Today is hype-level 11. The list of the moment is: All the new foods at the 2022 Minnesota State Fair!
The buzzy joy and anticipation of a summer stroll through the fairgrounds whilst eating all the freshly fried snacks is, perhaps, worth a little hype. We’ve been wondering how this year’s list will be different from last year’s more abbreviated experience. Will we find more innovation or more safe bets? Does the official list lean into stunt food? Or will it play to a wider palate? Can it please not exceed 50 things?
Judge as you will, and start picking out your stretchy pants. Of course you’ll remember that this isn’t the full list of new foods, there will be those Bonus Foods (TM) that pop onto the list just before the gates open on Thursday, August 25th. And we’ll be there with our nearly patented Get-It-Skip-It-Your-Call Guide (brook no imitators!) and Dara’s Top Five to help you plan your work and work your plan.
+ Scroll down to see what we’re most excited for!
All Quacked Up!: Fried, farm-fresh duck egg from Graise Farm in Faribault atop shaved smoked ham, aged cheddar cheese, tomato and spinach, served open-face on toasted sourdough bread with paprika aioli. At The Hideaway Speakeasy, located in the Veranda, Grandstand upper level, northwest section
Arepa Bar’s Three Arepas – Pulled Pork, The Queen and Vegan (pronounced ah-reh-pah): Baked Venezuelan crispy corn pocket with choice of three fillings (all arepas are gluten-free): The Pulled Pork Arepa is pork shoulder slow-roasted in red wine and vegetables served with shredded cheddar cheese, cabbage, carrots, green onions and parsley; The Queen (Reina Pepiada) is pulled chicken and avocado puree salad topped with mozzarella cheese and fresh arugula; and the Vegan Arepa is house-prepared black beans, fried sweet plantains, cabbage, carrots, green onions and parsley. At Midtown Global Market’s Arepa Bar*, located in the Taste of the Midtown Global Market booth at the International Bazaar, east wall (Available Aug. 31-Sept. 5 only) *New Vendor
Baba’s Two Hummus Bowls – Beauty and the Buffalo and Coco-Nuts: Beauty and the Buffalo bowl features ranch hummus, buffalo chicken, crumbled blue cheese, scallions, buffalo sauce and buffalo dust, served with pita puffs. The Coco-Nuts bowl features hazelnut chocolate hummus, chocolate chips, hazelnuts, shredded coconut and bananas, served with powdered sugar pita puffs. (Coco-Nuts is vegan and can be gluten-free without the pita puffs.) At Baba’s, located on the east side of Underwood Street between Lee and Randall avenues, just south of Little Farm Hands
Birthday Cake Paleta (pronounced pah-lay-tuh): A Mexican frozen dessert on-a-stick made with chunks of birthday cake, sprinkles and a vanilla extract base, specially created by locally owned La Michoacana Rose (pronounced meech- oo-a-kahn-a) to celebrate Hamline Church Dining Hall’s 125th year at the fair. Additional paleta varieties are also available. At Hamline Church Dining Hall, located on the north side of Dan Patch Avenue between Underwood and Cooper streets
Breakfast Gnocchi: A bed of potato gnocchi topped with scrambled eggs, bacon, pesto cream, shallots and balsamic glaze. At The Blue Barn, located at West End Market, south of the History & Heritage Center
Buzz’n … Hot Honey Chicken Sausage Kebob: Hot honey drizzled over chicken sausage skewered with cornmeal biscuit chunks and served on a bed of coleslaw. At Sausage Sister & Me, located in the Food Building, east wall
Celebration Cake On-A-Stick: White cake infused with almond flavoring and decorated with white frosting. This mini version of Mancini’s house cake can be personalized on-site with short text to celebrate a favorite fair fan or special occasion. At Mancini’s al Fresco, located on the north side of Carnes Avenue between Nelson and Underwood streets
Chick N Swiss Sausage: Grilled chicken sausage custom-made with chunks of Swiss cheese and asparagus, ground pineapple, bacon and jalapeño, served on a bun. At Gass Station Grill, located on the west side of Cooper Street between Dan Patch and Judson avenues, outside southeast corner of the Food Building
