If you’re thinking about this year’s NC State Fair, you should know food vendors have really worked hard to bring something new to the traditional assortment of funnel cakes and Italian sausage. There are 39 (really!) new foods available on the fairgrounds at 4285 Trinity Road in Raleigh.
Sure, the list includes fried options as well as a few items on a stick. Other themes for 2022 are churros (and other Latin flavors), fruit-forward desserts, Southern flavors, and dishes that combine savory and sweet. Here’s a look at them, starting with some of the craziest and most creative concoctions and those you might not want to miss. The fair begins Thursday (Oct. 13) and continues through Oct. 23.
Deep Fried Piggy Tails by Beaver Concessions: Need we say more than battered deep-fried bacon topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar, drizzled with syrup?
Deep Fried Bacon Mac-n-Cheese Tacos from Bubba’s Bacon: OK, if fried bacon just isn’t enough, this dish combines it with mac and cheese for deep-fried tacos, topped with melted cheese sauce.
DoriEsquites from Douglas Farms: Two popular items come together when Mexican street corn is served in a bag of crushed Doritos.
Salmon Pops from Oak City Fish and Chips: This seemingly simple fair dish of skewered fried salmon served with a half lemon to drizzle won the Media’s Choice among the new foods.
Pepsi Glazed Mini Donuts from S2 Concessions: A new generation is discovering the deliciousness of peanuts in Pepsi. Here’s an interpretation with cola-glazed mini donuts with an optional topping of chopped peanuts.
Rattlesnake Corn Dog from Pioneer Wagon: How about a corndog made with rattlesnake sausage? It’s deep fried and topped with avocado sauce. You can also check out elk sausage, elk corn dogs, and snake bite nachos at this booth.
Korean Corn Dogs from goldenKdog: Speaking of corndogs, these Asian street food favorites aren’t the typical ones. Instead, they’re made with sausage or mozzarella cheese (or both), wrapped with yeasted batter, coated with panko breadcrumbs or small potato cubes, and then deep fried to a golden brown.
Honey Butter Chicken Fries from goldenKdog: That same vendor has another new option — deep-fried chicken fries covered in a smooth honey butter sauce.
Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels from La Farm Bakery: A satisfying blend of warm Buffalo chicken dip and cheddar cheese spread over a whole-wheat croissant, which is then rolled into a pinwheel.
Deep Fried Cuban Rolls from Chef’s D’Lites: All the goodness of a Cuban sandwich (with smoked ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and pulled pork) with the walk-around-the-fair convenience of an eggroll-style wrap. It’s served with a spicy honey mustard for dipping.
Pig Mac from Woody’s: Another entry in the eggroll category is this version. It has homemade white cheddar mac and cheese and crispy hickory smoked pork belly.
Sparkling Churros from Churros To Go: Churros but make them pretty. Here the fried pastries are decorated and glazed with bright, fanciful colors and special sugars and sprinkles.
Dole Pineapple Split from Tropical Delights: The famously refreshing Dole Whip but served ice cream sundae style with three mounds of pineapple and raspberry whip, served in a pineapple bowl and garnished with chocolate-covered pineapple slices, toasted coconut flakes, and strawberries.
Fried NC Flounder Tacos from Waypoint Oyster Bar: Opt for local seafood with these tacos made with flounder and topped with house-made corn and black bean salsa and avocado cilantro cream sauce.
Thanksgiving Stuffed Turkey Leg from Hickory Tree Turkey BBQ: This vendor likes to get creative with the standard turkey leg. This year, it comes with holiday favorites like stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce. You also have the option of adding candied yams, collards or mac and cheese.
Deep fried NC Country Ham with Bourbon Peach Jam from Ragin’ Cajun: If you’re looking for heartier NC flavors, here’s one with country ham, breaded and deep fried and served with a peachy jam.
Pork Chop on a Stick from Rockin’ Comet Diner: The simplicity of a center cut pork chop, skewered and grilled to perfection. Dip is available on the side.
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Curry Goat Platter from Lee’s Kitchen: Goat is an authentic choice for a lot of ethnic cuisines. If you haven’t had it, give it a try here with this savory curry served with mac and cheese, cabbage, and a roasted plantain.
