Minnesota State Fair 2019: New foods you have to try, and some you shouldn't

Guest food writer Haley Nelson reveals her pick of the bunch.
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State fair new foods

With so many new foods to try at the Minnesota State Fair every year, where do you start?

Simple answer: With a plan.

I went into the 2019 Minnesota State Fair with a solid plan: To try the most unique, flashiest foods that the fair had to offer.

After all, the State Fair is the perfect place to try the fun, over-the-top foods you can’t find anywhere else.

These picks stood out to me because they were pretty (Hello, Halo Cone!), full of flavor (Turkish! Pizza!), or a new twist on an American classic (grits… in fritter form, and a fancy PB & J sandwich).

Halo Cone – Rainbow Ice Cream: $9

Candy floss

Where to find it: Grandstand, upper lever, east section

You get this over-the-top ice cream cone for one of two reasons:

  • You really like sugar
  • You really like Instagram

The Halo Cone is a soft serve ice cream cone, surrounded by a cloud of pink cotton candy, and topped with Fruity Pebbles, gummy bears, and sprinkles. If it sounds like too much, it is – or at least it was for me. A $9 photo op, if you will.

The ice cream was supposedly blue-raspberry flavored, but I was convinced it was vanilla.

Sorry Halo Cone. You’re pretty, but just not my type.

Grilled Sota Sandwich – Brim: $9

PB&J

Where to find it: North End, northwest section

This sandwich took me by surprise in the best possible way.

It’s served on legitimately delicious gluten-free bread. The almond-peanut butter is freshly ground in the back of the stand.

The blueberry marmalade is made from local blueberries. It’s pretty much the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich you’ll ever eat.

It’s a little spendy at $9. But hey, that's what you pay at the fair. it was my favorite out of all the foods we tried.

Turkish Pizza – Blue Moon Dine-In Theater: $9

Pizza

Where to find it: Carnes Avenue & Chambers Street.

This unique pizza was a good value at $9. It was definitely enough for a meal and big enough to share.

The crust was topped with a fresh medley of spiced ground beef, tomato, onion, cucumber salad, parsley and other fresh herbs, and garlic sauce. Adding a squeeze of lemon (provided) was the perfect finishing touch.

The naan bread crust was my least favorite part of the pizza. A little too bread-y for my liking. (The website advertised the crust as a cracker-thin flatbread. Not sure if that’s what I received.)

But overall, I loved this pizza. I ate it while watching an old movie in their dine-in theater area – a fun, relaxing experience amid all the hustle and bustle of the fair.

Breakfast Potato Skin – The Blue Barn: $8.95

Potato skin

Where to find it: West End Market

I intended to order the Nashville hot chicken-on-a-stick, but The Blue Barn was sold out by the time I got there. So I ordered the breakfast potato skin instead.

I wanted to like it, but I thought the whole dish was a little dry. It’s a fried potato skin, topped with scrambled eggs, chislic (a South Dakota-famous fried beef appetizer), and béarnaise sauce.

Shrimp & Grits Fritters – Funky Grits: $5 for 3 fritters

Grits

Where to find it: Food Building

We went into the food building hoping to get a carnitas taco cone from San Felipe Tacos, but the line was too long so we opted for the shrimp & grits fritters from new vendor Funky Grits instead.

These fritters were delicious: Everything you could want from a fried food. Cheesy on the inside, crispy on the outside. The Cajun seasoning added an interesting twist, and the slightly spicy dipping sauce brought it all together.

The fritters were a little light on the shrimp, but I’m not complaining. I’d get them again.

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