Fungus Fair 2017 - General Information

Come to Santa Cruz and explore “Wild Mushroom Foraging”! Learn interesting and fun facts about the hundreds of beautiful and fascinating species of mushrooms found in the Santa Cruz/Monterey Area. Fungi will be beautifully displayed in a re-created woodland habitat. This unique Santa Cruz tradition features three days of fantastic fun, informative speakers and demonstrations, with fungal activities for the whole family.

The Fungus Fair is held each year in January in Santa Cruz at the Louden Nelson Community Center.
This three day event features hundreds of species of local fungi presented in a unique fashion, and draws thousands of visitors each year. The Fair showcases speakers, cooking demonstrations, a special Kids' Room, and a taxonomy panel for identification of fungi. Many books and mushroom-related items are available for sale, as are wild mushroom delicacies.

Did you know that without fungus, we’d have no bread, cheese, beer, or wine? Or that anti-cholesterol medicine was developed from mushrooms? Come to the Santa Cruz Fungus Fair to learn all there is to know about the fascinating world of mushrooms.

This unique Santa Cruz tradition features fantastic fungus fun for the whole family. Bring the kids and stroll through a re-created woodland forest displaying hundreds of wild mushrooms; the Fungus Fair also features a special room full of hands-on activities for the kids, including fungus exploration tables, clay mushroom building, face painting, and more!



  Friday, January 13: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
        After-hours dinner event 5pm - 9pm 


   Saturday, January 14: 10:00am - 5:00pm

   Sunday, January 15: 10:00am - 5:00pm


 Louden Nelson Community Center
   Map & Directions


Friday admission - $5

Saturday / Sunday admission - $10

Students & Seniors (60+) - $5

Kids under 12 - free


FFSC mushroom experts will be available throughout the fair to identify the mushrooms you’ve found. Bring yours, ideally stored in a paper bag rather than plastic. Paper allows fungi to "breathe" and keeps them fresher!

Nationally and locally renowned speakers will present talks on a wide variety of topics, including cooking demonstrations with wine pairings, in the Main Lecture Room (Room 3) and the Mushrooms 101 Room (Room 1). See Program Schedule for details.

The habitat display area will present hundreds of mushroom species commonly found in the Santa Cruz/San Francisco/Monterey Bay area.

Visit the Kid's Room for mushroom activities such as clay sculpture, water colors, face painting, mushroom art and making mushroom dyed fabric. Peruse the fungus exploration area and look at spores through a microscope. Note to parents: the Kid's Room is only open on Saturday and Sunday.

Throughout the three day event, Fungus Fair attendees be able to learn more about local mushrooms, view remarkable mushroom arts and crafts, taste unusual and exceptionally good fungal fare, and be a part of the FFSC’s overriding mission – “We Keep the Fun in Fungi!”


Want to spread the word? Press release and images for media can be found at Fair Publicity.

If you have more questions about the fair, please contact Les Seltzer by email.  If you want to volunteer at the fair, visit the fair volunteers page.


Please visit the following restaurants which are offering mushroom dishes on their menu during the week of our fair.  Check back to see new restaurants added to this list:


Cafe Mare

740 Front Street Suite #100, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
Jean Pierre Luliano
<>, 831-4581212

Culinary Mushroom Week Menu Items

1) Organic Carnaroli Risotto with local Porcini mushrooms;  2) Pork Scaloppine with local Chanterelle mushrooms/white wine sauce


Ulterior Kitchen & Cocktail Lounge

110 Pearl Alley/1209 Pacific Ave; Tues-Sun 5pm-10pm-ish
Zachary Mazi

Culinary Mushroom Week Menu Items

1) Seared Duck Liver w/ Candy Cap Tapioca & Pickled Fig; 2) French Onion Soup w/Shiitake, Fennel & Leeks; 3) Chanterelles & Toast; 4) Earthy Fries (meatless "Dirty" fries w/ all fungus, aioli, pickled onion) 5) Nine Mushroom Risotto; 6) Crab & Porcini Gnocchi; 7) Hunters Squash w/ Chanterelles & Duck Confit; 8) Chicken Carbonara w/ Housemade Pasta & Black Trumpet Marinara



1001 Center Street, Santa Cruz, CA
Rachel Hughes
<>, 831-713-8983

Culinary Mushroom Week Menu Items

Savory Bacon Gruyere Churros topped with Sautéed Mushrooms and Cognac Sauce


99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

110 Walnut Ave Santa Cruz Open 11:30AM - 1:30 AM
Mia Bossie
<> ; <>, 831-459-9994

Culinary Mushroom Week Menu Items

Portobello Mushroom Sandwich - Grilled Portobellos on Toasted Sourdough Bread with melted Swiss Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion and Pickle