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Friday, October 14, 2016

The 2016 Arkansas State Fair Food Guide.

Looking for those crazy eats and favorite treats on the fairgrounds? Here it is - your encyclopedic, alphabetically arranged listing of all the food you can find at the Arkansas State Fair, updated throughout the event. Here you'll find the foods, where they're located on the fairgrounds, how much they cost and more.

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter for more fair food updates throughout the event.
This man is ridiculously happy about selling turkey legs.

NEW! Scroll down to the bottom for menu boards.

Tips.  The best time to go is probably between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.  That's when admission and parking fees are waived for Lunch At The Fair. No, they don't come find you and kick you out at 1 p.m.  The rest of the time, admission is $10 ($5 for kids) and parking is $10.

Most fair food vendors now take credit/debit cards. This is a pretty big change over the past five years - a welcome one for those who don't want to bring cash.

If you have kids, take some quart or gallon sized zip-top bags in your satchel for when said children decide they don't want to spend the time to consume sticky sweet desserts before getting on more rides.  Wet towelettes are also a marvelous idea.

Alligator Bites. That's right, these chunks of alligator meat are Cajun seasoned and battered, deep fried and served up in a basket for $8 at Larry's Cajun Shak in the Food Court. Or get them on a stick for $9. Porky's on the Midway offers its own version for $11.

Alligator Sausage Sandwich. Another Larry's Cajun Shak offering, this is an alligator sausage link on a hot dog bun for $8.

Apple-Filled Churros. Served up at Leimon's Pizza, these fried and cinnamon-sugar dusted treats are just as good as pie. Yeah, I said it. $3.

Apple fries.  Similar to the Tasty Tom winners of 2013, the fried apple rings, these are strips of apple that have been flour-battered with cinnamon and sugar, fried and served with sauce.  $6 at Fried What? near the Main Stage.

Arkansas-shaped peanut patties. Elve's Candy Company was started by Elve Otwell in Texarkana back in 1956. The legendary red peanut patties have become a southwest Arkansas staple. This year, Elve's makes its second Arkansas state fair appearance with several differently shaped patties, including this Natural State version.  The Arkansas patty is $12, party patties are $14.  Small patties are $3.50, as are bags of peanut crumbles. Find them near the Hall of Industry.

Arkansas's largest deep fried pickle.  Probably not what Bernell Austin had in mind when he created the fried pickle.  This is a large whole dill, battered and deep fried like a corn dog, served on a stick. Get the ranch dressing. $4 at Pat's Kitchen in the Food Court.

Armadillo eggs.  Unlike the sausage version offered at Main Street Pizza in El Dorado, this is the Texas version, which are bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken breasts. $4 at the Armadillo Egg stand between the Big Show Diner and the Food Court.

Arnold Palmer.  The popular combination of iced tea and lemonade is available at several stands around the fairgrounds this year.  Simple, refreshing, and you won't be scratching your head over the ingredients.

Arnold Palmer on a Stick. The same popular combination, but frozen. Lovely. $3 at the Ice Tea Box stands.

Bacon-wrapped Jo Jo potatoes.  The bacon-cheese-fry without the cheese, each of these thick potato wedges are wrapped in a single strip of bacon before being fried.  Yes, you can get it with cheese sauce. $7 at Pat's Kitchen.

Bacon-wrapped Oreos.  Yep, Oreo cookies wrapped in bacon. You have now seen it all. They're one for $4 or two for $7 at Fried What?

Bacon-wrapped sausage filled jalapenos.  Up the pork in your life with this deep-fried gambit.  It might actually be too much meat, but the jalapeno makes it very spicy.  Share with friends.

Baked potato. Get a big hefty baked potato for $5 (we're talking a pound of potato!) with your choice of sprinkle-ons, or loaded with cheese and bacon for $7, from the guys grilling in the old pickup truck in the Food Court.

Barbecue parfait. This is layers of mashed potatoes, beans, meat and barbecue sauce in a cup. Find it in ham, beef, pulled pork and chicken varieties at Porky's on the Midway for $9.

Barbecue sandwiches.  While pulled pork sandwiches with or without barbecue sauce are offered elsewhere on the fairgrounds, Mickey's Grill in the Food Court offers beef barbecue sandwiches for $7 -$10 if you want to add a drink and a bag of chips.

Bear Claws. Don't get too excited - these are pre-packaged bear claws, but they are available at the Philly Stand next to the excited Turkey Leg guy on the Midway.

Big Dog.  The ultimate gotta-share-with-friends dish of the Arkansas State Fair, this two foot long, two and a half pound hot dog comes naked or dressed with everything you want, including chili, cheese, slaw, onions, cheese sauce, jalapenos, maybe even bacon.  It's $15 plain, $18 with chili and cheese and $20 with the works.  Also, if you want it with four drinks, it's $30. Find it at Bud and Burgers (the old Blue Moon) near the Big Show Diner.

