Credentials first: I've been covering food at the Arkansas State Fair longer than any other individual. Period. From the introduction of the pig licker (a now probably extinct dish of chocolate covered bacon) to fried watermelon, Pickle Dogs and scorpion pizza, I've covered everything our vendors can literally dish out.
Bookmark this page and come back for more photos, listings and the cheapest and best place to find your favorites.
And come see me Sunday from noon until 2pm at the Arts and Crafts Building for a book signing! I will have several of my books, from Arkansas Pie to Arkansas Dairy Bars, 101 Things to Eat in Arkansas Before You Die and more, for sale and will sign them if you like!
* * * NEW AT THE FAIR * * *
While the Tasty Toms will determine entries from various vendors on what's the tastiest and most creative dishes at the Arkansas State Fair this year, I've been digging deep to discover items that aren't even on the entry list, new dishes and changes you should consider spending your fair cash on.
Macaroni and Cheese Stuffed Turkey Leg. This sounds crazy, but it's sublime - a whole turkey leg, cut open and stuffed with mac and cheese. That's it. That's the dish. Find it at H2Que BBQ near the entrance to Barton Colliseum up the hill from the Midway.
No Superdogs. Sadly, and for the first time I can ever recall, Randy's Superdog will not be in attendance at this year's Arkansas State Fair.
Chicken and wafflecones. A brand new item offered at the Center Stage Grill at the Bud Light Pavilion (just to the east of the Big Show Diner) is this unusual dish, a wafflecone filled with popcorn chicken and served with a sauce of choice for $7.50.
Funnel Cake Fried Chicken Sandwich with Bacon. L&M Concessions came up with the last Most Creative winner of the Tasty Toms with 2019's Funnel Cake Bacon Cheeseburger. This year, Larry and friends enter the chicken sandwich wars with this neat new take.
Buffalo Chili Cinnamon Rolls. That name may look like word salad, but it's an honest to goodness thing. The Midway Cafe, a permanent structure at the south end of the Midway, offers breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the fair. Amongst the craziest things the place has to offer this year, is this combination of buffalo chili - a neat eat in itself - served with cinnamon rolls, midwestern-style. The dish originates out of Des Moines, but this version is pure Arkansas State Fair.
Deep Fried Caramel Apples. Pat's Kitchen, well known for winning the Tastiest category at the Tasty Toms, is back with a new dish this year - gilding the lily by battering and deep frying caramel apples - and I am here for it. It is officially the 2021 winner of Most Creative food entry in the Tasty Toms, and so worth it - slices of crisp apple battered in cinnamon and sugar, deep fried and served with caramel sauce. I could eat this all day long.
Gyro Tacos. Yes, this is a thing. Head to the back end of the Midway and over to the FFA barn. Right between it and the petting zoo is a Gyro-tastic trailer offering gyro tacos, gyro fries, and all sorts of other dishes featuring the Greek-style savory shaved meat.
And now the big list:
Alligator on a Stick. South Louisiana's culinary embassy at the Arkansas State Fair is Larry's Gator-on-a-Stick at the top of the hill on the south end of the Food Court. This delicacy (real gator!) comes battered and fried, on a stick of course.
Apple Pie Funnel Cake. Get yours topped with a thick emulsion of apples in cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar at Roger Westmoreland Concession in the Food Court.
Bacon Cheese Fries. Winkle Concessions across from the Big Show Diner has these.
Bacon Nachos. Bacon. On nachos. Can't go wrong. Find them at Sue-Sue's (look for the words Makin' Bacon) for $12 a bucket.
Bacon on a Stick. Of course. Find it for $10 at Sue-Sue's near Gate 5.
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken on a Stick. Welcome to the Arkansas State Fair, Sue-Sue's! This new vendor is all about the bacon - and these big sticks of bacon-guilded chick are $12. Look for the pink pig near Gate 5.
Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs. $10 each at Sue-Sue's near Gate 5.
Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Peppers. Stuffed with cream cheese, these are delightful and NOT deep fried. They're at Sue-Sue's, $10 for four.
