Minnesota State Fair's top 5 foods for $1

Categories: Top 5

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Can you spare a dollar?
With the Minnesota State Fair only happening a short week and a half a year, most of us are willing to hand over wads of cash for our most lusted-after items--cheese curds, corn dogs, and the latest and greatest confections and concoctions.

But if you're looking for a solid treat to tide you over without emptying your wallet, here are our top five picks for cheap eats at the fair--all for a buck each.

Sara Rice

5. Sno cone
A classic fair find by any account--except this one is less than half the price of others at the fair (most go for around $2.75). Comes with your choice of one flavor: cherry, blue raspberry, grape, or lime.
Vendor: Caramel Apples, Cotton Candy, Sno Kones
Location: On the south side of Randall between Cooper and Underwood (T-16)

Sara Rice

4. Salted-in-shell peanuts
Bar snacks at their finest. Plus, it probably isn't the biggest deal if you leave a trail of cracked shells in your wake, since the fair is an outdoor event. A 16-ounce cup of these is more than enough to share and should tide you over until your next exciting food purchase.
Vendor: Frontier Bar
Location: South side of Carnes between Clough and Liggett (K-27)

Sara Rice

3. Mini bag of chocolate rocks
These little gems are like M&Ms--only made with really good chocolate and in fun rock shapes. A mini bag is about the right amount for one person, but at a buck each you can probably afford to outfit the whole team. Don't let the vendor's name throw you off--this is a candy shop through and through.
Vendor: Hot Roasted Peanuts
Location: Just inside the entrance to Heritage Square on the south wall (H-24)

Sara Rice

2. Apple cider freeze
Made from a blend of Minnesota apples (mostly Haralson, according to the staff), this lovely "freezy"-esque treat is a favorite for kids and adults alike, and the price hasn't changed in years. While you're there, snag an apple or three for munching on your walk to the car at the end of a day of fried, fatty goodness.
Vendor: MN Apples
Location: West Hall of the Ag-Hort Building

Sara Rice

1. All-you-can-drink milk
Perhaps the busiest of any stand after Sweet Martha's (and a perfect pairing, no less), in exchange for a measly dollar, they'll refill your 16-ounce cup with white or chocolate milk as many times as you can bear to stand in line. If you're sugar-rushing your way through a bucket of cookies, that might work out to pennies per cup. Advanced maneuver: Ask for yours half and half--when the bubbles pop, you can see the chocolate swirl, and it isn't as sweet as straight chocolate milk.
Vendor: All the Milk You Can Drink
Location: Corner of Clough and Judson

Location Info


Minnesota State Fairgrounds

1265 Snelling Ave., St. Paul, MN

Category: General

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SaraMari Rice
SaraMari Rice

There's a food finder list at the fair's website with a "Buck or Less" category that has a few more than this list. NOTE: MANY of the items included don't exist (if they ever did), including the wedge of watermelon and shrimp cocktail. Just part of the "we tried, but don't hold us to the fire if something's off" charm of the list.


RC Cola sells a cup of sparkling water (with a lemon or lime wedge) for only $1 - refreshing!

Rachel Hutton
Rachel Hutton

I'm a big fan of both the milk and the apple cider freeze pops! And that mini bag of chocolate rocks may be the fair's most mysterious food find...you went deep, Sara!

Bill Crosby
Bill Crosby

Oh, there's a dollar shrimp cocktail, I ate it last year...it was probably still over priced, even for a dollar.

SaraMari Rice
SaraMari Rice

That was a fun new find for me too -- I LOVE sparkling water and we always stop by the RC Cola booth. My lime was INSANELY small though (seriously, the sharpness of the knife that cut that should be envied).

SaraMari Rice
SaraMari Rice

I went looking for the mini bag of chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, but they were out. Luckily, the girl working the counter had the presence of mind to say, "BUT! We have chocolate rocks..."  :)

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