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House of Pacific Relations,
Balboa Park


If you've ever craved Hungarian goulash followed by Norwegian abelskiver and Ukrainian pierogi, once a year you can have that meal -- and follow it with genuine French eclairs. On the Sunday before Memorial Day, at the House of Pacific Relations in Balboa Park, you can attend the Ethnic Food Fair. Each of the international cottages has a food booth, and about a dozen more are set up nearby, giving you the choice of about 20 different national cuisines, everything from a huge pan of paella to your basic all-American hot dog. Prices range from 50 cents to $5. The fair lasts all day, and of course there is entertainment from a wide variety of cultures, not to mention the smells of roasting sausages from Argentina, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Colombia, and even Scotland. (No haggis, though, and, oddly, no food booth for Mexico.) The Ethnic Food Fair is also a great opportunity to visit the cottages of the House of Pacific Relations. Every Sunday you can come and tour these mini-museums of nostalgia for the "old country" and chat with immigrants.

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