Bacon-Wrapped Sausage. Get a big deep fried bacon wrapped sausage on a stick at Winkle Concessions near the Big Show Diner.
Baked Potatoes. Hot and ready, never deep fried or covered in chocolate, these huge spuds are available with your fillings of choice. Find them at L&M Concessions - the stand with the pickup truck grill near the heart of the Food Court.
Banana Pudding. A new one for the Arkansas State Fair. Get yourself a cup-full at Mom and Pop's BBQ near the entrance to Barton Colliseum.
Banana Pudding Funnel Cake. This one has been announced for the Tasty Toms, but as of right now, where it's from is a mystery.
Barbecue Sandwiches. Find them at H2Que BBQ near the entrance to Barton Colliseum.
Barbecue Gyros. I haven't tried this yet, but this may be the Year of the Gyro at the Arkansas State Fair. Follow me to H2Que BBQ near the entrance to Barton Colliseum off the midway for this.
Beef Kebabs. Mickey's Grill has flame-roasted beef kebabs $12 each or two for $20, in the center of the Food Court,
Beer Butt Chicken. Gold's has made these a regular attraction right by Gate 5.
BLT. Get a classic version on Texas toast at the Midway Cafe for $8.
Bologna Sandwich. Get yours fried hot on a fluffy bun at the Midway Cafe at the south end of the Midway for $8.
Boudin. Get yours at Larry's Gator-on-a-Stick at the south end of the Food Court (top of the hill).
Breakfast. The Midway Cafe has lots of breakfast options. From 7am to 10am, pick up your breakfast bite at the south end of the Midway. The Deluxe Breakfast includes scrambled eggs, two sausage patties or three slices of bacon, biscuit and gravy for $10.
Bucket of Bacon Cheese Fries. Sue-Sue's can hook you up for $12.
Bucket of Hand Cut Fries, Get them for $10 at McKinney's Corn Dog stand at the south end of the Midway.
NEW! Buffalo Chili. The folks at the Midway Cafe at the south end of the Midway have several dishes based on this delectable, savory chili made from buffalo, beans, peppers, onions and spices. It's a great warm-up, which you'll need once the cold snap gets here Saturday. Get yours with Fritos, over hot dogs or just like this - in a bowl with cheese, cilantro, and sliced fresh jalapenos, for $9. Sour cream also available.
NEW! Buffalo Chili Cinnamon Rolls. That name may look like word salad, but it's an honest to goodness thing. The Midway Cafe, a permanent structure at the south end of the Midway, offers breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the fair. Amongst the craziest things the place has to offer this year, is this combination of buffalo chili - a neat eat in itself - served with cinnamon rolls, midwestern-style. The dish originates out of Indiana, but this version is pure Arkansas State Fair. Get your combination for $9.
Burgers. A half pound Black Angus cheeseburger is $10 at the All American/Bennett's Concession stand near the south end of the Midway.
Burritos. Get fresh, hand-rolled burritos with your choice of filling at Ormic's Taco King in the Food Court.
Candy Apples. A longtime old-school fair favorite. Get the classic red sugar coated version at the Candy Man trailers up the hill at the south end of the Midway, or at the southwest corner of the Hall of Industry.
Caramel Apples. Ozark Candies and Nuts has them both with and without nuts just to the left as you enter the main space in the Hall of Industry. You can get yours off-the-stick, too.
Cherry Limeade. Get a big cup for $6 at the Gyro trailer by the FFA building. Refills are $3.
Chicken and Waffle Bites. Crispy sweet-battered chicken chunks fried and covered in maple syrup, these tasty bites are offered at Pat's Kitchen in the food court for $5.
NEW! Chicken and wafflecones. A brand new item offered at the Center Stage Grill at the Bud Light Pavilion (just to the east of the Big Show Diner) is this unusual dish, a wafflecone filled with popcorn chicken and served with a sauce of choice for $7.50.
