Minnesota State Fair Food Guide 2018: The best new foods to try, and one to miss

Food writer Haley Nelson sampled some of the new dishes on offer this year.
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State Fair new foods

Part of the fun of visiting the Minnesota State Fair is trying new foods.

Scratch that.

Most of the fun of visiting the Minnesota State Fair is trying new foods, at least for me.

This year 27 new dishes have been introduced to the fair, and they're all over the place in terms of flavor, cuisine, size, and price.

I was at the State Fair on Thursday to try some of the new creations, and have come away with four favorites, and one to miss. 

UpNorth Puff Pasty

Upnorth pasty

And we have a winner!

I loved everything about the UpNorth Puff Pasty: The flaky crust. The sausage, cheese, and pickle filling. The mustard.

If you're unfamiliar with the concept of a pasty (pronounced pas-tee), it's a folded, baked pastry with a savory filling.

Do yourself a favor and pick up one of these while you’re in the Food Building.

Where to find it: Sausage Sister & Me, Food Building, east wall.

Sweetie Cakes

Sweetie cakes 2

The warm bowls (yes bowls) of cake at Sweetie Cakes don’t disappoint.

The cakes are served warm (which makes any dessert better!) and are reminiscent of a mug cake: Crumbly and moist.

I tried the chocolate peanut butter cake, which was flecked with delicious, sticky pieces of homemade toffee. It was all topped off with a big dollop of whipped cream which quickly melted into the warm cake.

Where to find it: Sweetie Cakes, Food Building, south wall

Bacon-Stuffed Tots

Bacon tots 2

The bacon-stuffed tots at The Blue Barn was advertised as a new food on its menu, but they’re not on the official State Fair food list. #confusing

In any case, a new food is a new food.

And this is exactly the type of thing I love to get at the fair.

The bacon-stuffed tots are large, crispy, and bacon-y. And the bacon-infused sour cream is right on point.

Where to find it: The Blue Barn at West End Market.

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Firecracker Shrimp Stuffed Avocado

Firecracker shrimp avocado

The Hideaway Speakeasy's shrimp-stuffed avocado isn’t typically what I think of when I think of fair food.

But I tried it, and I liked it, and I’d get it again. It’s a good size for sharing, which helps justify the rather hefty, $14 price tag.

It’s a nice break from heavy fried food. And the Grandstand Veranda is right outside of the speakeasy, which is a lovely place to sit and relax for awhile.

Where to find it: The Hideaway Speakeasy, in the Veranda, Grandstand upper level, north west section.

And the one to miss

Nordic Waffles

Nordic waffles

When I looked at the list of new foods at the fair, Nordic Waffles was at the top of my list to try.

My visit to Nordic Waffles was my last stop of the day. I wasn’t too hungry, so I ordered the berries and crème waffle, thinking it might be a little lighter than some of their savory flavors.

I can’t say I didn’t like it, because it wasn’t bad. But I kept thinking, "I just paid $8 for this?!"

It was a light, hand-held waffle with a small dollop of whipped cream inside, and a bit of berry-flavored syrup. I was expecting fresh berries, but there were none.

Most of the time I was just eating waffle, except when I got to the bottom where all of the melted whipped cream and syrup had set.

Where to find it: Nordic Waffles, West End Market, southwest section.

You can read more of Haley Nelson's writing at her website, Cheap Recipe Blog.

You can find all of Bring Me The News' State Fair stories in the Flipboard magazine below.

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