The Fairest Foods of All

Eat your way through the Dutchess County Fair

Oh, fair food, is there anything finer? Well, yes, actually. There are a lot of better food choices out there. But let’s face it: There’s something special about the concessions —fried and otherwise — that you can only find at a summertime county fair. 

The dining options at the Dutchess County Fair are a prime example of these seasonal delicacies. For 171 years now, the event has boasted an open-air food court offering treats that range from classic Midway munchies to offerings so ridiculous, you can’t not eat them, and everything else in-between. The annual event is six days long, but we may not make the whole haul. So, we created a menu plan for just one day:

Be sure to get there right when gates open at 10 am and head to Sugar Shakers for a giant serving of fried dough. Similar to funnel cake, these classic concoctions are puffed to perfection in a deep-fryer and doused in enough powdered sugar to make your head feel like it’s been through the Tilt-A-Whirl —the perfect way to fuel up for a day of serious fun. Wash it all down with a massive cup of lemonade from Maxwell Concessions. Lemons are fruit, so it’s like you’re having your morning OJ, right?

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In between trying your hand at games and saddling up on the rides, enjoy a tin cup of old-fashioned soda from Chuckwagon and stop at Bradley Taffy to pick up all the saltwater taffy your pockets can hold. Local cafe Taste Budd’s Chocolate and Coffee is also on-site, so be sure to sneak a few cookie bars home in a Ziploc to enjoy the next day.  

And what about lunch? With all that sugar in your system, you might need some protein. Alan Hanssler Bratwurst is where you should head next. Bratwurst and knockwurst are both on the menu, but classic sausage will do just fine. For sides, we suggest Texas Connection’s sweet-potato fries, and maybe even some deep-fried pickles from Osborn Mushroom Farm

With so many tantalizing temptations to be had, there’s no way you’re making it through to dinner without a snack. Thank goodness JR Kettlecorn has your back. Head over to their stand for a bag of the addictingly sweet-and-salty stuff — better yet, order a large. Again, if you have any leftovers (ha!), you can always take them home with you.

For dinner, how about some fried clams at The Clam Box? And if you honestly think you can visit the DC Fair and pass up corn on the cob on a stick from Old Style Foods, you’ve got another thing coming!

Okay, okay… one more time on the giant swings, then it’s time for dessert: Sundaes! Apple crisp! Cotton candy! The decision may be the toughest you’ll make all day. Deep-fried Oreos from Hoffman’s PA will inevitably win, because who knows when we’ll get them again?

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For your final act, give in and wait in the mile-long 4H milkshake line. Trust us: It’ll be worth it. 


Read about 35 new menu items at this years’ fair.

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