Cover photo by Mary Abbott

Along with leaves changing from green to golden + a slight chill in the air (#SweaterWeather), the South Carolina State Fair is finally here. The best part? FAIR FOOD, of course. Sure, you can’t wait to ride the Ferris wheel and win a teddy bear that’s bigger than you. But, let’s be honest, you’re most excited about all the fried things and we’re not judging you because……same.

We’ve compiled a list of fair must-eats, so you can make the most of every moment, dollar and bite. If you make it your mission to try all of them, document the journey and send us pictures. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Fried Oreos

Or fried cookie dough. Or fried peanut butter cups. Or fried Snickers. Anything that is covered in sweet dough, flash fried to golden perfection and doused in a shower of powdered sugar will suffice. If you don’t indulge in eating something that probably shouldn’t be fried, did you even go to the fair? Word on the street is that you can even find fried butter. We dare you to try it.  


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Arguably our favorite fair treat to devour, corndogs are essentially the mascot of the South Carolina State Fair. Buy the foot-long (or the 18-inch if you’re feeling cray), douse that baby in yellow mustard and enjoy every greasy, salty bite. Preferably while you’re riding the Ferris wheel for #AllTheFairFeels.


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Funnel Cake

A funnel cake is just fried dough covered in sweet powdered sugar, but we are completely hooked. They are simple, yet addictive. Sharable, but easy to finish solo. And eating one brings back all the nostalgic memories of going to the fair as a kid. We’ll take 5 with extra powdered sugar and an extra-large lemonade, please.


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Cinnamon Rolls

An underrated fair food choice, the cinnamon rolls at the State Fair are everything a cinnamon roll should be: giant, hot, and filled with gobs of warm cinnamon-sugar + vanilla icing. Ask for extra napkins with your sweet + sticky—you’ll need them.


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French Fries

There’s nothing quite like a colossal bucket of piping hot French fries. Pro tip: skip the ketchup this go-around and use a few dashes of malt vinegar instead. We’re not really sure why or how it works, but it totally does. 


Candy Apples

Just as pretty + Instagram worthy as they are delicious, candy apples are a traditional treat at the State Fair. Customizable to however you like ‘em, you can get yours covered in sprinkles, peanuts or just plain, buttery caramel.  Or all three—the fair does only come around once a year. Besides, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? This totally still counts 😉


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Fried Mini Donuts

Maybe it’s the cute-factor, but miniature versions of our favorite foods just seem to taste better. We recommend grabbing a bucket of these cinnamon-sugar mini donuts and eating them all. Yep, every single one. We believe in you!


Turkey Legs

Just a juicy, salty, crispy hunk of meat on a stick. Need we say more?


Doughnut Burger

An Angus beef patty covered with melted cheese is stuffed between two glazed doughnuts that function as the burger bun. Yep, you read that right + it’s the definition of devilish and indulgent. While a bit unexpected, the salty/savory/sweet flavors marry together like magic. If a doughnut burger is wrong, we don’t want to be right.


Donut judge me, the fair comes around once a year! 😍🍩🍔🎡 #fair #donut #burger #donutburger

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Looking for more fun things to do in Columbia SC? Check out our website.