Some of the most innovative and over-the-top culinary creations can be found at state fairs. Deep-fried anything and everything and sweet treats of preteen dreams are big on the scene.
Whether you’re looking for a shareable meal or a fun way to cool off, this year’s list of new foods at the Kansas State Fair is sure to satisfy a variety of hungry customers.
Take a look at these new foods and where you can find them at the fairgrounds.
Pizza box nachos, cotton candy cheesecake, sopapilla cheesecake, dessert nachos
If you’re feeling especially famished, there’s a stop on Grandstand Avenue where you can get a pizza box full of nachos — with entree and dessert options. Yes, you heard that right, dessert nachos.
Topped with fresh fruit, whipped cream, chocolate and caramel drizzle, fresh fried tortilla chips are coated with cinnamon and sugar. In the center is a scoop of ice cream.
If you’re looking for a single-serving bite, check out their cotton candy and sopapilla-flavored cheesecakes.
Wagyu hot dog, bacon and bleu burger, jam burger
The Beer Garden at 403 Grandstand Ave. is serving up juicy, savory hot dogs made from wagyu beef and bacon cheeseburgers topped with a slice of blue cheese.
With indoor and outdoor seating, and multiple bars, this location is one fit for a longer break from exploring the fair.
Frozen cocoa, frozen sweet tea and frozen coffee
On warmer days, sometimes a full meal is too much. One food vendor is thinking outside the box with a variety of frozen drinks. Grab a frozen cocoa, sweet tea or coffee at the Flingin’ Penguin, 606 29th Ave.
Flamin’ hot beef quesadilla, stuffed cucumbers
At the quesadilla stand on Grandstand Avenue, you can test your luck with the heat and snag a beef quesadilla. It pairs nicely with its other unique option, a stuffed cucumber with cream cheese to subdue the heat.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup funnel cake
You’ve heard of funnel cakes, but have you tried one with peanut butter cups? Pick one of these up at 303 Bison Blvd.
Cinnamon fried bread fritter à la mode
The Indian taco stand in Cottonwood Court is known for its savory ethnic bites. An addition to its menu this year is a cinnamon fried bread fritter. Get it à la mode for a creamy, spiced treat.
Deep-fried Kit Kat, flaming hot Cheeto corn, doughnut sundae
Inside the Meadowlark building, nestled among various booths is the Bravada food stand serving up your fair favorites, like nachos, fried pickles and popcorn. But sneaking its way onto the menu this year is a fried Kit Kat.
Pick one up from its sweets menu, which also includes soft serve, mini doughnuts and various other candy bars.
Philly cheese chicken or steak, siracha meatball sub
If you’re feeling something heartier and filling, check out the Philly sandwich stand on Sunflower South. Alongside savory chicken or steak cheesesteak sandwiches, the food vendor also sells spicy siracha meatball subs.
Lemon pepper wings
At the China Go stand in Cottonwood Court, people can try new lemon-pepper spiced wings, which complement nicely as a side to their Asian cuisine or work well as a snack on their own.
Stuffed, battered and fried jalapeno and poblano peppers
Are you a fan of stuffed peppers? Pop’s Place has you covered this year with the option of a stuffed jalapeno or poblano pepper, the latter of which is tamer as far as heat.
This cheesy, savory and, of course, deep-fried creation is just the thing to put a little pep in your step after a long day of exploring the fairgrounds.
Corn on a tray
Lovers of Mexican corn will get their fix and more with a generous serving of corn at Los Mariachis Taqueria’s stand at 513 20th Ave. There are tons of corn-related dishes at the state fair, but this one stands out as the latest edition.
Jalapeno popper pizza
Pizza lovers who can’t decide between Italian greatness or a fair food staple can have the best of both worlds with a jalapeno popper pizza.
Located at the Leimon’s Pizzeria stand on Cottonwood Avenue, this butter-garlic peppery concoction has cheese pulls for days.
Deep-fried homemade pie
Homemade pie, deep fried. It’s not everyone’s first thought, but Midstate Cookers at 410 Grandstand has you covered with possibly the most interesting deep-fried food this year.
Tortas and Tacos al Pastor
For a unique Mexican dish, try Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Tacos al Pastor — a new menu item consisting of sliced pork on tortillas with a choice of toppings.
The stand, located in Cottonwood Court, also serves up Tortas, a Mexican sandwich filled with meats and a choice of toppings.
Chiefs Red Friday special (Sept. 15): Ice cream nachos with red sprinkles
On Friday, Sept. 15 a food vendor will help those in attendance celebrate “Red Friday,” a tradition among Kansas City Chiefs fans in which they sport the color red all day.
The Kansas Dairy Association at the Grandstand Dairy Bar will serve up ice cream nachos with red sprinkles.
Kendrick Calfee has been a reporter with the Salina Journal since 2022. You can reach him at [email protected] or on X @calfee_kc.