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Corn dog held in the hand of a woman wearing a “fair food” t-shirt
A corn dog moment at the Minnesota State Fair.
Leila Navidi, Star Tribune/Getty Images

12 Twin Cities Restaurant Dishes That Would Feel Right at Home at the State Fair

Coffee, cocktails, and fried foods that distill the flavors of The Great Minnesota Get-Together

The Minnesota State Fair, which runs through Labor Day, September 6, is not as accessible for everyone this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. To satisfy every fair lover, whether they forego festivities this summer or simply can’t get enough of anything The Great Minnesota Get Together–themed, local restaurants menus are showcasing fair-inspired specials to fill the void. Pickles, corn, curds, and fried foods on sticks abound.

Blueberry Vanilla Iced Latte: Bootstrap Coffee Roasters

Start the day with a celebration of summer flavors. The iced latte consists of bitter espresso, sweet blueberry, and vanilla syrups, and a salted sweet corn whip is available through Labor Day.

Pickle Whiskey Cocktail: Twin Spirits Distillery

Playing with sweet corn and pickle flavors, Twin Spirits Distillery is currently offering two specialty cocktails. The knee-high vodka martini utilizes a house-made sweet corn syrup, lime juice, and smoky/spicy salt rim while the pickle whiskey cocktail combines whiskey, pickle brine, and Bloody Mary enhancer. Pair a drink with bites from the Peppers & Fries food truck for the full experience.

Cheesy Korean Corn Dog: Tori 44

From now through Labor Day, Tori 44 in Minneapolis is offering all-beef hot dogs and smoked string cheese sticks wrapped in ramen noodles and fried into a corn dog. It is then smothered in spicy ketchup, mustard, furikake, chili flake, and scallions. For something sweet, add the rolled ice cream in a cup.

Blueberry Funnel Cake cocktail: Tattersall Distilling

Vodka, blueberry, lemon, vanilla, and cinnamon all make Tattersall’s playful ode to a State Fair favorite. Available both in the cocktail room for $8.50 and as a $20 cocktail mix to take home through Labor Day weekend.

Potluck Food Hall/Facebook

A Little of Everything: Potluck

Just north of fair fun on Snelling, Potluck Food Hall in Rosedale Mall is serving up all the fried foods of your dreams. From deep-fried mac and cheese balls, mini banana bread biscuits on a stick, deep-fried burgers on a stick, a blue ribbon cherry pie boozy shake, a chicken fried seafood basket on a stick, and more. If you have some shopping to do, might as well grab a bite.

For Everything Fried: Stewart’s

Stewart’s State-Fair Fare this year features Fulton beer-battered cheese curds, a dill pickled fried chicken, and slow-roasted turkey leg. Offerings are dine-in only and available through next week.

Curds and Ranch Ice Cream: Bebe Zito

Yes, you read that right. Ranch ice cream. The Malcolm Yards Bebe Zito location is serving fried-to-order cheese curds with ranch ice cream. Is it so maniacal that it’s delicious? Absolutely. Wayside and wonderful ice cream flavors are Bebe Zito’s specialty, so when in the Midwest, get some ranch ice cream topped with crispy, melty curds.

Funnel Cake Cruller: Cardigan Donuts

Cardigan Donuts transforms a fair classic into a cruller filled with a white and milk chocolate buttercream swirl, drizzles of butterscotch and fudge, and a dusting of powdered sugar — naturally. The sweet treat is available until Saturday, September 4th.

Hot Sunnys: Red Cow

Fried bluegill and fries tossed in Nashville hot seasoning and dipped in ranch? Yes, please. This particular special is dine-in only. Wash it down with a cocktail of the moment, a glass of bubbly, and add-on beer-battered Wisconsin cheese curds served with triple berry ketchup, and an order of $6 mini donuts dusted with cinnamon and sugar for dessert for a State Fair feast from start to finish.

Bauhaus Beer-Battered Cheese Curds: Farmers Market + Bar

Snag some curds, of course from the newly opened Farmers Market + Bar. What makes these curds extra special is the inclusion of Bauhaus Brew Lab’s Wonderstuff pilsner in the batter and a honey mustard dipping sauce and then there’s the State-Fair maple cream nitro coffee, of course.

Honey Habanero Fried Chicken on a Stick: Thr3 Jack

Sports bar Thr3 Jack is running four state fair–inspired specials through September 11th for dine-in and takeout. For something characteristically on a stick, the honey habanero fried chicken for $8 is the obvious choice. A lamb and beef meatball, wild rice gyro, guava cilantro limeade, and a bucket of cookies are also up for grabs.

Cro-Dog: Bellecour at Cooks

There have been many hybrid foods that include a croissant, but the cro-dog is in a league of its own. Through Labor Day, Bellecour at Cooks will serve an all-beef hot dog wrapped in a croissant on a — you guessed it — stick with a dijonnaise mustard dipping sauce.

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