Chicken Tandoori Rolls (pronounced tan-DOOR-ee): Chicken seasoned with tandoori spices, onions and peppers wrapped in paratha (pronounced purr-AH-tah) flatbread, then grilled and served with a side of avocado cilantro lime sauce. At Holy Land, located at the International Bazaar, southeast corner
Chilaquiles Breakfast (pronounced chee-leh kee-lehs): Fried corn tortilla strips sauteed with guajillo (pronounced gwa-HEE-yo) chile salsa and topped with scrambled eggs, pico de gallo, cotija (pronounced kuh-TEE-huh) cheese, avocado and crema. At Tejas Express, located in The Garden, north wall
Concha Bacon Burger (pronounced CONE-chah): All-beef patty with raspberry aioli, lettuce, pepper jack cheese, pickled jalapeños and bacon served on a concha, a traditional Mexican sweet bread roll. At Aldo’s, located in Warner Coliseum, west side
Cotton Candy Float: Cotton candy soda poured over Kemps vanilla ice cream and topped with cotton candy. At German Root Beer and Popcorn, located east of Chambers Street, just south of the Grandstand
Deep-Fried Ice Cream: Handmade ice cream bar covered with a crispy corn flake coating, deep-fried, drizzled with raspberry and blueberry sauces, and topped with sprinkles. (Vegetarian) At Snack House, located in the Warner Coliseum, south side
Dej Qab Zib (Sweet Refreshment): A coconut lychee (pronounced LAI-chee) colada made with a blend of coconut milk, lychee syrup, lime and mint, served over ice. (Vegan) At Union Hmong Kitchen*, located at the International Bazaar, south wall, west corner *New Vendor
Earth Sliders TM and “Meat” Balls & Marinara EarthSlidersTM are a marinated, battered and crispy fried “chicken” patty topped with house-made, slightly spicy secret sauce, shredded lettuce and house-made cucumber pickles that have been marinated in turmeric, garlic and sweet onion, served on a grilled bun. “Meat” Balls & Marinara are Italian herb-seasoned “meat” balls browned and sauteed in house-made garlic and oregano red marinara sauce, topped with plant-based Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, served with a slice of grilled sourdough bread. (Both entrees are vegan.) At French Meadow Bakery & Cafe, located on the north side of Carnes Avenue between Nelson and Underwood streets
Gray Duck Sundae: Bridgeman’s Black Licorice Ice Cream topped with marshmallow cream, crunchy mini marshmallows, whipped cream and a cherry. At Bridgeman’s Ice Cream, located on the northeast corner of Judson Avenue and Liggett Street
Poultrygeist and Steak-xorcist: Poultrygeist is fried chicken topped with sausage gravy and french fried onions on buttery Texas toast; and Steak-xorcist is chicken fried steak topped with sausage gravy and french fried onions on buttery Texas toast. (Both entrees are vegan.) At The Herbivorous Butcher*, located in the Food Building, west section, south wall *New Vendor
Kulfi: Indian-Style Ice Cream in Three Flavors (pronounced kuhl-fee): Made with condensed milk, nuts and infused spices. Available in three creamy flavors: Almond/Cashew/Pistachio Kulfi; Mango Kulfi; and Saffron/Almond/Pistachio Kulfi. (All Kulfi are gluten-free and vegetarian.) At Hot Indian, located in the Food Building, east wall
Lemon Cookie Tortilla Chips: Lemon sandwich cookies deconstructed into four large tortilla chips made from a blend of cookies and corn, served with creamy-center-of-the-cookie cream dip topped with lemon curd. At Blue Moon Dine-In Theater, located on the northeast corner of Carnes Avenue and Chambers Street
Minne Hot Hot: Smoked Rib Tips tossed in Nashville Hot Sauce, served with Comeback Sauce. At RC’s BBQ, located on the north side of West Dan Patch Avenue between Liggett and Chambers streets
Minneblueberry Pie: Handmade blueberry pie made with a crisp, flaky crust, filled with blueberries, and served with vanilla ice cream. (Vegan if served without ice cream) At Minneapple Pie, located on the south side of Judson Avenue between Nelson and Underwood streets
