Some of Iowa’s best and most outrageous culinary creations can be found at the Iowa State Fair, where deep fryers reign supreme and the words “on a stick” can be found on almost every menu.
Alongside fair staples such as turkey legs, footlong corn dogs and deep-fried butter, 53 new dishes will join the lineup at the 2022 Iowa State Fair. Take a look at these new fair foods and where you can find them on the fairgrounds.
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Catch some grub along the Iowa State Fair Grand Concourse
On the Grand Concourse near Gate 11, you’ll find Waffle Chix. Known for its breakfast sausage waffle and chicken in a waffle, Waffle Chix is introducing a new creation this year: a chicken bacon ranch waffle on a stick.
If “on a stick” foods aren’t your thing, stop by Wagyu Burger on the Grand Concourse, across from the Grandstand. Its most recent addition to the menu is a Berkshire pork loin.
Next to Wagyu Burger on the Grand Concourse is The Veggie Table. The Iowa State Fair staple sells deep-fried veggies, pickles, cheese products, avocado slices and vegan corn dogs. This year, The Veggie Table has added sweet potato tater tots to the menu.
Located next to The Veggie Table, Island Noodles serves freshly made stir-fried yakisoba noodles with garlic and veggies, a traditional Hawaiian dish, as well as island coleslaw, its new dish this year.
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Across from Island Noodles on the Grand Concourse, Pioneer Wagon is once again serving creative, whacky eats. Reminiscent of last year’s rattlesnake and elk corn dogs, Pioneer Wagon is introducing alligator corn dogs to the menu this year. But wait, there’s more: Pioneer Wagon’s Snake Bite Nachos also make the list of new fair foods.
Across the Grand Concourse next to Island Noodles, Schuler’s Popcorn & Cotton Candy is serving a new unique snow cone flavor: the Sno Big Dill Sno Cone.
Further down the Grand Concourse, across from the Pepsi Clock, you’ll find The Cluck’n Coop. Cluck’n Coop won the People’s Choice Best New Food of the 2021 Iowa State Fair with its chicken egg salad and Indian fry bread, and its new cuisine creation this year made the top 10 list of new fair foods. The new dish: Egg-o-Fuego, an egg sandwich that comes with a fried egg, pepper jack cheese, Iowa’s own Beeler’s Chorizo, guacamole and spicy jalapeno relish, all inside a brioche bun, for $8.
Across from The Cluck’n Coop on the Grand Concourse, Dawghouse Concessions Pickledawgs is also introducing a top 10 dish to the list of new fair foods with the $10 Dawghouse Reuben sandwich. Sliced pastrami is topped with Dawghouse Concessions’ Reuben sauce, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing and cream cheese, all stuffed into a brat-sized bun for the ultimate Reuben experience.
Next to Dawghouse Concessions Pickledawgs, McGrath’s Funnel Cakes managed to make the classic fair treat even more nostalgic with the addition of its new flavor: Nana’s gooey butter funnel cake.
A little farther down the Grand Concourse near the Animal Learning Center, the Iowa Pork Tent boasts one of the top three finalists for this year’s best new fair foods: Pork Picnic in a Cup. The ultimate Iowan dish features layers of barbecue pulled pork, baked beans, coleslaw and barbecue sauce, garnished with brown sugar pork belly, all in one cup. Fairgoers can pick one up for $10.
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Near the Susan Knapp Amphitheater on the Grand Concourse, Chicken City brings another top-three finalist dish to the fair: the OMG chicken sandwich. It features a lightly battered chicken breast that is covered in sugar coated corn flakes, fried to golden brown and served on a glazed donut. The sandwich is topped with bacon and drizzled with syrup, all for $12.
Find new foods near the Anne & Bill Riley Stage
Fairgoers will find many of the new foods on this year’s list clustered toward the center of the fairgrounds, near the Anne & Bill Riley Stage.
Between the Anne & Bill Riley Stage and the Varied Industries Building, you’ll find Waffle Bombs with its N’awlins Cajun waffle dog, deep-fried meatballs on a stick, deep-fried queso burger, the Ripper, bayou fries and fried olives we stick.
Next to Waffle Bombs, near the Varied Industries Building, Applishus will be serving a new apple dish to fairgoers. This year’s new addition is the apple bacon waffle.
