Food for Thought: A guide to ‘Taste of’ food events in San Diego County

From Little Italy and the Gaslamp Quarter to North Park and East Village, “Taste of” gatherings are alive and well in San Diego.

A group of people gather with drinks and food in hand, smiling and toasting to Taste of Third in Chula Vista.

Taste of Third will take over downtown Chula Vista this March.

From brunch and food halls, to pizza and new eateries, we know San Diego’s food scene sizzles. In fact, there are so many pockets of culinary gems around town, many local communities host annual “Taste of” events — self-guided food tours spotlighting a neighborhood’s buzziest restaurants. Let’s take a scrumptious stroll, shall we?

Taste of South Bay | February | $35-$55

This brand-new food event goes down at Novo Brazil Brewing in Imperial Beach on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2-5 p.m., with the best bites and sips from South Bay.

Taste of Third | March | $45

Sip and sample your way through 25+ hotspots in downtown Chula Vista — guided by a “passport” that highlights participating businesses and their offerings. This year’s event is on Thursday, March 21, 4-8 p.m.

Taste of Hillcrest | April | $35-$40

Early bird tickets are now available for this year’s event, happening Saturday, April 13, 12-4 p.m. More than 25 restaurants will partake in the 2024 tour, from cozy cafes to high-end spots.

Two small beer sample mugs with the Taste of Hillcrest logo

A little cheers to big flavors.

Taste of Cardiff | May | $50-$55

Cardiff 101 Main Street hosts this fun foodie event featuring the best bites and drinks from 20+ eateries along San Elijo Avenue in downtown Cardiff and Restaurant Row along South Coast Highway 101. This year’s shindig is set for Thursday, May 2, 5:20-8:30 p.m.

Taste of Little Italy | June

This food event spans two days — Tuesday, June 18 + Wednesday, June 19, 4-8 p.m. — and will showcase food and drinks spanning the neighborhood’s 48 blocks. When you check in at Piazza della Famiglia, you’ll receive a “Taste Passport” to track your palate’s progress.

A group of people try food from various businesses in Cardiff during Taste of Cardiff; Fish 101 is in the background.

Taste of Cardiff typically takes over the community in early May.

Taste of Adams Avenue | June

This gastronomic trek along uptown SD’s beloved thoroughfare is scheduled for Sunday, June 30, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The lineup includes 40 restaurants, coffeehouses, bakeries, pubs, breweries, and wine bars; tickets usually go on sale in early June.

Taste of San Diego East | June

The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce typically hosts this event every summer at the Town and Country Hotel in Mission Valley to shine the spotlight on La Mesa’s food scene.

A person feeds another person a slice of pizza while standing near the Little Italy neighborhood sign in San Diego.

Taste of Little Italy is so big, it’s a two-day affair.

Taste of East Village | August | $40

This year, more than 35 restaurants will offer their best samples for the two-day event set for Wednesday, Aug. 28 + Thursday, Aug. 29, 4-8 p.m. There’s a tasting and mapping “passport” involved at this one, too.

Taste of Encinitas | August

Encinitas 101 MainStreet Association hosts this annual event — happening Tuesday, Aug. 27 — with bites from eateries that make the coastal town a real catch.

Sabor del Barrio | August

The inaugural event was held in late August 2023 highlighting 30+ establishments in the Barrio Logan Culture District — from breweries and coffee shops, to food trucks and street vendors. We hope for a repeat this year.

SD inaugural Taste of East Village 2023

Taste of East Village is one of the newest foodie tours on the block.

Photo via Oveth Martinez

Taste of Gaslamp | September

More than 20 restaurants and bars spanning 16 blocks in the heart of downtown San Diego shine at this annual event; we hear it’ll return Saturday, Sept. 7, 1-4 p.m.

Taste of Old Town | September

Snacks with a side of history. Stroll through the “Birthplace of California” while enjoying the landmark’s restaurants. Pro tip: Splurge for a VIP ticket and you’ll also get to sip on margaritas and mezcal — the ultimate flavors of this neighborhood.

Taste of North Park | October

Nosh your way through this food-centric neighborhood that some of SD’s buzziest restaurants call home. This event typically includes 40+ participating eateries, plus breweries and cideries.

Taste of North Park

Taste of North Park is on Sat., Oct. 8.

Photo via North Park Main Street

Taste of Point Loma | October

The San Diego Yacht Club spearheads this event featuring dozens of local food and drink vendors like Bali Hai, Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern, and Point Loma Fish Shop.

Taste of Coronado | October

Head to the island to indulge in samples from eateries that line the heart of the community, many of which are found along Orange Avenue near Hotel del Coronado.

Taste of Carlsbad Village | October

The heart of the Village will be poppin’ for this one — it’s set to return for its 7th year on Thursday, Oct. 10.

Taste of Oceanside | October

MainStreet Oceanside hosts this annual event in the heart of the community. Pro tip: Be on the lookout for a VIP party the night before the big event — in the past, this gathering has been held at the Oceanside Museum of Art, featuring a guest chef.

Taste of Ocean Beach | November

Ocean Beach MainStreet Association hosts this stroll through the laid-back beach community’s restaurants, bars, and breweries. Attendees receive a “tasting card” that serves as their guide to the participating businesses.

📩 Did we miss a great “Taste of” event in your community? Send us an email with details — we could go for another round.

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