37 must eat minnesota state fair foods

37 Must Eat Minnesota State Fair Foods in 2022

Booze Everything Else Food Power Rankings

Must Eat Minnesota State Fair Foods 2022.

See the 2023 List here: https://10ktakesmn.com/37-must-eat-minnesota-state-fair-foods-in-2023/

Of course, I’m going to put together a list of must eat Minnesota State Fair Foods. As far as I’m concerned, the Minnesota State Fair is the greatest event on the planet. I’ve done other lists in 37 like the 37 must eat foods in Minnesota, 37 Best Chips, 37 Facts about Kirk Cousins, I even did another list of state fair foods last year. Not too much has changed from last year’s list but it’s not exactly the same either. There’s a bunch of new foods at the fair that I’m hoping find their way onto my 2023 list, but we’ll have to wait and see. Honestly, I would spend all 12 days there if I could and still not be sick of it. The food, the people watching, the food, the drinks, the food. I just can’t get enough of it. I budget all year for the fair because once I get out there I throw money in the air like I’m Chris Hawkey at a casino.

Every year the fair adds new foods so this list will change over time. But for right now, and In no particular order, these are the 37 must eat Minnesota State Fair Foods for 2022. I hope you have pockets as deep as Kirk Cousins because getting through the entire list won’t be cheap.

OH also, here’s an interactive map of the fair. That’s nifty.

1. Giant Egg Roll on a Stick at Que Viet Concessions

Located on Cooper and Dan Patch

This is my favorite item at the state fair and it’s by a pretty large margin. I cannot explain how great this thing is. There are also cream cheese wontons that are top-notch at this stand. I eat so much food at the Minnesota State Fair that I try not to duplicate foods but I always save room for two egg rolls.

If you’re going to listen to me about anything on this list, the Giant Egg Roll on a stick is the one to try. (Also you CAN get these eggrolls year-round at their restaurant but it doesn’t come on a stick so it’s not nearly as fun).

I couldn’t have found a worse picture of myself.

2. Big Fat Bacon

Located 1694 Nelson Street

Since 2008, Big Fat Bacon has served thousands of pounds of Big Fat Bacon and I’m responsible for about 37,000 of them. Big Fat Bacon is a quarter-pound, maple-glazed slab of bacon that’s dusted with a blend of seven peppers and salt. It’s proof that being big and fat is a good thing. I love you, BFB.

3. Nashville Hot Chicken on-a-stick from the Blue Barn

Located 1839 W Dan Patch Ave

This is one of the newer items at the Minnesota State Fair and it’s one of the best offerings available. It’s sweeter than it is hot, which will work well for most Minnesota palates but it has enough heat to keep it interesting. Its crunch puts Captain Crunch to shame. 10/10.

4. Ice cream from Nitro Ice Cream

Located in the Food Building

There’s no ice cream like Nitro Ice Cream. It’s smoother than Trae Turner’s slide thanks to them using liquid nitrogen and some science experiment process while making it. They give out free samples so feel free to try before you buy, but you’re going to want more than just the free sample.

5. Caramel Shake at the Gopher Barn

Located on Judson & Stevens

The first new addition to the list. Last year this spot had Cinnie Smiths nestled safely in it’s comfort but then my cinnamon rolls weren’t warm and I was sad. If I’m going to eat something cold, I’m going to choose something that’s meant to be cold! The caramel shake was purchased on a whim in 2021 and it’ll be purchased with a purpose for every year from now on. Creamy, packed with flavor, and still simple. It’s absolutely excellent.

6. Fresh Cut French Fries

Multiple Locations

These are iconic at the Minnesota State Fair. For more than 45 years Fresh Cut Fries has been serving ‘pure freshness’ and was even voted the Best Fries in America by Gourmet Magazine. Shareable, bingeable, crunchy, and salty. They’re everything you want from fair food. The lines are pretty much always long, which is why they go through 400,000 pounds of potatoes per year, but they go quickly. Plus all the potatoes are grown in Big Lake, Minnesota! So that’s a cool little tidbit.

