Springtime has arrived in San Diego, bringing with it a full slate of fun activities and adventures, including several taco-centric festivals, a unique opportunity to sample the city's best home-brewed beer, and a Harry Potter-themed burlesque show. Seriously -- this spring in San Diego's gonna be a wild one.
Sample the creations of the city's best amateur brewers at the SD Homebrew Fest. Attendees get unlimited small pours of 35+ home-brewed beers, and a chance to cast a vote for the People's Choice award.
If you've been itching to get out of town, Milagro's Spring Winemaker Dinner is just the ticket. The vino-soaked event includes tastings of several wines by celebrated Mexican winemaker Hugo D’Acosta (who will be in attendance), followed by a three-course dinner by Whisknladle Hospitality Corporate Chef Vince Schofield paired with wines made on the 110-acre property.
Tickets will be available here.
Chef Lisa Porfirio helps demystify one of the most impressive dishes around at this hands-on cooking class where participants whip up lemon, chocolate, and cheese soufflés (and then devour them in short order).
Whether you opt to attend the Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon show (with optional brunch buffet), the debut of Harry Potter Burlesque, starring 25 burlesque and boylesque performers, is sure to be memorable (hot pants not guaranteed).
Billed as "California's largest traveling tequila and taco music festival," the appropriately named Tequila & Taco Music Festival is an agave-fueled celebration highlighting two of the best things you can put in your mouth. For the biggest bang for your buck, snap up a ticket to the "Tequila Experience" on Saturday, which includes six 1/2oz pours and a souvenir tasting glass.
Spend an evening sipping local beer and noshing on sweet and savory bites from Bankers Hill restaurants while you peruse pop-up galleries at the Bankers Hill Art & Craft Beer Festival. The event will be held in The Abbey on Fifth Avenue, a former church that's also San Diego’s only remaining Classic Revival structure. Date night: done.
Padres baseball returns with a two-day block party in the East Village featuring food, music, games, and a beer garden set up along J Street. Ticket holders will score a free T-shirt at Friday's game, and there's a laser show scheduled for Saturday.
Puesto is turning 5, and to celebrate, the popular Mexican restaurant is doling out complimentary tacos and aguas frescas in the outdoor courtyard at The Headquarters from 10am to 1pm. Festivities include exactly what you’d expect at a kick-ass birthday party for a 5-year-old: balloon artists, jumpy houses, and face painters.
Executive Chef Brian Redzikowski and the Kettner Exchange team will host the first ever KEX Fest, a celebration of spirits and seafood in Little Italy. Tickets include more than 15 wine, beer, and spirits tastings, passed apps, a sashimi cutting demonstration, and live music -- buy them here.
One of San Diego's best new restaurants of 2016 invites guests to enjoy a three-course meal of modern Sicilian favorites by Chef Nino Zizzo (including a special cocktail) in support of the Seany Foundation, a local non-profit aimed at bringing relief and happiness to children struggling with cancer. You probably weren't planning on celebrating tax day, but here's your excuse!
San Diego Magazine's Best of North County Party returns for an epic evening of food, drinks, and live entertainment from restaurants, breweries, and businesses featured in the Best of North County issue. Early bird tickets are available until March 24.
Celebrate diversity and the beauty of nature at the 27th Annual Multi-Cultural Earth Day at the WorldBeat Center in Balboa Park with a full day of world music, international eats, arts and crafts vendors, nature activities, and more. Most importantly, though, admission is free!
If anyone can organize a top-notch beer event, it's the San Diego Brewers Guild. Held in the historic Vista Village (steps from the Sprinter Station), the Rhythm & Brews fest features more than 100 brews from 50+ award-winning breweries, as well as a non-stop soundtrack of live music.
A baker's dozen of San Diego's most talented bakers and pastry chefs will showcase sweet and savory baked goods at the Bake Me Some Love Chef-Driven Bake Sale. Proceeds will be donated to Monarch School, so it's the perfect excuse to treat yo' self. (Full disclosure: This event is organized by the author of this guide.)
Eat your weight in tacos at Tacotopia, a tasting extravaganza featuring tacos from 40 local restaurants, including Puesto, City Tacos, and Aqui es Texcoco. The event promises live music from some of TJ's best bands, as well as a bar stocked with beer and margaritas to keep you quenched. Tickets include unlimited tacos and two free drinks.
Pick up last week’s taco consumption at this week’s San Diego Taco Fest, where 30 of the area’s best taco-centric restaurants will be serving free-flowing beer and all manner of tacos. The event also features must-see performances by Vanilla Ice and Mix Master Mike, Lucha Libre wrestling matches, and a high-speed (we think?) Chihuahua race.
Get your fill of poké and other Island-inspired eats at the eighth annual I Love Poké fest, held on the grounds surrounding the Bali Hai restaurant on Shelter Island. Participating chefs from all over San Diego (and visiting chefs from Hawaii) will prepare their own unique take on the classic Hawaiian dish made with cubes of raw seafood marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil.
The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon returns to San Diego for a fun-filled weekend of sweat and spandex. If you're not quite marathon-ready, there's always the 5K in Balboa Park (bonus: There's a free beer waiting for you at the finish line).
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Erin Jackson is a San Diego-based food writer and photographer who loves sharing her latest delicious discoveries. If you enjoy food and cat photos, by all means, follow her on Instagram.