Holiday Food Truck Festival

December 26–30, 2019
Noon –7:00PM

Celebrate the holidays with visiting family and friends under Balboa Park’s dazzling holiday light display. For five days and evenings between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the annual Holiday Food Truck Festival serves up gourmet food from over a dozen of San Diego’s top food trucks, along with free live entertainment and fun activities for families. There will also be a rotating selection of games/activities on the Plaza, including giant checkers, hula hoops, bowling, cornhole, and giant tumbling blocks.

Food trucks open for business at 12 noon each day, with the first set of live performances beginning shortly thereafter (see schedule below). From 4:00pm to 7:00pm, a different musical group performs in the Plaza de Panama. This year’s featured evening bands are Carmen Murray Jazz Trio (12/26), Finnegan Blue (12/27), Theo and the Zydeco Patrol (12/28), Sue Palmer (12/29), and the Bayou Brothers (12/30).

The Holiday Food Truck Festival is also a great time to visit Balboa Park’s many cultural attractions. The adjacent San Diego Museum of Art is keeping its doors open until 7:00pm on December 26 and 28–30, and until 8:00pm on December 27 with special $5 admission, 5:00pm–8:00pm (Friday only). The Fleet Science Center and its Craveology café hours are 10:00am to 6:00pm during the festival (until 9:00pm on December 28–29).

 

Transportation and Parking

Visitors arriving by car should park in the Inspiration Point parking lot at the corner of Park Blvd. and President’s Way and ride the free tram, which runs 9:00am to 6:00pm, into the park.

Families are also encouraged to take public transit to Balboa Park. Rapid 215 provides a direct connection between downtown San Diego and the park. Purchase unlimited rides all day on buses and trolleys for only $6 on the Compass Cloud app at any time prior to boarding.

 

Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten-Free Options

Many of our food truck vendors offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Some veggie and gluten-free items are listed on the respective truck’s menu, and some regular items can be altered on request. Check this special Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten-Free Options Menu to learn more.

Please see our event photo and video disclaimer.

Entertainment Schedule

(Weather permitting; all activities and performances are subject to change)

December 26
12:00pm–3:00pm: Flavor Company Dance Entertainment presents a dynamic and colorful dance medley featuring a variety of dance genres and themes.

4:00pm–7:00pm: Carmen Murray Jazz Trio — Jazz drummer prodigy Carmen Murray brings her talented young lions trio to perform jazz favorites and standards.

December 27
12:00pm–12:20pm, 12:40pm–1:00pm: Mariachi Victoria de San Diego — The talented all-ages ensemble performs mariachi favorites. Part of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.

4:00pm–7:00pm: Finnegan Blue — The San Diego-based high-energy folk band blends Celtic, bluegrass, and second line music with a punk rock edge.

December 28
12:00pm–3:00pm: Flavor Company Dance Entertainment presents a dynamic and colorful dance medley featuring a variety of dance genres and themes.

2:00pm, 4:00pm: Circus Performers — Aerialists from Lindley Lopez Productions perform high above on trapeze. Jugglers, unicyclists, stilt walkers, and a contortionist from the Sofia Isadora Academy of Circus Arts provide additional thrills in the Plaza.

4:00pm–7:00pm: Theo and the Zydeco Patrol — Theo Bellow presents a tasty musical gumbo of up-tempo deep southern tunes.

December 29
12:00pm–12:50pm: Creative Dancers 78 — An energetic group of youth dancers perform hip hop, Latin rhythm, and contemporary dance styles.

1:00pm–1:20pm, 1:40pm-2:00pm: Naruwan Taiko performs their high-energy exuberant style of Japanese drumming.

4:00pm–7:00pm: Sue Palmer — The Queen of Boogie Woogie infuses the Plaza with all the style, energy, and glamour she’s known for. A special dance floor will give swing dancers an opportunity to strut their stuff.

December 30
12:30pm–3:00pm: Chinese New Year Celebration with pipa lute players, guzheng zither players, and lion dancers.

4:00pm–7:00pm: Bayou Brothers — A special dance floor will be rolled out for the Bayou Brothers’s special blend of foot-stomping Cajun, zydeco, and blues.

