Try Flavors From Around the World at the Minnesota State Fair

Visit these beloved spots for international cuisine at the State Fair
The Mangonada by Minnesnowii at the Minnesota State Fair
The Mangonada by Minnesnowii at the Minnesota State Fair

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

One of the undeniable food success stories of the 2018 Minnesota State Fair was the Minnesnowii Shave Ice stand in the West End Market. Once you’ve experienced Hawaiian-style shave ice’s pristine texture, you’ll never settle for another crusty Midwestern sno-cone again.

The stand’s Mangonada, which was featured on the fair’s popular list of new foods last year, was the runaway top seller. Mango-flavored shave ice alone would’ve been good, but the refreshing treat’s hot and savory spices, mango boba pearls, and tamarind straw give it beauty and depth.

“It exceeded my expectations,” says owner Jason Giandalia. “Our area usually dies out at 8 p.m. and I was there until 11-11:30 p.m. every night.”

Giandalia says he’s building a bigger stand with more serving windows to keep pace with demand at the 2019 Minnesota State Fair—but no new flavor planned. “I’m going to wait and see how sales retain from the Mangonada first before introducing another one,” he says. “I have several ideas and am excited to debut them, but not just yet.”

More Globally Inspired Grub at the State Fair

Manny’s Tortas

Manny Gonzalez, of Manny's Tortas
Manny Gonzalez, of Manny’s Tortas

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

In the northeast section of the Food Building, find Mexican tortas (a type of crusty sandwich made with ham), fresh pineapple, and piña coladas.

Try one of the deliciously sweet piña coladas at Manny's Tortas, located in the Food Building
The tongue-tinglingly sweet piña coladas

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

Manny's Tortas also serves—well, tortas, a type of Mexican sandwich again found in the Food Building
Tortas, a type of Mexican sandwich

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

Que Viet Concessions

Thuy-Vy Bui, of Que Viet Concessions
Thuy-Vy Bui, of Que Viet Concessions

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

Find egg rolls on-a-stick, garlic cream-cheese wontons, bubble tea, and Vietnamese iced coffee at the Que Viet Concessions stand, on the east side of Cooper Street outside of the Merchandise Market.

The egg roll on-a-stick by Que Viet Concessions
The egg roll on-a-stick

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

Cream cheese wontons at Que Viet Concessions
Cream cheese wontons

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

Holy Land

Holy Land Deli
Holy Land Deli

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

At the International Bazaar, on the south wall, the Holy Land deli focuses on Middle Eastern eats. Try a new offering this year: lamb T-bone chops.

Lamb T-Bone Chops
Lamb T-Bone Chops

Courtesy Minnesota State Fair

Lamb kabobs at Holy Land
Lamb kabobs

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

Harry Singh’s Original Caribbean Restaurant

Harry Singh, of Harry Singh's Original Caribbean Restaurant
Harry Singh, of Harry Singh’s Original Caribbean Restaurant

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

In the Food Building, on the east wall, Harry Singh’s Original Caribbean Restaurant serves up homestyle cooking, including Caribbean-style chicken wings and roti dishes.

Caribbean-style chicken wings at Harry Singh's Original Caribbean Restaurant
Caribbean-style chicken wings

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

Chickpeas on roti
Chickpeas on roti

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

Dino’s Gyros

Alysia Adamidis, of Dino's Gyros
Alysia Adamidis, of Dino’s Gyros

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

Yes, Dino’s Gyros has excellent gyros. New this year, they also serve feta bites—deep-fried Greek pasta dough stuffed with feta cheese, cream cheese, and Dino’s Greek seasoning, served with a creamy olive tapenade. Find them north of Carnes Avenue, between Nelson and Underwood Streets.

Feta Bites
Feta Bites

Courtesy Minnesota State Fair

Sweet Greek Cheese Puffs
Sweet Greek Cheese Puffs

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

West Indies Soul Food

West Indies Soul Food owner Sharon Richards-Noel (left)
West Indies Soul Food owner Sharon Richards-Noel (left)

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

At the International Bazaar, on the south wall, West Indies Soul Food delivers savory handhelds seasoned with Caribbean kick.

Jamaican chicken and beef patties at West Indies Soul Food
Jamaican chicken and beef patties at West Indies Soul Food

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

West Indies Soul Food
West Indies Soul Food

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

El Sol Mexican

Carlo Mendez, of El Sol Mexican
Carlo Mendez, of El Sol Mexican

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

El Sol Mexican crafts tacos on the east side of Underwood Street, between Dan Patch and Carnes Avenues, off the southwest corner of the Food Building.

Tacos from El Sol Mexican
Tacos from El Sol Mexican

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

El Sol Mexican
El Sol Mexican

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

Nordic Waffles

Stine Aasland, of Nordic Waffles
Stine Aasland, of Nordic Waffles

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

In a cabin in the West End Market, Nordic Waffles ladles batter onto its griddles all day, for sweet and savory creations that this year include a new, candy-and-cereal take: the Pebbles & Bam Bam.

A savory Nordic Waffles creation
A savory Nordic Waffles creation (cradled by food critic Jason DeRusha)

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

Pebbles & Bam Bam Waffle by Nordic Waffles
Pebbles & Bam Bam Waffle

Courtesy Minnesota State Fair

Facebook Comments