7. Onion Rings at Danielson & Daughters

Outside of the Food Building between Underwood & Cooper

There are a few different places to get onion rings at the Minnesota State Fair but none even come close to the ones at Danielson & Daughters. This stand has been going since 1956 and serves up world-class onions. If you get the Blue Ribbon Bargain book, there’s usually a $2 off coupon which makes these one of the best bargains at the fair as well. These truthfully put up a good fight for my #1 food at the fair. They’re perfect.

8. Pronto Pup

Located all over the place

I’ll probably get ripped for only liking ketchup on my pronto pup but sue me. The Karnis family introduced the Pronto Pup to the Minnesota State Fair in 1947 and it’s been a mainstay ever since. The entire history of them is kind of fascinating if you’re interested in learning more but all you need to know for this list is that they’re delicious.

9. Tator Dog at LuLu’s Public House (New Food)

This isn’t really the best picture. I’ll update shortly.

Located in the West End Market

Okay so right after the state fair staple pronto pup, I’m throwing a brand new contender. The tot pup just looks too good to be bad but until I try it, I can’t know for sure. (The food I had in this spot when I posted is no longer at the Fair for sad reasons so I had to make a tough choice. I hope it was the correct one). All-beef hot dog dipped in corn dog batter, rolled in a mixture of minced tater tots, cheddar cheese, and onions, then deep-fried. You can get cheese sauce with it if you want as well. As a bonus, LuLu’s has a great selection of drinks as well.

10. Fresh Squeezed Lemonade at the Cheese on a Stick/Lemonade Stand

Located on the East Side of Ligget Street

Fairs and fresh-squeezed lemonade go together like Anthony LaPanta and good hair. They’re just synonymous with each other. I absolutely love the lemonade at the cheese on a stick stand. It’s not overly sweet or bitter. It tastes like summertime.

11. A Hot Dog from About a Foot Long Hot Dog

Multiple locations. But one is located at the intersection of Carnes and Nelson Streets

A state fair taste tradition unlike any other and hard proof that fair food doesn’t need to be overly gimmicky. The skin has a nice snap to it, the onions are perfectly done. It’s simple but perfect. Also, feel free to hate on me for also enjoying ketchup on my hot dog. As the great philosopher, Curtis Jackson once said “If they hate then let ’em hate and watch the money pile up.”

Except it seems like a ton of people dislike me and I’m still not rich, so I’m not sure that philosophy works well.

12. Giant Turkey Sandwich from Turkey to Go

Photo credit Turkey to Go website

Located at 1265 Clough Street

Turkey to go doesn’t lack flavor or size. Their half-pound sandwiches are plenty of people’s #1 food item. These birds have been at the fair since 1958, originally named Turkeyteria as a play on cafeteria. They’ve also gone by The Turkey House, and Pilgrim Thom’s Takeout Turkey. Today we just know them as Turkey to Go and we know the food is fantastic. They also offer massive turkey legs if you want to eat like Fred Flinstone. (I’ve heard a few grumblings from people that the sandwiches seem to be smaller this year. I cannot confirm nor deny this)

13. Deep Fried Pickles by the Perfect Pickle

Located on the corner of Liggett Steet and Dan Patch Avenue

So if I’m being transparent, this isn’t on the list for myself. I personally believe pickles should be illegal but my wife completely disagrees. These are one of her must eat Minnesota State Fair Foods and based on the lines, I’m the wrong one. Actually, in 2016, the Perfect Pickle won the Favorite Fair Food Award so obviously ignore my pickle-slander.

But also pickles are terrible. (Editor’s note: No, they’re not…and these fried pickles SLAP. Nick’s wife obviously has superior taste buds)

14. Caramel Apple Craft Seltzer from Andy’s Grille

Located at 1774 carnes avenue

This type of drink is exactly why the Minnesota State Fair is so fun. It’s a simple idea executed well. It looks great in pictures but more importantly, tastes good! The caramel sauce is really what drives this home and I wish I had a bit more of it but this is a perfect drink to mix up the day with. Andy’s has been expanding its drink menu pretty rapidly in recent years as well. They offer a variety of slushies, a chocolate chip cookie beer, and they claim to have the coldest beer at the fair. We’ll have to #MeetAtAndys to find out!

