) Ocean-To-Table Luncheon - ($95, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 11:30am-2:30pm, The Marine Room) -What better setting is there for a relaxing lunch spotlighting the bounty of the sea than La Jolla's oceanside Marine Room restaurant? This multi-course lunch will be prepared by Marine Room chefs Bernard Guillas & Ron Oliver, as well as visiting guest chefs Rick Moonen, Dean James Max, Evan Cruz, Amy DiBiase, Jason McLeod, Rob Ruiz, and Andrew Spurgin. For the price of admission, this is one of the best value events of the week.

4) Pizzapalooza Featuring Battle of the Bartenders - ($55, Sunday, Nov. 20, 11am-2pm, The Port Pavillon at Broadway Pier) - We cannot resist a good ole fashioned pizza party, especially one highlighted by craft cocktails! A new event for this year's festival, Pizzapalooza closes out the SDBWFF and will feature pies of all varieties, including varieties like deep dish, New York, Neapolitan, Sicilian, grilled, Californian, and Detroit. Take in multiple tasting stations from San Diego’s top pizza makers, hit up incredible mixology and craft cocktail stations, meet Food Network stars The Hearty Boys, vote during the Battle of the Bartender competition, and listen to music waterside on San Diego Bay at this inaugural event.

3) Fish Taco TKO Hosted by Rick Moonen ($50, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 6-9pm, Quartyard San Diego) - Get ready for the ultimate Taco Tuesday! The Fish Taco TKO is back for its fifth annual competition to see who serves up the best fish taco in San Diego. Featuring 13 competitors facing off head-to-head for your vote, this event takes place at the open-air Quartyard in the East Village and also includes unique beer and tequila stations and live music from Bulevar Descarga. We have attended this event for the past three years, and it's a steal at $50 a ticket.

2) Dinner with the Culinary Icons + Live Auction ($300, Thursday, Nov. 17, 6-10pm, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina) - Chefs Rick Bayless, Michelle Bernstein, Marcus Samuelsson, Rick Moonen, Javier Plascencia, Bernard Guillas, Andrew Spurgin and Aron Schwartz team up for this star-studded, once-in-a-lifetime dining experience. The evening starts with a tray passed appetizer reception with beverages sponsored by Stella Artois, Zacapa Rum, and Loire Valley Wines followed by a five course dinner and live auction. Treat yourself!

1) San Diego Bay Wine + Food Fest Lexus Grand Tasting ($85-$325, Saturday, Nov. 21, 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 on 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.

For more information on the 13th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival and to purchase tickets, visit sandiegowineclassic.com.