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This is an exciting year at the Minnesota State Fair for many reasons – but the wide array of new food vendors has us particularly excited.

This year, there are 10 new vendors, serving foods ranging from pizza to root beer; arepas to steak dinners.

I went along on opening day and sampled some of the vendors making their State Fair debuts.

Union Hmong Kitchen

State Fair

Location: At the International Bazaar, south wall, west corner

A welcome addition to the Minnesota State Fair food scene, Union Hmong Kitchen brings the flavors of Hmong cuisine to the masses.

We tried the lemongrass turmeric tofu ($12), served with purple sticky rice (mov) with a trio of seriously flavorful sauces (we requested all three) and pickled vegetables and herbs on the side.

This will easily become a yearly stop for us!

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The Herbivorous Butcher

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Location: In the Food Building, west section, south wall

Many are familiar with The Herbivorous Butcher, the 100% vegan butcher shop in Northeast Minneapolis that serves a variety of meat-free “meats” that taste deceptively like the real thing.

Their presence at the fair is a great thing for vegans and non-vegans alike who want to try some seriously delicious food.

We tried the Poultrygiest ($12), a fried chicken dish with sausage gravy, and French-fried onions served on buttery bread.

Gluten-free bread is available.

Rick’s Pizza

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Location: West side of Cosgrove Street between Wright and Dan Patch avenues

Fresh pizza by the slice at the Minnesota State Fair? Count me in. Rick’s Pizza manages to pull off a difficult task: Fresh baked pizza en masse.

Related: Minnesota State Fair 2022: The best new foods

Related: When is the least busy day to go to the State Fair?

We tried the much-anticipated pickle pizza ($9), topped with dill-ranch sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, dill pickles, and finished with dill weed seasoning.

This is the perfect pizza for the fair – a bit over-the-top, but it just works flavor-wise.

Waffle Chix

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Location: On the north side of Randall Avenue at Cosgrove Street, outside of the Progress Center

Waffles and sausage (or chicken) is a winning taste combination. And new vendor Waffle Chix manages to combine these flavors in a convenient on-a-stick form.

We tried the breakfast sausage in a waffle on a stick ($8), one of three waffle-on-a-stick options.

The waffle component was crispy, hot, and fresh off the iron. With maple syrup drizzled on top, this had the delicious sweet-savory balance.

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Other New Food Vendors

Make sure to check out the other new food vendors at the fair:

  • Nautical Bowls: In the Food Building, center section, north wall
  • Soul Bowl: In the Food Building, east wall
  • Pickle Barrel Sirloin Tips: On the northeast corner of Judson Avenue and Nelson Street
  • Richie’s Cheese Curd Tacos: North side of Judson Avenue between Liggett and Clough streets, outside the Sheep & Poultry Barn
  • Midtown Global Market’s Arepa Bar (Available August 31 to September 5 only): In the Taste of the Midtown Global Market Booth at the International Bazaar, east wall
  • Bridge n’ Barrel Root Beer (2 locations): North side of Dan Patch Avenue between Nelson and Underwood Streets, and on the northwest corner of Carnes Avenue and Underwood Street

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