Best Family Friendly Eats at the Iowa State Fair -

Best Family Friendly Eats at the Iowa State Fair

If you’re ever thought to yourself, “This might taste better if it’s deep-fried,” it just might be at the Iowa State Fair! The fried delights make news every year, but the Fair is also famous for other unique offerings. Whether you have your old standbys that you get at the fair every year or you’re ready to try something new, we’ve highlighted a bit of both.  Here are the best family friendly eats and where you can find them at the Iowa State Fair.

A Twist on a Kid Classic – PB & J on a Stick

Peanut butter and jelly is well-loved by all ages for its simple recipe.  So, how do vendors take it up a notch and make it more appealing to Fairgoers?  Why, they put it on a stick of course!  Making it just one of more than 70 food options available on-a-stick at the Iowa State Fair.  Find Peanut Butter and Jelly on a Stick at the Salad Bowl in the Agricultural Building and Cultural Center.

Everything is Better with Bacon – Funnel Bacon on a Stick

The bacon trend doesn’t seem to be coming to an end any time soon and there are many new (and old) bacon wrapped options at the Iowa State Fair. How can you update the iconic funnel cake? Dip fried bacon in it and deep fry it again. And, since that doesn’t seem heart clogging enough, you can top it with your choice of maple butter cream, caramel or chocolate syrup.  Find it at McGrath’s Funnel Cakes in the Triangle.

Dessert Disguised as Dinner – Ice Cream Nachos

Benoit’s Nutty Bar and Root Beer Floats (on Rock Island East of the Riley Stage) will offer Ice Cream Nachos this year. Crisp cinnamon sugar chips covered with two scoops of cinnamon ice cream drizzled with hot fudge and caramel and sprinkled with bits of chocolate, caramel and strawberries. The dish is topped with nuts, whipped cream, and a cherry.

Healthy Fare at the Fair – Fruit Pizza

Not to worry, there are plenty of waistline-friendly options at the Iowa State Fair.   New this year, Iowa Orchard is featuring Fruit Pizza.  They also have other fresh fruit options available at their stand in the Agricultural Building.  You can find other calorie conscious selections on the Fair’s Healthy Choices page.

Value Bites – Lemonade and a Hot Dog

There are over 70 bargain-priced items available for $3 or less at the Iowa State Fair. Find a lemonade for $2 and a hot dog for $2.50 at B & K Concessions on the main floor of the Agricltural Building. Find the full list of value bites on the Fair’s Food for $3 or Less web page and save some serious coin while touring the Fair.

Food Finder – Tenderloin

Looking to find a tenderloin while you’re at the fair? Check out the Iowa State Fair’s Food page to learn more about all of your favorite Fair foods.  You can also download the Fair Food Finder App to your smart phone.  It’s so convenient to have the lists of foods, vendors and healthy fare locations along with daily events accessible on your phone as you are exploring the Fair.


The Iowa State Fair runs August 11-21, 2016.

3000 E Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA
(515) 262-3111


If you’ve tried anything unusual at the fair, we want to hear about it! What are your family’s favorite eats at the Iowa State Fair?

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