Molotes (pronounced mah-LOE-tehs): Deep-fried corn masa empanadas with choice of fillings: Chipotle Style is filled with shredded chipotle chicken and topped with chipotle sour cream, cotija (pronounced kuh-TEE-huh) cheese and fresh cilantro; and Elote Style is filled with roasted corn and topped with mayo, cotija cheese and Tajin (pronounced tuh-HEEN) seasoning (can be prepared vegan). (Gluten-free) At Midtown Global Market’s Andy’s Garage, located in the Taste of Midtown Global Market booth at the International Bazaar, east wall (Available Aug. 25-30 only)
Mov + Nqaij (Rice + Meat) (Mov pronounced mah and Nqaii pronounced ngoy): Purple sticky rice with choice of sauce, including Krunchy Chili Oil (dried Thai chilis, garlic, shallots), Lemongrass Scallion Dressing (lemongrass, ginger, garlic, shallots), and Tiger Bite (Thai chilis, garlic, shallots, cilantro, fish sauce, oyster sauce, lime juice); plus, choice of skewered and grilled meat, including Hmong Sausage (house-made coarse-ground pork sausage link with Krunchy Chili Oil), Hilltribe Chicken Thigh (ginger, lemongrass), or Lemongrass Turmeric Tofu (marinated in a lemongrass and turmeric blend). (All items gluten-free; vegan options available) At Union Hmong Kitchen*, located at the International Bazaar, south wall, west corner *New Vendor
New Mexico Chile Dog Sliders Two Ways: Green chile and red chile – made with roasted-on-site New Mexico Hatch chiles and a hint of chorizo pork, topped with queso-style cheese and red onion, served over all-beef hot dogs on slider buns. Comes with a prickly pear cactus slushie shooter on the side. At Blue Moon Dine-In Theater, located on the northeast corner of Carnes Avenue and Chambers Street
Nordic Waffles – Belly Full Nordic Waffle and Vanilla Dream Nordic Waffle: Two new fresh-made waffle sandwiches: Belly Full is a spring onion-infused Nordic Waffle filled with sous vide (pronounced sue-veed) seasoned pork belly with coleslaw and locally made jalapeño jam; Vanilla Dream is a Nordic Waffle coated with cinnamon and sugar and filled with Norwegian vanilla custard cream. At Nordic Waffles, located at West End Market, south section
Pickle Pizza: Hand-tossed homemade pizza dough topped with homemade specialty dill ranch sauce, fresh mozzarella and crunchy dill pickles, and finished with dill weed seasoning. At Rick’s Pizza*, located on the west side of Cosgrove Street between Wright and Dan Patch avenues *New Vendor
Pink Guava Slushie: Frozen slushie drink made with juice squeezed from fresh pink guavas. At Holy Land, located at the International Bazaar, southeast corner
Pork Schnitzel Sandwich: Breaded and deep-fried Minnesota pork loin topped with pickled cabbage and served with mustard mayo on a toasted bun. At Minnesota Farmers Union Coffee Shop, located on the north side of Dan Patch Avenue between Cooper and Cosgrove streets
Reuben Rolls: Corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut hand-rolled in an egg roll wrapper, deep-fried and served with a side of O’Gara’s homemade Thousand Island dressing. At O’Gara’s at the Fair, located on the southwest corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street
Soulsicle: Fried chicken on-a-stick topped with candied yam sauce, cornbread crumble, mac-and-cheese seasoned cheddar cheese, hot sauce and green onions. At Soul Bowl*, located in the Food Building, east wall *New Vendor
Sundae Sammie: Grilled sandwich with cinnamon bread, Minnesota strawberry jam, vanilla cream, fresh strawberries, whipped cream, toasted peanuts, confetti sprinkles and flaked sea salt. (Gluten-free and vegan options available) At Jammy Sammies by Brim, located at the North End, northwest section, across from the North End Event Center
Sweet Cheese Blintz: Soft baked crepe filled with sweet vanilla-flavored cream cheese and sprinkled with powdered sugar. At iPierogi, located in the Food Building, south wall
