The State Fair of Texas and fried food go hand in hand. It’s almost sacrilege to attend the fair and not sample the newest, strangest, over-the-top fried items. But if your diet is keeping you from trying some of these quintessential fair foods, it is possible to find non-fried options.
For those still mourning the loss of the Highland Park Soda Fountain, you’re in luck at the fair! The beloved HP Soda Shop has a stand in the food court, serving many of its old favorites. Try a grilled cheese (12 coupons), a pimento cheese sandwich (14 coupons), a tuna melt (14 coupons) or bowl of chili (12 coupons).
There are a couple more places with non-fried fare in the Tower Building’s food court. It’s All Greek to Me serves gyros (18 coupons), spanakopita (2 for 12 coupons) and corn on the cob (9 coupons). If, for some reason, you go to the fair and want a salad, It’s All Greek to Me has you covered with its Greek salad. But you’ll pay a pretty penny — it’s 24 coupons.
Also in the food court, you’ll find the Roasted Nuts stand (next to BW’s Famous Fried Ribs). There, you can order hummus with pita and vegetables (12 coupons), roasted nuts (12 coupons) and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try their chocolate hummus with strawberries and pretzels (14 coupons).
Fresh fruit is surprisingly easy to come by at the fair. The La Huasteca stand on Lone Star Boulevard (right down from Big Tex) serves fruit cups (12 coupons), a mangonada smoothie (12 coupons) and mango on a stick (14 coupons). This stand also offers machetes and huaraches (24 coupons each), traditional Mexican dishes that are similar to oversized quesadillas and tortas, respectively.
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A finalist in the 2016 Big Tex Choice Awards, the Caribbean Pineapple Korn-a-Copia (30 coupons) is marinated grilled chicken and shrimp, served over a bed of yellow Caribbean rice. Served in a pineapple half shell, this enormous creation is topped with a tropical salsa and pineapple rum glaze. You can find this at Doc’s Street Grill, near the Texas Star.
If seafood is your thing, head to Villa’s Seafood Village near the Embarcadero. There, you’ll find grilled shrimp on a stick (16 coupons), grilled beef kabobs (16 coupons), grilled chicken (14 coupons) and grilled corn (12 coupons).
At Little Bob’s Barbecue, behind the Cotton Bowl, you can get a baked potato with chopped beef (17 coupons) or a chopped beef sandwich (15 coupons).
If you’re looking for a non-fried option that is traditional to the fair, grab a smoked turkey leg. You can’t go wrong with this state fair classic, which you can find at various stands across the fairgrounds.