6 Must-Have Food + Drink Items At The 2023 Minnesota State Fair
If you're making a trip (or a few) to the Great Minnesota Get-Together, a giant piece of a visit for many is the huge variety of food and beverage options available. Whether it is an annual tradition like enjoying a Pronto Pup or sweet corn or sampling the new items, the food and drinks are a huge draw.
Deciding what to pick can be a bit overwhelming. Here are some recommendations that stray a little from the traditional fair items that are 100% worth your money this year!
Cheese Curd Stuffed Pizza Pretzel
This is a new food item for the 2023 fair, and it is just as good as it sounds. Pizza? Pretzel? Cheese Curds? All amazing. Blend them together? A force to be reckoned with.
This pretzel comes stuffed with cheese curds and pepperoni, served with pizza herbs and spices and pepperoni bits as a garnish, and a side of pizza sauce for dipping. It packs a lot of pizza flavor in a peel-and-eat pretzel that will make cheese lovers happy. One little thing for those who are fans of stuffed-crust pizza, remember that it's cheese curds in your pretzel and not melted mozzarella. It took me a second to remind myself of that after biting into it.
Try it without the dipping sauce before you have it with the sauce. It is quite good without it, but adding the sauce (while not necessary to be great) does round out the flavor quite nicely.
9.5 out of 10
Found at the Green Mill booth at the east side of Cooper St. between Randall & Wright avenues, at Family Fair at Baldwin Park (near the Great Big Wheel).
Peanut Butter Creme Doughnut
Another new item for 2023, this seemed to be one of the most popular items at the fair this year based on the line alone. After getting a taste, it's easy to see why.
These things are made by Peachey’s Baking Company, a new vendor for 2023. They offer regular glazed Amish Doughnuts and peanut butter creme one.
All of the doughnuts from Peachey's are pretty big, rolled out fresh in the booth. The peanut butter creme doughnut does a fantastic job of being a sweet treat, without being overwhelmingly sweet.
The warm doughnut, covered with chilled house-made vanilla custard, peanut butter crumbles and whipped cream, has a subtle peanut butter flavor that's complimented by the rest of the sweet-but-not-too-sweet toppings. The whole item eats like an extravagant dessert
10 out of 10
Found at the Peachey’s Baking Company booth on the north side of Randall Ave. at Cosgrove St., outside the Progress Center (just down the block to the east oof the Great Big Wheel).
Flirty Fruity Bubbles (Alcoholic drink)
Keeping with the sweet theme for a bit, we depart foods for a drink. This is not a new item this year. It has been available for at least the last year or two, but it is still worth adding to your day if you're of-age and want a cocktail that will remind you of your younger years.
This beverage bursts with vibrant fruity flavors, but in a well-balanced way that is in no way obnoxious or overwhelming. The beverage itself is a smooth grape/fruity concoction that includes wine from Cannon River Winery in Cannon Falls, MN. That beverage gets accented by a rim of crushed Fruity Pebbles that add some fruity flavor and dash of color to the deep purple drink.
Sweet but not too sweet, bold and flavorful but not overwhelming, this drink comes in at 7% ABV.
9.5 out of 10
It can be found at The Hideaway Speakeasy on the upper level of the Grandstand in The Veranda.
Chicken Momo With Tomato Chutney
Another new food from a new vendor for 2023. The Chicken Momo is a limited-time item only available for a portion of the fair. It includes a blend of ground chicken, cabbage, onion, ginger and other spices steamed in a dough wrapper. It is served with tomato chutney.
These pack a lot of savory flavor in a delicious little bundle. Be sure to try one by itself to get a sense of the great flavor combination of the chicken and other ingredients. The flavor profile and texture is quite delicious. The tomato chutney dipping sauce adds another delicious layer to the complex flavors of this dish.
Do be aware that the whole package does pack a bit of spice. It is by no means overbearing, even for those who don't like spicy foods. It is just something that does have a bit higher level of boldness and spice than many of the other foods you'll have around the fair.
9.5 out of 10
Found in the Midtown Global Market's MomoDosa in the International Bazaar.
Garlic-Flavored Cheese Curds
This is a top-notch spin on the classic fair favorite. Don't be fooled by their "plain" appearance. They are anything but plan!
This booth offers traditional cheese curds and three flavored varieties, including ranch, jalapeño, and garlic. Classic cheese curds are hard to beat, but the garlic flavor added in with these fried pieces of cheesy heaven is beyond-words delicious.
If you are a fan of garlic, these cheese curds offer a notable. but not overwhelming garlic flavor that makes these stand out as a must-try among all of the cheese curd options at the fair.
If you're feeling adventurous, this vendor sells each flavor individually, or you can buy a sampler container that offers some of each of their four varieties.
10 out of 10
Found at Miller's Flavored Cheese Curds on the east side of Nelson St. between Dan Patch & Carnes avenues, next to the Giant Slide.
Ice Cream from the Dairy Building
I know what you're thinking - this is just an ice cream cone. What is so spectacular about that?
This booth in the Dairy Building has been serving up ice cream cones, malts, and sundaes for many years. Everyone I have ever gone to the fair with has agreed - this is some of the best ice cream at the fair.
Yes, there are a lot of ice cream vendors at the fair, all offering some incredible ice cream treats - some of them pretty elaborate. The sheer simplicity of the creamy soft-serve ice cream from Dairy Goodness in the Dairy Building is a delicious and refreshing way to cool down at the fair. It's something I've made a tradition for as long as I've gone to the fair. More specifically, the twist cone.
10 out of 10
Found at the Dairy Goodness booth in the Dairy Building on the South wall - near the butter carvings of Princess Kay.
If you're looking to check out some of the new foods making their debut at the fair this year, here's a full list of the new food items and where to find them: