Category Archives: Food

  • Friday, July 23, 2021 (9:10 am)

    Daring diners – this OC Fair is for you!

    The OC Fair concessionaires have been concocting tasty new treats to delight fairgoers who have been waiting for their favorite summer tradition to return – crazy Fair food!

    This year’s OC Fair will run July 16-Aug. 15, Wednesdays through Sundays, with limited attendance. The theme is “Time for Fun!”
    With so much to choose from, here’s a handy guide to this year’s new food at the OC Fair:
    Latin flavors
    • Taco de Lengua – Pepe’s Mariscos Fresh Mexican Seafood
    • Taco de Tripa – Pepe’s Mariscos Fresh Mexican Seafood
    • Fresas y Lechera Churro – Big Dogs
    • Watermelon Taco with Tajin – Cowboy Kettle Corn
    • Sugar-Rimmed Lemonade with flavors including chamoy – Squeezers 
    Hot and spicy
    • Waffle cone with buffalo chicken and mac & cheese – Chicken Charlie’s
    • Hot Cheeto -n- Cheese Burger – Biggys
    • Hot Cheeto -n- Cheese Pickles – Biggys
    • Spicy Deep-Fried Hot Dog Bites – Pink’s Hot Dogs
    Sweet stuff
    • Banana Cream Funnel Cake – Dutchmens Funnel Cake
    • Fried Ice Cream – Fried A Fair
    • Chocolate Chip Nutella Ice Cream Sandwich – Totally Baked Cookie Joint
    • Candy Apples: Mermaid, Unicorn or Baby Shark – Sweeties and Sweet Dreams
    • Cotton Candy Taco – Sweeties and Sweet Dreams
    • 50/50 Brownie Parfait with Bavarian cream – Mom’s Bakeshoppe
    Crazy combos
    • Chicken Lumpia (can top with ice cream) – Chicken Charlie’s
    • Fried Chicken Funnel Cake – Dutchmens Funnel Cake
    • Buffalo Brownies (can top with ice cream) – Chicken Charlie’s
    • Italian Nachos – Pignotti’s in Wine Courtyard
    – and so much more fun food on sticks, deep fried, wrapped in bacon and topped with whipped cream!
    OC Fair classics and favorites will return, bringing fairgoers giant turkey legs, deep-fried sweets, bacon-wrapped corn dogs, great BBQ, cotton candy and ice cream galore.
    Deal alert! $3 Taste of Fair Food on Thursdays is back. Guests can get a sampling of food and treats for only $3 each every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (extended hours!!) Fun-sized samples include funnel cake, tri-tip, lemonade, cinnamon rolls, tacos, gelato, cotton candy and more. See $3 Taste of Fair Menu (Thursdays only).
    The Wine Courtyard will be open during the Fair. Hosted by the Orange County Wine Society, the courtyard features award-winning wines that are available for purchase by the glass as is food and lighter fare.
    The OC Fair has added more shaded tables and seating areas for dining and has increased sanitization procedures to help keep everyone safe.
    Tickets to the Fair must be purchased in advance (no fees!) on Fairgoers should make sure to get tickets for special days and group adventures now, since limited daily capacity days could sell out.
  • Wednesday, July 21, 2021 (9:54 am)

    Is there vegetarian food at the OC Fair? You bet!

