Best Food on a Stick & Other Fair Foods

Written by Norsemen Drivers

Fairs and other summer festivals are known for the specific types of foods and vendors there. A common stereotype of summer festival food is the fact that almost everything is sold on a stick. There is a mutual understanding that everything at a fair can be put on a stick, and it will taste 10 times better! There is another common characteristic among foods at the fair: deep-frying. More times than not, the foods available will be deep-fat-fried or at least have an option to do so! We will be covering 12 foods that you can find at a fair – some are more common than others, but all of them are sure to satisfy your taste buds!

Corn Dog

This is a classic food that can be found at any fair or festival! A corn dog is a hot dog with a fried cornmeal batter surrounding the outside. Don’t forget the most important part – this delicious creation is served on a stick. Corn dogs can be found at most vendors, but there are going to be variations. The size can vary from a regular hot dog size, all the way up to a foot-long. 

Cotton Candy

This is another common food on a stick at any fair, carnival, festival, etc. This fluffy looking sugar confection is the perfect light sweet treat. It can vary in color – the most popular being pink, blue and yellow! This sweet can come in a bag, but it is most popularly served on a stick!

Peanut Butter & Jelly on a Stick

This is definitely a less common food-on-a-stick item! Peanut butter & jelly on a stick is a deep-fried peanut butter & jelly sandwich that is served with a stick coming out of the bottom. This basic childhood food has been stepped up a notch with the fried outer shell and stick addition!

Pickle on a Stick

This is a simple, but delicious fair food option. It is exactly what it sounds like: a giant pickle that is served on a stick. Various fairs offer different pickle flavors, fried pickle options, and multiple sizes as well!

Oreo on a Stick

If you have never had a deep-fried Oreo, it’s time for you to visit a fair and try one! Although this isn’t the most popular item and might not be at every fair you attend, it is still something you need to look for. These can look and taste differently depending on where you find them. There are some vendors that deep-fry the Oreo and serve them on a stick with toppings. There are other places that don’t deep-fry them at all. They will dunk the Oreos in a frosting/glaze and then decorate them with icing and other toppings.

Pork Chop on a Stick

Whether this is served on a stick or on a plate, pork chops are very popular at any fair. You’re going to find spice rubbed, barbecued, grilled, Hawaiian, marinated, kebob, and many other variations. These recipes have been perfected from year to year and are always a hit! 

Deep-Fried Twinkies

This delicacy has gained popularity these past few years. Twinkies are dunked into fry oil and then served with its fried shell and various toppings! These Twinkies are served both with a stick or without a stick – it just depends on the vendor. The toppings that are served with this dessert are endless – icing, powdered sugar, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, and so much more!

Caramel Apple

This is probably the healthiest item on this list – that counts for something! This is another classic treat! It starts out with an apple that is then dunked or rolled into a caramel covering. There are multiple toppings that are then placed on the top. The topping list includes nuts, sprinkles, chocolate chips, and more! Don’t forget, this item is also served with a stick! This helps to keep your fingers sticky-free.

Funnel Cake

Although this item isn’t commonly served on a stick, it is just as delicious. This is one of the most popular fair items of all time – for good reason too! The base of the funnel cake is a pancake-like batter that includes flour, eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, and a few other ingredients. This batter is then poured through a funnel into the frying oil. That is where this sweet treat got its name! Once the batter is fried, it is taken out of the oil, topped with powered sugar, and served!

Hot Dog

This food isn’t served on a stick, but it is still a popular fair item! It might not be as popular as the corndog, but it is still up there. They are pretty much the same thing anyways, right? In fact, when you Google “hot dogs at fairs”, corn dogs are one of the first things to pop up. When you order a hot dog at a fair, you know you are going to get a good quality, delicious one. You are also going to have all of the important hot dog fixings available – ketchup, mustard, pickles, etc.

Turkey Drumstick

It is very common to see a person holding onto a huge turkey leg while walking around the fair. Fairs are known for humongous turkey legs. This item might not be on a stick like the majority of this list, but it is pretty similar to it! 

Popcorn/Caramel Corn

There are so many different variations of popcorn at any fair or festival. You can find caramel corn, kettle corn, regular popcorn, and so many other flavors and forms! There are even popcorn balls that are served on a stick.

For a run down of EVERYTHING that is served on a stick at the Iowa State Fair visit: https://www.iowastatefair.org/food/food-on-a-stick. There is a grand total of 69 foods!