Here’s how to eat healthy at the fair and not be sad


Last week, just in time for opening day on Friday, the State Fair of Texas released a list of 30 keto and Whole foods available at the fair. Finally, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson can stop yelling for his keto card.

The fair also compiled lists of foods for vegetarians and vegans as well as gluten-free options and other healthier choices.

These lists are long, but they do not come with a map. It’s easy to ask where a visitor center is on the fairgrounds, but since we believe eating at the fair should never make anyone sad, we’ve rounded up a few highlights with location details. to help you find the best for you. options for all kinds of dietary needs.

Turkey thighs

Click to enlarge

The newly expanded Magnolia Beer Garden, where you can enjoy a turkey leg and sample beers from around the world.

Kristina rowe

Turkey thighs are a great choice for low carb diets and they are gluten free. With over 10 vendors (with several stalls each) selling this fairground favorite, you can’t turn around the fair without seeing a turkey leg stand.

Prices vary by vendor and location, but expect to spend almost $ 20 on enough smoked meat to give the whole family the meat sweats.

Great Hans Mueller tent near the main stage Chevrolet offers giant turkey thighs for 18 coupons. (Remember coupons cost $ 1 now.)

You can also get a turkey leg for 18 coupons at Magnolia smoke house and in the recently expanded and spacious Magnolia Beer Garden right next door.

Juicy’s prepares turkey thighs and other meat products at two giant stalls – one near the arched entrance to the Midway and another at the back where the thrill rides are. Half-pound burgers (skip the bun for a keto-friendly or gluten-free option), sausage, and barbecue chicken and / or ribs are among the other meat-based options.

Milton turkey thighs can be your first or last stop of the day if you enter the main entrance (near the DART station.)

Sausage on a stick and more ketogenic and gluten-free foods

Click to enlarge Do you think this guy cries all day while roasting those onions?  - KRISTINA ROWE

Do you think this guy cries all day while roasting those onions?

Kristina rowe

Sausage on a stick is also available at many concession stands. Find it at Hans Mueller tent, Magnolia beer garden and Juicy’s Halfway stands. You can also get several Smokey John’s barbecue Locations, Gorditas & Fajitas from Lerma at Cotton Bowl Plaza and Bailey’s Deli & Catering inside the Tower Building food court. Expect to spend around 10 coupons ($ 10) for sausage on a stick.

In addition to Juicy’s, the Midway has a few other great stalls with plenty of other meat options. Texan steak has kebabs and dinners on a stick. Expect to spend 20-25 coupons on these. Greek Apollo has a chicken souvlaki on a stick for 13 coupons with the option of a side dish of rice and vegetables instead of fries.

Dickel’s smokehouse (on the first avenue, in front of the lagoon) offers quail breast in addition to sausages and turkey thighs.

At State Fair Wine Garden, you can enjoy a plate of meat, cheese and fruit or nibble on a trail mix. There’s live music, and on Friday nights at 8:30 p.m. you can enjoy Deep Fried Comedy, which doesn’t have a single calorie, and could, in fact, burn some.

Check out the full list of keto and Whole 30 compatible options on


Click to enlarge Get Cajun Crab Bombs at the Gulf Coast Grill.  - KRISTINA ROWE

Get Cajun Crab Bombs at the Gulf Coast Grill.

Kristina rowe

If you like fish or shellfish as part of your diet, the fair has plenty of options for you. After all, the Big Tex Choice Awards winner this year was Deep Fried Seafood Gumbo Balls.

Get your okra balls (25 coupons) at Gourmet Royale and Southern fried chicken inside the Tower Building food court. At the food court, you can also try another new fair food, Country Fried Shrimp Grits, at the Benavides Foods stand.

Another good bet for the fried and grilled seafood options is Cotton Bowl Plaza, where you’ll find several choices at Floyd’s Catfish and Doc’s Street Grill. In front of and in front of the swan boats of the lagoon, you will find Gulf Coast Grill with the award-winning Cajun Crab Bombs from the previous year.

On Nimitz Avenue (the road between the Chevy Main Stage and the Go Texan Pavilion), look for Villa seafood village for more seafood dishes.