    We know the OC Fair is known for its crazy food, but fairgoers might not know there are plenty of healthier options to choose from. There are even amazing food choices for vegetarians!
    For a popular vegetarian option, go to Ten Pound Buns for a delicious avocado toast. Or try the original version with cheese or The King – based on Elvis’ favorite sandwich, it’s got peanut butter, bananas and honey.
    At the classic Hot Dog on a Stick, go for a vegetarian corn dog or even two types of cheese on a stick. Tip: The lemonade is also great.
    If you prefer food with even more pizzazz, mosey on down to the main carnival area for Hot Cheeto-n-Cheese Pickles at Biggys or a Watermelon Taco with Tajin at the Dole Soft Serve stand next to the Euroslide.
    The grills are fired up at the OC Fair and there are plenty of fresh veggies being cooked up throughout the fairgrounds.
    There are more fried veggie options, such as zucchini curls, at the Chicken Charlie’s locations where fried hummus, pickles and pineapple are also on the menu.
    There are no shortage of potato options at the OC Fair. New this year is The Tater Bar located in the Main Mall area where you can choose an array of toppings. The signature Tasti Chips also come with lots of terrific topping options including garlic parmesan or even plain with a side of ketchup.
    At Fresh Frys, there are classic choices or crazier ones, and you can always opt for the giant blooming onion, which is great for sharing. (Visitors can also look for the cinnamon sugar yammies while there.) For even more spuds, check out Australian Battered Potatoes for their popular potato slices with many choices of add-ons to make it your own. Baked potatoes are available too.
    If you prefer corn, and like it roasted, the OC Fair is the place to be! At Bob’s Corn, you can find elote as well as the standard cob or cut into a cup. The veggie kabobs here get great reviews and baked potatoes are available there too.
    Crazy Nachos offer a meatless version and veggie tacos are available at Noel’s (avocado tacos and quesadillas are here too) and Pepe’s Mariscos, where veggie burritos are also for sale.
    Going Italian will work for vegetarians as well with pizza being served at Gino’s Pizza and Pignotti’s Pasta, which also has, of course, pasta. At Pignotti’s Gourmet Snacks in the Wine Courtyard, there are vegetable and cheese plates available.
    At Eddie’s Asian Inspired Cuisine there is vegetable tempura, chow mein, veggie rice and more meatless choices.
    Terri’s Berries has plenty of fresh choices including fruit cups and bowls – some also include cucumber – smoothies, chocolate-dipped apples and strawberries and juices. There are even fancy fairy-dusted lemonades!
    And the apples! There are abundant choices if you like your apples dipped in chocolate, drizzled in caramel or candied with lots of choices at Terri’s Berries in addition to many locations throughout the fairgrounds.
    Grab your healthy buddies, get your tickets online in advance, and head to the OC Fair for a one-of-a-kind foodie experience.
    There is an abundance of sweet treats that will satisfy vegetarians and others looking for a snack. Dole Soft Serve, doughnuts, cotton candy, churros, shave ice, kettle corn, funnel cakes, cinnamon rolls and cookies are all plentiful.
    Please note: Although ingredients may be vegetarian or vegan, food may be prepared on surfaces where non-vegetarian items are cooked. Customers should inquire at food stands if they have dietary restrictions or concerns.
  • Friday, September 25, 2020 (9:10 am)

    Fair Food Drive-Thru event extended through October

    The drive-up food fun will continue through October, making the fall even sweeter for fans of delicious fair fare.

    The Fair Food Drive Thru will take place Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 25 at OC Fair & Event Center. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. There is no parking and no entrance fee. Guests drive up and order from the vendors and some take credit cards only.

    Sept. 25-27 was the last week for Cathy’s Cookies, Dippin’ Dots, Hot Dog on a Stick, Hawaiian Chicken Bowls and Tasti Chips.

    Remaining through October are Dole Soft Serve, Funnel Cake, Roasted Corn, Juicy’s, Fried A Fair and Who Fried the Cheese.

    On Oct. 2, these vendors will be added to the lineup: Australian Battered Potatoes, Chicken Charlie’s, Kettle Corn, Mom’s Bakeshoppe, Pink’s Hot Dogs and Old Time Ice Cream. And JP’s Old West Cinnamon Rolls joins the fun on Oct. 9.

    Menu items will vary and new choices will be added each week. View the weekly maps and menus here:






  • Friday, September 4, 2020 (8:57 am)

    More fun food options added to Fair Food Drive-Thru

    Starting Sept. 4, there is even more for OC Fair foodies to love about the new drive-thru event – two new stands have added to the lineup, Juicy’s  Corn and Fried a Fair.

    Roasted ears of fresh corn are $5 and bring a county fair classic to the popular event. Fried a Fair is serving up lots of  fan favorites including fried Oreos, fried cheesecake and fried cookie dough for $8 as well as cotton candy, caramel apples and candy apples, for $5-$10.

    Returning for the second weekend are Hawaiian Chicken Bowls featuring turkey legs, Dippin’ Dots, Juicy’s Funnel Cakes, Hot Dog on a Stick and Cathy’s Cookies.

    When: Fridays & Saturdays, noon-8 p.m.
    Sundays, noon-6 p.m., through Sept. 27

    Where: OC Fair & Event Center, Lot G (enter through Gate 1 off Fair Drive)

    How much: No admission charge; menu items vary in price. Go to to view map and menu. Credit card preferred. 

    More info: To go only; no walkups permitted and no parking will be available. 




