Ah, the county fair: the smell of funnel cake browning in a vat of oil, the screams of joy and abject terror coming from those strapped to questionably sound carnival rides, the games that seem impossible to win, but by god, you’ll get that stuffed toy someday—it comes but once a year, and finally, the L.A. County Fair is back.
Sure, there are wine and sake tastings, and there’s even a picnic option—where the fair provides entry, games and a buffet—but we all know the reason you’re here. You came to peruse the food stalls, to eye the banners yelling, “KETTLE CORN,” “TURKEY LEGS” and “TERIYAKI” in bright colors, to assemble a feast built of the most outlandish deep-fried dishes around. This year, the L.A. County Fair makes this gluttonous bounty affordable via a new Route 66-themed menu—in keeping with the fair’s general 2018 theme, Route 66—and items cost only $6.60. Game on.
The Route 66 lineup includes more than 90 dish specials, ranging from classic state-fair foods—hey, funnel cake, massive corn dogs and deep-fried pecan pie—to a few L.A. favorites (we’re looking at you, Pink’s Hot Dogs). Many of the specials even include a fountain drink.
Chicken Charlie’s is joining the Route 66 round-up with a contribution so county fair it’s hard to imagine a dish more enticingly terrifying: a bright red waffle cone that’s stuffed with mac and cheese, then topped with fried buffalo chicken.
Also on the so-county-fair-it-hurts front, there’s chocolate-dipped jerky from Timbo’s Fresh Beef Jerky; Frontier BBQ’s massive pile of pastrami fries; deep-fried pineapples from Pineapple Express; a layered BBQ pork “sundae” from Texas Style BBQ; multiple corn-on-the-cob options; bacon-wrapped hot dogs from Bacon-A-Fair; and three funnel cake choices, all at $6.60 apiece.
A few vendors are going for tried-and-true simple faves. Biggy’s is offering a more traditional chicken nuggets and a 16-ounce drink—but it might be worth it to splurge a little more, because this vendor is also selling non-Route 66 Cholula-marinated, smoked turkey legs—while Carmelot and others are slinging caramel apples. Burgers, traditional hot dogs, sliders and even a pound of fries are all over that special menu.
A few L.A. favorites will also be participating: Pink’s is serving a quarter-pound turkey dog; Afters Ice Cream will be scooping onto their signature milky bun, and, of course, you can expect the iconic Dole Whip to serve, well, the iconic Dole Whip. Find the full Route 66 menu here.
The L.A. County Fair runs August 31–September 23 and is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, with the exception of Labor Day, September 3. Find the fairgrounds at 1101 W McKinley Ave in Pomona.