A Guide to Being Vegetarian or Vegan at the Minnesota State Fair

Attending the Great Minnesota Get-Together without eating meat doesn’t mean missing out on deep-fried goodness
Paneer Pakora at Hot Indian
Paneer Pakora (fried cheese cubes) at Hot Indian

Courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair

When thinking of the Minnesota State Fair, what comes to mind? Farm animals, live music, and—most likely—fried food on a stick. Being that food is such a big part of the Great Minnesota Get-Together, it can be difficult to feel like you’re getting the most out of these 12 days (August 26 through September 6 this year) as a vegan or vegetarian.

The Minnesota State Fair doesn’t explicitly list their vegan and vegetarian options on their fair finder—but luckily they have more options than you might think. And don’t worry, you won’t have to stick to eating the frozen grapes next to the Giant Slide.

Corn on the cob at the Minnesota State Fair

Courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair

The Classics

The State Fair’s food finder should be up and running in August. Here are some staples friendly to vegan and/or vegetarian diets:

Corn on the Cob: Right next to the Grand Stand, this one’s obviously vegetarian, and vegan if you hold the butter!

Sara’s Tipsy Apple Pie: The apple pie from Sara’s Tipsy Pies is 100% vegan, and advertised as such. You can find this tasty treat in the food building.

Sweet Dreams Peach: Produce Exchange’s Sweet Dreams Peach, located near the International Bazaar, is of course vegan—and also one of the best peaches I’ve ever had.

French fries, another obvious one, are also vegan. They’re a fair staple for a reason. The deep-fried goodness can be served in a basket, or if you wanna try another potato dish, have a potato on a stick at Sonny’s Spiral Spuds.

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds: Always a must for my State Fair visit, these just so happen to be fully vegan. Located within the International Bazaar.

Dole Whip: If you’re familiar with Dole Whip, you know it’s a must-have. The fruit-flavored non-dairy soft serve is great on a hot fair day.

Preferred Pickles’ Fried Pickles: Egg-free and vegan—just ditch the Ranch and try some hot sauce.

French Meadow Bakery’s stand at the fair is truly the holy land for vegetarian and vegan fairgoers. The earth wings (essentially cauliflower wings) are absolutely amazing. They also feature vegan scones with dairy-free whipped cream if you’re more of a sweet tooth!

La Floretta, from Mancini's al Fresco
La Floretta, from Mancini’s al Fresco

Courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair

The New Foods

With about 500 foods featured at the fair, including some new arrivals, there are meat-free options in the mix.

-Mancini’s al Fresca will be featuring the new la floretta. The dish consists of oven-roasted cauliflower florets seasoned with various herbs and spices, and served with Calabrian sweet chili sauce. And bonus: It’s also gluten-free.

Baba’s will be featuring hummus bowls this year, with many vegan and gluten-free options available. The Baba Gone Wild allows you to create your own bowl and is served with fresh or fried pita.

Find the Choripop at Andy’s Garage

Minnesota State Fair

-At Hot Indian, in the Food Building, the paneer pakora (fried cheese cubes) this year is vegetarian and deep-fried in a gluten-free batter, then served up with tomato butter sauce.

Midtown Global Market’s Andy’s Garage will feature the Choripop, a meat-free corn dog with chorizo made by the Herbivorous Butcher. Finally, a deep-fried corn dog on a stick that’s vegan.

Cajan Cheese Curds at Solem Concessions: Love the classic cheese curds? Well, this year they’re adding a twist. Cajan curds are a vegetarian and flavorful alternative to the curds you know.

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