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10 foods worth eating at the 2022 Minnesota State Fair

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From alligator to milkshakes to deep-fried Twinkies, there are hundreds of foods available at the Minnesota State Fair.

And I have just as many guides to help you navigate your way around: a list of foods for first-timers, and another rattling off underrated foods. There’s even a guide with foods that the State Fair staff recommend.

It’s tradition for me to publish a list of the top foods you need to have at the Great Minnesota Get Together. It does change each year, and your feedback makes an impact. Don’t bother suggesting cookies or corn, though. Sure, they’re good, but they’re too basic. And gosh, those cookies are way overrated.

This list was compiled before the 2022 State Fair, and thus, does not include foods new to the Fair this year. A new list will be published before the end of the 2022 State Fair.

Click here for reviews of official and unofficial new foods.

Update August 26, 2022: A previous version of this article included the Blueberry Key Lime Pie from the Farmers Union booth. They did not bring that item back for the 2022 State Fair.

1. Wild Rice Cheeseburger

Wild Rice Specialties, Food Building

Wild Rice Cheeseburger
With my favorite State Fair food, the Wild Rice Cheeseburger.

Whether it is the bacon cheeseburger from Wendy’s or the classic cheeseburger from McDonald’s, Americans love their cheeseburgers. But, the Wild Rice Cheeseburger is my number one food at the Minnesota State Fair. It’s a hamburger patty with wild rice mixed inside. There’s a thin, melty slice of cheese on top. I get it with onions, but you can opt out of those if you want. The bun is buttery and perfect.

Every year, I have multiple people contact me on Twitter after they tried this burger because they wanted to thank me for the recommendation.

This cheeseburger needs to be in your life. If you have a Blue Ribbon Bargain book, Wild Rice Specialties is offering $3 off a burger in 2022 with the coupon inside.

2022 Cost: $9

2. Deep-fried Cookie Dough

Sonny’s Fair Food, Food Building

Deep-fried Cookie Dough
One order of Deep-fried Cookie Dough typically is good for 3 people. It’s so rich you won’t want more than 1 ball.

Put down the bucket of Sweet Martha’s Cookies and venture into the Food Building for Deep-fried Cookie Dough. One order comes with three generous portions that are skewered on-a-stick and topped with powdered sugar. It’s rich, so you’ll be good after eating just one ball.

In 2019, the Fair added a new vendor serving deep-fried cookie dough. It doesn’t even come close to what they’re doing at Sonny’s.

2022 Cost: $9

3. Australian Potatoes

Australian Potatoes, Judson Avenue across from the Coliseum

Australian Battered Potatoes
Australian Battered Potatoes are worth the higher price point, mostly because they’re extremely filling.

I asked Twin Cities Live fans what they feel are the most underrated foods at the Minnesota State Fair, and the Australian Potatoes came in number one. I can see why. They’re hot, thinly sliced potatoes deep-fried and covered in ranch, chipotle, sweet chili, and cheese.

You will not be able to eat an order of these on your own. They’re incredibly filling. If you go with a group of folks, splitting an order of these turns into one of the most cost-friendly foods you can find on the Fairgrounds.

The owner tells me that the ranch/bacon/cheese option and the spicy chipotle flavors are the most popular. The booth has been at the Fairgrounds for nearly 30 years.

2022 Cost: $12.50-14.50

Related: The most underrated foods at the Minnesota State Fair

Also on Give Me The Mike…
State Fair Information Booths answer up to 180,000 questions a year. Here are the top 5

4. Onion Rings

Danielson’s & Daughters, outside the south side of the Food Building

Danielsons and Daughters Onion Rings
These aren’t like onion rings you get at the bar.

The Onion Rings from Danielson’s and Daughters is another underrated food Twin Cities Live viewers tipped me off about. They’re thin and light, and when you bite down on them, the whole onion doesn’t come out from the batter.

Get $2.25 off an order of these with a coupon in the Blue Ribbon Bargain Book.