Bird Dog.  A deep fried chicken breast treated like a hot dog, with your choice of toppings (bacon, cheese sauce, jalapeno peppers, etc.).  Introduced at the 2014 Arkansas State Fair. You'll find it at McKinney Food Services near the south end of the Midway and across from the Big Show Diner for $8.

Blooming onion.  A whole onion, specially sliced, battered, deep fried and served with dipping sauce.  The shape is the novelty (though Outback Steakhouse has been doing these for years).  $10 at the Ribbon Fries stand near the heart of the Midway or $8 at the Grater Tater stand in the Food Court.

Boudin balls. Want some Louisiana-style sausage?  The popular white sausage made from pork is available at Larry's Cajun Shak for $6.

Brawt burgers. Burgers made with brats. Find them at Bud and Burgers near the Ag in Action building for $4.50 a single and $8 a double.

Breakfast.  Yes, you can get breakfast at the Arkansas State Fair.  Sure, the Midway doesn't open at the crack of dawn, but there are plenty of people out and about with livestock, events that are being judges and people looking at arts and crafts.  At the Petit Jean Meats Smokehouse, you can get a breakfast with smoked ham, sausage biscuits and gravy, eggs, fried bologna, bacon and more.

Breakfast dogs. Pancake batter around sausage links, you'll find them at Chris' Jumbo Corndog in the Food Court, three for $5.

Brisket. Whether it's just a plateful with some sauce or a brisket melt, Porky's on the Midway has you set. $10 for each.

Bucket of fries. $4 for small, $6 for medium and $8 for a full bucket at Original Fry City Fries on the Midway at Cattle Barn 5 (across from Barton Colliseum's entrance). Cheese is a buck extra.

Bucket of nachos. $5 a half bucket or $8 a full bucket at Original Fry City Fries.

Buffalo Ranch spiced nuts.  Ozark Candies and Nuts introduced this new flavor last year, which pairs Buffalo seasoning with ranch dressing to create a savory snack.  Find it in the Hall of Industry.

Buffalo wings. Yep, you can get Buffalo wings at the Arkansas State Fair, one of many flavors offered at the Pavilion near the Big Show Diner. They're $7 for eight, $11.50 for 12 and $45.50 for 50.

Burgers. As usual, Hubcaps are available at the Hubcap stand in the Food Court (where you can also get Pig Lickers). This year, the Blue Moon Cafe and the old gray burger stand have been replaced with Bud and Burgers, with a location at the permanent pavilion next to the Big Show Diner and at the gray building across from the Ag in Action barn at the south end of the Midway. At the latter, a four ounce burger is $4, eight ounce is $8 and a double-eight (two patties make a pound) is $12. For more extreme burgers, Porky's on the Midway offers a pork burger for $7, a lamb burger for $9, a turkey burger for $8 and a bison burger for $10.

Burritos.  Oversized burritos are available at the Big Show Diner.  You can get bean ($3.50), beef ($4.50), supreme (S5.50) or chicken ($6.50).

Calzones and stromboli.  Both are available for $8 at the Fresh Oven Baked Pizza stand in the north section of the Midway.  They're easier to eat than pizza, and a bit larger than your average slice.  Yay carbs.

Candy apples.  Available at Candy Tower near the Big Show Diner for $3.50 or 2 for $6, also available in the Hall of Industry. There are also candy apples at the cotton candy trailers for $4 each.

Candy cones. These are plastic cone-shaped bags filled with candy such as gummy worms, Lego sugar blocks and more. $3 each or four for $10.

Candy corn.  The old fashioned classic is back and available in bright colors at Candy Tower, at the intersection in front of the Big Show Diner for $5 a bag.

Caramel Apples.  You'll find these fair favorites in the Hall of Industry and at several other vendors around the fairgrounds.  Nothing like a classic! $4 at the stand at the end of the midway or at Candy Tower (a nutty version is $4.50). Get them in a dish with or without nuts at Colonial Nut Roll in the Hall of Industry for $5.

Carne Asada. Mexican-style steak and onions served with rice, refried beans and salsa for $14 at the Big Show Diner.

Caramel corn.  The old fashioned fair staple is still offered at the Cotton Candy Apple stand in the Family Zone at the northwest corner of the state fairgrounds.  It's $5 for each container.

Cheese dip.  Of course Arkansas's own creation, originally delivered by Blackie Donnelly, makes its appearance at the state's largest fair. You'll find cheese dip and tortilla chips for $5 at the Burger Wagon. There's also the original Arkansas State Fair original recipe blend at the Big Show Diner, which runs $3.50 for small and $7 for large, with chips.