 

Food Truck Schedule

December 26
American Flavors
Aunty Lynne’s
Beachin’ Boba
Born in Brooklyn
Bosnian Grill
Chameleon Cuisine
Cousins Maine Lobster
Devilicious
Haad Sai
LouZiana Food
Mangia Mangia
Marcel Belgium Waffles
Sushi Uno
Tacos y Mariscos El Jefe
Thai Burger Co.
Yo Yo Bento
December 27
Born in Brooklyn
Bosnian Grill
Chameleon Cuisine
Cousins Maine Lobster
Dang Brother Pizza
Devilicious
Eat Your Heart Out
Gelati & Peccati
Haad Sai
Mangia Mangia
Marcel Belgium Waffles
Mastiff Sausage
Monster Crafts
Super Q
Tacos la Mezcla
Tacos y Mariscos El Jefe
Two for the Road
December 28
American Flavors
Aunty Lynne’s
Beachin’ Boba
Dang Brother Pizza
Eat Your Heart Out
Gelati & Peccati
LouZiana Food
Marcel Belgium Waffles
Mastiff Sausage
Monster Crafts
Pierogi Truck
Pomodoro Rosso
Super Q
Sushi Uno
Tacos la Mezcla
The Go Go Truck
Yo Yo Bento
December 29
Aunty Lynne’s
Beachin’ Boba
Born in Brooklyn
Cousins Maine Lobster
Dang Brother Pizza
Frida’s Cocina
Gelati & Peccati
Haad Sai
Mastiff Sausage
Monster Crafts
Pierogi Truck
Pomodoro Rosso
Super Q
Sushi Uno
Tacos La Mezcla
Two for the Road
Yo Yo Bento
December 30
Beachin’ Boba
Born in Brooklyn
Chameleon Cuisine
Cousins Maine Lobster
Dang Brother Pizza
Devilicious
Eat Your Heart Out
Frida’s Cocina
Haad Sai
LouZiana Food
Marcel Belgium Waffles
Pierogi Truck
Pomodoro Rosso
Thai Burger Co.
The Go Go Truck
Two for the Road
Yo Yo Bento
 

 

Prize Drawings

Visitors can enter a special prize drawing at the Balboa Park Visitors Center all five days, from 9:30am to 5:00pm, December 26–30, for a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of general admission tickets to the following Balboa Park attractions:

  • Museum of Photographic Arts
  • San Diego History Center
  • San Diego Junior Theatre
  • San Diego Natural History Museum (theNat)
  • San Diego Model Railroad Museum
  • The San Diego Museum of Art

 

Activities on the Plaza de Panama

On select days and times as noted.

San Diego Model Railroad Museum (Dec. 26, 12:00pm–2:00pm): Family-friendly activities.

Museum of Photographic Arts (Dec. 27, 4:00pm–7:00pm): A special nighttime photo op.

San Diego History Center (Dec. 27, 11:00am–4:00pm, in front of museum; Dec. 28, 11:00am–4:00pm, on Plaza de Panama): The museum’s Curiosity Cart will be rolled out to offer a family-friendly activity in conjunction with the History Center’s “Let There Be Light” program.

San Diego Junior Theatre (Dec. 28, 12:00pm–4:00pm): Kid-friendly activities and information on upcoming productions and programs.

San Diego Justice Center (Dec. 27, 12:00pm–5:00pm): Family-friendly activities offered by the local governmental agency dedicated to transitioning victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking into survivors (part of the City of San Diego Attorney’s Office).

San Diego Police Child Fingerprinting Service (Dec. 29, 12:00pm–4:00pm): The SDPD’s Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol (RSVP) unit provides a free child fingerprinting service to assist law enforcement personnel in locating a child in the event the child is reported lost or missing. 

House of China (Dec. 30, 12:00pm–4:00pm): A hands-on craft to learn the art of Chinese calligraphy and create your own Chinese characters.

 

Special Activities at Park Cultural Attractions

On select days and times as noted

Fleet Science Center (Dec. 26–27, 30, open until 6pm; Dec. 28–29, open until 9pm): Experience Winter Paradise, San Diego-style, with ice skating and rink-side cocktails. Beer and wine available at the Craveology Café.

San Diego History Center (Dec. 26–30, 11:00am–5:00pm): Enjoy kid-friendly activities and free seating in the museum atrium for eating your food truck dishes.

San Diego Natural History Museum (Dec. 26–30, 11:30am–5:00pm): The museum’s rooftop café is open for alfresco dining for anyone purchasing general museum admission.

Spanish Village Art Center (Dec. 26–30, 12:00pm–6:00pm): Participating studios open until 6pm. Take photos of the colorful courtyard featuring special stand-up displays.

The San Diego Museum of Art (Dec. 26, 28–30, open until 7:00pm; Dec. 27, open until 8:00pm): Special $5 admission from 5:00pm to 8:00pm on Friday, Dec. 27.

 

The Holiday Food Truck Festival is a program of the Balboa Park Conservancy in partnership with the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department. It is supported by a grant from the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.