Fair season is so close that we can almost smell it. Those inimitable scents of fried sides, savory entrees, and nighttime summer air blending together is something we search for every summer here at (614).
While unfortunately the Ohio State Fair will be a livestock competition only this year, there are plenty of other local festivals to check out.
And when you do so, you’ll need to eat. Here’s a list of some of our favorite fair concessions stands and their standout dishes that you’ll want to check for when you hit the fairgrounds this year.
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Tracey Company, Hot Cheeto Corn Dog
Tracey Company is nothing short of an institution at this point, with a resume that includes a longstanding, fan-favorite tenure at the Ohio State Fair. And while their coney dogs and regular corn dogs are good enough to write home about themselves, this indulgent twist on the carnival classic features Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in the batter, in addition to a speciality hot cheese dipping sauce.
Jimmy’s Jawbreaker, The Original
This central Ohio concession cart, a regular presence throughout the local festival and event scene, is known for slinging some of the best burgers and fries (which come with toppings like bacon-ranch, fiesta sauce, and garlic butter) you’ll ever find at a fair. Their OG offering, The Original Jimmy’s Jawbreaker, takes a seasoned cheeseburger with the works, and tops that off with another patty covered in their top-secret Jimmy Jawbreaker’s sauce. They’ll be on-site at a variety of local events this summer, so make sure to call their hotline, (740) 808-1325, to catch them near you.
KG Concessions, Buckeye Funnel Cake
Step aside, deep-fried buckeyes, because this breakout star at the 2019 Ohio State Fair—the Buckeye Funnel Cake from KG Concessions—is everything you want it to be and more. Not only does this sweet treat top a traditional funnel cake with a healthy drizzle of chocolate and peanut butter sauce, it’s also served in the shape of the Buckeye state. That’s how you know it’s the real deal.
Millersport Sweet Corn
While this one is more of a regional category than a specific item, if you don’t know about the annual central Ohio event built around “the best sweet corn in the world,” you’re truly missing out. Since Millersport is only a quick half-hour drive from the Cbus, you’ll have a chance this year to indulge this year in the 74th annual Millersport Sweet Corn Festival.
Tom Thumb Donuts, Original Mini Donuts
There are donuts, and there are Tom Thumb donuts. And you’ll know when you’ve had the latter. This company—another regular State Fair presence—is known for their miniature donuts covered in a generous layer of cinnamon sugar. And while this is a classic preparation that won’t blow you away or reinvent the culinary wheel, it’s how these ones are served for fair-goers—piping hot and with a fresh dusting of cinnamon-sugar—that truly puts them on a new level.