Besides the new attractions and exhibits at the Fair at the PNE (2901 East Hastings Street), the annual event also offers plenty of mouth-watering bites that’ll make you forget about eating healthy.
From classic fair foods such as mini donuts and caramel-dipped apples to new creations like deep-fried pickled corn dogs, you’ll have a hard time choosing a favourite.
Here are 10 must-try foods at this year’s fair.
1. Mac N Cheese Stuffed Burger from Handmade Burgers
Created by Jason Au and his family (13-year Fair food veterans), this unique burger features a locally-sourced beef patty with mac and cheese made with cheddar and provolone, sandwiched between freshly-baked brioche buns. If this doesn’t scream traditional fair food with a twist, then we don’t know what does.
2. Chicken Teriyaki Perogies from International Perogies
One of the newcomers to join the Fair’s fleet of food stands, Ryan Carlos brings perogies with an international flare to the PNE. Its chicken teriyaki perogies are drizzled in a flavourful sauce, topped with onions, seaweed, and green onions. Delicious.
3. Deep-Fried Pickle Corn Dog from Chicky’s Chicken
Corn dogs are always a classic, but have you ever tried a deep-fried pickle corn dog? These babies are the brainchild of Scott and Karlye Dennis, and are made of a cored-out pickle with a hot dog inserted, and then battered and fried to perfection.
4. Oreo Churros from Steve O’s
For Oreo and churro-lovers, this is the best of both worlds. Hailing from Coquitlam, owner Stephen Ford offers this tasty treat at one of his two food booths at the Fair—a cream-filled Oreo churro sprinkled with icing sugar.
5. Deep-Fried Tequila Shot Bites from Steve O’s
This is another one of Stephen Ford’s creations, sans actual tequila as an ingredient to make sure you don’t feel light-headed when you’re on the rides. The local entrepreneur serves deep-fried tequila-flavoured cake bites, dusted with icing sugar to complete the package.
6. Hercules Burger from Gourmet Burgers
It’s not called the Hercules without a valid reason. This 10-pound mega burger created by Brian Jones takes an hour to cook and can feed up to 15 people. For those looking for a food challenge of any sort, this is definitely one to check out.
7. Slumdog Millionaire Mac and Cheese from Reel Mac and Cheese
This family-owned food joint serves up some hearty eats with a twist: Hollywood-inspired mac and cheese. Its Slumdog Millionaire option features a classic seven-cheese mac and cheese made with curry, peas, and crispy onions—one of the most popular choices at the stand.
8. Deep-Fried Coffee from Ogopogo Concessions
When you combine the words coffee and deep-fried, you know you’re in for a treat. Newcomer Lorne Beckett is introducing his deep-fried coffee treats to the Fair—think timbits with a crispier edge. Flavours range from salted caramel to espresso flake, and French vanilla to mocha chip.
9. Perogie’s from Hunky Bill Perogies
Bill Konyk is legendary because he won a $10 bet that he could convince the then-head of PNE booth sales department to give him a chance at selling his homemade Ukrainian-style perogies. 50 years later, he’s still offering his speciality at the Fair—dip it in some sour cream and you’ve got a satisfying plate of goodness.
10. Bacon Cotton Candy
Don’t expect the usual sugar-filled taste that you find in classic pastel-coloured cotton candy. This bag of light-orange-hued treat is actually bacon-flavoured candy floss. As soon as you take a bite, you’ll taste the familiar savoury taste of bacon, eventually followed by a pang of sweetness. Strange as it may seem, it’s definitely worth a try.
The Fair at the PNE runs from August 20 to September 5. For full details, visit the PNE website.