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14 of the Best Holiday Foods at Knott’s Merry Farm

Rarely has there ever been a theme park with as intrinsic of a connection to food as Knott’s Berry Farm has. Originating from a roadside berry stand, the park still has an annual celebration for boysenberry season. Knott’s prides itself on continually updating the dishes around the park in accordance with its festivals, like it’s current variation Knott’s Merry Farm, where the park gets a vibrant, festive overlay.

Last week, we got to visit the freshly decorated park and celebrate the holiday season by trying several of the new dishes that will be served until Knott’s Merry Farm wraps up on January 5th. Check out the 14 foods below that made us joyfully grab a top hat and start singing Christmas carols.

Mac Lorraine

Location: Wagon Wheel Pizza

A classic white cheese mac gets mixed with bacon and wrapped in a fresh naan. It’s like if garlic bread got in the gym and beefed itself up.

Holiday Poutine

Location: La Papa Loca

A bed of crispy sweet potato fries is topped with turkey, turkey gravy, dried cranberries, and, as any self-respecting poutine should have, cheese curds.

Fried Green Beans

Location: Calico Fry Company

The best way to prepare vegetables, ironically, is frying them. After these green beans have been breaded and fried to a savory crisp, they’re served with parmesan cheese, herbs, and a side of mushroom soup dip.

Peppermint Milkshake / Eggnog Milkshake

Location: Coasters Diner and Cable Car Kitchen

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen milkshakes to this scale, as these are truly remarkable in size and taste. The first holiday milkshake features a peppermint-flavored ice cream, green frosting, a slice of roulade cake, a piece of peppermint bark, whipped cream, and as if that wasn’t enough, the cup is rimmed in crushed candy canes. The other one is an eggnog milkshake that’s covered in white frosting, a small gingerbread bundt cake, whipped cream, and comes in a cup rimmed with Christmas sprinkles.

Eggnog Cheesecake

Location: Grand Bakery and Ghost Town Bakery

Eggnog cheesecake would have been fantastic in the first place, but Knott’s takes an entire slice, dips it in a white chocolate ganache, and puts it on a stick for easy, mobile eating.

Christmas Bark

Location: Grand Bakery and Ghost Town Bakery

This season, there’s three new chocolate barks: a white chocolate peppermint bark with festive sprinkles and sugar balls, a milk chocolate toffee bark with chopped pecans, and a dark chocolate bark with pistachios and dried cranberries. My favorite candy, period, is peppermint bark, so I was excited to try the park’s bark offerings. I’ll put it this way: that bark didn’t make it out of the park.

Christmas Cookie Dough Bites

Location: Ghost Town Grub

If having an insatiable sweet tooth is an issue, here’s the answer. Made with a holiday sprinkle cookie dough, the sweet spheres are dipped in funnel cake batter, fried, and topped with powdered sugar.

Apple Crumble Dessert Pizza

Location: Beachy Keen’s Pizza

In a lineup of pizzas, the apple crumble dessert pizza would stand out of the crowd for its originality. Butter, cinnamon sugar, apple pie filling, and a brown sugar crumble are plentifully spread on a pie crust (which, luckily, rises and acts just like pizza crust). After being topped with a cream cheese icing, this dessert resembles a delicious deconstructed apple pie.

White Christmas Pizza

Location: Beachy Keen’s Pizza

Topped with a white sauce, ricotta and mozzarella cheese, garlic chives, and chunks of chicken, this is Knott’s version of a classic white pizza pie.

Gingerbread Churro

Location: The Churro Factory

The classic churro is flipped on its head and dressed up in it’s best holiday outfit for this holiday season. In this festive iteration, a gingerbread spiced pastry dough is fried, coated in cinnamon sugar, and filled with a gooey dulce de leche sauce.

Turkey Dinner Burger

Location: Coasters Diner

With a turkey patty, sage sausage-apple stuffing, and a cranberry mayo placed on a pretzel bun, this is like the sandwich you create the day after Thanksgiving, but way better.

Turkey Bites

Location: Santa’s Christmas Cabin

Turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce are hugged by a golden-brown breading and served with a side of gravy. Props to Knott’s, it’s one thing to come up with the idea to fry an entire turkey dinner, but it’s a whole different ball game to actually do it and make it taste good like they did.

Turkey Pasty

Location: Ghost Town Grill

Turkey breast, wild mushrooms, potatoes, cranberries, spinach, and cream sauce are all wrapped up in a delicate pastry crust. This one is for all the pot pie lovers out there.

Horchata / S’mores / Maple Pecan Funnel Cake

Location: Sutter’s Funnel Cake, Log Ride Funnel Cake and Cable Car Kitchen

Funnel cake options are aplenty at Knott’s Merry Farm, all of which are topped with their soft serve ice cream. There’s a horchata funnel cake topped with a cinnamon sugar dusting, whipped cream, and an entire churro doughnut. Other holiday variants include a s’mores one topped with a s’mores snack, marshmallow fluff, chocolate chunks, graham crumbs, and maple pecan with whipped cream, maple icing, and candied pecans.

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10 Foods You Should Be Eating At Knott’s Berry Farm This Holiday Season

There was a time when food was a theme park afterthought, but Knott’s Berry Farm was founded on its food, and continues to build its menu, especially during the holidays.

From the backend of November to January 7, the Southern California park transforms itself into Knott’s Merry Farm, breaking out an array of holiday specific foods, putting you in the holiday spirit as the temperatures begin to drop, and your tummy begins to grumble.

From Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Cheesecakes, to Christmas Pizzas, the wintertime food at Knott’s is nothing to scoff at, as Chef Bobby Obezo and the Knott’s food team make sure that serious thought is put into holiday items, for the sake of our enjoyment, really.

We got ourselves in the Christmas spirit and tried all their special holiday goodness. Check it out below:

1. Chocolate-Dipped Cheesecake On A Stick – Santa’s Cabin

We’ll start off with one of our favorites, the chocolate-dipped cheesecake on a stick. It’s exactly what it sounds like, as they put a slice of cheesecake on a stick, dip it into a chocolate fountain, top it with bits of crushed candy cane, and let the chocolate cool for an amazing combination of sweet flavors partying in your mouth.

2. Boysenberry and Nutella-Stuffed Crepe – Santa’s Cabin

Knott’s combined their famous Boysenberry with Nutella and stuffed it inside a warm crepe. What else do you need to know to convince you to run over and grab a bite? It’s topped with a drizzle of chocolate and raspberry sauce, and has a little powdered sugar on top, making this another go-to dessert.

3. Christmas Tamales – Santa’s Cabin

The holidays are when tamales shine in Mexican-American traditions, and while everyone has their own way of making them, Knott’s went with festive red and green tamales. The salsa roja tamale is filled with tender beef, while the salsa verde tamale is filled with chicken. They really did right by the masa, as it’s not too thick, nor chewy. It’s just right.

4. Holiday Churro – The Churro Factory

Knott’s is known for its hand-pressed churros, as you can literally watch them being made right front of you. For the holidays, they’re putting a twist – or rather, a curve – on their classic churros, shaping them like candy canes.

Filled with candy cane Bavarian cream, glazed with white chocolate ganache, and sprinkled with, well, sprinkles, this churros will definitely make you feel jolly.

5. Santa Hat Snoopy Cookie – Santa’s Cabin

The Snoopy sugar cookie is a favorite year-round, and with it being Christmas time, the little homie’s rocking a Santa hat.

6. Hot Chocolate – The Churro Factory

You can already feel the winter breeze, and nothing says “Christmas” quite like hot chocolate. Get one of these with a churro and you’re set.

7. Holiday Kettle Corn – Santa’s Cabin

This colorful kettle candy corn consists of three flavors that just feel and taste like the holidays. They’ve got cinnamon (red), caramel (gold), and peppermint (green). It’s something quick, portable and easy to snack on while you wait in line for Ghostrider.

8. Christmas Pizza – Hollywood Hits

This pizza will really stimulate your senses, as you’ve probably never had anything close to it. Instead of tomato sauce, the Christmas pizza has a bottom layer of cranberry and yam puree.

It’s then topped with turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, sliced Brussels sprouts, gravy and a bit of cranberry sauce. If you’re feeling adventurous, this pizza will not disappoint.

9. Holiday Smoked Turkey Sandwich – Boardwalk BBQ

Just because Thanksgiving is over doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good “leftovers”-style sandwich. This holiday sandwich has a healthy serving of smoked turkey, some amazing stuffing that they wouldn’t give me the secret recipe to, and some cranberry sauce to give you a sweet and savory flavor at the same time.

10. Knott’s Famous Beef Stew In A Sourdough Bread Bowl – Ghost Town Bakery and Ghost Town Grill

With it being a little cooler outside, we’re throwing in Knott’s Famous Beef Stew in a sourdough bread bowl, even though it’s available year-round. It’s hard to beat a slow-cooked beef stew, but add a bread bowl to the mix and you’ve got some serious magic happening in your mouth.

Photos by Evan Lancaster

Created in partnership with Knott’s Berry Farm

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7 Holiday Foods That Prove Northgate Market Is A Mexican Food Wonderland

There are many aspects of the holiday season that bring us joy. But let’s face it, we all know that food is by far the best part of this time of year. So, as family starts pouring into town, be sure to include these holiday foods during your next trip to Northgate Market.  

1. Champurrado and Ponche Navideno

These warm, liquid treats are the perfect way to ring in the holiday season. Ponche Navideno is a traditional holiday beverage known for its hints of cinnamon and citrus, and will definitely keep you warm during the cold winter months.  

2. Rosca De Reyes 

This traditional Spanish American pastry is a symbol of the seasonal celebration of the holiday season.  

3. Pozole

Northgate Market always has pozole ready to go – this hearty Mexican soup is a traditional favorite. With large chunks of shredded pork, cabbage, chile, onions and radishes, pozole is perfect for any occasion.  

4. Churros

Who doesn’t love churros? These sweet and sugary treats are exclusively made in-house at all Northgate Market locations.  

5. Buñuelos

This traditional wafer-thin pastry is usually topped with cinnamon and sugar and drenched in caramel to create a mouth-watering holiday treat no one will be able to resist.   

6. Tamales

Tamales are one of the most popular holiday foods. These steaming hot treats are irresistible no matter what time of year it is. Northgate specializes in supplying everything you’ll need to get your holiday tamale party started, whether it’s starting from scratch or just grabbing a variety.  

7. Concha Bread Basket

This decorative bread basket is just as cute as it is delicious. Stuffed with colorful pan dulce, this festive bread basket can be used as a festive holiday gift, or just a decorative centerpiece that will keep the family snacking for days.     

Feliz Navidad!

Photos by Peter Pham

Created in partnership with Northgate Market