The Best Food and Drink Events in July and August


17th Annual Pacific Islander Festival

When: July 18, 5:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Where: Bali Hai Restaurant, 2230 Shelter Island Drive

Maybe you can’t make it to Hawaii this year, whether due to school loans or lending an unceasing amount of your time to your job. Well, that doesn’t stop you from eating like you’re there. And there’s no ground more hallowed in San Diego’s Polynesian tradition than the bay-view house of tiki, Bali Hai. The 17th Annual Pacific Islander Festival brings together some of the area’s tried and true restaurants that specialize in the cuisine, including Full Belly BBQ, Guahan Grill, Hokulia Shave Ice, JT’s Island Grindz, Kalei’s Kitchenette, L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Sushi on a Roll, and Sons and Daughters of Guam. Polynesian dance group Hiva Katoa will perform, and Keahi & Kauka will provide the live music. 

Cost: $35 


SD Mag’s Beer Release Parties

When: July 19 & 20

Where: Coronado Brewing and Fall Brewing Company

Readers of my columns know I don’t usually do this. I try not to point to our own parties, because our marketing department does a pretty great job and to hit them again in my blog feels a little gross and echoey. So when I DO do it, that means I think it’s a pretty cool thing. This month, San Diego Magazine has partnered with three of the city’s top brewers to release collaboration beers. That means three launch parties over the span of a couple weeks. The first one already happened. But the next two are at Coronado Brewing (7/19) for the release of "Best of San Diego IPA" and Fall Brewing in North Park (7/20) for the "Best of San Diego Sour." Yeah, we had to get nouveau and weird and do a sour. Forgive us. But come drink with us. 

Cost: Free


SD Mag’s Best Of Party

When: August 16, 2019

Where: Ingram Plaza Liberty Station, 2751 Dewey Road

Well aren’t I just the company man. I promise they’re not paying me to do this (well, they are paying me, but not specifically for this—the mag gives me carte blanche in far too many aspects of life). But this party is the biggest one of the year—a pulsating spectacle-beast of an event, held under the stars we pay so much for in San Diego. The reason I’m talking about it more than a month early is that it almost always sells out. So get your tickets now. Trust me. Over 100 vendors, from restaurants to bars to winemakers to craft food and drink makers, live bands, interactive art, lounges, aerialist acrobats, fire performers, pop-up shops, a dance floor. Even before I joined San Diego Magazine, I knew of this party. And it’s only gotten more elaborate and better since. 

Cost: $75–$105

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