UPDATE: 7/19

The finalists for the Best New Fair Food contest have been revealed! The three finalists are:

  • Grinder Ball from The Bacon Box
    • "A blend of bacon balls stuffed with mozzarella cheese, wrapped in bacon, rotisserie smoked and dipped in warm marinara sauce."
  • Iowa Twinkie from Whatcha Smokin’ BBQ & Brew
    • "A smoked bacon-wrapped jalapeno stuffed with pulled pork, sweet corn, cream cheese and ranch seasoning. It is then glazed with Whatcha Smokin’ BBQ & Brew house-made Sweet + Sticky BBQ sauce and drizzled with house-made ranch dressing."
  • Deep-Fried Bacon Brisket Mac-n-Cheese Grilled Cheese from What’s Your Cheez
    • "The Rib Shack’s signature Bacon Brisket Mac and Cheese is slathered between layers of American cheese and two slices of What’s Your Cheez Bacon Cheddar Bread. It is then deep-fried until golden brown and served with a signature raspberry chipotle BBQ sauce."

Other Best New Food finalists include the Iowa Sweet Corn Sundae, the Shrimp Poke Bowl, the Crunchy Cool Ranch Pickle on a Stick, the Dough Crazy Sweet Stick, Dill Pickle Flavored Cheese Curds, A-Hootenanny, and the Deep Fried Strawberry Shortcake on a Stick.

Fairgoers will be able to vote for their favorite new fair food during the fair, August 10th through 14th. The official winner will be announced on the 16th.


The Iowa State Fair is right around the corner, and that means lots of new food to try! This morning, the Iowa State Fair announced that there will be 64 new dishes to try in 2023.

When it comes to fair food, there's nothing better than something deep-fried, and there are some DELICIOUS-sounding options this year. For example, there's the Deep Fried Bacon Brisket Mac-N-Cheese Grilled Cheese and the Southern Fried Corn on the Cob. But what about foods on a stick? Don't worry, there are plenty of those, too. There's the Craft Link on a Stick, the Crunch Cool Ranch Pickle on a StickGrilled Shrimp on a Stick, and Deep Fried Strawberry Shortcake on a Stick.

I haven't been to the Iowa State Fair in a few years, but I'm hoping to make it there this year and eat as much fair food as possible! Some of the other new dishes that caught my eye are the Butterbeer Ice CreamDill Pickle Flavored Cheese CurdsMade from Scratch Bacon Maple Monkey Bread, the Walking Smores Dessert, and something called the Iowa Twinkie. It consists of a jalapeno filled with pulled pork, corn and cream cheese, and then it's wrapped in bacon and smoked with sweet and sticky BBQ sauce. And as if that's not enough, it's finished with a drizzle of ranch. It sounds UNREAL!

Here are the rest of this year's new foods at the Iowa State Fair:

  • (Banh Mi) Vietnamese Sandwich
  • (Café Muoi) Salted Coffee
  • A-Hootenanny Ice Cream
  • Amish Donuts
  • Apple Pie Cookie Ice Cream
  • Bacon and Sweet Corn Lobster Rolls
  • Bacon Cheddar Pretzel Dog
  • Bauder's Cherry Dream Ice Cream
  • Berry Bowl-Frozen Sorbet
  • Birch Beer Soda
  • Blueberry Mini Donuts
  • Bubble Tea
  • Bucket of Soda
  • Buffalo Chicken Bacon Ranch Fries
  • Burrito Bowl
  • Byrd Dawg Crispy Chicken Sandwich
  • Caramel Apple Cake Pops
  • Catfish in a Boat or on a Stick
  • Chicken Salad Hoagie
  • Chopped Brisket Sandwich
  • Chopped Italian Chicken Hoagie
  • Chopped Italian Ham Hoagie
  • Chopped Italian Roast Beef Hoagie
  • Citrus Boost Energy Drink
  • Cookie Dough Sundae
  • Cotton Candy Art
  • Cotton Candy Cheese Cake
  • Deep Fried Sweet Corn Nugget
  • Dough Crazy (Chocolate Chip, Cake Batter, Brownie Batter, Brookie, CC Dough w/o CC, Monster, Cherry Chocolate Chip, Cookies and Cream) Sweet Stick
  • Fried Caramel Apple Cow Tail
  • Grilled Shrimp on a Stick
  • Grinder Ball
  • Hot Stuff Grilled Cheese
  • Iowa Sweet Corn Sundae
  • Korean Bacon Egg Dog
  • Korean Egg Dog
  • Lamb Gyro Salad
  • Orange (with Peppermint) Sipper
  • Orange Float
  • Orange Slush
  • Orange-Frosty
  • Oreo Brownie Blast
  • Peanut Butter Cream Donuts
  • Pop Corn Shrimp
  • Pork Belly Pinwheel
  • Raspberry Chipotle Grilled Cheese
  • Shrimp Ceviche
  • Shrimp Poke Bowl
  • Shrimp Tacos
  • Soft Serve Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sundae
  • The Ooey Gooey All American Grilled Cheese
  • Ube Funnel Cake
  • Walking Banana Dessert
  • Walleye in a Boat or on a Stick

In just a week, the Iowa State Fair will announce this year's Best New Fair Food finalists. All three will be featured at the fair and can be voted on by attendees. You can check out the Facebook livestream with the results on Tuesday, July 18th at 1 p.m. HERE. I can't wait to see what all the dishes look like!

Awesome Outdoor Patios to Dine On This Summer Around the Corridor

Now that spring is here, patio season is right around the corner! With the help of Eastern Iowans in the Cedar Rapids Area Support Local Group on Facebook, I put together a list of great restaurant patios in the area where you can dine and/or drink when the weather gets warmer. Here are some of the popular places!

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