junejuly 2019

The Minnesota State Fair is synonymous with food. People flock to the fair each year for returning favorites and for a chance to try new items that have graced the streets of the state fair grounds.

As a foodie, I discovered the fair the way most people discover things: on the internet. A video went viral last fall of delicious food at the fair and the main food it was focused on was Martha’s Cookies. As soon as I saw the video I knew that 2017 was the year I would go to the fair! Staying to true to my decision, I went to the fair opening weekend and tried out many foods.

Know Before You Go:

  • Classic rookie mistake: Plan before you go to the fair. The fairgrounds are huge and you cannot possibly eat everything in 1 day – not even close. Pick the items that are really calling to you and get a map of the grounds so you can easily find everything.
  • Lines: there will be lines for a lot of vendors. I went really early in the morning (and it happened to be raining as well) and I never stood in line for more than 2 minutes. When the rain stopped and it got to be afternoon, lines started getting long.
  • Skip driving and paying to park and opt to Uber or Lyft: There is a drop off and pick up for both at the top end of the Fairgrounds and I paid around $9 each way from Roseville, MN.

 

Fair Food:

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The Minnesota State Fair has food like most standard fairs: elephant ears, hot dogs, caramel apples, corn dogs, cotton candy, funnel cake, etc. I opted to skip these items in favor of trying non-traditional foods. But don’t get me wrong, I do love these foods and have heard that they are excellent at this fair.

My favorite food at the fair was actually a surprise. I told myself I wanted to try it because it just sounded crazy and to my surprise, ended up being a fantastic food. Texas Steak Out offered up the Cheesy Nacho Corn on the Cob. It is actually an easy dish to make: cook the corn, roll it in mayo, and then put crushed Nacho Cheese Doritos and nacho cheese sauce on the corn. And wa-la.

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Cheesy Nacho Corn on the Cob

My second favorite food – and the reason that I came to the fair was Martha’s Cookies. I went ahead and just bought the bucket – which is about 4 dozen hot, gooey chocolate chip cookies. Naturally I could not eat that many cookies so I passed some out at the fair (making friends :)).

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Sweet Martha’s cookies

If you are going to walk around all day eating cookies and other decadent foods – you might as well get some milk to go with it.

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Milk Stand

I had discovered a day before I went to the fair (I should have known but poor planning on my end) that there was a Spam counter. I love Spam and I never eat it (unless I go to Hawaii). I made an exception and it sure paid off. The Spam curds are divine. You are probably reading that last sentence thinking Spam and divine don’t go together – but I assure you, in this case, they do. Do not skip this item.

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Spam Curds

I am obsessed with all things bacon and I knew I would not be able to try everything with bacon on it or in it – so I went with recommendations and just had bacon on a stick from Big Fat Bacon. They grill the bacon and then pour syrup on it (you can also order it without the syrup). Straight up, fat bacon on a stick. Who knew eating bacon on the go could be so tidy and delicious.

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Big Fat Bacon
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Big Fat Bacon

Fried Olives was not my favorite food at the fair but it was good. There are several ways you can order this treat but I opted for the non-spicy olives stuffed with cream cheese then battered and fried. I think there was about 6 olives on the stick stuffed.

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Fried Olives

My other bacon try was the Duck Bacon Wontons at Giggle’s Campfire Grill. The wonton is stuffed with duck bacon, sweet corn and cream cheese. This is a new food for the fair this year (2017) and was one of my top items to try. Golden brown perfection on the cooking and warm gooey insides.

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Duck Bacon Wontons

One beverage you should not miss at the state fair is lemonade. Definitely opt to get fresh squeezed if you can – you will love it.

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Lemonade

Another sweet treat worth checking out and a fair favorite is the mini donuts at Tom Thumb Donuts. I believe 16 minis came in a bag and they are cooked right in front of you. Sorry for the lack of photo – it was raining really good at this point in the day and they needed to be eaten quickly.

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Tom Thumb Donut

My mom accompanied me on this trip to the fair and we hit a point where we could not try anymore food. I still had a long list of foods I wanted to try but just couldn’t get to it.

Here is the list of all the new foods at the fair this year: New Foods 

Do you have any fair food favorites? I wish I had more time and days to try everything – but there is always next year!

Additional Information:

  • Address: 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul, MN 55108
  • Phone: (651) 288-4400
  • Purchase Tickets –> Here
  • Visitors Guide –> Here 

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Disclaimer: I was hosted by the Roseville Minnesota Tourism Board, but as always, opinions are entirely my own. 

 

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