Chewable ice.  I kid you not, this is a thing (we usually call it Sonic ice).  Get a cup at the Cheesesteak Factory (green trailer near south end of the Midway) and fill it with said ice and your choice of soft drink.  $6 for a big cup, $3 refills.

Chicken Enchilada Parfait. Unfortunately, there wasn't a full sized version of this treat to shoot, but this is indeed a chicken enchilada topped with lettuce and tomato and cheese that will be served in a cup. As soon as they start serving this up, I'll share a legitimate photo.

Note: I haven't found it yet on the fairgrounds. Cheto's does not have it on their menu board.

Chicken Gizzards. I kid you not. Boss Hogg by Gate 5 is offering these up in baskets, small $6 and large $10.

Chicken on a stick.  Nothing unusual or crazy about this, but a deep fried chicken breast strip on a stick does make for easier transport and dipping. $8 at McKinney Food Services near the south end of the Midway, the Ribbon Fries stand near the center of the Midway, and at Pat's Kitchen in the Food Court.

Chinese food.  Once considered a delicacy at the Arkansas State Fair, the Chinese American Restaurant booth continues a grand tradition of serving up fried rice and egg rolls to fairgoers.  The prices are very, very reasonable, with a big plate of fried rice starting at $6 and Sweet and Sour Chicken with fried rice at $9.  You can spend $10 and get teriyaki beef meatballs with egg roll and vegetable fried rice, which is decent enough to share.

Chipotle glazed nuts.  Ozark Candies and Nuts has combined roasted chipotle peppers with sugar and butter to create a perfect coating for cashews and other nuts.  Warm but not too spicy.

Chocolate-covered cheesecake on a stick.  Exactly what it says in the title, this is a slice of cheesecake that's been dipped in chocolate.  Eat it quick -- once it warms up, it will fall apart.  It's $7 at the Fried Twinkie stand next to the Hall of Industry - or, get it cheaper and spend just $4 at the Chinese food stand on the Midway.

Chocolate Covered Corn Dog. This year's version of Pig Licker strangeness, it is exactly what it appears to be - a chocolate dipped corn dog with sprinkles. Find it at the Armadillo Egg stand.

Chocolate Milk.  Hands down, the most reasonably priced item you'll find at the Arkansas State Fair. Hiland Dairy offers cold sweet creamy treats of all sorts on Hiland Hill, between the Live Wolf Pack and the Moogician.  A cup-sized carton of white, skim or chocolate milk, it's just 50 cents.

Cones. From the fried chicken and gravy cone pictured to the Jamaican Jerk-filled, the chile con queso version and more, this year's new package for spreading edible joy is the Conewich. While the company that makes these cones hails from Las Vegas, the fillings are strictly Arkansas State Fair inspired. Extra points for only having a miniature utensil and paper wrap to dispose of when the dish is gone.

Coffee.  The second cheapest beverage at the Arkansas State Fair is coffee... available at the Big Show Diner for a dollar.

Corn-on-the-Cob. So there are these two guys with this old truck they've converted into a grill - and they're offering grilled corn and baked potatoes out of it, plain or loaded and with all sorts of things to sprinkle on. I mean, this is the deal right here. Roasted in its husk, $6 in the Food Court.

Corn-in-a-Cup. The same guys are offering corn cut off the cob for $6 a cupful. Add meat for $2 more.

Corndogs.  You'll find these all over the fairgrounds, including at Randy's Superdog (see below). They run $4-6 each on the Midway from a variety of purveyors.

Corn in a cup. With meat for $7 or without for $6 at the corn-grilling truck in the Food Court.

Cotton Candy. There's few places you can go on the fairgrounds where you won't find cotton candy. We're still waiting for the cotton candy apples to come out. $5 regular, $7 large at the south end of the Midway. Candy Tower in front of the Big Show Diner offers a small bag for $4 and a Monster bag for $7.

Deep fried bacon-wrapped Oreo cookies. Almost as over-the-top as the Bacon Bomb, this concoction from Fried What? is... exactly what it says it is, mixing salty, savory and sweet all in one dish. They're one for $4 or two for $7.

Deep Fried Peach Pie. Not just a peach hand-pie, the folks at Fried What?!? top themselves again, battering and deep frying an actual slice of a peach pie. Get yours with plenty of whipped cream.

Deep fried sweet and sour ribs. Something about the process of smoking, then deep frying ribs and soaking them in sweet and sour sauce has created a new Asian-inspired flavor of pork riblets that I suspect will become a happy favorite this year. Three bones and fries $10 at Boss Hogg's.

Dippin' Dots.  The ice cream of the future is at an Arkansas State Fair stand near you -- or at least near the Food Court.  Enjoy these pellets of ice cream in several flavors, including Cookies n' Cream, Strawberry Cheesecake and Cotton Candy.