  • Thursday, August 27, 2020 (11:48 am)

    OC Fair Food Drive-Thru brings a taste of summer starting on Aug. 28

    OC Fair fans won’t have to miss out on their food fix this year after all. Starting Aug. 28, the Fair Food Drive-Thru will offer summer treats from four food vendors bringing a taste of the OC Fair to go.

    Guests longing for their favorite delightful indulgences can head to the fairgrounds in Costa Mesa and choose from special menus from one or all of the following:

    Cathy’s Cookies
    Dippin’ Dots
    Hawaiian Chicken Bowl
    Hot Dog on a Stick
    Juicy’s Funnel Cakes

    Menu items include turkey legs, teriyaki chicken bowls, hot dog and cheese dog on a stick, and chocolate chip cookies. See a map and full menu at

    Guests will enter through Gate 1 off Fair Drive, and will be directed toward the order lane or passing lane. Guests will be required to stay in their vehicle and wear a mask while ordering from the vendor. Credit card payment is preferred. No walkups will be allowed and no parking will be available.

    Fair Food Drive-Thru, starting Aug. 28
    Fridays & Saturdays, noon-8 p.m.
    Sundays, noon-6 p.m.


  • Wednesday, July 22, 2020 (2:00 pm)

    Make Avocado Toast the Ten Pound Buns way!

    Ten Pound Buns wants to show you how to make their delicious Avocado Toast! Big thanks to our friend Schuyler. His food stand is typically located over by Centennial Farm during the annual OC Fair. 

    Bonus video: Find out how to make the original Ten Pound Bun! Go to and click on Food & Drink.

  • Monday, April 27, 2020 (9:52 am)

    OC Fair Board cancels 2020 Fair due to pandemic

    The OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors voted unanimously today to cancel the 2020 OC Fair, one of the most anticipated and enduring summer celebrations in Southern California for 130 years. The Board considered ongoing guidance and updated information from State and County health care and government officials about the status of the coronavirus pandemic and the improbability that mass gatherings like the OC Fair could safely and responsibly take place this summer.

    In addition to the regularly scheduled monthly meeting, the Board called a second April meeting specifically to review all options and discuss whether or not to move forward with the 2020 OC Fair. The action comes amid unprecedented community stay-at-home and social distancing orders and will protect guests, vendors and staff during the COVID-19 crisis.

    “The decision to cancel the 2020 OC Fair was not taken lightly by the Board. As Governor-appointed representatives the Board has a responsibility to provide a safe experience to the community-at-large, the hundreds of people who depend on county fairs for their livelihood, fairgoers and OC Fair staff,” said Board Chair Sandra Cervantes. “While many of our guests have expressed extreme disappointment over the idea of the 2020 Fair being canceled, we strongly believe it is the right thing to do in this current situation. However, we will keep the spirit of the OC Fair alive with virtual fair concepts such as contests, competitions, entertainment and concessions to bring the fair experience to guests through and social media.”

    The 23-day OC Fair welcomes more than 1.3 million fairgoers each year and has an estimated economic impact of $350 million annually. The Fair was canceled 1942-1947 during wartime, but otherwise has been a summer staple since 1890. Information on refunds for concert tickets and Super Passes that have already been purchased can be found at

    “We love the OC Fair as much as our guests do. And, while it’s disappointing that the Fair can’t take place this year, we fully support the Board’s decision,” said Michele Richards, OC Fair & Event Center CEO. “But please know OC Fair & Event Center will still be here to serve the community as we plan for the next OC Fair and the eventual return of our wonderful events.”

  • Friday, July 26, 2019 (6:06 pm)

    Here are the 2019 OC Fair Concessionaires Cup winners for best food and drinks

    The results are in for our Concessionaires Cup competition, which awards the best of this year’s OC Fair food.

    Here are the category winners:

    • Best-of-the-Best and Best New Flavor Winner: The Smokestack from Tater Twister’s
    • Best Fried Food Winner: Puffy Taco de Carnitas/Asada from Papi’s Puffy Taco
    • Best On-a-Stick/Bun Winner: Big Daddy Cheetos & Cheese Corn Dog from Biggy’s
    • Best Specialty Food Winner: Shrimp Cocktail from Pepe’s Mariscos
    • Owner’s Favorite Winner: Maui Chicken from Pineapple Express 
    • Best Dessert Winner: Cinnamon Roll with Cream Cheese Frosting, Bacon and Maple Syrup from D&D Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls
    • Best Beverage Winner: Dole Soft Serve Slush Float from RCS Nitro Treats
  • Friday, June 15, 2018 (8:43 am)

    OC Fair food is crazier, more inventive than ever

    It’s a once-a-year experience, something that can only happen at the Fair – a food frenzy beyond compare. The midway magicians in mini kitchens are cooking up inventions like donut-shaped spaghetti, caramel-drizzled fries and ice cream floats made for mermaids.