Sweet Potato Poutine: Sweet potato waffle fries topped with cheese curds, Beyond chorizo sausage, turmeric gravy, pico de gallo and fresh cilantro. (Vegetarian)At The Blue Barn, located at West End Market, south of the History & Heritage Center
Tandoor-Fired Jerk Chicken Mini’zza (pronounced tahn-DUER): White chicken meat, bell pepper, onion medley, whole milk mozzarella cheese and West Indies Soul Food’s signature Jamaican Jerk Sauce on a buttermilk naan crust baked in a tandoor oven. At West Indies Soul Food, located at the International Bazaar, south wall
Tirokroketes (pronounced tee-roh-kroe-kehts): Mix of spicy feta, cream cheese and mozzarella blended with Dino’s Greek seasoning, then rolled in a gluten-free panko, deep-fried and sprinkled with lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and Dino’s seasoning. (Gluten-free, vegetarian) At Dino’s Gyros, located on the north side of Carnes Avenue between Nelson and Underwood streets
Tot Dog: All-beef hot dog dipped in corn dog batter, rolled in a mixture of minced tater tots, cheddar cheese and onions, then deep-fried. At LuLu’s Public House, located at West End Market, south of Schilling Amphitheater
Turmeric Ginger Lemon Surprise: Fresh ginger, turmeric syrup and a dash of bitters mixed with West Indies Soul Food’s Original Caribbean Lemonade. (Gluten-free, vegan) At West Indies Soul Food, located at the International Bazaar, south wall
Vegan Corn Dog: Plant-based vegan hot dog hand-dipped in plant-based vegan corn dog batter and deep-fried. At Daryl’s Dog House, located on the south side of Carnes Avenue between Nelson and Underwood streets
NEW FOOD VENDORS:
Arepa Bar (pronounced ah-reh-pah): Serving official new foods – arepas in three varieties, including Pulled Pork (pork shoulder, shredded cheddar, cabbage, carrots, green onions, parsley); The Queen (pulled chicken and avocado puree, mozzarella, arugula); and Vegan (black beans, fried sweet plantains, cabbage, carrots, green onions, parsley). Plus, Papelón con Limón, a cold beverage made with unrefined cane sugar and fresh-squeezed lime juice. Located in the Taste of the Midtown Global Market booth at the International Bazaar, east wall (Available Aug. 31-Sept. 5 only)
Bridge n’ Barrel Root Beer: From two locations, serving Lift Bridge Root Beer, Lift Bridge Black Cherry Soda, pink lemonade and assorted other sodas. Located on the north side of Dan Patch Avenue between Nelson and Underwood streets and on the northwest corner of Carnes Avenue and Underwood Street
The Herbivorous Butcher (pronounced her-BIH-ver-ous): Serving the official new food Two Vegan Entrees – Poultrygeist (fried chicken topped with sausage gravy and french fried onions on buttery Texas toast) and Steak-xorcist (chicken fried steak topped with sausage gravy and french fried onions on buttery Texas toast). Plus, Monster Mash combines Poultrygeist and Steak-xorcist in the same boat. Located in the Food Building, west section, south wall
Nautical Bowls: Will serve four fresh superfood bowls: Anchor Bowl (açaí (pronounced ah-sah-EE), granola, banana, coconut flakes, cashew cacao butter); Nauti Bowl (açaí, pitaya, granola, banana, cacao nibs, peanut butter); Paddle Bowl (Blue Majik, mango, coconut, granola, strawberries, coconut flakes, honey); and Sunset Bowl (ube (pronounced ooh-beh), blood orange, granola, blueberries, coconut flakes, honey). Ingredients are organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based, and contain zero refined sugars. Located in the Food Building, center section, north wall
Rick’s Pizza: Serving official new food Pickle Pizza (hand-tossed homemade pizza dough topped with homemade specialty dill ranch sauce, fresh mozzarella and crunchy dill pickles, and finished with dill weed seasoning), plus cheese, pepperoni and sausage pizza and assorted beverages. Located on the west side of Cosgrove Street between Wright and Dan Patch avenues