Dough-E-Oreos.  A cookie dough-wrapped deep fried Oreo covered in powdered sugar, available at Fried What? three for $6.50.

Elephant ears. Big sugar and cinnamon dusted pastries as big as your head, $6 at the Fried Dough stand.

Fajitas. Chicken for $13.50 or steak or combo for $14.50, this is eight ounces of meat grilled with onions, bell peppers and tomatoes and served with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, salsa and cheese and fresh flour tortillas inside the Big Show Diner.

Floats and Flurries.  The Ice Cream vendor near the old Main Gate of the Arkansas State Fair offers root beer and Coke floats for $5 and flurries with M&Ms, Reeces cups or Oreos for $6.

Fried avocado.  Either in slices or in halves with meatball centers, avocados are found deep fried at the Arkansas State Fair.  Get your trayful at Cheeseburger on a Stick in the Food Court for $6.

Fried bologna sandwiches.  Petit Jean Meats Smokehouse is offering this old-school Arkansas favorite, a thick slice of Petit Jean Meats bologna on white bread.  Your choice of mayo or mustard or none at all, along with lettuce, tomato, onion or pickle.

Fried catfish.  A southern favorite, you'll be able to order your plateful at the Big Show Diner throughout the fair. $9.50 with fries on the side, or in a paper boat from Porky's on the Midway for $9.

Fried cheese on a stick. Grater Tater offers these for $5 with bacon.

Fried cheeseburger on a stick.  Ground beef and cheese are packed together on a stick, dipped in corn dog batter and deep fried.  Surprisingly good, especially with ketchup or mustard. They're $7 at the Cheeseburger on a Stick stand.

Fried cheesecake on a stick.  Exactly what it says it is, a sweetly battered and deep fried slice of cheesecake on a stick.  Holds together better than the regular chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick. South end of the Midway for $7 or at the gray building by the Hall of Industry.

Fried chicken.  Boneless fried chicken is available several places, including as a dinner at the Big Show Diner.

Fried dough.  That's the $6 specialty at Fried Dough in the Family Zone section of the Midway.

Fried gator on a stick.  Available at the Arkansas State Fair for several years now, this one's still popular.  Chunks of alligator meat, white onions, zucchini and potato on a stick, dipped in a lightly peppered tempura batter and deep fried. $8 at the Cheeseburger on a Stick stand.

Fried green beans. Get a boatful for $9 at the Guacamole Dog concession on the north end of the Midway.

Fried Milky Way.  Another twist on deep fried candy bars -- this one's $6 at Fried What? or $5 at Grater Tater.

Fried Oreos.  Yes, in addition to the bacon-wrapped fried Oreos, red velvet fried Oreos and who knows what else, you can get regular, "old fashioned" fried Oreos for $5 at the Fried Dough stand in the Family Zone on the Midway or at the Fried Twinkie stand next to the Hall of Industry.

Fried pickles in tempura batter.  Much closer to the original Bernell Austin version, these are tempura battered pickle spear chunks fried and served with ranch dressing.  My favorite choice for fried pickles at the fair. Find them for $5 at Grater Taters.

Fried pies.  Apple,cherry, apricot, chocolate and coconut varieties from Letha's Fried Pies are available at the Big Show Diner or Bud and Burgers for $2.75.

Fried Pop-Tarts. Yep, someone went there - namely, the ice cream guys near the Hiland Milk booth. $5 each.

Fried Snickers bar.  Yes, they're still around. Get one at the south end of the Midway for $4 or at Fried What? for $6 or Grater Tater for $5.

Fried Twinkies.  Since someone figured out you can deep-freeze a Twinkie, batter and deep fry it for something truly devilish and light, these have become a fair staple.  They're $4 at the end of the Midway or $5 at the stand by the Hall of Industry. Fried What? has them $6 each or two for $10.

Fried Watermelon. It's quietly snuck back into the Arkansas State Fair after its first appearance four years ago. Find it on the bottom of the menu at Porky's on the Midway for $6.

Fried wontons.  Maybe it's cheating, but this really was one of the first fried foods at the state fair.  These are served up at the Chinese American booth along the north end of the Midway -- look between the barkers.

Fries.  Like French fries?  You can get a bucketful for $8 from Fry City Fries. Definitely something to share with a crowd.  Top it with nacho cheese sauce for a dollar. You can also add seasonings -- they're provided.  Choose from Old Bay, seasoning salt, black pepper, vinegar, and several other choices.

Frito chili pie.  Similar to nachos, these tortilla strips bear chili and cheese. Get one at Bud and Burgers for $5 or $7.

Frog legs. Get a paper boat full at Porky's on the Midway for $9.

Fruit Punch.  A recipe dating back to the 1850s is still in use at the Big Show Diner (a throwback from when Mexico Chiquito operated the State Fairgrounds location).  Deep red and redolent of pineapple juice, it's a favorite that comes back year after year. $3 for 20 ounces or $5 for 32 ounces.

