Whether it’s fried or on a stick, in a cup or a cone, a big part of the Minnesota State Fair experience is the food. Many food vendors offer places where people with disabilities can eat in comfort. It’s often challenging for fairgoers to find a place with a table to eat at or be served from. Several tables can be found adjacent to the Mighty Midway.
The annual Access Press Minnesota State Fair dining list outlines sit-down eating establishments at the fair that are accessible via curb cuts, have hard and sturdy floor surfaces and have places where a fair-goer can pull a wheelchair up to a table. In some places, a chair might have to be moved to make room for a wheelchair or scooter. Diners should always ask for accommodations. One good place to take food to is the Mighty Midway, where there are several tables.
The Hangar, at the northeast corner of Murphy Avenue & Underwood Street, is a new accessible dining spot. What used to be the Pet Center is now a destination for food, craft beer and entertainment on the north end of the fairgrounds. Once home to the State Fair aircraft show in the early 1900s, the renovated building features aircraft-themed décor and other memorabilia paying homage to the building’s history. The menu will feature a wide range of items. The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild will serve a plentiful selection of brews. Live entertainment will be offered. What is welcomed at this new venue is a generous number of tables.
This year’s accessible dining options follows:
• Andy’s Grille, on the south side of Carnes between Liggett and Nelson
• Ball Park Café, on the east side of Underwood between Dan Patch and Carnes
• Blue Barn (limited general seating picnic tables), at West End Market, south of the History & Heritage Center
• Blue Moon Dine-In Theater, on the northeast corner of Carnes and Chambers
• Cafe Caribe, on the south side of Carnes between Liggett and Nelson
• Chicago Dogs, in the garden on the corner of Dan Patch and Underwood
• Charcoal Hut, on the east side of Judson between Underwood and Cooper, next to the International Bazaar
• Coasters, on the southeast corner of Carnes and Liggett
• Dino’s Gyros, on the north side of Carnes between Nelson and Underwood
• Farmers Union Coffee Shop, on the north side of Dan Patch between Cooper and Cosgrove. This building has just been renovated.
• French Creperie, on the north side of Carnes between Nelson and Underwood
• French Meadow Bakery & Café, on the north side of Carnes between Nelson and Underwood
• Frontier Bar, on the south side of Carnes between Liggett and Nelson
• Giggles’ Campfire Grill, on the southeast corner of Lee and Cooper at the North Woods
• Hamline Church Dining Hall, on the north side of Dan Patch between Underwood and Cooper. The church has had a dining hall for more than 120 years and is the oldest food establishment at the fair.
• Italian Junction, on the south side of Dan Patch between Nelson and Underwood
• LuLu’s Public House, with most accessible seating on the second story via elevator, at West End Market, south of the Schilling Amphitheater
• Mancini’s Al Fresco, on the north side of Carnes between Nelson and Underwood
• Minnesota Wine Country, on the west side of Underwood between Carnes and Judson
• Mexican Hat, east of Chambers, south of the Grandstand
• O’Gara’s at the Fair, on the southwest corner of Dan Patch and Cosgrove
• RC’s BBQ, on the north side of Dan Patch between Liggett and Chambers
• Ragin Cajun, in the garden on the corner of Dan Patch and Underwood
• Salem Lutheran Church, on the north side of Randall south of the Progress Center
• Shanghaied Henri’s, at the International Bazaar, north wall
• Tejas, in the garden on the corner of Dan Patch and Underwood
• The Peg, on the extreme southeast side of the Agriculture Horticulture Building
The fair has plenty of drinking fountains, so bring a water bottle to fill for the day. Also, it is always a good idea to bring along a pack of wet wipes and a bottle of hand sanitizer. And of course, don’t forget any needed medications as well as sunscreen.