Chicken Basket. Boneless fried chicken and fries in a basket, at Winkle Concessions near the Big Show Diner.
Chicken-in-Pita. A gyro-style classic, get herb roasted chicken and your vegetables of choice served in a pita at Paizi's Gyros.
Chicken Kebabs. Mickey's Grill has flame-roasted beef kebabs $12 each or two for $20, in the center of the Food Court,
Chocolate Meringue Pie. Get a slice for $5.50 at The Big Show Diner.
Cinnamon Rolls. Big, tasty rolls at The Midway Cafe for $3.
Coca Cola Cake. The Southern classic, in a nice thick slice. Enjoy this chocolate cola cake with cola pecan icing at The Big Show Diner for $5.50.
Coconut Meringue Pie. Find your slice at The Big Show Diner for $5.50.
Corn Dogs. Randy's SuperDog may be gone this year, but you can still get a two-foot long corndog in the same space. You'll find them at McKinney's Concessions across from Gold's Boss Hogg, right down from Gate 5. You can also find normal sized, hand-dipped corn dogs at the corn dog stand across from Larry's in the Food Court (next to Ormic's Taco King).
Corn-on-the-Cob. Hot, roasted in its own husk corn-on-the-cob, available with sprinkle-on spices and such, can be found at L&M Concessions. Look for the old pickup truck being used as a grill.
Cotton Candy. There will be places all over the Midway with bags of cotton candy. If you're looking for a vendor closer to home, check out the Candy Man concession trailers - they're white with red paint, and they're located at the southwest end of the Hall of Industry and just up the hill towards the FFA Building on the south end of the Midway.
Curly Fries. Get a big plateful at Grater Tater for $8.
NEW! Deep Fried Caramel Apples. Pat's Kitchen, well known for winning the Tastiest category at the Tasty Toms, is back with a new dish this year - gilding the lily by battering and deep frying caramel apples - and I am here for it.
Deep Fried Cheesecake. One of the most perfect dishes becomes fair fare when dipped in batter and deep fried. Try it at Fried What! opposite Gate 5.
Deep Fried Mac and Cheese Ball. This year's winner of Tastiest at the Tasty Tom awards is a big ball of macaroni and cheese battered in Cajun spices and deep fried. You can find it at Mom and Pop's BBQ near the west entrance of Barton Colliseum,
Deep Fried Oreos. Fried What! returns to the Arkansas State Fair this year, and has this now-classic fair food favorite. They're 6 for $7, or you can get a bucket of 10 for $12. Crazier yet, if you want a bucket REFILL, it's $10 for another 10.
Deep Fried Pineapple Rings. L&M Concession's stand between the cotton candy place and the stand with the pickup grill has these sweet-tart battered delights.
Deep Fried Pork Loin. The Midway Cafe is offering slices of battered and fried pork loin at the south end of the Midway.
Deep Fried Raspberry Zinger. The moist spongy confection, battered and deep fried, available at Fried What! by Gate 5 for $6 each.
Deep Fried Twinkies. You can find these sweet treats at Fried What! opposite Gate 5 for $6.
Dippin' Dots. The Ice Cream of the Future since the 1980s. Find the stand across from Pat's Kitchen in the Food Court.
Elephant Ears. Big, flat cinnamon sugar dusted pastry that can be loaded with other toppings. You'll find them at the Corky Westmoreland concession stand across from the Center Stage Grill.
Fish Tacos. You'll find these at Mom and Pop's BBQ, which is just off the midway near the entrance to Barton Colliseum.
Flowering Onion. Grater Tater's has them for $9.
Freeze Dried Candy. Nana's Freeze-Dried Candy is locally made in Bismarck and available at the Arts and Crafts Building for $10 for a large bag of big "pearls."
Fried Brownies with Ice Cream. This one has been announced for the Tasty Toms. I believe it's being offered by Fried What! near Gate 5, 2 for $7.