Fudge:  A great sweet to grab on your way out to take home for later. Find it in the Hall of Industry for $4 at Colonial Nut Roll.

Funnel cakes.  Found everywhere at the Arkansas State Fair; the challenge is finding the strangest, tastiest and cheapest.  Plain ones are $7 and red velvet and pumpkin are $8 at the stand nearest the South Lawn Stage. Plain and red velvet versions are available at the Fried Dough stands for $6.

Funny Bones.  They’re just a funny name for something else -- chocolate peanut butter injected deep fried Twinkies.  As if a fried Twinkie wasn’t sweet enough.  Seriously, though, the on-a-stick creation from the folks at Fried What? is a cross between a deep fried Twinkie and a deep fried Reeces Peanut Butter Cup. You’ll find Fried What? next to the Pineapple Whip people by the Wendy’s Main Stage. Funny Bones are one for $4 or two for $6.

Garlic knots. Want pizza flavor without the pizza?  How about a tray of garlic knots, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and served with marinara on the side?  There you go.  $5 at the Fresh Oven Baked Pizza stand near the center of the Midway.

Giant chicken fried steak.  Come on.  This thing's the size of a plate.  This will be the thing to warm you up when it gets chilly on fair evenings. Get a plateful with fries at the Big Show Diner for $9.50.

Giant pulled pork sandwich.  This oversized sandwich contains more than half a pound of pulled pork.  You choose whether to add the barbecue sauce.  You can get one at Boss Hog's stand near the end of the Midway, or at the Big Show Diner for $8.50.

Giant pretzels.  Salty, chewy dough?  Here's your fix.  Find them for $4 at the Fresh Oven Baked Pizza stand in the north end of the Midway. Get fat soft ones at Pat's Kitchen for $5.

Glazed meatballs and potatoes on a stick. Step way from the deep fryer.  These roasted meatballs and whole young potatoes have a sweet, peppery glaze.  Something not fried to enjoy at the fair.

Grater Taters. Always popular, the yellow stand at the corner entrance to the Food Court near Gate 5 always has these thinly sliced and fried potatoes that explode into these cohesive mountains of chips. Get yours with a variety of toppings, including chili, cheese, ranch, hot sauce - or even bacon. $7 plain, 50 cents per topping.

Greek Salad.  Paizis' has them for $13 -- your choice of beef, chicken, seafood or gyro meat on a bed of lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and Feta cheese.  Healthy and huge!  You'll find them at the Paizis' stand in the Food Court.

Greens. Get 'em at Boss Hogg's by Gate 5, complete with chunks of ham.

Guacamole Dogs. Hot dogs... with avocado. These exist on the north Midway. $6.

Gumbo. Larry's Cajun Shak (yes, that's how it's spelled) serves up a serving for $8.

Gyros.  Paizis' is back with their traditional yet wonderful Greek fare. Choose from lamb, Cajun chicken or rosemary chicken ($9), grilled shrimp or Black Angus beef ($10) or a hot vegetable version ($8), all wrapped in a pita.

Ham. Get a big ham sandwich at the Petit Jean Smokehouse for $9.50.  It comes with fries.

Homemade Root Beer. $6 for a cupful, a dollar extra in a take-home tin, a dollar extra to make ti an ice cream float. Near Gate 5.

Hot dogs.  Cheesesteak Factory offers Nathan's all-beef dogs for $4.  You can get the famous red Petit Jean Meats version at the Petit Jean Meat Smokehouse.

Hot Beef Sundae. So simple but so good, this concoction of beef in gravy over mashed potatoes with cheese "sprinkles" and a cherry tomato on top is this year's Tasty Tom winner for best tasting new fair food (a version has previously appeared at the fair).

Hubcap burger.  Get your full pound of burger at the Burger Wagon in the Food Court for $10.  Add cheese or chili for 50 cents or bacon for a dollar.  There's also a chicken version.

Ice cream.  The Ice Cream Parlor in its fuschia and purple wagon along the Midway serves lots of ice cream confections.  Toppings include nuts, marshmallow fluff, butterscotch, hot fudge, chocolate syrup and caramel.  They offer banana splits ($8), ice cream in waffle cones ($5), milkshakes, slushies, frozen bananas ($4), arctic swirls and gelati. The Dippin' Dots stand in the Food Court does chocolate, vanilla, cookies and cream and butter pecan cones for $4 ($5 for waffle cone).

Iced Tea.  Drink healthy at the fair is to consume refreshing, unsweetened iced tea.  Available at the Lipton Tea Boxes, located in the food court and at the end of the midway, $3 for regular and $5 for a refillable large (refills are $3). Oh, there's sweet tea there, too. And fruit punch.