15. Cheese Curds from The Mouth Trap

Located in the Food Building

There was some debate about who had the best curds at the fair but now that the Original State Fair Cheese Curds stand had to close, the Mouth Trap is the undisputed King of the Curd. The Mouth Trap crew goes through 60 tons of natural cheddar cheese each year. You simply can’t put together a must eat Minnesota State Fair foods list without including the Mouth Trap cheese curds.

16. Frozen Blu by Schell’s at the Schell’s Pavilion

My snap was supposed to say “Done with numbers” because I was keeping track of each item I was eating. The typo and the number of Frozen Blus are related.

Located in the West End Market next to the Schilling Amphitheater

It can be downright balmy in August and few things can beat the heat better than a frozen Grain Belt Blu. An already cold beer is topped with a 23 degree frozen blueberry slushy header which turns it into an adult Icee. They don’t lack sweetness so I can’t consume many of them, but the first one goes down incredibly easily. So does the second one. And the third one.

And the fourth one.

17. Burger and a Beer at the Midway Mens Club

Located 1354 Underwood Street

This place is a hidden gem. (Also the is an older menu. Prices might be SLIGHTLY different this year). When you need to take a break from the chaos of the fair, the Midwest Mens Club offers an excellent escape. Take a seat and enjoy the cheapest beer at the fair along with some downright affordable food options. Their booth is run by volunteers, 85 percent of their profits go to St. Paul youth programs, and the prices have stayed pretty much the same since 1960. I always end up spending a ton of time at the club and I don’t need to feel pretentious about that statement.

Must Eat Minnesota State Fair Foods 2022

18. Beef Jamaican Patty at West Indies Soul Food

Located in the International Bazaar

Be a little adventurous at the fair! If you like spicy things, this is your spot. The jerk sauce is SPICY. For the patty, you can get either beef or chicken but I like the beef much more. Actually, by a really large margin tbh. Dip it in some jerk sauce (and then also buy a bottle to go) and be prepared for the heat. While you’re there, grab some of the jerk wings and a pork chop (which might be the best one at the fair). Honestly, this is one of the more underrated stands at the entire fair.

Must Eat Minnesota State Fair Foods 2022

19. Gizmo Sandwich from Carl’s Gizmo Sandwiches

Located on Machinery Hill right under the skyglide.

Oh, buddy, these are tasty. Ground beef and Italian sausage covered in homemade red sauce and then topped with a pile of mozzarella cheese? Yes, please. The Gizmo started at the Iowa State Fair around 1973 and I’m so happy it’s made its way to Minnesota.

20. Poutine from Duke’s Poutine

Located North side of Judson Ave. between Clough & Nelson streets

If you read my list last year, I said these might make the official must try list for 2022 and they have.. Fresh cut fries, squeaky cheese curds, and fantastic gravy. If you’re a fan of poutine, you’ll like these. If you’re not a fan of poutine, I just have no words.

Must Eat Minnesota State Fair Foods 2022

21. Mini Donut Beer by Lift Bridge Brewing at the Ball Park Cafe

Located 1312 Underwood Street

For my money, this is the best beer at the Minnesota State Fair. The sugar rim perfectly compliments the beer and there’s just nothing else like it. I cannot wait to guzzle these suckers down. Much like my plead for you to try the Giant Egg Roll on a stick, if you’re going to try any beer at the fair, this is the one.

#22. Gyro from Holy Land

Located in the Bazaar

Multiple people, including my buddy Jeffrey, said I must add this spot to the list, so I am. They also have mint lemonade that’s top notch and I’m told the dolma is great (but that’s just word of mouth… just like the rest of this list). Honestly, the bazaar is home to many hidden gems for food and drinks. I could spend an entire day eating in here easily.

23. Breakfast at The Peg

Located on the side of the Horticulture Building

Not too far from the Bazaar is the fair’s only full-service restaurant and a perfect way to start your day if you like to get to the fair early. This spot is family-owned and operated and offers the perfect spot to eat while plotting out the rest of your day. They offer all the classics and it’s downright affordable. The Peg is another perfect example of fair food not needing to be overly gimmicky. Get yourself some hotcakes, biscuits and gravy, maybe some hashbrowns.

