Arts & Culture

Foodie Favorites at the MN State Fair

Christine Horner, copy editor

Photo of pierogi from iPierogi on Sept. 2, taken by Christine Horner

Each year, the Minnesota State Fair resurges with what seems like endless food and drink choices. From pickle lemonade to pierogies, attendees could easily be overwhelmed by which choices are worth their money. I tried some of the beverages, foods and desserts to help customers narrow down their options for next year.

The beverages at the 2023 Minnesota State Fair were diverse, from coffee to coolers and everything in between. For a satisfying latte, seek out Anchor coffee, a returning vendor this year. One of their more unique offerings is the mini donut latte, a sweet and slightly spiced drink. Its bitter espresso is offset by  mild milk and a hint of cinnamon sugar. It is garnished with whipped cream and, of course, a mini donut and can be ordered hot or iced. 

Nordic Waffle also offered a pleasantly unique new drink at this year’s fair. Their “Kind of a Big Dill” Pickle Lemonade is sweet, tart and refreshing – perfect for a hot summer day. Based on the nearly one-block long line to order, it was probably very popular this year. 

Once caffeinated and hydrated fairgoers can find savory flavors all across the grounds. The Minnesota Farmers Union served up a new dish this year; their Fried Green Tomato Sandwich is made with two slices of fried green tomato, lettuce and house-made mustard mayo all in between two fluffy buns. This succulent sandwich is either topped with bacon or a sweet corn relish. Cedar-Riverside’s Afro Deli made their first official appearance as a new vendor this year. Their sambusa are a crispy delight filled with chicken, beef or veggies. Both the chicken and beef varieties were perfectly seasoned and exceptionally flavorful with balanced textures.

Photo of sambusa from Afro Deli on Sept. 2, taken by Christine Horner

If it’s dumplings you’re craving, check out MomoDosa. A newbie to the State Fair, MomoDosa served delicious chicken momo with a side of tomato chutney. A generous portion of six momo were filled with tender chicken encased in a chewy dough wrapper. The chutney was just spicy enough to compliment the flavors and textures of the dumplings themselves. Additionally, iPierogi dished out tasty dumplings in the Food Building. Their authentic pierogi came filled with either meat, potato and chees

e or a delectable combination of each. Every order of their combo pierogi plate was carefully garnished with a touch of bacon, arugula and caramelized onions.

To finish off with dessert, fair attendees can return to the Food Building for Nitro Ice Cream. This returning vendor’s perfectly cold and creamy vanilla ice cream was made with liquid nitrogen, which seemed to be a forceful weapon in setting it apart from other soft serves, ice creams and frozen custards at the fair. Although it only comes in one flavor, it is worth every dollar.

These items are just a small selection of the amazing dishes available at the great Minnesota get together. If you’re a foodie like me, keep an eye out for them when the fair rolls around again next summer!

Photo of ice cream from Nitro Ice Cream on Sept. 2, taken by Christine Horne