Indian fry bread.  The puffy rounds can be topped with cinnamon and sugar for $6 or strawberries and cream for $8. Find yours at Pat's Kitchen.

Indian tacos.  The fourth year for these plate-sized treats, a fully assembled taco with all the fixings, except the shell's been replaced by a puffy fry bread.  Ask for sour cream and salsa. $10 at Pat's Kitchen.

Italian sausages.  You'll see these in big coils in the window at a number of places, sizzling away all day on a grill with peppers and onions.

Jalapeno and cheese filled sausages. These are an actual Petit Jean Meats product you can pick up in the store or order online -- but here, they're already cooked up for you.  Show them off to out-of-towners.  A great call-back to Little Rock-created cheese-filled hot dogs.

Jambalaya. Louisiana-style with andouille sausage at Larry's Cajun Shak in the Food Court. A bowl is $7.

Jumbo pickles.  They're big, they're salty and sour and they're $3 at Mickey's Grill in the Food Court.

Kebabs.  Beef, chicken or pork, you'll find meat on a stick at Mickey's Grill, where there's always something sizzling on the blackened grill.  One kebab is $9, two are $16.

Kettle corn.  Sweet and salty, ready to eat hot or take home, you can get yours for $5 a regular bag or $9 for a large bag at the pork rind stand outside the Hall of Industry.

Lemonade in a Bucket. Seriously, the largest serving of lemonade you can find at the State Fair is from this purveyor within the corridor between the Midway and the Hall of Industry. $12, with $6 refills. As if you need a refill.

Maple Bacon Corn Dog. Sweet and savor is part of why corn dogs are so popular, especially those with a sweet cornbread mix on the dog. Add in maple syrup and bacon shavings, and you get this - a sweet, savory, slightly drippy and so salty blend of everything you probably ever wanted in a fair food. Be careful - add chocolate and you've hit the chocolate-bacon-deep fried trifecta. Find it at the Armadillo Egg stand.

Maple Bacon Funnel Cake. Utilizing a maple buttercream and plenty of fresh bacon bits, this thick funnel cake is dinner and dessert in one setting. Get yours at the Hawaiian Snow Shaved Ice stand up the hill from the end of the Midway.

Mega Burger.  The oversized, four patty, bacon and onion-ring laden burger from 2013 has again returned. Will you join those who have consumed its chili-laden awesomeness? Head to the Bud and Burgers pavilion near the Big Show Diner. Share it with a friend. It runs $23.50.

Nachos.  Almost everywhere at the Arkansas State Fair, you'll find nachos.  They come in all shapes and sizes.  Your pretty standard nachos with cheese sauce can be found for $4 at Mickey's Grill in the Food Court (50 cents more for chili). Jumbo version is available for $7 across the Food Court at the Burger Wagon.  At the Big Show Diner, not only can you get nachos and chili cheese nachos, you can also get your nachos topped with tamales, $8.50 for regular and $13 for large.  Wow.

Nut roll. The nougaty classic is available with peanuts for $4 each or cashews or pecans for $5 each. Take one home from Colonial Nut Roll in the Hall of Industry.

Onion petals.  Fried onions are a longstanding hit at the Arkansas State Fair, with versions ranging from onion rings to onion blossoms.  Look for places that serve these deep fried and battered onions with special sauces.

Peaches and Cream.  In this case, the peach halves are deep fried and served with ice cream. Third year at the Arkansas State Fair, they're offered by the folks at Fried What? for $5.50.

Peanut butter bacon bombs.  Fried What? may have gone a little crazy with its Bacon Bomb, but this simplified version is, according to Grav, phenomenal.  Inside each battered and deep fried ball lies a web of bacon surrounding a molten peanut butter center.  Get it with ice cream.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Funnel Cakes. Exactly what they say they are. I believe these are in the Food Court but am going back to make certain.

Philly cheesesteak sandwiches.  A lot of places serving these around the fairgrounds.  Hot grilled beef with onions and peppers, usually served with provolone or swiss cheese.  Look for the Cheesesteak Factory in its big green trailer towards the south end of the Midway. It's $10 for a full sandwich with the works (mushrooms, peppers and onion) or $9 for just the cheesesteak. Pat's Kitchen also does a traditional Philly for $8.

Philly fry bowl. A bowl of Philly beef, cheese, onions and other vegetables for $10 at the Philly Cheesesteak Stand.

Pig Licker.  The Burger Wagon has once again brought back this chocolate dipped bacon first introduced at the 2008 Arkansas State Fair. They're $1.50 each or four for $5.

Pineapple whip.  You can have a pineapple whip by the Main Stage or at the end of the Midway.  Cool, creamy soft serve combined with pineapple juice make this a must-have state fair treat. $4 in a regular cone or dish, $6 for a waffle cone or double dish. Also available as a milkshake at the Midway location.

