If you think “fried butter” when you think about fair food, then the Alaska State Fair will surprise you. While there is no lack of outrageous fried food, there are also some real culinary highlights that make the fair a full-fledged foodie experience.
From raw oysters plucked fresh from Prince William Sound to a loaf of “tater chips,” the Alaska State Fair has something for every taste. We’ve eaten our away around the fair in order to pick the five best foods that the Alaska State Fair has to offer.
1. Cinnamon Sugar Donuts – Rolling Donuts
Full disclosure: We are completely biased when it comes to ranking Rolling Donuts as the no. 1 food booth at the Alaska State Fair. But our bias is well informed; we actually worked the food booth in 2015 (our friends own it) and learned, first hand, just how beloved warm cinnamon sugar donuts are by Alaska State Fair attendees.
If the mind-bogglingly long lines didn’t make the booth’s popularity clear, it was the numerous times that attendees told us that they visit the fair just for the donuts. But we didn’t actually need testimonials because the plump, soft wheels of sweet fried dough really sold themselves.
2. Reuben Sandwich – Reuben Haus
This family-owned sandwich shop secured a coveted food booth by winning a public contest, so they came to the fair with a lot of public support. One taste of their beautifully grilled Reuben sandwiches and it is easy to understand why voters awarded them the space.
Every part of the sandwich is thoughtfully prepared: toasted buttery rye bread, corned beef, bacon and beer-braised sauerkraut, gooey Tillamook Swiss cheese, and handmade Russian dressing. The limited menu also includes fresh french fries and beer-battered mushrooms with a spicy aioli dipping sauce—perfect accompaniments to an award winning sandwich.
3. Donut Burger – Donut Burger
Have you ever thought “I love hamburgers and I love glazed donuts, but I don’t have time to eat them separately”? If so, Donut Burger is the answer to your woes.
The Donut Burger packs 1,500 calories of heart-stopping deliciousness—two glazed donuts, hamburger, cheese, bacon, and fried egg—into one little sandwich. We recommend that you pair this monstrosity with an Alaskan ale for a true culinary treat. Then do 100 laps around the fairgrounds to burn off the calories and deep shame you will feel.
Viewfinder Tip: Come to the fair very hungry and bring cash. Many of the food booths don’t take credit or debit.
4. Spinach and Cheese Bread – Talkeetna Spinach Bread
Sometimes simple is best, especially when you just need something to hold you over until you’ve had enough local brew to pull the trigger on a Donut Burger. Enter the humble but oh-so-delicious Talkeetna Spinach Bread.
Another Alaska State Fair food stalwart, Talkeetna Spinach Bread is thick, crunchy toast smothered in melty mixture of cheeses, spinach, and roasted garlic. Trust us, one bite and you will be begging the person behind the Airstream window for the recipe.
5. Veggie Tray – Various locations
While the gargantuan squashes and tomatoes the size of baby heads may steal the show, a small, inexpensive tray of fresh Alaska vegetables—carrots, spicy radishes, crispy purple cabbage, etc.—provide a wonderful respite from the bounty of fried fair food.
Are you state fair foodie? What fair food do you look forward to every year?