What to Eat at the San Diego County Fair

Fried goodies, bacon concoctions and sweet treats are among the fare at the fair this summer

The San Diego County Fair starts next month in Del Mar and, as usual, it will come with lots of eclectic and fried foods – some classic favorites and some new creations.

Organizers say there will be more than 100 food vendors sprinkled across the fairgrounds cooking up more than 1,000 different items.

This includes some new pork-focused selections such as BBQ Pork Skins – deep-fried pig skins tossed in BBQ seasoning – and Pig Trough, three pounds of pig skins topped with pulled pork and cheese.

Other swine dining options: Sweet Pork Tacos and Burritos, Chocolate-Covered Pork Rinds (yes, they went there), a Deep-Fried Pork Sandwich and Cajun Pork Rinds.

Sticking with spicy snacks, the fair fare this year will also include Breaded Cajun Shrimp and Jalapeños, Cajun Shrimp Skewers and Cajun Hushpuppies (cornmeal deep-fried with Cajun flavoring).

Bacon lovers need not worry, as there are plenty of bacon-laden offerings too, such as the Wasabi Bacon Bombs – spicy pork with wasabi wrapped in dough and bacon and fried, of course. Also on the menu: Wasabi Bacon Fries with grilled onions and peppers, Chicken-Fried Bacon, bacon in chicken-fried steak batter and the 10 feet of Bacon-on-a-Stick, which really needs no explanation.

Now, on to the sweet stuff.

Sugary fair treats this year include the new Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Waffle Boat Sundae, Chocolate-Covered Gourmet Kettlecorn and the S’mores-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Dessert which combines a layer of chocolate chip cookie dough, a Hershey’s bar, toasted marshmallows, graham crackers, and another layer of cookie dough, baked and served à la mode and garnished in hot fudge.

Another treat that may blow your mind is something dubbed Deep-Fried Starbucks, which consists of Starbucks whole coffee beans and chocolate chips in sweet pastry dough, wrapped in bacon, deep fried, rolled in sugar and served with whipped cream.

There’s also the Caramel Coconut Samoa Donut, Corn-Flavored Ice-Cream-on-the-Cob or the Fireball Donut with a spicy, cinnamon kick.

Now, for the fried food lovers, fair organizers say the iconic Chicken Charlie stand will fire up its deep-fryer as usual, this time offering a couple of very unique snacks: a battered, Deep-Fried Slimfast Bar and a Deep-Fried Peanut Butter Pickle – a hollowed out pickle filled with peanut butter and then deep fried.

Meanwhile, sandwich fans may enjoy the Grilled Cheese Frito Crunch Sandwich or the Brussels Sprouts Sandwich, a combination of lightly-toasted sprouts with hoisin, honey and Sriracha sauce.

For those who like more traditional eats, fair organizers say classic snacks will also be available this year including cinnamon rolls, Australian-battered potatoes and Grilled French Onion soup.

The fairgrounds will also feature multiple beer gardens, plus a Happy Hour Tuesday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. that boasts some drink specials.

The theme for the 2015 San Diego County Fair is “A Fair to Remember: Celebrate the World’s Fairs and Balboa Park,” and commemorates the centennial anniversary of the 1915 Panama – California Exposition held in Balboa Park.

The fair will run for 25 days, from June 5 at 4 p.m. through July 5. It’s closed on Mondays and the first two Tuesdays.

The San Diego County Fair is the largest annual event in San Diego County and one of the top 10 Fairs in the United States, drawing more than 1.4 million visitors annually.

Admission is $15 for adults, $8 for children ages 6 to 12 and $8 for adults 62 and older. Entry is free for kids ages 5 and younger.

Now, this preview is just an appetizer. To see the mouthwatering offerings, scroll through this photo gallery.

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