Pizza.  Some folks just want something normal to go with their Arkansas State Fair adventure.  That's OK, too.  Pizza by the slice is $5 by the slice or $28 a whole pizza at Leiman's Pizzeria in the Food Court, or $5 for cheese, pepperoni or specialty at the Fresh Oven Baked Pizza stand on the north end of the Midway.

Polish sausage.  Get your link for $8 at Cheesesteak Factory.


Pork burger.  Making a return visit to the fair, this is ground pork in a burger.  Get yours at the Petit Jean Meats Smokehouse at the end of the Midway.

Pork butt BBQ sandwich. A hefty serving of barbecue sauce soaked pork from Boss Hogg's for $10.

Pork chops.  They tend to come big, and they're grilled over hot coals.  You'll find them at Boss Hogg's near the south end of the Midway and by Gate 5 for $10.

Pork rinds.  Apparently the skin of a pig is best served freshly fried and dusted with spice.  You can get them hot or in a bag to take home at a booth right outside the Hall of Industry. They come in BBQ, Cajun and plain for $5 a bag.

Pork tenderloin sandwich. This Iowa or Indiana favorite is a breaded pork tenderloin slice served on a bun for $8. Find it at the Philly Cheesesteak Shop near the funhouses on the Midway.

Pork Wing Drums. I'm guessing these are pork riblets treated like chicken wings... so far that's what they appear to be. Served with sauces at Bud and Burgers near the Ag in Action building, they're 3 for $7.50 or 5 for $12.50

Pumpkin Spiced Mixed Nuts. While other applications of the spice have mixed results, this is the combination everyone's been waiting for. The folks at Ozark Candy and Nuts have their fingers on the pulse of this nutty, nutty world. Find them in the Hall of Industry. Small cones $6, large cones $10 and two cones for $17.

Praline pecans. Ozark Candies and Nuts is once again offering these praline-coated pecans, which take the south Louisiana favorite to a good place.  You'll smell these the moment you walk into the Hall of Industry.

Pretzel Covered Deep Fried Brownie. Hot, this guilded lilly combines the crunch of pretzel with the smoothness of caramel and the utter chocolate delight of brownie. Marvelous. This year's Tasty Tom winner for Most Creative New Food, you'll find it at Fried What? for $6.

Pumpkin-filled funnel cakes.Funnel cakes with real pumpkin folded into the batter, lightly spiced and with cream cheese frosting on the top.  Moist, too.  I approve of this funnel cake alteration. Find them at the Hawaiian Shaved Ice Stand at the end of the Midway for $8.

Red beans and rice.  The most filling meal at the Arkansas State Fair, you can find it at Larry's Cajun Shak in the Food Court for $6.

Red velvet dipped deep fried Oreos. I think this is what the Kool-Aid covered Inside Out Cherry Chocolates folks wanted to create years ago, but didn't do so well at.  These small morsels from Fried What? are simply Oreos dipped in red velvet cake batter, deep fried and served with cream cheese frosting.  They're flavor-packed.  Share with friends. Four for $5.50 at Fried What?

Red velvet funnel cakes.  They're $6 at the Fried Dough stands in the Family Zone section of the Midway and on the Midway.

Reuben sandwich. Get a big one hot out of a skillet at the Reuben sandwich stand near the Food Court for $9.

Ribbon fries.  These are really more like a huge pile of inter-connected potato chips, but they're easy to share.  Get them at the Ribbon Fries stand near the Big Show Diner with cheese sauce extra, or just dollop on the ketchup (available at the end of the stand). $7. Also known as Grater Taters and sold as such at the Grater Tater stand for $7.

Ribeye sandwich. A hearty steak on bread for $15 at Boss Hogg's near Gate 5.

Ribeye steak. Porky's sells one for $10 on the Midway.

Ribs.  Rack or half rack, pork ribs are grilled over hot charcoal at several places across the fairgrounds.  Find them at Boss Hogg's near the south end of the Midway or by Gate 5 for $24 a whole rack or $14 a half, or country-style for $9 at Porky's on the Midway.

Rocky Mountain Oysters. These bull testicles come in a paper boat with fries for $9 at Porky's on the Midway.

Salt-water Taffy. Colonial Nut Roll inside the Hall of Industry carries this old-fashioned fair classic in a variety of flavors and colors. 20 piece bag $5, 42 piece bag $9, 65 piece bag $12.

Sausages.  In addition to jalapeno and cheese filled, Italian, Polish and Cajun sausages, you can get sausages wth peppers and onions at Pat's Kitchen, near the Hall of Industry in the Food Court.