Trio on the green, a large outdoor area for eating and drinking next to the Colosseum has lobster corn dogs.

Vegetarian corn dogs

You don’t have to give up your corn dog or your food at the fair; there are options for everyone. Fletcher’s Original Horny Dogs has seven stalls around the fairground and features a meatless cheese dog and a non-GMO soy and pea protein vegetarian dog.

Tater Twisters, corn and other vegetables

Click to enlarge Yardbirds offers sweet potato fries and crispy avocado fries.  - KRISTINA ROWE

Yardbirds offers sweet potato fries and crispy avocado fries.

Kristina rowe

If a little deep-frying is fine for you, but still stick to veggies, you’ll find all kinds of potatoes to eat. Tornado fries, curly fries, wavy fries and more are served as a side dish at dozens of stalls and at Tornado Taters locations on Nimitz Circle (behind the Cotton Bowl) and on the Funway (near the Top ‘o Texas Tower.)

For something a little different, try the sweet potato fries, crispy avocado fries, or the deep-fried guacamole. Garden birds, which you will find among the large grandstands at the back of the Midway near the thrill rides. Texas tater twisters is nearby with all kinds of fried potatoes, and the two Juicy stalls on the Midway have roast corn.

You can get elotes at Jack’s Mexican Stand or corn in a mug Lerma’s Fajitas and Gorditas on Cotton Bowl Square. There are fried elotes corn nuggets at Johnson on MLK Boulevard near the children’s aquarium, and Frutiería Cano has corn in a cup at several of their locations.


The Tower Building food court is where you’ll find a delicious salad (grilled chicken, grilled onions, bacon, cherub tomatoes, avocado, blue cheese, craisins and pecans) at Delicious pieshakes (yes, the pie shake place has salads).

Also in the food court, look for a taco salad at Mexican Village of Villa or a Greek salad at Iit’s all greek for me.

Fabulous fresh fruit options

Click to enlarge There's actually quite a bit of fruit in a place known for fried carbs.  - KRISTINA ROWE

There’s actually quite a bit of fruit in a place known for fried carbs.

Kristina rowe

Fruteria Cano has multiple locations in the park (including one in the Tower Building) and they have mango on a stick, fresh juice, and several other fruit options.

Lerma’s Fajitas and Gorditas has fruit bowls on its stand at Cotton Bowl Plaza. Also at Cotton Bowl Plaza, Pineapple man a pineapple honey whisk, mangonadas and fruit drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic variety) served in pineapples.

Pick up frozen bananas dipped in chocolate and lemon or strawberry (frozen fruit ice cream) from the carts at Fair Park.

Sweet Connie’s has caramel apples, candy apples, and chocolate-coated strawberries on a stick in several locations, including one near the Hall of State on Lone Star Blvd.

More vegan and vegetarian options

A favorite hamburger spot for locals, by Wingfield has a booth at the fair on Nimitz Avenue, where they serve veggie burgers along with their other burgers and fries options. Trio on the green (near the Colosseum) has Beyond Meat sliders, a vegan queso, and a few foodie varieties.

Check out the full list of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options on the blog.

Food demonstration samples

Click to enlarge Try out samples of cooking demonstrations at the fair.  - KRISTINA ROWE

Try out samples of cooking demonstrations at the fair.

Kristina rowe

Some of the healthiest foods at the fair might be the dishes prepared during the cookware and cooking utensil demonstrations in the Embarcadero in front of the Go Texan pavilion. Yes, you will need to attend a presentation, and yes, you may have to say “no” at the end, but if you are trying to avoid staying healthy, this option might be appealing.

The Go Texan Pavilion is the place to find free food samples, and you’ll find plenty of salsas and nuts to snack on.

Thrifty Thursday or be thrifty any day

If you’re at the fair on a Thursday, most of the Thrifty Thursday options are smaller portions of the fair’s favorites with corresponding lower prices. Check out the 60 Thrifty Thursday deals map on

And if you can’t stand the thought of eating your way through the fair, you can bring your own food. You don’t even have to sneak it in until you bring glass containers, alcohol, or metal silverware.

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