2022 Cost: $7.25

Related: The most underrated foods at the Minnesota State Fair

5. & 6. First Kiss Apple & Cider Popsicle

Minnesota Apples, in the Agriculture Horticulture Building

Make sure to have your first kiss at the State Fair.

You need a break from the deep-fried goodness while you’re out at the State Fair, and one of the best spots to visit is the Minnesota Apples booth in the Agriculture Horticulture (Ag Hort) Building.

The First Kiss apple is developed by the University of Minnesota and is tangy and super juicy. The name comes from the fact that it is one of the first apples to come from the season’s harvest.

The inexpensive apple cider popsicle.

While you’re at their booth, make sure to get a cider popsicle. It’s an inexpensive treat that will cool you down.

Make sure you know there are three counters to order from at their booth, not just one. Every time I stop by, people would stand in line for the “register” closest to the middle of the building. There’s no need to stand in that line. You can walk right up to any of the windows and pick out your apples. All windows sell the exact same menu items.

2022 Costs: First Kiss Apple $3, Apple Cider Popsicle $3.

Also on Give Me The Mike…
5 best ice cream shops in Minnesota

7. & 8. Peg Muffin & Boss Hog

The Peg, outside of the Agriculture Horticulture Building

The Peg, the only full-service restaurant at the State Fair.

The Peg is the State Fair’s only full-service, sit down restaurant. It’s like a Perkins, but the food is oh-so-much-more better. They have been on the Fairgrounds for over four decades.

If you’re going in the morning, you should stop by for Peg Muffin. It’s a sausage patty, fried egg, cheese and tomato on an English muffin. Epic good. The only issue: The Peg only serves breakfast until 11:30 am.

The Boss Hog from The Peg.

If you’re not an early bird and are a carnivore, you need to order the Boss Hog. The sandwich, new in 2019, is a meat lover’s dream, with smoked ham, bacon, barbecue pork, pepper jack cheese, coleslaw, chipotle and mayo on a bun.

2022 Costs: Peg Muffin $7, Boss Hog $13

Related: State Fair Information Booths answer up to 180,000 questions a year. Here are the top 5.

9. Fresh French Fries

2 locations, including Judson Avenue by the Dairy Building, and by the Midway

Not all French fries are created equal. There is something about these fries that make them stand out. It could be potato, it could be how their fried, or it could be the salt. But there are no better French fries on the Fairgrounds than this specific booth.

2022 Cost: $8-15

10. Pickle Dog

Pickle Dog, Carnes Avenue near the Midway

Pickle Dog

I will admit it: it’s incredibly easy to make a pickle dog, or as some will call it, a pickle roll up. It’s pastrami with a healthy spread of cream cheese and a pickle spear, which is rolled up. But there is something special about eating one of these at the State Fair.

The Pickle Dog is the classic. The Fire Dog has jalapeños and the Reuben Dog has sauerkraut. You’re good no matter the choice.

I asked the full-time State Fair staff what foods they eat during the Fair, and the relatively simple Pickle Dog made the list. See more of their top-notch choices.

2022 Cost: $9

A bonus drink! Mini Donut Beer

Ball Park Cafe, Underwood Street near The Garden

Mini Donut Beer

You need something to wash all this food down, and a Mini Donut Beer is a great choice. Made by Stillwater-based Lift Bridge Brewery, the beer isn’t as sweet as you would expect. It’s best without the sugar rim.

2022 Cost: $6-10

Related: The cheapest beer, water and pop at the Minnesota State Fair

Honorable mention

Pig Wings

Mancini’s al Fresco, Carnes Avenue near Ye Old Mill

Egg Roll On-a-Stick

Que Viet, Cooper Street near Bandshell

Vanilla Malt

Sadie’s Frozen Custard, near Miracle of Birth Center

Frozen Grain Belt Blu Beer

Schell’s, West End Market

Also on Give Me The Mike…
9 foods every first-time Minnesota State Fair attendee must eat


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This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Janice M Berri

    Does the fair have contests like pies and pickles?

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