Breakfast goes until 11:30am but don’t worry, they have a variety of burgers and sandwiches available during the day if you’re not a morning person.

24. Roasted Corn at the Corn Roast

Located on the Southeast Corner of Dan Patch Avenue outside of the Grand Stand

25 acres of corn are sold at the Minnesota State Fair each year. That’s roughly 25 times the size of one acre. Corn is picked daily, delivered to the stand, roasted, and then dipped in a bucket of butter. Fun fact: the corn roast goes through 4,000 pounds of butter at the fair. Makes sense when you consider they’re selling around 25,000 ears of corn every day.

(Editor’s Note: Get ready for the onslaught of “It’s CORN” TikToks and IG posts with that song going viral just in time for the fair. Also, I would love to see the butter sculptures melted down at the beginning of each day to be used on the corn. There’s no higher honor I could think of.)

Must Eat Minnesota State Fair Foods 2022

25. Garlic Fries at Ball Park Cafe

Located at 1312 Underwood Street

These are not for the faint of heart. You REALLY need to like garlic to enjoy these fries because I’m not sure if there’s more potato or garlic on these suckers. The Ball Park Cafe really took the cloves off when making these fries (see what I did there? A bad garlic joke). If there happen to be any vampires at the fair, you’ll be safe at the ballpark.

Must Eat Minnesota State Fair Foods 2022

26. All You Can Drink Milk

Located at 1759 Judson Avenue

The AYCDM stand pours around 26,000 gallons of milk during the fair and for a couple of bucks, you can have as much of it as you want. Chocolate, 2%, or skim–but come on, skim milk is trash. (Actually anything but whole milk is subpar but I digress). This stand offers one of only two unlimited food options at the fair with the other being all-you-can-eat popsicles from Jonny Pops. Pro move: go get yourself some Sweet Martha’s cookies and then head to the milk stand.

27. Mini Donut Iced Latte from The Anchor Coffee House

Located on the West side of Underwood St. between Carnes & Judson avenues, outside Ramberg Music Cafe

If starting your day with a mini donut beer sounds too aggressive for you, the mini donut cold brew is the way to go. If you like cinnamon, this is a real treat. Not only does it just look excellent in pictures, it also tastes fantastic. This also comes hot if that’s more your jam. Personally, I haven’t had that one yet, but I can’t imagine it’s anything other than wonderful.

Must Eat Minnesota State Fair Foods 2022

28. Nordic Waffles

Located at the end of the West End Market along West Dan Patch Avenue

Perfect for those who want to start their day at the fair with an actual breakfast but also perfect who want to eat something unique. I’m not going to pick just one option as one of the must try Minnesota State Fair foods because they have a ton of options and they’re all good. All day breakfast? Berries and cream? S’mores? Cinna-Sugar and butter? Or maybe a turkey chipotle club is more your style. They’ve got you covered.

29. Australian Battered Potatoes

I cannot emphasize this enough: THESE SHOULD BE SHARED. These are way too thick to be considered a potato chip but they’re also not a potato wedge. These battered slices of deep-fried potato have a few topping options. I like just the regular cheese sauce on the side and dip as I go but you can also get ranch, ranch with bacon and cheese, and sweet chili with sour cream.

The regular is plenty of food on its own but if you want to be full for 3 weeks, I guess you could get a bucket.

Must Eat Minnesota State Fair Foods 2022

30. French Toast Bites from the Blue Barn

Located 1839 W Dan Patch Ave

The Blue Barn is full of great Minnesota State Fair Foods and they added another to their list with the french toast bites. A perfect snack to share if you’re feeling nice but nobody is forcing you to. These have a tasty berry sauce with whipped cream and then they sprinkle some pop rocks on top because why not?

31. Pork Chop on a Stick from Peterson’s

Located on Judson Street next to the Dairy Building

Peterson’s charbroiled chicken-n-chops on a stick has been a highlight at the Minnesota state fair since 1994. I’d argue very few spots can compete with just how great this stand smells and the chops are no disappointment either. They’re thick-cut and bone-in with fantastic char marks on them. Unlike the Minnesota Twins, these never disappoint.