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Between the Anne & Bill Riley Stage and the Administration Building, Campbell’s Corn Dogs is making a much-needed addition to its menu this year: gluten-free corn dogs.
Next to the Anne & Bill Riley Stage, Zag’s Wonder Bars is introducing chocolate chip cookie Wonder Bars.
Located next to Zag’s Wonder Bars, Rib Shack is introducing a unique dish that’s earned a spot in the top three best new fair foods. The Finisher is an extra-large russet potato layered with chopped brisket, smoked pulled pork and Rib Shack’s signature Bacon Brisket Mac & Cheese, topping with gourmet barbecue sour cream and garlic rub butter. Get this fair-on-a-plate for only $10.
Between the Anne & Bill Riley Stage and the Giant Slide, La Cocina will be back for its second year at the Iowa State Fair. In addition to staples such as enchiladas, quesadillas and tamales, La Cocina will also be serving up a new dish: The Sombrero.
Close to the Walnut Center Crafts building, Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters will be adding the ambitiously named Iowa’s Best Burger.
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Near the Anne & Bill Riley Stage and the Administration Building, fairgoers can find a Hawaiian staple made in Iowa: Spam. The versatile canned pork product has its own stand at the fair, which will serve three new menu items: the Spam bacon and egg breakfast, spam curds and the spam deluxe cheese burger.
Explore Iowa State Fair foods along Rock Island Avenue
Along Rock Island Avenue near the Discovery Garden, Bauder’s Ice Cream has added a new top-10 treat to its lineup for the 2022 Iowa State Fair. The Puff Sundae is filled with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, hot fudge and topped with a vanilla wafer for $7.
Between the Discovery Garden and Agriculture Building, Iowa Fruit & Vegetable Growers will be serving up another top 10 best new fair food. The Blue Ribbon Cobbler features made-from-scratch signature biscuits topped with natural blueberry preserves, hand-dipped ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream and fresh blueberries for $9.95.
Next to the Discovery Garden on Rock Island Avenue, fairgoers can find the new pork belly bao buns at Saigonais Cuisine for $8. The dish broke into the top 10 best new fair foods list with warm and fluffy bao buns filled with braised pork belly, daikon, a tangy radish and cilantro.
Down Rock Island Avenue in front of the Livestock Pavilion, Dipped in Chocolate will return with its full array of chocolate treats. New to the menu this year is the warm brownie a la mode waffle bowl.
Next to Dipped in Chocolate, Smokey’s Grill will be adding three new foods to its lineup this year. Smokey’s clubhouse will join the Stacks breakfast sandwich and the wild Alaskan salmon sandwich as the newest items on the Smokey’s menu.
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Across Rock Island Avenue, JR’s SouthPork Ranch will also be adding three new dishes to its menu. Fairgoers can find a five dino nuggets with fries kid’s meal, BLT roll and sidewinder French fries at JR’s SouthPork Ranch.
Next to JR’s on Rock Island Avenue is Zag’s Po-Boys, serving a new sandwich this year: The Mardi Gras.
On Rock Island Avenue next to the Cattle Barn, the Dairy Barn will be pleasing fairgoers with a new top 10 treat: the Minty Moo Parfait. For $9, the ice cream concoction includes layers of vanilla soft serve with Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie crumbles and chocolate syrup.
In front of the Cattle Barn on Rock Island Avenue, Stockman’s Inn is adding several new menu items to the fair lineup this year. The burger de Burgo, dino bites party tray, dog bites party tray, fried green beans party tray, mac n cheese party tray, seasoned fries party tray and Texas toothpicks party tray will all join this year’s menu.
Farther down Rock Island Avenue near the Sheep Barn, Fresh American Lamb will introduce its newest menu item, a lamb Philly cheese sandwich.
Get dinner near the Iowa Craft Beer Tent
Near the Iowa Craft Beer Tent on Logan Avenue, Tortilla 911 will be serving its new shrimp tacos.
On East Walnut Street near the Iowa Craft Beer Tent, Chuckie’s will be featuring its new tenderloin wrap, another top 10 best new fair food. The dish includes tenderloin strips topped with sweet coleslaw and smothered in a sweet and spicy sauce, all wrapped up in a fresh tortilla for $11.
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Grace Altenhofen is a news reporter for the Des Moines Register. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @gracealtenhofen.