A panel of celebrities narrowed down the list from ten to the top three foods during a livestreamed tasting event today. The top three 2023 New Foods Finalists are listed below and Fairgoers can vote during the Fair on the top three foods to officially crown the People's Choice top new food for the 2023 Iowa State Fair.

The TOP 3 2023 Best New Foods (in no particular order):

Grinder Ball – The Bacon Box

The Grinder Ball is a blend of bacon balls stuffed with mozzarella cheese, wrapped in bacon, rotisserie smoked and dipped in warm marinara sauce. The Grinder Ball is The Bacon Box's new signature gluten-free take on the traditional State Fair Grinder.

Iowa Twinkie – Whatcha Smokin' BBQ & Brew

"A Texas staple with an Iowa twist." A smoked bacon-wrapped jalapeno stuffed with pulled pork, sweet corn, cream cheese and ranch seasoning. It is then glazed with Whatcha Smokin' BBQ & Brew house-made Sweet + Sticky BBQ sauce and drizzled with house-made ranch dressing.

Deep-Fried Bacon Brisket Mac-n-Cheese Grilled Cheese – What's Your Cheez

The Rib Shack's signature Bacon Brisket Mac and Cheese is slathered between layers of American cheese and two slices of What's Your Cheez Bacon Cheddar Bread. It is then deep-fried until golden brown and served with a signature raspberry chipotle BBQ sauce.

Fairgoers can sample the top three finalists and cast their vote starting Thursday, August 10 through Monday, August 14 at midnight. The winner will be announced Wednesday, August 16 during the Fair.

The ten finalists and foods in the Best New Foods contest (in no particular order):

  • The Bacon Box – Grinder Ball
  • Brad & Harry's Cheese Curds – Dill Pickle Flavored Cheese Curds
  • Dough Crazy – Dough Crazy Sweet Stick
  • Grater Tater – Crunchy Cool Ranch Pickle on a Stick
  • Iowa Specialty Crop Growers Association – A-Hootenanny
  • Over the Top – Iowa Sweet Corn Sundae
  • Shrimp Shack – Shrimp Poke Bowl
  • Smith's – Deep-Fried Strawberry Shortcake on a Stick
  • Whatcha Smokin' BBQ & Brew – Iowa Twinkie
  • What's Your Cheez – Deep-Fried Bacon Brisket Mac-n-Cheese Grilled Cheese

Past Peoples' Choice Award winners include:

  • 2016: Iowa Turkey Federation – Not Your Mamma's Taco
  • 2017: Steer 'N' Stein – Pork Almighty
  • 2018: Applishus – Apple Eggroll
  • 2019: G Mig's Wrap Stand – Georgie's Roast with the Most Wrap
  • 2021: Cluckin' Coop by the Iowa Egg Council/Iowa Poultry Association – Chicken Egg Salad with Fry Bread
  • 2022: The Rib Shack – The Finisher

Sweet, salty, savory, strange, tasty, on-a-stick, on a plate, in a bowl, there are 64 new foods at the 2023 Iowa State Fair. With only 22 days until the Fair, you can start planning what foods you will try this year along with all the great contests, livestock shows and entertainment.

Visit iowastatefair.org or download the official Iowa State Fair App to find your favorite Fair foods.