New Minnesota State Fair Foods 2018

Cheese curds, a corn dog—there is a difference between these and pronto pups—a turkey sandwich, and mini doughnuts (paired with all-you-can-drink ice-cold milk, of course). That’s my list of must-haves when I go to the State Fair (which will be coming up Aug. 23 through Labor Day, Sept. 3, 2018). The remainder of the foods filled in throughout the day is open for experimentation.

I imagine that’s how it is with many fairgoers. It’s always fun to try some new items—and they may just rise in the ranks to be on your must-have list for this auspicious occasion next year. 

Do you like breaded and deep-fried cheese curds, too? Or maybe you can’t do dairy? The fair has all of your food needs, wishes, and whims covered with 27 official new foods this year. In total, the Great Minnesota Get-Together offers nearly 500 foods at 300 concessions located throughout the fairgrounds. Try the vegan and gluten-free fresh cauliflower pieces dipped in seasoned batter and deep-fried, known as Earth Wings. (They sound tasty even if you can eat dairy and gluten.) Another bite-sized, deep-fried tidbit, the Irish Tater Kegs, goes the other route with a blend of corned beef, cheese, and more. Make sure to work the food off a little by walking to see the animals and exhibits or go and catch some music in between bites! 

Here is a listing of official new foods for 2018 in alphabetical order. 

1. Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl: Ahi tuna, avocado, mango, and pico de gallo tossed in a Hawaiian ginger-soy sauce served cold over rice with a fried wonton. 
At Café Caribe, located on the south side of Carnes Avenue between Chambers and Nelson streets

2. Bananas Foster French Toast: Cinnamon swirl French toast topped with slices of fresh bananas in an orange-rum-flavored caramel sauce and finished with a dollop of whipped cream. 
At Hamline Church Dining Hall, located on the north side of Dan Patch Avenue between Underwood and Cooper streets

3. BBQ Split: Scoops of BBQ pulled pork, mac and cheese, and coleslaw served side-by-side with a pickle spear.
At Midtown Global Market’s Mama D’s, located in the Taste of Midtown Global Market booth at the International Bazaar, east wall (available Aug. 29-Sept. 3 only)

4. Blueberry Rhubarb Cobbler: A blend of organic blueberries and rhubarb topped with a cornmeal biscuit and whipped cream.
At Farmers Union Coffee Shop, located on the north side of Dan Patch Ave. between Cooper and Cosgrove streets

5. Earth Wings: Fresh cauliflower pieces dipped in a seasoned batter, deep-fried and smothered in organic sesame BBQ sauce. Vegan and gluten-free.
At French Meadow Bakery & Cafe, located on the north side of Carnes Avenue between Nelson and Underwood streets

6. Firecracker Shrimp Stuffed Avocado: Gulf white shrimp tossed with lime, onion, black beans, tomato, and fire-roasted corn in a garlic aioli, drizzled with cilantro-infused olive oil, stuffed in avocado halves, and served open-face with flatbread.
At The Hideaway Speakeasy, located in the Veranda, Grandstand upper level, northwest section

7. General Tso Chicken Taco: Battered and deep-fried chicken tossed in a sauce of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and Asian spices, with seasoned cream cheese and topped with wonton crisps and green onion, served on a flour tortilla.
At Midtown Global Market’s Taco Cat, located in the Taste of the Midtown Global Market booth at the International Bazaar, east wall (available Aug. 23-28 only)

8. Honey Cream Soda Float: Honey cream soda (made without sugar) poured over Minnesota Grown honey ice cream.
At Minnesota Honey Producers Association, located in the Agriculture Horticulture Building, north side

9. Irish Tater Kegs: Jumbo deep-fried tater tots made with a blend of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, sour cream, and potatoes drizzled with house-made Thousand Island dressing and nestled on a bed of sauerkraut.
At O’Gara’s at the Fair, located on the southwest corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street

10. Mangonada Shave Ice: Mango-flavored shave ice drizzled with Mexican chamoy sauce, dusted with tajin chili powder, topped with popping mango boba pearls, and served with a tamarind candy straw.
At Minnesnowii Shave Ice, located at West End Market, south section

11. Messy Giuseppe: A blend of seasoned ground beef and Italian pork sausage smothered in marinara, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and served on crusty Italian bread.
At Mancini’s al Fresco, located on the north side of Carnes Avenue between Nelson and Underwood streets

12. Moroccan Sausage Bowl: Coarse ground beef and lamb sausage seasoned with herbs, sweet spices, and a hint of red pepper, cooked with carrots, turnips, and chick peas, and topped with sautéed onions and a green olive.
At Sausage by Cynthia, located on the north side of Judson Avenue between Nelson and Underwood streets

