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Can You Bring Food Into the San Diego Zoo? | Easily Explained

Every theme park has its own rules of what you can or can't bring, and it can get a little overwhelming trying figure it out while also trying to plan your vacation.

In this page, we cover exactly what you can and can't bring into the San Diego Zoo.

Table of Contents

Can You Bring Food Into the San Diego Zoo?

Visitors are able to bring their own food in small containers into the San Diego Zoo, they are also able to bring water and non-alcoholic beverages into the park. However, you should be aware that there aren't any food storage facilities available.

Food Into the San Diego Zoo

This means that if you decide to pack food, it'd be wise to bring something that doesn't need to be stored in a fridge or microwaved in order to eat later in the day.

Additionally, there are certain items that aren't allowed into the park which we will cover below.

Acceptable Items

  • Single-Person Food in a Small Container
  • Plastic Water Bottles
  • Refillable Water Bottles

Prohibited Items

  • Coolers
  • Glass Containers
  • Party Trays
  • Birthday Cakes
  • Decorations
  • Straws
  • Open Containers or Drinks Containing Alcohol

san diego zoo entrance


Most visitors bring their own water bottles into the park due to being able to easily refill their water bottles throughout the day, by using the water fountains around the park.

Our favorite is the XACIOA 32 oz water bottle as it is:

xacioa water bottle


  • 100% leakproof
  • Doesn't have the chemical smell most water bottles come with,
  • And there are motivational messages on the side to track your progress and to remind you to stay hydrated

Additionally, it's cost-effective as you won't have to purchase a water bottle at the park.

Know About the Souvenir Cup

In the past, the San Diego Zoo offered refillable souvenir cups called the 'Souvenir Sipper'.

It is worth asking a park attendant if this is available on your day of your visit, before purchasing a drink.

How it Worked

You purchase the Souvenir Cup for a one time charge, and then you would be able to receive refills on drinks for the entire day.

You'd simply need to show your receipt that shows what day you purchased the souvenir cup to a staff member.

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