How to Eat Healthy at Fall Food Festivals

We may not have seasons in San Diego, but we still make the most of seasonal cuisine. Autumn is upon us and that means that the fall food festivals in San Diego are about to heat up. From San Diego Restaurant Week to Annual Taste of Downtown, fall is a great time of year in San Diego to enjoy the best of what the local cuisine has to offer.

It can seem impossible to eat healthy with all of the mouth-watering choices these food festivals bring. However, local produce, quality products, and a variety of menu items create ample opportunity to make healthy choices.

Put down the cotton candy. Here are eight ways to stay healthy at San Diego’s fall food festivals.

  1. Avoid fried food.

There is no denying how delicious anything fried is. However, frying adds calories and fat to the food right off the bat. Stick to food that is baked, grilled, or roasted as healthier alternatives.

  1. Moderate portions are key.

The calories add up fast when making your way through a food festival tasting many different dishes. Portion control is key to minimizing the damage. This will be easy to do at the Annual Taste of Downtown, where restaurants serve sample size bites of deliciousness!

  1. Don’t overeat.

It’s easy to overindulge when presented with so many mouth-watering options. Pay attention to your body, not the tastebuds exploding with flavor in your mouth. Stop eating when you are full. Eating too much of many different foods is the perfect formula for heartburn and indigestion.

  1. Keep moving!

San Diego’s food festivals are usually accompanied by grooving bands and a lot of walking. Take this opportunity to burn off those extra food festival calories by dancing to the beat and making the rounds. This will be easy to do at the Adams Avenue Street Fair, which features over 90 musical acts on seven stages.

  1. Try local produce.

Food festivals are a great way to try foods you wouldn’t normally eat. Seek out local produce as a healthy alternative, and experience it cooked in a new way. Here is one of our favorite healthy recipes from San Diego Restaurant Week: Slow Roasted Baby Beets

  1. Stay hydrated.

Drink plenty of water while at the food festival. Because you are in San Diego, chances are it will be a perfectly sunny 75-degree day. Not only is staying hydrated important to your health, it will also slow down your eating by making you feel full. If you choose to partake in the beer and wine that usually comes along with food festivals, drink even more water to stay hydrated.

  1. Maximize the healthy bites and minimize the unhealthy.

Keep the unhealthy bites small and let the healthy options fill you up. Stick to small tastes of sweets, fats, and starches. Take big bites of salads, veggies, and lean meats (As long as they aren’t fried!).

  1. Have fun!

The healthiest choice of all is to have fun! Reduce stress, relax, and experience new food. Even if it’s just for a few hours, small events to improve your mental well-being, like attending a food festival, will have a lasting effect on your overall health.


Although the fall leaves don’t turn, the fabulous San Diego restaurant menus do. We hope you enjoy our top picks for healthy eating while making the rounds during San Diego’s fall food festival season.

“Although the fall leaves don’t turn, the fabulous San Diego restaurant menus do!”

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