Some Fair foods are as iconic to the the Fair as blue ribbon and carnival rides. The Alameda County Fair team chimes in on the Fair “classics” and share’s the best spots to grab one your favorites as well as the best “classic” way to them.
Definition: a frankfurter dipped in cornmeal batter, fried and served on a stick
The Upside: Corn Dogs are the consummate Fair food: hot, tasty and served on a stick for easy transport. Just imagine, with a Corn Dog in one hand you can still take a selfie with other. Post it on Instagram and all your friends will be so jealous.
Corn Dogs range in size from standard to the 18” Monster Dog (for real!!)
Favorite Fair Staff Spots:
Red & White Corn Dogs (near the First Aid Station) or Monster Dogs (multiple locations throughout the Fair)
May we suggest: Classic Corn Dog with Mustard
Definition: a small spiral-shaped cake, fried in a skillet
The Upside: Funnel Cakes are typically topped with powdered sugar, but sometimes that just isn’t enough. The good news is that an endless variety of exotic topping options are on hand for such occasions and include things like ice cream, whipped cream, Nutella and syrup (or “fresh fruit” if you’re watching your fat grams.)
Favorite Fair Staff Spots: Fat Fanny’s (near Heritage House)
May we suggest: Funnel Cake with Fresh Whipped Cream & Strawberries
Definition: a candy made of spun sugar
The Upside: Favored by kids of all ages, Cotton Candy is basically unicorn food – pure, light-as-air, pastel sugar heaven. And the way it just disappears is also kind of magical — like eating a fluffy cloud.
Favorite Fair Staff Spots: Pretty much any concession that says “Cotton Candy,” easily found in the carnival and Kids Park areas.
May we suggest: Hand-spun Cotton Candy on a paper cone, made fresh
Definition: an apple that is covered in a sugary mixture that becomes hard
The Upside: It’s fruit! Ok, candied fruit, but still probably not as many fat grams as some of the fried things. Whether you choose one of the classic red glaze or golden caramel types, or go-for-broke with one of the super fancy, grapefruit-sized, chunky candy-covered kind, Candy Apples are the bomb.
Favorite Fair Staff Spots: For the super fancy kind, try DeBrito’s in Building B. Or for a twist on the classics, try one of the awesome Tajin Caramel apples at Rainbow’s End in Kids Park
May we suggest: Classic sweet & sticky Red
Definition: the leg of a turkey, also known as a drumstick
The Upside: Good for satisfying your caveman urges. Plus, they’re huge! One leg can feed a (skinny) family of four.
Favorite Fair Staff Spots: Big Bubba’s Bad BBQ (near Heritage House) and all Juicy’s locations.
May we suggest: Turkey Leg a la Carte – or with the works. It’s all good.
Definition: a real Hostess Twinkie, cooked in a deep layer of oil
The Upside: There is none. A regular Twinkie is bad enough, but put it in a deep fryer and you might as well get your stretch pants out now. But hey, they’re tasty little devils and the Fair is only here once a year, so go for it.
Favorite Fair Staff Spots: Sweet Cheeks (Kids Park)
May we suggest: Just Deep-Fried Twinkie, nothing else required
Definition: any conceivable food item, cooked in a deep layer of oil
The Upside: Virtually any thing can be deep-fried, as has been demonstrated over and over again by the Fair’s fabulous food vendors who just keep on experimenting. Popular deep-fried indulgences include Oreo’s, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, peaches, ice cream, Nutella, burgers – you name it.
Favorite Fair Staff Spots: So, so many. Deep-fried deliciousness is truly abundant at the Fair.
May we suggest: Deep-Fried Fish at Sharky’s Fish Fry (across from Grandstand) or Deep-Fried Nutella at Sweet Cheeks (Kids Park)
Definition: any conceivable food item that can be served and eaten on a stick
The Upside: They say necessity is the mother of invention, which couldn’t be more true than when describing food on a stick. Not every food can be impaled, but for those that can, the lowly wooden stick has given us the freedom to dine and move about at will – no plate or pesky utensils needed!
Besides corn dogs and ice cream, you’ll find things like cheese, pickles, chicken tenders, corn, bacon, burgers, even waffles, all neatly skewered for your consumptive convenience.
Favorite Fair Staff Spots: Get Fried is a crowd favorite but most of the Fair’s food vendors offer something delicious on a stick.
May we suggest: The Pickle Dog at Get Fried (Action Zone area)