32. Malt from the Dairy Goodness Bar

Located in the Dairy Building

I’m not going to pick just one option from the dairy goodness bar. There are too many to choose from. Vanilla, chocolate, apple-caramel, rhubarb-strawberry, birthday batter blast, s’more. How to choose?! Of note: this is the big advantage of the Dairy Goodness bar versus the Kiwanis Malt Shop. Much love for the KMS but the options at the DGB are hard to beat. Check out the butter heads while slurping down a malt. It’s great fun.

33. Surly Epic Yuzu Tart Ale at Dino’s

Located at Dino’s

If you’ve never spent time drinking at Dino’s, you’re missing out. For starters, the Epic Yuza Tart Ale is pretty much everything you could ask for from a tart beer. On a hot day, these things go down like water. Dino’s is a nice little gem. The seating is all under a sunshade and they offer dueling pianos and other music throughout the day. Plus they have staff there to serve you. So sit back, enjoy the shade, sing along, and tip your servers! Also another new drink this year is their Bomba Bull Frose which is a frozen blend of Gray Duck Bomba Juice Seltzer, Strawberry Lemonade, and Redbull. Ummmm YES. This one basically counts as two suggestions in one!

34. Minnesota Mule Cider by Sweetland Orchard at the Ball Park Cafe

I‘m hoping you know where its located by now

We’re back a the Ball Park Cafe for another drink because the Ball Park Cafe is arguably the best place to drink at the fair. This is a fun drink that will end your day early if you’re not careful. Coming in at 7.0% ABV, it’s one of the stronger options available to you at the fair. It’s also one of the most refreshing. There’s no copper mug but you’ll be okay without it.

35. Peanut Butter Porter from Dangerous Man at… you guessed it. THE BALL PARK CAFE!

The peanut butter porter from Dangerous Man is a well-known, well-loved beer. It is in the running for the most discussed beer on the Minneapolis brewery circuit. But 2022 marks its debut at the great Minnesota get together. If you’ve never had the chance to try one, I strongly suggest giving it a go. If it’s not for you, don’t worry–the Ball Park Cafe makes plenty of appearances on this list for a reason. I mean, just check out their 2022 tap list!

I’ll once again be spending an enormous amount of time and money at the Ball Park Cafe.

36. Vietnamese Iced Coffee at Que Viet Concessions

Located on Cooper and Dan Patch

The state fair can involve a lot of walking around and digesting food. These two things can make you feel a bit like Flossie Dickey. Luckily at the same spot, you can get the greatest egg rolls of all time, you can also pick up a cup of delicious iced coffee. It’s not overly sweet, it’s not watered down, it’s proper coffee and properly tasty. Grab one in the morning (along with an egg roll) and then another one in the afternoon (with another egg roll) to keep you going all day.

37. Sweet Martha’s Cookies from Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar (But keep reading, I have honorable mentions!)

Photo Credit Sweet Martha’s Facebook Page

Located at the end of all the longest lines at the fair

You were starting to think I forgot about the cookies, didn’t you? Honestly, I don’t know how anyone consumes an entire bucket of these. It’s not that I don’t love them, they’re SO good –but the bucket also has SO MANY. My wife and I have been known to play a game where we just ask strangers if we can have some of their cookies and whoever gets the most wins. It may not surprise you, but the attractive gal asking for cookies beats out the overweight drunk guy every single year. Shucks. Sweet Martha’s cookies must be included when talking about Minnesota State Fair Foods at any level. This most plenty of people’s #1 food at the fair and there’s plenty of reason for that.

Please share your favorite Minnesota State Fair Foods or drinks!

I’m sure I missed a ton of incredible options and there’s no saying I won’t go back and update this list. Or maybe there are 37 hidden gems at the fair I don’t know about yet. What are your favorite Minnesota State Fair Foods? If you see me and my crew, come say hi and tell me what you think!

OR tweet me at @NickLewis37

Honorable Mentions (Otherwise known as things I may not have had but other people requested).

