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August 30, 2019

State Fair Classic Foods

The Minnesota State Fair has everything from carnival rides, to home improvement gadgets, to music, to farm animals, to international crafts. But for me, it’s all about the food. There are the classics like cheese curds, pronto pups, Martha’s cookies, all-you-can-drink milk, the french-fry booth, and more. And there are always the new fair foods and I always try as many as my stomach allows. Because I broadcast the “Podcast on a Stick” Podcast episode every day – I consider myself well versed in what you must eat at the Fair.

Here are some of my favorite classic Fair Foods foods that are must-haves:

The Gizmo:

West Side of Cooper Street between Murphy & Lee Avenues

What’s a gizmo you ask? The Gizmo harkens back to the 1920’s loose meat sandwich and it is oooey, gooey and delicious. The Gizmo is going strong after 73 years and is made of beef and pork in a hoagie bun, topped with red sauce, mozzarella cheese, and baked. I love the Gizmo and make it one of my first fair stops every season.

 

Turkey To Go:

1256 Clough Street Next to the All You Can Drink Milk Booth

Turkey To Go Concession has been serving up turkey since 1958 at the Minnesota State Fair and has since expanded to Target Field. The meat is so flavorful and tender. Add a pump of BBQ or horseradish sauce to make it saucy.

 

The Ballpark Café’s Onion Rings:

Ball Park Café, east side of Underwood Street between Dan Patch and Carnes Avenues

This fun little spot—a place to see and be seen—is becoming a mecca for craft beers lovers on the fairgrounds but don’t overlook the Onion Rings.

Light and Fluffy but Giant sized and served with a stone-ground mustard sauce, they pair perfectly with their various craft beers.

Lift Bridge Mini Donut Beer. This beer is reminiscent of a fresh State Fair mini donut. Sweet, rich and malty, each glass is served rimmed with cinnamon sugar to enhance the aroma as you lift this beauty to your lips.

 

Fried Green Tomatoes :

Southside of Dan Patch Ave. between Underwood and Cooper Streets

John Harrington and his family have been frying up green tomatoes for over 25 years with a delicious bread crumb coating and serving them alongside a ranch dipping sauce. Now in the third generation of serving fairgoers, they are sweet, tart and salty and umm… there is ranch dressing on them.

 

Fried Pickles:

Corner of Liggett Street and Dan Patch Avenue

The Perfect Pickle has been serving up fried pickle chips at the Minnesota State Fair since 1997. You can get original or Cajun flavored and both come with ranch for dipping (are you sensing a theme here?)

 

Giggles Campfire Grill Walleye Fries:

1521 Cooper Street

A boat of freshly fried walleye fingers in a crispy flavorful batter topped with lemon and tartar sauce. I always find this is one of my first fair foods.

 

Minneapple Pie:

Judson and Underwood Outside the Dairy Building

Beautiful flaky apple pie with ice cream and that delicious finishing syrup.