Our Top 7 Event Picks For The 16th Annual San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival This November 10-17 | Check Out THE List & Enter To Win Tickets

November 6, 2019

The sixteenth edition of the weeklong San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival is coming up fast! We have covered Southern California's largest epicurean event for the past eight incarnations, and although the schedule varies year after year, we have a good idea of what to expect. After perusing the the lineup of over 40 meals, demos, classes, events and festivals taking place this November 10-17, we have narrowed them down to our top 7 picks. We are also raffling off 2 general admission tickets to the San Diego Wine & Food Festival's Grand Tasting on Saturday, November 16, as well as 2 passes to to the Taco TKO, so read on and be sure to enter 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 saving on hotel accommodations at top area resorts, 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) SMOKED: A Live Fire Experience - ($90, Thursday, Nov 14, 7-10pm, Quartyard East Village ) - Chefs Tommy Fraioli and Ivan Munoz will take over East Village urban park Quartyard and curate a four-course, family style BBQ dinner in true campfire fashion. Get ready for a night of open flame cooking, meat smoking, beer and whiskey pairings. To compliment the evening, enjoy a bluegrass concert performance under the San Diego stars.

6) Ocean-to-Table Wine Lunch - ($130, Wednesday, Nov 13, 11:30am-3pm, The Marine Room) - A midweek seafood lunch at one of San Diego's most elegant restaurants? Yes, please! This multi-course, wine-paired luncheon will feature dishes from some of San Diego's top chefs, including Master French Chef Bernard Guillas, Travis Swikard, Top Chef contestant Dakota Weiss, Jason Knibb, Percy Oani, Evan Cruz, Mike Arquines, Dean Max, and Maeve Rochford.

5) The Grand Decant - ($75, Friday, Nov 15, 5pm, InterContinental San Diego) - Get ready for the Grand Tasting with up-close access to the country’s top sommeliers, wineries and winemakers for a walk around tasting event to expand the palate and taste from over 200 domestic and international wineries representing over 500 wines from around the world. This exclusive pre-Grand Tasting epicurean event takes place at the beautiful InterContinental Hotel in downtown San Diego. This is the ultimate event for the true wine lover!

4. Champagne At Morning Glory - ($115, Monday, Nov 11, 7-9pm) - Little Italy's new morning hotspot is serving breakfast for dinner! Expect the unexpected as the culinary masterminds of CH Projects pull out all the stops in an over-the-top evening loaded with bubbles, photo opps and indulgent breakfast for dinner culinary stations. The beautiful space overlooking Piazza della Famiglia will be opened exclusively to the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival where attendees will enjoy a hand crafted cocktail to welcome you, Moët Champagne throughout the evening, three "Breakfast for Dinner" stations, and tray passed canapés.

3) Barbecue + Bourbon - ($65+, Sunday, Nov 10, 12-3pm, Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa) - What better way to kick-off the weeklong San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival than with a waterfront barbecue? Grill, chill and grab the entire family for this fun holiday weekend barbecue at the Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa! As boats sail beneath the Coronado Bridge, take in the unbelievable skyline views while San Diego’s hottest pitmasters fire up their grills and bourbon flows like water.

2) Taco TKO - ($55, Sunday, Nov 18, 12-3pm, Lane Field Park) - Get ready for the ultimate taco party! The Taco TKO is back for its eighth annual competition to see who serves up the best taco in San Diego. Featuring some of the city's top competitors facing off head-to-head for your vote, this event takes place downtown San Diego's bayfront Lane Field Park and also includes unique beer and tequila stations, as well as live music. We have attended this event for the past six years, and it's a steal at $55 a ticket.

1) San Diego Bay Wine + Food Fest Grand Tasting - ($145+, Saturday, Nov 17, 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, 60 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 16th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, including packages, hotel discounts and to purchase tickets, visit sandiegowineclassic.com.