For Blue Plate Restaurant Co., which operates the fair's iconic Blue Barn, it wouldn't be summer without chicken in a waffle cone. Or Pop Rocks French toast. Or bacon-stuffed Tater Tots. So, the barn is back, popping up on the menus of its seven Twin Cities sister restaurants Aug. 31 to Sep. 7. Fair favorites also available across the metro from the new Little Blue Food Truck.
Enjoy three greatest hits from this 26-year-old fair favorite. There are two savory options: croquette-style risotto poppers and fried cauliflower glazed with a zesty sesame barbecue sauce. The kitchen will also be baking up its gotta-have buttermilk scones, which are served with fresh strawberries and drizzled with a sweet cream cheese topping.
2610 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-870-7855
Also a fixture at the fairgrounds' Minnesota Farmers Union Coffee Shop, Grand Ole Creamery is serving some of its ice cream on-a-stick flavors, only without the stick, at its St. Paul, Minneapolis and Roseville shops.
750 Grand Av., St. Paul, 651-293-1655; 4737 Cedar Av. S., Mpls., 612-722-2261; Potluck Food Hall, 1595 W. Hwy. 36, Roseville, 651-340-3978
Track down the Food Building vendor in food truck form, parked outside metro area Menards and Costcos, for eastern European bites, including stuffed cabbage and Polish sausage.
Follow on Instagram for locations at @ipierogi_com
Its stand outside the Hamline Church Dining Hall might be dark this summer, but Izzy's downtown Minneapolis scoop shop has all the signature flavors, plus Izzy Pop frozen dipped mini-scoops on a stick, and mini ice-cream sandwiches. But be quick! This weekend is the last time you'll be able to visit the Minneapolis location before it closes on August 31.
1100 S. 2nd St., Mpls., 612-206-3356
The West Seventh classic brought supper club style to the fair at its "al fresco" spot. Now, it brings the fair home to the Char House, with some of its al fresco specialties — steak sandwich, cannolis —- on the menu all summer long.
531 7th St. W., St. Paul, 612-224-7345
Stine Aasland's gnome-topped fair stand has a second home at Rosedale Mall's Potluck food hall. Get signature sweet and savory waffles stuffed with cinnamon sugar or smoked salmon. Or get the fair-inspired special, a thin Norwegian-style waffle filled with strawberry jello salad, Oreos and whipped cream, Aug. 27 through Sep. 7.
1595 Hwy. 36, Roseville
A fair stand known for its giant — and we mean giant — egg roll on a stick, the brick-and-mortar restaurant in northeast Minneapolis is serving its regular size rolls on a stick (by request) this summer. Also available, just this once: the fair-only special of garlic cream cheese puffs. (Que Viet's Brooklyn Center sister restaurant is a vendor in the sold-out Minnesota State Fair Food Parade.)
2211 Johnson St. NE., Mpls., 612-781-4744
The Food Building stand with spiked hand pies sells every boozy flavor from its Stillwater bakery. Even the fair fave of caramelized onion and Gouda cheese with Lift Bridge beer.
823 4th St. S., Stillwater, 651-342-0934
An International Bazaar fixture for 20 years, chef and owner Sharon Richards-Noel's Caribbean specialties, including her popular Jamaican jerk sauce, are available at her food truck in St. Paul.
1166 University Av. W., St. Paul, 651-331-9523