When it comes to food that’s dunked in chocolate, breaded and fried, skewered on a stick, or doused in powdered sugar, nothing comes close to the outrageous offerings found in America’s state fairs. What’s the best treat to get at your local fair? Follow us on this tour through every state’s fair food. (You’ll be hungry for our state fair copycat recipes by the time you’re done!)
Alabama – Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly
Take an Uncrustable peanut butter and jelly sandwich, wrap it in dough, dunk in a fry cooker, cover in powdered sugar, and drizzle with strawberry syrup for this fair’s most delicious sandwich.
Alaska – The Crab Shack Fair Special
This is something you can’t find anywhere else. The combo comes with five fried salmon cakes and a bacon-wrapped scallop skewer.
Arizona – Bacon Nutella Pickle
What happens when you hollow out a pickle, fill it with Nutella and bacon bits, and deep-fry the whole thing? Well, let’s just say it’s even wilder than the bacon-pickle “bickle” other states sell.
Arkansas – Fried Watermelon
It’s hot and cold at the same time! This deep-fried watermelon pastry is as satisfying as it is fresh. Does this count as healthy eating? (Make these wild watermelon recipes at home.)
California – Rainbow Grilled Cheese
You’ve got to see this colorful treat to believe it! Maddy Moo’s at the California State Fair sells grilled cheese that reveals a magical surprise when you pull the two halves apart. (You know you’re from California if you’ve tried these foods.)
Colorado – Mexican Funnel Cake
This mashup of churro batter and funnel cake is the food combination we’ve been dreaming of. Bonus points if you can complete the “jumbo Mexican funnel cake challenge” and eat the entire thing in 30 minutes.
Connecticut – Potatoes and Corn
Connecticut doesn’t have a state fair, but it does have county fairs like the Potato and Corn Festival every August. Works for us! (Enjoy our favorite fall harvest recipes!)
Delaware – Fried Pepper Jack Cheese
This ain’t your normal mozzarella stick. These breaded and fried cheese sticks from Griff’s California Cheesen (It’s in Delaware, we know) are the perfect blend of crunchy, melty, and spicy. The ranch dipping sauce is essential for calming down your tongue after that pepper jack kick!
Florida – Cheesy Enchilada Funnel Cake
Head on over to Best Around concessions for this spicy twist on a classic dessert. The funnel cake turns savory with cake batter infused with enchilada spice, topped with queso and chorizo. If you’re not into the Tex-Mex mashup, there’s also Nutella Oreo funnel cake to delve into.
Georgia – Fried Kool-Aid
Yup, this exists. These hush puppies taste like the artificial flavoring from your childhood. (Love Kool-Aid? You will not believe what we did with it…).
Hawaii – Lechon
This Filipino dish is composed of fried pork belly, served crispy. Now that’s something you might not see every day!
Idaho – Rebel Burger
This creation from Outlaw Catering is so good, it won first place at the annual New Fair Food competition. Imagine a burger patty stacked with two types of cheese and bacon, then sandwiched between the sliced halves of a glazed doughnut. (More over-the-top recipes right this way.)
Illinois – Frog Legs on a Stick
Hop on over to Springfield for an Illinois State Fair specialty…fried frog legs on a stick for only $10!
Indiana – Peanut Butter Pineapple Pork Burger
This wild combination of ingredients is so diverse that we’re wondering if it was the brainchild of a last-minute Chopped championship. According to reviewers, this combination is a yummy mix of tropical, creamy, and meaty…a burger that brought together a cast of ingredients we never saw coming.
Iowa – Peppermint Square
It doesn’t have to be the Christmas season for you to get your taste of minty goodness in Iowa…in fact, their state fair makes famous ice cream sandwiches from peppermint ice cream every year! The crunchy Oreo crust and creamy filling has been described as one of the fair’s best treats, but it wins in our books for sure-fire wonderfulness.
Kansas – Deep-fried Margarita
We didn’t know it was possible to deep fry a liquid, but state fairs continue to prove us wrong! Bernard’s Pit Stop and BBQ has mastered the fair-favorite strawberry margarita. It contains funnel-cakelike bites of margarita mix, dunked in an actual margarita with salt around the edge. Phew – we need a drink after that!
