Skip to main content

Minnesota State Fair Food Guide: The classics you have to try

Haley Nelson picks out the must-try classics.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

There’s always some pressure to try of the new foods when visiting the Minnesota State Fair, but there’s no shame in your game if you stick to the classics.

There's a reason that these foods have stood the test of time and have become synonymous with the Great Minnesota Get Together.

So if you're looking to have the quintessential Minnesota State Fair experience, these are the 5 classics you need to have.

Roasted corn

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 12.22.21 PM

For most fair-goers, no fair visit is complete without a stop at the Corn Roast.

There’s nothing fancy or gimmicky here: Just a cob of roasted, Minnesota-grown sweet corn, slathered with butter and sprinkled with salt.

It's been a fixture at the State Fair for more than 30 years, and counts celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern among its many fans.

Where to find it: Corn Roast, southeast corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Nelson Street.

Cheese curds

They’re cheesy, crunchy, and unapologetically greasy. Not specific enough for you? We're talking about cheese curds of course.

While Wisconsin has a stronger claim on the deep-fried snack, Minnesota's State Fair is much better than theirs and cheese curds are a must-have. They’re perhaps best shared, because they’re heavy – and you want to keep eating, right?

There are many, many places that serve them up at the State Fair, but you'll find some of the best curds at The Mouth Trap.

Where to find it: The Mouth Trap, Food Building between Judson and Underwood.

You can find more State Fair content by following our special Flipboard magazine

Corn dogs/Pronto Pups

Here’s a little Minnesota State Fair trivia (that some of you probably know): Corn dogs and Pronto Pups are not the same thing.

Corn dog batter is cornmeal-based, and pronto pups are made with a flour batter.

Personally, I like the sweetness of the corn dogs. But no matter which you choose, you can be assured that of a satisfying snack to walk the grounds with.

Where to find it: Various vendors make corn dogs, and if you can't find a Pronto Pups stand, you're not trying hard enough.

Malts from The Dairy Goodness Bar

On a hot summer day at the fair, there’s nothing better than some ice cream. Even better if it comes from The Dairy Goodness Bar, featuring all kinds of ice cream treats made from Minnesota dairy.

The malts and sundaes are famous and come in various flavors, with this year's special concoction a S'mores malt and sundae.

Where to find it: The Dairy Goodness Bar, Dairy Building, south wall.

Sweet Martha’s Cookies

What, you think I'd leave out Sweet Martha's? Not a chance.

What makes Sweet Martha’s Cookies so good?

– First, they’re fresh baked and served warm.

– Second, they’re the perfect size, about two bites.

– Third, they’re the perfect accompaniment for the milk at the All-You-Can-Drink Milk Stand. The ultimate Minnesota State Fair twofer.

And there’s no better state fair souvenir to take home with you than a giant bucket of Sweet Martha's, as many thousands do every day.

Where to find it: Sweet Martha's has three locations.

  • West side of Underwood Street between Murphy and Lee avenues (most likely the shortest wait).
  • North side of West Dan Patch Avenue between Liggett and Chambers streets (most likely the longest wait).
  • South side of Carnes Avenue between Nelson and Underwood streets.

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

For this first time, Bring Me The News has created a special Minnesota State Fair 2018 magazine on Flipboard, where you can find all our fair-related content.  Click below to follow.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 9.58.36 PM

Eric Perkins, Miss Minnesota, Paul Fletcher create new podcast

The podcast is released Tuesdays at 8 a.m. and is available wherever you find podcasts.

Mock aircraft cabin.

MSP Airport debuts mock aircraft to help ease flying anxiety

The pre-flight experiences cover the TSA screening procedure, exploring a terminal, boarding a plane and meeting a pilot, and preparing for takeoff.

Scripps National Spelling Bee

These Minnesota kids will be competing at National Spelling Bee

The upcoming event in Maryland will be the first fully in-person Scripps National Spelling Bee since 2019.

covid, kids

New data shows how omicron has impacted kids in Minnesota

The new data shows breakthrough data during the omicron period, which began Dec. 19, 2021.

Javen Juan Moreno

Albert Lea shooting suspect arrested after 3 weeks on the run

He is accused of shooting a man in the upper thigh on May 1.

motorcycle

Motorcyclist, 59, killed after losing control on right curve

The Harley Davidson rider was thrown from his bike.

state capitol Minnesota

Minnesota's 2022 legislative session: What's happening?

A list of items agreed upon and yet to reach any bipartisan agreement in the latest legislative session.

water drain

Water main break floods 40-45 homes in St. Louis Park

The city says the rupture happened on Minnetonka Boulevard.

Eli Hart

Charges: 6-year-old Eli Hart shot up to 9 times by his mother

The 28-year-old is facing 2nd-degree murder charges.

dave lee wcco radio

Former WCCO Radio host Dave Lee moves into podcasts

His new podcast, called 'My First Concert,' launched last week.

Tow Boat

Tow boat collides with Mississippi River lock and dam in Alma, WI

The crash remains under investigation by the United States Coast Guard.

unsplash school bus

Police: Man in minivan approached kids, claimed he was former principal

Investigators say children were approached by a man in a white minivan who falsely claimed he'd been a local school principal.

Related

State fair new foods

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.

State Fair

Minnesota State Fair 2021: The best new foods

Our food writer Haley Nelson picks out her favorite new dishes at the State Fair.

Screen Shot 2021-08-28 at 10.57.53 AM

Minnesota State Fair 2021: The best food options that avoid the crowds

Food writer Haley Nelson has been looking for foods off the beaten track.

State Fair Food Guide: The best food and drink bargains

A day at the fair can be expensive, but there are bargains to be had.

Vegan and vegetarian choices

Minnesota State Fair 2021: The best vegetarian and vegan options

Our food writer Haley Nelson has identified some top meat-free options.

Hidden gems

Minnesota State Fair 2019: This year's hidden food gems

They don't get the headlines, but maybe they should.

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

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

Minnesota State Fair Food Guide: Don't miss these hidden gems

They don't get the headlines, but maybe they should.