13. Nordic Waffles: Fresh-made waffle wraps in seven varieties: All-Day Breakfast (egg, bacon, cheddar), Berries and Cream (raspberry and strawberry mixture with vanilla cream), Cinna-Sugar Butter (cinnamon, sugar, and butter), Slammin’ Salmon On-A-Stick (Norwegian smoked salmon with cream cheese and green onions), S’More (marshmallow crème, crumbled graham crackers, and Nutella), Turkey Chipotle Club (turkey, bacon, and mixed greens with Sriracha mayo sauce), and Vegetarian Viking (black bean veggie burger, cheddar cheese, mixed greens, chipotle sauce).
At Nordic Waffles, located at West End Market, southwest section

14. Pepperoni Chips with Roasted Red Pepper Queso: Thinly sliced fried pepperoni chips served with a warm roasted red pepper cheese sauce.
At LuLu’s Public House, located at West End Market, south of Schilling Amphitheater

15. Rainbow Cloud Roll: Three scoops of ice cream sprinkled with fruity cereal and wrapped in a pillow of cotton candy. Hand-rolled on-site. Ice cream choices include Superman, vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate.
At Rainbow Ice Cream, located in the Grandstand, upper level, east section near the elevator

16. Shrimp Ceviche: Fresh shrimp, cucumbers, jalapeños, onions, tomatoes, and cilantro tossed with a citrus lime juice and served cold with tortilla chips.
At Shrimp Shack, located on the southwest corner of Carnes Avenue and Underwood Street

17. Slider Flights: Flights of three slider sandwiches, each with a variety of toppings, available in three varieties:
Brisket Flight: One slider topped with coleslaw, one with pickles and onions, and one with crispy fried onions
Burger Flight: One slider topped with thick-cut candied bacon and cheddar cheese, one with smoked gouda, and one with BBQ sauce, pepper jack cheese and crispy fried onions
Pulled Pork Flight: One slider topped with coleslaw, one with pickles and onions, and one with crispy fried onions
At The Hangar, located on the northeast corner of Murphy Avenue and Underwood Street

18. Smoked Soft Serve Ice Cream: Cold-smoked cream available in two flavors, all made on-site:
• Cold Brew Coffee infused with cold-smoked Arabica beans and topped with chocolate espresso dust, a toasted marshmallow, and a chocolate cookie on the side
• Muscovado Sugar Vanilla combines vanilla bean and cold-smoked molasses-rich cane sugar served with a toasted marshmallow and bacon candy round on the side
Optional sauces available: bourbon-soaked cherries or hot chocolate
At Blue Moon Dine-In Theater, located on the northeast corner of Carnes Avenue and Chambers Street

19. Swedish Meatball Smörgås: Meatball sandwich with three traditional Swedish pork and beef meatballs topped with white gravy, lingonberry sauce, and dill pickles.
At The Blue Barn, located at West End Market, south of the History & Heritage Center

20. Sweet Greek Cheese Puffs: Flaky phyllo dough filled with feta and ricotta cheese, deep-fried, drizzled with honey and topped with powdered sugar.
At Dino’s Gyros, located on the north side of Carnes Avenue between Nelson and Underwood streets

21. Sweetie Cakes: Choice of black forest cake, birthday cake, or chocolate peanut butter cake, baked in a cup packed with Sassy Pecan toffee bits and served warm, topped with real whipping cream and more toffee bits.
At Sweetie Cakes, located in the Food Building, south wall

22. Triple Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake: Dense chocolate cake with chocolate chips and fudge icing smothered with strawberries and whipped cream.
At The Strawberry Patch, on the west side of Liggett Street between Carnes and Judson avenues

23. Turducken Sausage Sandwich: A blend of turkey, duck, and chicken served on a fennel bun and accompanied by a side of Giggles’ sweet and saucy relish. Gluten-friendly bun available upon request; sausage is gluten-free, no nitrates added.
At Giggles’ Campfire Grill, located on the southeast corner of Lee Avenue and Cooper Street at The North Woods

24. UpNorth Puff Pasty: Porketta sausage, cheese curds, coarse grain mustard, and chopped dill pickle baked in a puffy crust sprinkled with pepper and sea salt.
At Sausage Sister & Me, located in the Food Building, east wall

25. Wood-Grilled Elote: Corn on-the-cob grilled over an oak wood fire, brushed with chile-spiced mayo and sprinkled with queso Cotija and fresh lime juice.
At Tejas Express, located in The Garden, north wall

26. Za-Waffle Sticks: Waffles blended with pepperoni and mozzarella, topped with a parmesan herb blend, and served with pepperoni-infused maple syrup or marinara sauce.
At Green Mill, located on the east side of Cooper St. between Randall & Wright avenues, at Family Fair at Baldwin Park

27. Zesty PB&J Sausage: Peanut butter, cherry jelly, and a hint of cayenne pepper and cilantro blended into a quarter-pound sausage.
At Gass Station Grill, located on the west side of Cooper St. between Dan Patch and Judson avenues, outside southeast corner of the Food Building

Check out the corresponding numbers on the Map of 2018 Official New Foods Locations below to find the new foods.

A map of where to find the new 2018 State Fair foods. Courtesy Minnesota State Fair.

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Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her school-age son, who used to eat beets and Indian food, will one day again think of real food as more than a means to a treat—and later share this with his younger brother.