Soul Bowl: Serving official new food Soulsicle (fried chicken on-a-stick topped with candied yam sauce, cornbread crumble, mac-and-cheese seasoned cheddar cheese, hot sauce and green onions), plus Donut Peach Cobbler (yeast- raised donut topped with peach cobbler filling and cookie crumbles) and Queen B Lemonade (blueberry lavender lemonade). Located in the Food Building, east wall
Union Hmong Kitchen: Serving official new foods Dej Qab Zib (Sweet Refreshment), a coconut lychee colada made with a blend of coconut milk, lychee syrup, lime and mint, served over ice (vegan); and Mov + Nqaij (Rice + Meat) – purple sticky rice with choice of sauce, including Krunchy Chili Oil (dried Thai chilis, garlic, shallots), Lemongrass Scallion Dressing (lemongrass, ginger, garlic, shallots), and Tiger Bite (Thai chilis, garlic, shallots, cilantro, fish sauce, oyster sauce, lime juice); plus, choice of skewered and grilled meat, including Hmong Sausage (house-made coarse- ground pork sausage link with Krunchy Chili Oil), Hilltribe Chicken Thigh (ginger, lemongrass), or Lemongrass Turmeric Tofu (marinated in a lemongrass and turmeric blend). (All items gluten-free; vegan options available) Located at the International Bazaar, south wall, west corner
Waffle Chix: Serving Brownie Waffle Stick, Chicken in a Waffle On-A-Stick, Breakfast Sausage in a Waffle On-A- Stick and assorted sodas. Located on the north side of Randall Avenue at Cosgrove Street, outside the Progress Center
Steph’s Hot Take Top Three:
I think this looks fun! Some zingers, some great new vendors, some WTFs! I’m in!
- Rick’s Pickle Pizza: For a low-key food, I have high expectations for this pickle sitch, and I’m gonna say dill weed all day long.
- Lulu’s Tot Dog: This potentially is everything I want in a State Fair food … fried, potatoes, questionable meat product, cheese as a binder, what’s not to love.
- Soul Bowl’s Soulsicle: Fried chicken on a stick with cheddar cheese, hot sauce and cornbread crumble. I feel like that’s summer in your face.
Dara Top 3 Picked to Click
Wow, it is an absolute championship year for new vendors, I can’t remember a year with so many newbies, and such exciting ones. Good job State Fair bookers! Good news all of us.
- Dej Qab Zib Union Hmong Kitchen at the State Fair! Be still my leaping heart!! Not only am I thrilled about the prospect of an icy lychee colada on a hot afternoon, I can’t wait to see what else the UHK team of James Beard nominated chef Yia Vang and State Fair veteran Marshall Paulson will do. Since St Paul is one of the world’s capitals of the Hmong diaspora, it’s only fitting that the biggest event of the St. Paul year feature our top Hmong chef.
- Poultrygeist! The Herbivorous Butcher comes to the food building? That’s huge news, they’re our home-grown wizards of clever vegan alchemy, and I’m putting my money on their Poultrygeist (faux fried chicken sandwich with faux sausage gravy) to bring outstate skeptics into the joys of modern veganism.
- Soulsicle! Very excited about the Soul Bowl team coming to the state fair, and their elaborate fried-chicken-on-a-stick called the Soulsicle seems State Fair perfect. Easy to carry, easy to understand, just fancy-enough, just familiar-enough, and has a high likelihood of folks in a hot State Fair booth pulling it off, deep-frying being one of the most reliable State Fair techniques. Fried chicken at the Fair has never been done well, but a lot of people have been saying Gerard Klass is going to be our next big hometown hero if he can pull this off? It’ll be huge.
Drew’s Top Eats
- Pickle Pizza: My kid drinks the pickle juice right out of the jar when the last pickle is gone, so if I didn’t pick this pizza I’d probably need to start watching my back around the house.
- Breakfast Gnocchi: I’ve never met a Blue Barn breakfast frankenfood that I didn’t love.
- Pink Guava Slushie: The route we take around the Fair every year usually lands us up near the International Bazaar last, so the idea of something uber refreshing like a slushie—a pink guava made by Holy Land, no less—waiting for me there pretty much sounds perfect.