    All this and more will be served up when the OC Fair opens July 13 and runs through Aug. 12.

    A sampling of new food items for 2018

    Peanut butter, jelly and Siracha funnel cake – Dutchmen’s Funnel Cakes

    Deep-fried cheese curds, mac & cheese bites, shrimp & cheese jammers, and more – New stand! Who Fried the Cheese?

    Deep-fried filet mignon on a stick – Chicken Charlie’s

    Spaghetti donut formed with pasta and topped with pesto, alfredo, carbonara or marinara – Pignotti’s

    The OC Crunch Cinnamon Roll featuring caramel, cinnamon crunch cereal and frosting – D&D Country Fair Cinnamon Buns

    Lasagna nachos with pasta chips and pesto, veggies, cheese, marinara and meats – Pignotti’s

    Pine and Swine sourdough bread with butter, garlic, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, pineapple and ham – Ten Pound Buns

    Caramel Crack Fries featuring French fries tossed in butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar then drizzled with salted caramel sauce and topped with whipping cream and sprinkles – Biggy’s

    Chili chamoy candy apple coated with sweet and spicy chili and tamarind flavors – Brander’s Candyland

    Unicorn cotton candy donut with sparkling strawberry glitter glaze, rainbow candy, bubble gum cotton candy – Texas Donuts

    Boba flavors include passion fruit, Thai, oolong, mango, jasmine and lychee – New stand! Holy Cao’s Boba Tea

    Shrimp/chicken Ramen burritos, deep-fried pineapple on a stick – Chicken Charlie’s

    Unicorn, Orange Dream and Mermaid Floats featuring cotton candy and rainbow toppings – Candy Factory

    Big Skillet Cookie, an oversize chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup – Totally Baked Cookie Joint

    Toppings bar for cinnamon buns including cherry pie filling, Mini M & M’s, salted caramel and maple bacon frosting – JP’s Old West Cinnamon Rolls

    Poke and sushi bowls, orange chicken burritos – Eddie’s Asian-Inspired Cuisine

    Returning favorites

    BBQ chicken, grilled corn, tri-tip, burgers, hot dogs, tacos, turkey legs, Hawaiian chicken bowls, grilled vegetables, corn dogs, ice cream, shaved ice, smoothies, shakes, fruit bowls, waffles, crepes, flavored lemonade, spicy cheese curd burgers, beef tallow fries, buffalo chips and cheese curd chips and more.

    Vendors include: Tasti Burgers, Tasti Chips, Pink’s Hot Dogs, Biggy’s, Juicy’s, Noel’s Mexican, Corn Star, Apollo’s Greek, Carmelot, Pepe’s Mariscos, Crutchee’s Ice Cream, Enzo’s Pizza, Fresh Frys, Fried Affair, Hussong’s Cantina, Hot Dog on a Stick, Planet Popcorn, Mucho Crazy Nachos, Mustards Café, Old West Cinnamon Rolls, Texas Donuts, Vinny’s Pizza and more.

    Don’t forget: $3 Taste of Fair Food on Thursdays! 

    Get a sampling of food and treats for only $3 each every Thursday from noon to 4 p.m. Fun-sized samples include funnel cake, tri-tip, lemonade, cinnamon rolls, tacos, gelato, cotton candy and more.


    Posted in: FoodOC Fair

  • Wednesday, October 25, 2017 (11:34 am)

    OC Fair on Carnival Eats!

    Noah Cappe and OC Fair CEO Kathy Kramer

    If you know Carnival Eats, you know Noah Cappe doesn’t mess around when it comes to fair food. He travels around the country visiting various fairs and carnivals, trying out the most outrageous, the biggest and the tastiest foods he can get his hands on.

    And on the new episode of Carnival Eats – a TV show on the Cooking Channel – you’ll see food from your favorite fair: the OC Fair! 

    Noah was at the OC Fair with his crew during the 2017 season, and he tried all kinds of good stuff. The premiere episode, which airs Thursday, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m. on the Cooking Channel, will feature the Unicorn Leg and deep-fried pizza. Yuuuuum.

    Also, keep an eye out through all of Carnival Eats’ Season 5 for more OC Fair appearances.