Kentucky – Totchos
A cross between tater tots and nachos? Count us in. We’re even more excited about the sweet version of this dish: poutine-style fried potatoes smothered in caramel and marshmallows. Sounds like our favorite sweet potato casserole… just bite-sized and waaay more indulgent.
Louisiana – Habanero Peanut Brittle
A little spicy, a little sweet, a little nutty…a lot Louisiana.
Maine – Bloomin’ Onion
This fair’s Maine attraction? According to Maine Today, their blooming onion is so good that it’s the “official flower” of the state fair.
Maryland – Deep-Fried Berger Cookies
Never heard of them? Baltimore is famous for the Berger Cookie, a chocolate-topped shortbread. The state fair puts its own twist on the classic by covering the cookie in dough and, of course, deep frying it.
Massachusetts – Deep-Fried Pumpkin Pie Bites
It’s always Thanksgiving at the Massachusetts State Fair, where vendors take triangular bites of pumpkin pie, wrap them in breading, fry them by the bucketful and cover them in whipped cream. The original settlers at Plymouth Rock could have never even dreamed of such a confection.
Michigan – A Serendipity Cakery Cake Balls
They’re so pretty… but not too pretty to eat! These deliciously soft cake balls are touted as the state’s finest, drizzled in multicolored frosting and rolled in crushed toppings. They look so good, it makes us want to start baking our caramel cashew cake pops!
Minnesota – An Entire Bucket of Chocolate Chip Cookies
There are very few state fair foods more iconic than this massive portion of chocolate chip goodness. In Minnesota, you buy Sweet Martha’s famous cookies not in packs of one or two, but by the bucketful! The number people you feed with one bucket is up to you, but if these cookies are as good as our two-chip chippers, we wouldn’t blame you for wanting the whole thing for yourself.
Mississippi – Alligator on a Stick
At the Mississippi State Fair, The Whistle Stop makes their alligator breaded and fried. Then, they skewer it with pieces of onion. Yum—and see you later, Alligator!
Missouri – Tiger Stripe Ice Cream
Made by students at the University of Missouri-Columbia, it’s no surprise this creamy treat is bright yellow with stripes of chocolate syrup. For fairgoers, it’s the best of both worlds: Support Mizzou and try some delicious ice cream!
Montana – Vikings
Nope, not those Vikings! The edible version has been a popular Montana State Fair treat for the past 50 years—homemade meatballs dipped in batter and deep-fried.
Nebraska – Fried Nutella
Stop in Omaha’s Family Food tent to get a taste of this delicious dough bite. Not in Nebraska? These 30 recipes to make with Nutella will have to do.
Nevada – An Entire Suckling Pig
You’ll see these guys roasting out in the open, covered in various seasonings and ready to be cut and sold to hungry fair goers. Just short of going whole hog!
New Hampshire – Chowder
Sadly, this is another state that doesn’t have its own fair. On the bright side, there are two entire festivals every May and June dedicated to celebrating chowder!
New Jersey – Spaghetti Eddie’s Super Stick
This fair has got some wacky menu items, but the fan favorite comes back year after year. What’s in a super stick? Imagine pepperoni and pepper jack cheese dipped in garlic tempura batter and deep-fried, woven onto a stick. Locals swear by it!
New Mexico – Red Chile Chocolate Limeade
You can get lemonade anywhere, limeade some places, but you’ll only find red chile chocolate limeade at Just Squeezed’s tent at the New Mexico State Fair. It’s spicy, sweet and sour all at once!
New York – Italian Sausage Sandwich
Famous even outside of New York, these sausages are topped with peppers and onions. No stop at the New York State Fair is complete without one!
North Carolina – Deep-Fried Jell-O
Composed of a Jell-O ball in biscuit batter, deep-fried and sugar-coated, these little bites look almost like jelly doughnuts and taste like a Jell-O-filled funnel cake bite…but we’re not complaining!
North Dakota – Deep-Fried Cherry Cake Oreos
Every fair has deep-fried Oreos—it’s usually a best-seller, too—but North Dakota took it a step further by using cherry cake batter.
