NC State Fair foodie guide in Raleigh, NC

The NC State Fair is back from Thurs., Oct. 13-Sun., Oct. 23.

Someone holding a platter of Pumpkin Spice Mini Pancakes.

We can’t wait to try the Pumpkin Spice Mini Pancakes.

Table of Contents

Loosen your belt and get ready to feast. The ninth-largest state fair in the US is back with new, mouth-watering fair foods. From Thurs., Oct. 13-Sun., Oct. 23., enjoy all of the sights, sounds, and (our favorite) deep-fried dough your heart desires at the NC State Fair.

Hours, tickets + parking

This year, you can find 40 new delectable dishes making their stamp at the NC State Fair. Before we dive into finger-lickin’ good foods, here are some must-knows before you go.

  • Gates are open from 12-11 p.m. on opening day (Thurs., Oct. 13) and then are open daily Monday-Thursday + Sunday from 9 a.m.-11 p.m., and Friday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-12 a.m.
  • Pro tip: Purchase tickets online to save a little moolah (read: more money for food + rides).
  • Park at either 4501 Reedy Creek Rd. or 5766 Chapel Hill Road Rd. and then hop on the free shuttle which runs Thurs., Oct. 13 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. + Fri., Oct. 14-Sun., Oct. 23 from 9 a.m. until one hour after the gates close.
  • Free parking is also available on State Fair, Carter-Finley Football Stadium, and PNC Arena properties. Pro tip: Take Wade Avenue to the Edwards Mill Extension.

Now for the fun stuff. Here are some new Instagrammable editor picks for fair-goers looking to get their munch on.

Foodie foray

  • Appetizer | DoriEsquites, Douglas Farms | Mexican street corn served in a bag of crushed Doritos.
  • Main course | Fried NC Flounder Tacos, Waypoint Oyster Bar | Two fried NC Flounder tacos with house-made corn and black bean salsa, topped with an avocado cilantro cream sauce.
  • Dessert | Pumpkin Spice Mini Pancakes, Hot Chix Hotcakes & Chicken | Fluffy mini pancakes covered in pumpkin sauce, icing, and pumpkin spice seasoning + served with whipped cream for dipping.

Adventurous finds

  • Appetizer | Rattlesnake Corn Dog, Pioneer Wagon | Battered rattlesnake sausage, deep fried + topped with avocado sauce.
  • Main course | Thanksgiving Stuffed Turkey Leg, Hickory Tree Turkey BBQ | Smoked turkey leg stuffed with stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce — optional: candied yams, collards, or mac-n-cheese.
  • Dessert | Frozen Banana Pudding Tacos, Chick-N-Que | Fried tortilla filled with frozen house-made banana pudding, topped with whipped cream, a Nilla Wafer + drizzled with caramel.
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