Fried Fish. Welcome Millie's Fish-N-Shrimp to the Arkansas State Fair! Fried catfish is bound to be a star. We can say that with some authority - this was Grav Weldon's favorite for best tasting item at the Tasty Toms, which is amazing because Grav just isn't a fried fish person. The plate comes with battered fries and jalapeno hush puppies.
You can also get fried fish at Mom and Pop's BBQ near the entrance to Barton Colliseum in the silver trailer.
Fried Green Tomatoes. These may not come from the Whistle Stop Cafe, but they're tasty and popular. Find a version of the dish at Fried What! opposite Gate 5.
Fried Ice Cream. These orbs of vanilla are battered and deep fried and melt quick - but they're tasty! Fried What! has it opposite Gate 5.
Fried Lasagna. The 2019 Best Tasting winner at the Tasty Toms, Theresa's Italian Kitchen fries up these slices of cheese lasagna roll, basted in garlic butter and topped with marinara and Parmesan cheese.
Fried Pickles. Bernell Austin probably never guessed his lunchtime creation would become an Arkansas State Fair staple. A version of the dish is available at Fried What!.
Fried Pies. Huge handmade handpies, with various fillings, available inside the Arts & Crafts Building. $4 each or 3 for $10.
Fried Ravioli. Also called toasted ravioli or T-Ravs, this is a standard at Grater Taters in the Food Court, and you can get yours for $7.
Fried Shrimp. Easy to eat, tasty too, find yours at Millie's Fish-N-Shrimp in the Food Court.
Frosted Flake Chicken. L&M Concession takes fried chicken to a new level with a breading batter of sugar-glazed corn flakes. In the Food Court.
Fruit Punch. You can get it at any Lipton Iced Tea Box, or go for the original Arkansas State Fair version at the Big Show Diner.
NEW! Funnel Cake Fried Chicken Sandwich with Bacon. L&M Concessions came up with the last Most Creative winner of the Tasty Toms with 2019's Funnel Cake Bacon Cheeseburger. This year, Larry and friends enter the chicken sandwich wars with this neat new take.
Funnel Cakes. Roger Westmoreland Concession has a huge funnel cake truck at the center of the Food Court - where you can get yours topped with apple pie filling, strawberries, chocolate, cinnamon and sugar and so much more.
Granola. Homemade granola on sale in the Arts and Crafts Building.
Grater Taters, The thin, spiral-cut fried potato delight is a popular fair food delight. The original Grater Tater stand at the heart of the Food Court still has them, and still offers them topped with nacho cheese, bacon, jalapenos, and several other toppings, starting at $8 with $1 for each topping.
Greek Rice Bowl. A hot bowl of seasoned rice with your choice of gyro or chicken, topped with Greek vegetables. Satisfying! Find it at Paizi's Greek Foods in the Food Court.
Greek Salad. Eat healthy at the fair! A fresh salad of lettuce, olives, tomatoes, onions, Feta cheese and cucumbers awaits you at Paizi's Gyros.
Gyros. The original Greek handheld delicacy, as it's been served for decades by the Paizi Family. Get yours at Paizi's Gyros at the center of the Food Court.
There are also gyros at the Gyro cart by the FFA building south east of the Midway. There, you can pick up a beef, chicken or lamb gyro for $10. A gyro basket with fries is $12.
NEW! Gyro Fries. Fries topped with gyro meat and Feta cheese. Find it at the Gyro truck by the FFA building for $10.
Gyro Salad. They're $8 at the Gyro truck bu the FFA Building.
NEW! Gyro Tacos. Yes, this is a thing. Head to the back end of the Midway and over to the FFA barn. Right between it and the petting zoo is a Gyro-tastic trailer offering gyro tacos, gyro fries, and all sorts of other dishes featuring the Greek-style savory shaved meat.
Hot Dogs. Simple yet still a fair staple. Get yours at Winkle Concessions across from the Big Show Diner. Or you can get one for $5 at the Midway Cafe at the south end of the Midway, or the All American stand near the south end of the Midway.
Indian Fry Bread. Pat's Kitchen offers its fry bread with just cinnamon and sugar... simple, pliant, and just wonderful. They also can be topped with strawberries and cream.