Ohio – Bacon-Wrapped Buckeyes
Never heard of Buckeyes? They’re chocolate-covered balls of peanut butter dough, similar to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Since Ohio is the Buckeye state, there’s truly nothing better than chomping down on a fried, bacon-wrapped Buckeye when you’re at the fair!
Oklahoma – Ragin’ Cajun Chicken on a Stick
This fair favorite is an Oklahoma favorite composed of delicious batter, juicy chicken and sauce with a spicy kick. Inspired? Try our Cajun chicken strips!
Oregon – Apple Pie Fries
Granny Smith slices fried and coated in cinnamon sugar? Sounds like our kind of fries—especially when topped with whipped cream, caramel, and occasionally peanut butter.
Pennsylvania – Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich
Down South, waffles are eaten with fried chicken, but up in Pennsylvania, you’ll find these buttery squares on either side of an ice cream slab. A new twist on a waffle cone, maybe?
Rhode Island – Cupcakes?
As the smallest state in our nation, Rhode Island really can’t be expected to have a state fair. What they have instead is a whole crop of exciting food festivals such as RI Food Fights, which features competitions like The Spectacular Cookie Smackdown and Great Cupcake Championship. Consider us contenders in the consumption division.
South Carolina – Cracker Jack Sundae
Crack open a mini box of Cracker Jack caramel popcorn, fill with soft serve ice cream, drizzle with chocolate syrup, top with M&M’s, and you’re looking at a very unique South Carolinian fair food.
South Dakota – Indian Tacos
Never heard of these? Picture a deep-fried flatbread topped with beef, tomatoes, shredded lettuce and plenty of cheese. (We’ve got a tasty recipe!)
Tennessee – An Entire Bucket of Ice Cream
There’s a kids ice-cream eating contest at this fair that sounds like any parent’s worst nightmare: Give each one their own gallon-sized tub of ice cream without any utensils and see who can finish the fastest. What a sugar rush!
Texas – Peanut Butter and Jelly Graham Cracker Sandwich Dipped in Chocolate on a Stick
If you find yourself at this larger-than-life state fair, skip the deep-fried bubblegum (it gets bad reviews) and go straight for this delicacy with a name almost as long as the line out front.
Utah – Chocolate Scorpions
Yikes! This was one thing we didn’t come to the fair for! According to local news, the kids think these little treats taste like Nestle Crunch bars. We’ll take their word for it.
Vermont – Fried Dough Treats
This fair brags about its various flavors of fried dough. After checking out what the rest of the states are cookin’ up, we are impressed by their restraint!
Virginia – Pork Parfait
This fair sells sticks of deep-fried butter, but according to locals, those are definitely not the cream of the crop. The real deal is the pork parfait, which sounds all wrong unless you’re a meat and potatoes sort. What you get is a cup filled with alternating layers of pulled pork and mashed potatoes, no yogurt or granola involved. (But if you’re more into that type of parfait, we have some ideas…)
Washington – Dole Whip
This frozen pineapple soft serve dessert is a staple food of Disney Parks, too. It sounds like one of the most refreshing fair foods yet.
West Virginia – Cinn-Sational Cinnamon Rolls
These aren’t your average cinnamon rolls. Something about this time-tested recipe has made them a fair staple for almost 30 years. (Browse 30 ooey-gooey cinnamon roll recipes.)
Wisconsin – Cream Puffs
At the cross section of cheese curd and beer brat heaven, Wisconsin is home to some of the most decadent state fair treats in the nation. Among aisles of Unicorn Twinkies, cinnamon sugar corn dogs and cheese curd tacos, you will find an annual favorite so popular that there’s practically an entire factory dedicated to their making. No trip is complete without an authentic Wisconsin cream puff…or possibly a dozen.
Wyoming – Texas Twister
Strangely enough, Wyoming’s best fair treat is named after a different state. We forgive them, though. These fruity drinks made of orange, lemon, lime and cherry sound so good that we don’t care where they came from.
Well, what did you think? Did we nail the most iconic state fair fare from your state? Let us know! And until then, keep the road trip rolling with these state-by-state Pie Recipes Across America!