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The Best Food & Drink Events in August and September

Tiki Cocktail Competition at Level Four, The Best of San Diego Party, Green Flash's Treasure Chest Beer + Food Fest, and Farm to Fork


August 18: San Diego Magazine's Best of San Diego Party. | Photo: Eddie Garcia III/E3 Photography

Tiki Cocktail Competition

WHEN: August 14, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
WHERE: Level Four at Hotel Palomar, 1047 Fifth Ave., Downtown

Tiki used to be a thriving culture in America. Then it was hollowed out by bars who didn’t pay attention to ingredients (canned juices, crappy commodity rums). And now it’s back with the help of craft cocktail culture. Some of the best bartenders from around town will gather at the rooftop pool bar at Hotel Palomar for a good-natured competition—to your drinking benefit. Along with DJ Echo, guests will be able to taste all of the entries.

COST: Free


Best of San Diego Party

WHEN: August 18, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
WHERE: NTC Liberty Station, 2640 Historic Decatur Rd., Point Loma

I've said this before, but San Diego Magazine throws a hell of a party. I’ve been with a hundred thousand media organizations in this city, and none had the all-out party organization that SD Mag does. This is our Best Of party. The biggie. The one not to miss. And this is the 10th anniversary. It sells out every year, it will sell out this year. The restaurants include some of the best in the area (Herb & Wood, Mision 19, Whisknladle, The Patio, Bencotto, Officine Buona Forchetta, Mister A's, Solare, etc.), plus, wineries, breweries, cocktails, live entertainment, DJs, and other various wild entertainment. 

COST: $80-$120


Treasure Chest Beer + Food Fest

WHEN: August 27, Noon – 5 p.m.
WHERE: Green Flash Cellar 3, 12260 Crosthwaite Circle, Poway

Green Flash is one of San Diego’s most respected breweries, and their Cellar 3 outpost in Poway is focused on rare, barrel-aged beers. Once a year, they throw this shindig for breast cancer (all proceeds to Susan G. Komen San Diego). This year it’s—no surprise—a Hawaiian luau theme (wear your hapa shirts and island esoteria). They’ll have over 20 rare beers, cask- and barrel-aged with unlimited tastes, food pairings from restaurants (Carnitas Snack Shack, Bottega Americano, Urge, Green Flash Gastro, Alpine Beer Company Pub, Nomad Donuts, Brothers Provisions, The Crab Hut, Decoy Dockside, Ironside Fish & Oyster, and Tom Ham’s). The lineup is rounded out with live music, vendors, gaming area, homebrew contests.

COST: $25-$55


Farm to Fork Week

WHEN: September 9-17
WHERE: Multiple Restaurants

“Farm to table,” a term that started with great intent (using local food, grown with ethics), but ended up being co-opted by less-than-dedicated restaurants. Trish Watlington, owner of Red Door in Mission Hills, is one of the people who do it right. For Farm to Fork Week, she asked local farms for names of restaurants that truly buy local food on a regular basis, and pulled them together. This week works very similar to Restaurant Week, with the joints involved offering discounted meals to get you to kick their tires. If you’re truly interested in supporting local food and farm culture, give it a look and take part. Restaurants include Red Door, Garden Kitchen, Wrench & Rodent, 608 Oceanside, Biga, The Kettle Room, Hello Betty Fish House, Whisknladle, Cardamom Café, The Whet Noodle, Little Red Café, The Rose Wine Bar, Cupcakes Squared, Terra American Bistro, and Starlite.

COST: Varies

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Restaurant reviews, food trends, top cocktails, wine, beer and generally the best eats and drinks in San Diego, by Food Editor and general good guy Troy Johnson.

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