The Minnesota State Fair, the biggest state fairs in the United States by daily attendance, is filled with amazing food options, but with limited tummy space, choosing items to eat can be pretty daunting. It’s even more intimidating for people who wear alternative fashion – most of which are expensive and hard to clean. To help, I’ve compiled a list of food options to help make the most of the fair without risking the destruction of our treasures.
- Farmer Union Coffee Shop – Blueberry Key Lime Pie
- Bridgeman’s Ice Cream – Peaches n’ Cream Nachos
- Rainbow Ice Cream – Halo Cone
- Sweet Martha’s Cookies – Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sweet Martha’s Cookies is a fair staple that needs no explanation. They’re delicious and only available in this event, making them an absolute must-have. Rainbow Ice Cream also released a new item to bless your Instagram feed with pastel sweetness. Unlike the Cloud Roll, this one is not quite as messy and much more aesthetically inspired.
I recently attended Star Tribune’s State Fair Preview Party, where we tried out some of this year’s new offerings. Of the available samples, my favorite was Farmer Union Coffee Shop’s Blueberry Key Lime Pie. The rich violet-hued filling was sweet with a hint of tanginess, balanced out by the graham cracker crust – perfect for both snapping and eating. The Peaches n’ Cream Nachos from Bridgeman’s Ice Cream is also a good dessert snack for both beating the heat and getting some substance from sweets.
- Corn Roast – Roast Corn-on-a-Cob
- Big Fat Bacon – Bacon on-a-Stick
- Danielson’s and Daughters – Onion Rings
- Giggles’ Campfire Grill – Duck Drummies
- Sara’s Tipsy Pies – Brown Ale, Onion, and Gouda Pie
- Swine and Spuds – Pork Belly on-a-Stick with Twister Fries
- Funnel Cakes – Cheesy Sriracha Funnel Cake Bites
Half the reason I wanted to attend the fair is for the legendary Corn Roast. Simply put, it’s the best corn I’ve ever tasted – and even with its current fame, severely underrated. While most people avoid charred corn, I recommend getting this because it brings out more of its flavor. Just be careful with keeping its juices out of your clothing. Big Fat Bacon is another fair classic I can’t recommend enough. It’s too delicious to just get one, and this year they even added more toppings for your bacon! They also have a little cardboard holder to keep the fat and sauce from dripping all over.
Danielson’s and Daughters onion rings are also worth trying despite the long line. Their batter is lighter than most rings I’ve tried, which makes for a nice crunch without soaking your mouth in oils. The duck drummies from Giggles’ Campfire Grill is also worth lining up for. This new offer is a better alternative to eating turkey legs, especially for alt fashion enthusiasts. It’s far less messy and way more tasty – plus their sauce is just the right amount of sweetness to match the duck’s mild gaminess.
Any option from Sara’s Tipsy Pies is good, but my favorite is their brown ale, onion, and gouda hand pie. While this is served with a fork, I find that eating it by hand is the less messy option. Swine and Spud’s pork belly on-a-stick, with a wad of sauce soaked twister fries, is probably one of the best deals you can get for quantity and price when using the Blue Ribbon Bargain Book. This item is something I would suggest replacing the usual (and likely dry) pork chop on-a-stick options.
Last is the cheesy sriracha funnel cake bites. To be honest, I haven’t eaten a funnel cake before, so my judgement of this dish may not be the best. However, I did find it quite delicious, especially with delicately balanced sriracha mayo dip. The broken up pieces also make it easier to eat than regular funnel cakes. My only quip would be that it was priced a dollar or two too high for the amount of food served.
For the sake of your clothes, avoid corn dogs, pronto pups, and especially dilly dogs. While these are tempting, chances are they will be super messy because of all the grease, juices, and sauces. These are also items you can usually find at other fairs and would waste precious tummy real estate. For this same reason, stay away from Gizmos. Delicious as they are, they have a high chance of ruining your outfits – unless maybe you take a great deal of care in eating them.
Skip the turkey legs. They’re too unwieldy, dry, tough, sinewy, and messy. A lot of people don’t even eat half the turkey before throwing it away, which is a huge waste of food! And if you decide to take it home, the smokey smell will linger in your bag for days. That’s usually not a bad thing, but it’s safer to keep your bag smelling neutral.
There are a lot of things to binge on at The Great Minnesota Get Together, and I hope this little guide can help my fellow alternative fashion enthusiasts enjoy the fair without dimming their flair. Having said that, I’m sure there’ll be something for everyone to enjoy at this amazing gastronomic festival this summer!