Indian Fry Bread Tacos. Certainly the largest tacos you can find at the fair. These huge rounds are topped with spiced ground beef and all the fixings for a filling and tasty dinner. Find them at Pat's Kitchen in the Food Court.
Jalapeno Cucumber Lemonade. Hot, cool and tasty all at the same time.
Jambalaya. Larry's Gator-on-a-Stick sells the popular Louisiana rice and sausage specialty by the cup.
Kettle Corn. It's not hard to find pre-made kettle corn on the fairgrounds - but for fresh-made bags, head to Michener Kettle Corn in the red and white trailer by the entrance to the Hall of Industry. You can also get a bag at Mr. Keith's Gourmet Kettle Corn behind the FFA Building.
Key Lime Pie. Find your slice at Fried What! opposite Gate 5.
Koolickles. Kool-Aid soaked dill pickles. What more can you say? Find them at Gold's Skillet - yes, the one with the four foot wide skillet over the flames - at the northwest corner of the Food Court.
Krazy Fryz. Fresh cut potatoes deep fried to a point somewhere between a French fry and a potato chip. You can get them plain or topped with a number of any items for $10.
Lemonade. While you can get lemonade from a mix at the Lipton Iced Tea Boxes, you'll want to splurge a little and get fresh-squeezed instead. Roger Westmoreland Concessions in the center of the Food Court (the funnel cake stand) offers it.
Lemonade Backpack. If you really can't get enough lemonade, the lemonade backpack is for you. For $25, you can get a refillable plastic lemon that you can carry on your back. It holds about a liter of lemonade. Find it at the Lemonade stand on the Midway near Barton Colliseum.
Lemon Cream Pie. One of several pies offered at the Big Show Diner, for $5.50.
Milk. Cheapest treat at the fair! Get a half pint of chocolate or vanilla milk for 50 cents at the Hiland shed near the Food Court.
Nachos. Find yours at the Center Stage Grill.
Nacho Cheese Filled Sticks. This is a rumor, but I am interested to see if it plays out - a corn dog batter but instead of a hot dog, it's filled with nacho cheese. Rumored to be at Roger Westmoreland Concession in the Food Court.
Nuts. Ozark Candies and Nuts has so many varieties to enjoy by the coneful, from roasted almonds and pecans to mixed nuts and cashews, just to the left inside the main entrance to the Hall of Industry.
NEW! Ox Tails. New to the fair this year is 10Fiyahside Island Grill, a Jamaican food truck that's been gaining some speed in the region. 10Fiyahside will offer curried goat, fried dumplings, chickpea salad, jerk chicken and oxtails - the last of which I believe will be a first on the fairgrounds.
Pecan Pie. Fried What! has your pecan pie hookup for $7 over by Gate 5.
Pickle Pizza. You've seen the meme around the internet, now try it yourself - pickles on a pizza. Perhaps it's particularly pleasant opposed to the pyriah pineapple posed on pizza. You be the judge. Find your pickle-slice at Swain's Pizza on a Stick.
Pies by the Slice,. Get yours at the Big Show Diner.
Pig Skins. Michener Kettle Corn has bags of fresh fried pig skins, just southwest of the main entrance to the Hall of Industry.
Pineapple Whip. Pineapple and vanilla soft serve makes for a tasty, delicious treat. Find yours at the L&M Concession stand by the state near the Hall of Industry or at the Pineapple Whip stand at the south end of the Midway, $4 a small and $5 a large.
Pizza. Swain's Pizza on a Stick in the Food Court (two locations - at the center and across from the Center Stage Grill) has pizza with pepperoni, sausage, supreme, cheese, pickle, and even scorpions. That's right - the original purveyor of insects on pizza is back.
Pizza on a Stick! Swain's Pizza on a Stick offers these paddle-like easy-to-eat pizza concoctions.
Polish Sausage. Get a hunk with or without peppers and onions for $10 at the Philly Cheesesteak Stand on the Midway at the bottom of Hiland Hill.