Oreo Crumble Cookie Dough on a Stick from Kora’s Cookie Dough/Emma’s Cookie Kitchen: There are lots of fruity desserts to try this year so it’s nice to have something rich and decadent, too. It’s double chocolate chip cookie dough, which is then dipped in more chocolate and rolled in cookie crumbs.
Sweet Potato Country Raw Biscuit from Somethin’ Good/Ezzell’s: A spiced sweet potato biscuit with brown sugar cinnamon butter is given the savory sandwich treatment with country raw.
Pumpkin Spice Mini Pancakes from Hot Chix Hotcakes & Chicken: If you want something else full of fall spices, these fluffy mini pancakes are topped with icing, pumpkin spice, and whipped cream.
Churro Tots from Hot Chix Hotcakes & Chicken: That vendor has another new option, too, this year. It’s a dish of tater tots covered in cinnamon and sugar and served with dulce de leche sauce for dipping.
Mini-Blueberry Pie from Original Mineapple Pie: This year, you can get another option, in addition to apple, from this fair favorite. It’s topped with vanilla ice cream.
Banana Cream Pie Donut from Fluffys Handcut Donuts: A hand cut, yeast-raised donut filled with banana cream pudding, dipped in vanilla icing and topped with crushed Nilla wafers and a banana.
Frozen Banana Pudding Tacos from Chick-N-Que: Or try this other interpretation of this classic dessert. Here, a fried tortilla is filled with our frozen house-made banana pudding, topped with whipped cream, a Nilla wafer and drizzled with caramel
Chicken Pot Pie Biscuit from Fun Time Foods: Get some more Southern comfort food here, where chicken pot pie is served open-faced on a flaky homemade biscuit.
Quesadillas with Cactus, Chorizo, Aguas Frescas Pineapple and Horchata, Guayaba, Gorditas fromAnita’s Authentic Mexican Street Food: Check out the authentic Mexican street food from this vendor.
La Sabrosa Taco from Arepa Loca: An arepa made of pork marinated with garlic, onion, chilis, cloves salt, pepper and pineapple. Topped with sweet plantains and our traditional cilantro guacamole.
Jerk BBQ Pulled Pork Bowl from Cool Runnings: This year, this crew is serving their jerk-seasoned pulled pork barbecue bowl style, with homemade macaroni and cheese.
Fall In a Cup Green Apple Loaded Slushie, from Moose Joose Slushie: A green apple slush combined with caramel drizzle, apple slices, whipped cream and caramel bits. For a taste of fall, without the pumpkin spice.
“Hot Chicken” Tacos from Chick-N-Que: Check out these hot-style chicken tenders wrapped in a flour tortilla and topped with slaw, pickles & crema.
Smokin’ Bovine Roll from Fat Boys BBQ: For burnt-end brisket lovers, you can get it served on a roll with a sweet-and-tangy sauce and slaw upon request.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Waffle Stick from Waffle Chix: For 2022, the original ‘Chicken in a Waffle on a Stick’ is given an upgrade with bacon and ranch dressing. You can also add Buffalo wing sauce if you’d like to gild the lily.
Quesabirrias Tacos from South Raleigh Civitan: If you haven’t tried these, now’s your chance. Mexican birria-style cooked beef is folded into a tortilla with melted cheese and served with a side of consommé for dipping.
DILLYlicious Loaded Pickles from Chester’s Gators and Taters: You’ve had loaded fries, but have you had deep-fried pickle fries with bacon, ranch and beer cheese?
My Mom’s Magic Punch from OMG! Banana Pudding: It’s an old-fashioned beverage with a new twist
Sassy’s Soup of the Day from Sassy’s Sweet Potatoes: Sometimes all you want is a good bowl of soup. This vendor will have different options throughout the fair, including tomato and herb, sweet potato with pears and apples, and loaded potato.
Cornbread & Chili Savory Funnel Cake by Gobblin’ Gourmet: This vendor usually adds a sweet-and-savory dish. For this year, the recipe is tweaked with a cornbread funnel cake topped with vegetarian chili, shredded cheese, sour cream and jalapenos.
Mild, Hot & Thermal Salsa from Salsa Kingdom MW: You can add spice to your liking with a sampling of salsas to go with this vendor’s chili.
Flavored Popcorn from Incredible Popcorn: There are always new flavors, including peanut butter, birthday cake and jalapeno, from this vendor.
Dill Pickle Pizza from Rudy’s: If you know, you know. Check out this traditional pizza topped with dill pickle.