While we're super sad that the State Fair of Texas – the biggest fall event in Dallas every year – won't be happening in full swing this year, there's plenty of other ways to keep the State Fair vibes going. Here are some ways to make Big Tex proud, eat all the fried foods and start the countdown to next year's fair.
Big Tex Food Drive Thru
Friday-Sunday; Sept. 25 – Oct. 18
Presold tickets available online
It's not State Fair season without Big Tex and glorious fried foods, so we're all in for this year's Big Tex Food Drive Thru. The weekends-only experience features everything from fried foods, selfies with Big Tex and midway prizes. You must purchase your tickets ahead of time – and check the schedule! While the drive thru will be available most weekends during the original run of the fair, there are exceptions (like Texas/O.U. weekend) so plan ahead.
Fair Play at the Statler
Friday-Sunday; Sept. 11-20
$10 admission; free under six
The Downtown hotel will transform its biggest space, the Statler Ballroom, into an indoor fair activation for Fair Play at the Statler, a celebration to the State Fair of Texas. Along with Fair Play, the Statler will transform their onsite restaurant Scout into a Midway complete with fair-inspired games like cornhole and horseshoes.
It's Not Fair at The Rustic
Sept. 23 – Oct. 18
The Rustic got it right with the name: It's Not Fair, a State Fair pop up, takes over the Uptown restaurant for the original run of the fair (Sept. 23-Oct. 18). RSVP for fried favorites, contests and live music, all in the name of Dallas' best fall event.
Starting Labor Day, Meddlesome Moth in the Design District will feature various State Fair-inspired dishes on its menu including corn dogs, bacon lollipops and churro ice cream.
The most iconic State Fair of Texas food vendor, Fletcher's Corny Dogs, is making it easy to get your hands on a dog this year. Along with its participation the Big Tex Fair Food Drive-Thru, Fletcher's is also doing pop ups at some local favorites like The Rustic, Pegasus Brewery and in Deep Ellum. Check the calendar for the full schedule. Can't make it? Drive through your local Golden Chick – Fletcher's Corny Dogs will be sold there as well through Oct. 25.
While its indoor dining space is closed for the time being, CornDog with No Name has introduced a drive-thru curb service that gets you all the fried foods you need. Along with the regular menu, the No Name folks are adding some new additions in the upcoming weeks. A new fried concoction will be announced weekly and on top of all that goodness, during the run of the fair (Sept. 25 – Oct 18), Corndog with No Name will give out the first 100 corn dogs for free!
Head to Cocina Italiano for fried peanut butter and jelly and cookie dough. Ribs, pulled pork and chicken entrees are available as family packs, so you can feed everyone a State Fair-inspired lunch; this menu is only available Saturdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Norma's Café will introduce its State Fair of Norma's menu through October. It includes mini corn dogs, funnel cake fries and deep-fried Oreo churros. The special menu is available at all Norma's location, including the North Dallas and Oak Cliff cafés.
Starting Sept. 17, Turkey Leg Paradise in the Cedars District will add funnel cakes, corn dogs and sausage on a stick options to their menu. Expect the same great turkey legs as always! The State Fair-inspired menu lasts through Sept. 20, but more dates are expected to be added.
Maple Leaf Diner, Dallas' own slice of Canada, will add fried Oreos and a chicken-fried bacon burger to the menu on weekends after 3 p.m.