Pickle Dog from Pickle Dog

located on the south side of Carnes

Photo credit Pickle Dog’s Facebook page

As I said earlier, I’m not about the pickle life but my wife adores them. Since she’s smarter than me, I’ll assume other people will as well.

Frozen Sangria from Grain Belt

Located in the West End Market next to the Schilling Amphitheater

Just like the frozen Blu but instead of blueberry, it’s sangria!

Must Eat Minnesota State Fair Foods 2022

*Cinnie Smiths with Vanilla Custard (If the cinnamon rolls are warm!)

Located on Murphy Avenue & Underwood Street

Pretty often this is stop #1 because it feels like a breakfast item. But there’s no reason these badboys can’t be eaten all day. Freshly made hot cinnamon rolls with frozen custard comes together for an experience that will make you weak at the knees. I love these things more than Aaron Rodgers loves a scapegoat (which is also the only time I’ll use Aaron Rodgers and goat in the same sentence… well and in that one as well). #TB12

*Worth noting, I got an order of these this last year and the cinnamon rolls weren’t hot. I’ll give them another shot but if the cinnamon rolls are no longer served warm, these are completely skippable. Hopefully, they’ll find their way back into the real 37 next year.

Wild Rice Burger from Wild Rice Confections

Located in the food building

This is well worth grabbing. The wild rice in the burger makes it unique enough to make you feel like you’re not just eating a standard burger at the fair. There are some people that will argue that this burger is the BEST item at the entire fair. They’re not crazy.

Corn Dog from Poncho Dogs

Southwest corner of Dan Patch Ave. & Cosgrove St.

Now from what I’m told THESE are actually the best corndogs at the fair. Will they topple the mighty pronto pup? I can’t say just yet but I’ll be giving them a shot!

Duck Bacon Wontons at Giggles Campfire

Located at the corner of Lee Avenue and Cooper Street

If the idea of eating duck sounds too exotic to you, this is a nice way to explore something new. If you already like duck, you’re set on these being good.

Hot Dish on a Stick from Ole & Lena’s

Located somewhere at the Minnesota State Fair. I’ll update once I know!

Sweedish meatballs and tater tots on a stick, hand-dipped in corn dog batter, and deep fried. It also comes with a side of mushroom hamburger dipping sauce. I haven’t tried these but I sure will be.

Sweedish Egg Coffee

Located at the Salem Lutheran Dining Hall

A stranger on the internet told me this is the best coffee at the fair and considering all I am to you is a stranger on the internet, their word is as good as mine!

Almost anything at the Mexican Hat

Located outside of the Grand Stand by the KFAN booth

My dad says this place is good so I’m adding it. I’ve never had a single thing from there so blame him if it’s not good.

Must Eat Minnesota State Fair Foods 2022

*New food, new Vendor – CHEESECURD TACOS from Richie’s Cheese Curd Tacos

North side of Judson Avenue between Liggett and Clough streets, outside the Sheep & Poultry Barn

I’m always a little scared throwing new foods on this list but these just sounds SO good. There’s two varieties in a fried flour tortilla shell: Original Cheese Curd Taco (diced bratwurst, fried cheddar cheese curds, lettuce and Baja sauce) and Box Checker Cheese Curd Taco (diced chicken, bacon, fried cheddar cheese curds, lettuce and ranch sauce). Uhhh, yes, please? These might make the real list next year – we’ll see!

Corn Fritters from The Original Corn Fritters and Fried Green Tomatoes stand

Located on the South side of Dan Path Avenue between Underwood and Cooper Streets

My stepmom said they’re great so they’ve made the list. Also people keep saying the actual fried green tomatoes are really good so if that’s your thing, go for it!

Chan’s Chicken on a Stick

Located right outside the Dairy Building

Multiple people on Reddit said I needed to add this to my list so here we go. Marinated chicken on a bed of fried rice. Mighty tasty.

(Editor’s Note: Can confirm this is MORE THAN deserving of being on the list. If you’re looking to “keep it light” you can always skip the rice and get it (you guessed it) on a stick.

Tom Thumb Mini Donuts

I’ve included multiple beverages with mini donuts and there’s just no way to skip the best mini donuts at the fair!