Comfort Food Lovers Alert: Visalia to host Mac & Cheese Contest

Diners to vote for their favorite dish to help crown the winner


Visalia, Calif. (July 12, 2021) – Visit Visalia is excited to announce that restaurants in downtown Visalia will be vying for the coveted title of “Best Mac & Cheese in Downtown Visalia” in a contest that runs from July 12 to July 31, 2021. Diners who order the dishes from participating restaurants will vote for their favorite recipe in this comfort food smack-down, the first of its kind for the city. In all, 10 restaurants will go head-to-head in this friendly competition. 

Restaurants scheduled to participate include Bistro di Bufala, Corby’s Rock N Roll Heroes, Fugazzi’s, The Great Room at the Visalia Marriott Hotel, and Tommy’s. Local breweries are also getting in on the fun with Brewbaker’s Brewing Co., Downtown Rookies, the newly opened Lake Bottom Brewery, Pita Kabob, and Sequoia Brewing Co. rounding out the contestants.

The competition is hosted by the Downtown Visalians, an organization that works to maintain a healthy and vibrant district along Main Street known for locally owned restaurants, boutique shops and entertainment venues. “After the challenging year that our restaurants have had, it is time for them to have a little light-hearted fun,” said Steve Nelsen, executive director of Downtown Visalians.

Area restaurants worked hard throughout the pandemic, shifting their business plan to provide takeout and outdoor seating when restrictions prevented indoor dining. Now that the state has returned to normal operations, businesses have been able to ramp up services and go back to providing their normal level of service. 

“We are seeing an influx of visitors back to our city as summer travel picks up. Exploring our local dining scene is a great way for visitors to get to know the city and we are thrilled that they have such an engaging and fun way to so,” said Nellie Freeborn, executive director of Visit Visalia.

Visalia’s local food scene, from thriving food truck culture to fine dining, offers foodie lovers even more to explore. Visalia is known for having the famous Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in its backyard, but natural charm, welcoming locals and abundance of experiences are why this Central California city is much more than a gateway to the great outdoors.

Visitors interested in delving deeper into the Visalia food scene will find inspiration in several itineraries such as: 

  1. The Best of Visalia Food Tour
  2. Food Trucks and Roadside Eats
  3. Guide to Farm Fresh Fare

Along with visitor maps and guides, Visit Visalia offers travelers help with national parks information, itineraries, hotel options, and of course, restaurant suggestions. 

Diners can go to the Downtown Visalians website for more information on participating in the Mac & Cheese contest. For travel information or to book your stay, go to  



Dedicated to supporting and enhancing the heart of Visalia, Downtown Visalians is an organization whose biggest strength is in serving as a unifying voice for downtown. Empowering property and business owners through their coordinated programs help promote a stronger identity and greater competitiveness for the business district. For more information about Downtown Visalia, visit and follow along on Instagram and Facebook.


Visit Visalia is a collaboration of the Visalia Tourism and Marketing District and the Visalia Convention and Visitors Bureau (VCVB) dedicated to marketing, advertising, public relations and other promotional efforts that inspire travel to the City of Visalia. Visit Visalia works closely with local lodging properties, restaurants and attractions to foster interest in Visalia as a year-round destination for leisure, family, and meeting and convention travelers. For more information about Visit Visalia go to and follow Visit Visalia on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Media Contact:

Suzanne Bianco, Tourism Marketing Director
(559) 334-0141

©2024 Visalia Convention & Visitors Bureau
P.O. Box 2734 Visalia, CA 93279
112 E Main St, Visalia, CA 93291
(800) 524-0303 : (559) 334-0141
Visitor Center Hours
Monday - Friday 8am-5pm