Shaved ice.  Cool and refreshing, you have a wide variety of flavors to choose from -- Tiger's Blood, wedding cake, cherry, blue raspberry, cotton candy, pina colada, bubble gum, peanut butter, green apple, strawberry, banana and peach.  South end of Midway, $3.  Also at Memaw's Homemade Concession in the Food Court, $4 small and $6 large, with banana, blue raspberry, bubble gum, cherry, coconut, cotton candy, grape, ice cream, lemon-lime, orange, peach, pina colada, pink lemonade, sour apple, strawberry daiquiri, strawberry, Tiger's Blood, watermelon and wedding cake.

Sirloin burger.  A high-grade lean-meat burger with your choice of fixings, from Bud and Burgers.

Snake Bites. Jalapenos filled with cream cheese, wrapped with bacon and grilled.  The grilling removes none of the heat.  They're hot!  Get them three for $7 at the Cheeseburger on a Stick stand in the Food Court.

Soul Food. Boss Hogg's by Gate 5 offers dinners with yams, greens, and all sorts of things, two sides for $7 when you order pork chops, chicken on a stick or any other meat special on the menu.

Southern Blue Plate Special. If you're looking for a full-sized sit-down meal, you can get it at the Big Show Diner for $13.  The choices include the giant chicken fried steak, pork loin roast, roast beef, fried or grilled chicken breast or hamburger steak with two sides and a roll for $13.  Sides include mashed potatoes, red potatoes, fries, corn, beans, carrots, black eyed peas, green peas, Spanish rice or coleslaw.

Snickers Salad. The sample you see there is just media preview size. I can't wait to get my hands on a cup full of this combination of fresh chopped apples, whipped cream and Snickers bars. It's a prepared salad everyone's going to love.

Spaghetti and meatballs on a stick.  Back for a third year, these are big beef meatballs with spaghetti noodles, battered, deep fried, dusted with Parmesan cheese and served with marinara.  One stick makes a meal. $8 at Pat's Kitchen in the Food Court.

Steak and eggs.  Michael's Family Diner along the Midway offers this breakfast or anytime classic for $10.

Superdogs. There are corn dogs all over the fair -- some pre-made, some hand-dipped, none finer than those brought by Randy's Superdog, which has been coming to the Arkansas State Fair for 38 years now.  Long, longer and longest, they're good meat dogs dipped fresh and deep fried.  Listen for the clanging bell -- that's when they're being pulled from the grease and are ready to go. Regular corndogs there are $3, Superdogs are $8 and the Mega Superdog is $13.

This lady wants you to be refreshed with sweet-tea-on-a-stick and other liquid delights.

Sweet Tea on a Stick. My favorite new fair food this year, it's just a popsicle made of sweet tea. Other flavor such as raspberry tea are also available. $3.50 at any of the Iced Tea Box stands around the fairgrounds.

Taco Fries Supreme. A bowl of fries topped with taco beef, cheese dip, chili, salsa, lettuce, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, shredded cheese and sour cream for $8 at Bud and Burgers by the Ag in Action building.

Tacos.  Cheto's Mexican food truck is set up by the Hall of Industry, serving authentic fare.  These tiny tacos are fresh and full of flavor, and if you ask for them hot, they'll blow you away. Three shrimp or four beef for $8.

Tamales. The Arkansas Delta favorite comes three for $8.50 or 5 for $10.50 covered in chili and cheese at the concession stand inside the Hall of Industry.

Twisted churros. Leimon's Pizza carries these twisted cinnamon dough bits for $3 in the Food Court.

Turkey leg.  Is there any Arkansas State Fair without this massive fowl limb around?  Smells great, tastes wonderful, may put you into a tryptophanic coma before you're ready to leave the fair.  Acquire late in your visit, take it home for proper dismantling and a nap. This year, everyone's raised their price to $11, across the board.

Turtle funnel cake.  The winner of the Tasty Tom award for Best Tasting Dish, this is a standard funnel cake topped with caramel and nuts.  You can have chocolate on it, too.  It's $8 at the Lemonade and Funnel Cake yellow trailer in the Food Court.

Walking Taco.  All the flavor of a taco salad, in a bag -- specifically, the bag the chips came in.  Get one at Pat's Kitchen for $8.

See what was new, great and popular last year in the 2015 Arkansas State Fair Food Guide.

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter for more fair food updates throughout the event.

Below: All the menus I've seen at the Arkansas State Fair. Click for larger images.


  1. Was sad to see Mitch's grill gone. They easily served the best burger in the fair and I made it a point to stop and get one every year. The Buds and Burgers place wasn't anything special and couldn't hold a candle to Mitch's place. Mitch, you are missed!

  2. Awesome! You collected so much info with images. My mouth was watering looking at your picture.

  3. So many recipes to make your awesome day! I found so many interesting things to make life interesting and crazy. Now I am excited to eat them but before I will try them in my air fryer first as I am a cooking professional.
    Keep sharing these great dishes!


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