Popcorn. Find all sorts of gourmet flavors of popcorn at Mr. Keith's Gourmet Kettle Corn behind the FFA Building.
Pork Chops. You'll find large ones with access to great sides like greens and beans at Gold's Concession by Gate 5.
Pork Tenderloin. Bennett's Concession has them for $10 at the All American Food Trailer near the south end of the Midway. You can also get them at the Philly Cheesesteak trailer by the turkey leg stand at the bottom of Hiland Hill on the Midway.
Pork Waffles. I'm going to need an explanation. When I find one, I will report back - but I will say, you can find these at H2Que BBQ out of Jonesboro, near the entrance to Barton Colliseum off the Midway.
Possum Pie. The Arkansas classic, with layers of chocolate custard, sweetened cream cheese, whipped cream and pecans is available at The Big Show Diner for $5.50.
Pretzels. Swain's Pizza on a Stick has fresh, hot pretzels - plain salted, pepperoni, cheese, Cheeto-dusted, you name it.
Pulled Pork Burritos. Hot, freshly smoked pork butts, peppers and onions, cheese and barbecue sauce make up this marvelous burrito (shown here before folding so you can see inside). Get yours for $8 at the Midway Cafe at the south end of the Midway.
Quesadillas. Your choice of filling, pressed between two fresh tortillas. Get them at Ormic's Taco King in the food Court.
Red Velvet Funnel Cake. Enjoy the combination of red velvet cake and funnel cake at the Roger Westmoreland Concession in the Food Court.
Reuben Sandwich. Look for Gold's gigantic skillet at the northwest corner of the Food Court - you know, the one with the sausages and peppers and onions in it? They'll also serve you up a thick and meaty Reuben Sandwich.
Ribs. Get yourself a rack of ribs at Gold's Concession/Boss Hog;s near Gate 5 and at Boss Hog's near the south end of the Midway. for $32 a full rack and $18 for a half rack.
Root Beer. L&M Concessions is brewing up homemade root beer, and it's good. Find the stand across from the stage by the Hall of Industry.
Sausages. You can get a chunk of smoked sausage sauteed together with peppers and onions at Boss Hog's at the end of the Midway, or the Philly Cheesesteak concession at the base of Hiland Hill on the Midway for $10.
Shaved Ice. Kona Ice in the Food Court has all your favorites.
Smoked Stuffed Turkey Legs. A turkey leg. Stuffed with macaroni and cheese. Crazy? You decide for yourself. Head to H2Que BBQ on the Midway near the entrance to Barton Colliseum.
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. Find them at Pat's Kitchen in the Food Court.
Tacos. Ormic's Taco King has all the traditional street tacos in the middle of the Food Court, where tacos are $4 each, $7 for two and $12 for three with a drink, Check out gyro tacos and more at the stand by the FFA Building, where you can get three street tacos for $10.
Taco Salad, Center Stage Grill has these for
Tea. You'll find the Lipton Iced Tea Boxes at the center of the Food Court and at the south end of the Midway. You can also get a big cup of sweet tea at Sue-Sue's Concession for $6.
Thanksgiving Tacos. One of the more unusual items at our fair, this is a Tasty Tom winner that's stuck around for good. Enjoy roasted turkey, dressing, and cranberry sauce in a tortilla from the folks at Pat's Kitchen.
Turkey Legs. I always go looking for the best and cheapest places to get your turkey legs. You can find them:
At Gold's Concession/ Boss Hog's by Gate 5 and at the Boss Hog's at the south end of the Midway, they're $15.
At Mickey's Grill in the middle of the Food Court.
At H2Que near the entrance to Barton Colliseum.
Wonderstick. What would happen if you filled a churro with ice cream? Probably something like these ice cream filled edible pastry tubes, which debuted at the Arkansas State Fair in 2019. Find it at the west end of the Food Court across from Pat's Kitchen.
Prices and more items will be added as information comes in. Keep this page bookmarked!