Food Finds at the 2012 Illinois State Fair

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Now that it’s mid-August that means there’s two awesome things happening around the Springfield area. 1 … kids are going back to school (clap, clap, clap) and 2 … the Illinois State Fair is open and bustling with hungry visitors. It’s our favorite place to visit for unique foods, space for the kids to run around and even a few rides when I can convince someone to go on them with me.

Last year I found some pretty freaky fair foods to share and this year was a bit disappointing. A lot of my favorites but not much of anything that was new and different.

illinois state fair grounds main entrance

Our first stop was to grab a jumbo corn dog for the hot dog lovin’ Miss Emma.

illinois state fair jumbo corndog

Then of course, she needed a lemon shake up to wash it down with.

lemon shake up

I made a pit stop at my favorite place that serves us a cast iron skillet fried meal with steak, potatoes, beans, ‘shrooms and more. I just got some beans n taters because meat just isn’t my thing these days.

illinois state fair potatoes and green beans

I was sad to learn that my favorite spot for a bbq pork sandwich was no longer there and settled for one from 17th Street BBQ which is pretty darn tasty and tender.

17th street bbq pork sandwich

The girls begged their way into a bowl of cheese smothered french fries.

illinois state fair cheese fries

And I went straight for this deep fried cheesecake with caramel and white chocolate drizzle. If you’ve never had one before, get this! It’s worth every calorie.

deep fried cheesecake

The one new thing we stumbled on was a new take on the funnel cake. This red velvet funnel cake may look like raw meat covered in glue but it’s actually a delicious treat with cream cheese icing. If you can get past the ugly appearance you’ll love this!

red velvet funnel cake with icing

Have you visited your state fair and found any unique foods?

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  1. Great pics. She looks like she’s holding a bat instead of a corn dog.

  2. The only thing I really get is the lemonade. That is soooooo good!

  3. OK my mouth is watering over here! That deep fried cheesecake looks so yummy!

  4. That food looks so AWESOME!! We have a fair in lower Delaware but we have never been. Shae loves corn dogs so that junbo one that Emma is holding would be in Shae’s hands for sure. Also, that funnel cake does look weird but I bet it tastes so good. Melinda and I had some funnel cake at the beach this past weekend that was soooooo good. I love funnel cake. LOL.

    Happy WW!

  5. Yeah, that funnel cake looks kinda gross. But red velvet does sound tasty!

    • It does look gross … I almost skipped ordering it just because it looks like raw meat but it tastes really good.

  6. Carolyn G says:

    No fair! It’s early morning and now craving corn dogs! I love that pic because that corn dog is as big as she is!

  7. SERIOUSLY DROOLING. That red velvet funnel cake is calling my name…stupid diet. :)

    • Diets suck! The only way we could do all this food was to share it between 5 people or I would have gained 10 pounds.

  8. You are a month a head of us! Our kids go back the 28th and the fair is Sept. 12th, I can’t wait to get my annual doughboy, yum! That corn dog is giant! One year I tried a cheesecake on a stick, it was pretty good by way to rich for me to finish!

  9. My husband is a sucker for a corn dog. And the pulled pork looks great. I don’t do funnel cake in any of its incarnations.

  10. Oh my YUM! From the BBQ sandwich to the deep-fried cheesecake to the red velvet funnel cake…. I can hardly contain my pregnant self!

    • LOL the state fair is so not the place to be for pregnant women … but it never stopped me from going. I actually went into labor at the state fair with my son and refused to leave until I got some Pazellis.

  11. Fair food is one of my greatest temptations. I absolutely LOVE state fair corn dogs and funnel cakes. These took tasty!

  12. O M G Sooooo jealous. We don’t get fair food like that here or I am going to the wrong fairs.

  13. I’ve tried the red velvet funnel cake, I didn’t think it was that great. But, that deep fried cheese cake looks AMAZING!!

  14. I love carnival/fair foods, that deep fried cheesecake looks delicious! I would try the funnel cake too.

  15. I think I’m upset at you for posting all these pictures and making me more hungry then I already am! LOL jk

    I was sad I wasn’t able to make it to the fair last year OR this year due to health issues (fair food is what I look forward to every year), but I’m lucky my family is so good to me and they brought me back an elephant ear and cotton candy ^.^

    • That was super sweet of them to bring you back some food …. and you totally reminded me I forgot to get the kids a bag of cotton candy. Guess that means I have to go back. :P

  16. Man that was a jumbo corn dog all right. That new funnel cake looks good too!

  17. Holy yum!! The last time I went to a fair I was so disappointed because they did not have any deep-fried deliciousness. LOL!

  18. Something always comes up every time we make plans to go to the State Fair! I am determined that it’s gonna happen this year, though. Cheese fries, here I come!

  19. I’m drooling!!

    We plan our trip back to Minnesota (my home state) each year at state fair time because it’s so awesome. We’ll be there in 2 weeks!


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