A full guide on how to track down all the crazy foods at the fair. (The Big E)
Abandon all diet plans, ye who enter here: The Big E Eater’s Guide is here for fair-goers who want to know exactly where they can find all the crazy foods and best things to eat this year as they navigate the fairgrounds in West Springfield from Friday, Sept. 16 to Sunday, Oct. 2.
The traffic over the bridge shall be gridlocked. The September air will feel 5-10 degrees warmer than you expected. Forests of fried curiosities will sprout from the asphalt. The air will smell of fryer oil and maybe a little bit like a barn if you’re too close to the Mallary Complex. You may end up Venmo-ing someone to park on their lawn.
We can’t help you with the ordeals of traveling to the Big E. But if you’re looking for the Moo-Nut, a Turducken Sandwich or a Spicy Vegan PB&J Burger, we can help point out exactly where you can get it at the fair.
It’s a lot to keep track of and even more to try and track down. This is where the Big E Eater’s Guide comes in. We’ve mapped out all of the crazy, traditional and sought-out foods worth trying throughout the fair.
Here are some handy Big E maps to give you everything you need to know to make navigating and finding the food you’re looking for easy.
Guide to The Big E
The Big E fairgrounds can be tricky to navigate. The road subtly bend into a confusing arc. If you don’t know your landmarks, you can find yourself coming back to the same intersection next to the Court of Honor stage over and over again.
When it comes to getting food at the fair, there are certain “areas” to know. There are seven roads, the food court, four “building” areas and “The Front Porch,” which is new for this year.
To simplify things, we’ve broken down the fair into 14 numbered areas. Areas 1-to-7 are the biggest outdoor hubs for food, 8-to-10 are side streets, 11-13 have indoor vendors and the state buildings (14) are a whole other subsection by themselves:
Here is the main gateway for many fairgoers entering the grounds coming through Gate 9A. It’s where you’ll end up if you go to the main parking area.
New England Ave. is a good jumping-off point for the fair. It’s host to one of the biggest varieties of vendors, with many signature items like Fried Oreos, the Craz-E Burger and other wacky fried foods (like Fried butter). It’s a great spot to get started, especially with the new Big E Cream Puff location at the gate. Just don’t fill up before you fully explore.
Harpoon Beer Hall has really stepped up its game this year, offering Twisted Pretzels which is an awesome sharable, snackable braided pretzel that has cool flavors like cinnamon sugar, everything bagel and “Gettin’ Dilly With It.” They also have six types of “Triple Decker Grilled Cheese” this year, including one stuffed with Cool Ranch Doritos.
One other notable update: The Craz-E Burger building now offers a new crispy chicken sandwich option (to go with their burger and breakfast sandwich options, also on glazed doughnuts).
Which foods to try on New England Ave. (The Big E)
Vendors/Foods you should try:
Full List of Foods and Vendors:
Barbie’s Ice Cream Shoppe – Ice Cream, Fancy Waffle Cones, Upside Down Banana Split, Frozen Bananas
Billie’s Baked Potato – Baked Potatoes
Big E Cream Puff Bakery – Big E Cream Puff, Big E-clair, Chocolate-covered Cream Puff, Pumpkin Spice Cream Puff
The Big E-Z Cafe – Craz-E Burger, Craz-E Breakfast Sandwich, Beer
Butcher Boys – London Broil Sandwich, Gyros, Italian Sausage
Chan’s Original Chicken-on-a-Stick – Chicken-on-a-Stick, Noodles, Egg Rolls
Chompers – Fried Croquette Balls with flavors like Bacon Cheeseburger, Chicken Parm, Taco, Vegetarian Potato & Corn
Crow’s Nest Mexican Food – Burritos, Fajitas, Nachos, Quesadillas, Taco Salads
Deluca Family Foods – Caramel Apple Sundae, Chicken Parm Sandwich, Frozen Cheesecake on a Stick
Dimitri’s Greek Food – Pita, Falafel, Hummus, Baklava, Gyros, Kabobs
Fluffy’s Hand Cut Donuts – Giant Doughnuts with Toppings, Giant Donuts, Donut Sundaes
Harpoon Beer Experience – Craft Beer, Hard Seltzer, Twisted Pretzels, Triple-Decker Grilled Cheese
Hot Wisconsin Cheese – Cheddar Nuggets, Mozzarella Fingers, Swiss-N-Rye on a stick
Marion’s Fried Dough – Fried Kool-Aid, Fried Jelly Beans, Fried Butter, Fried Dough, Fried Oreos
NY Style Pizza – Pizza Slices
Piche’s Beignets – Beignets, Beignet Sundaes, Fried Oreos, Funnel Cake Sundaes, Funnel Cakes, Fried Snickers, Fried Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Pioneer Valley Popper’s Kettle Corn – Candy Apples, Caramel Apples, Caramel Corn, Cotton Candy, Belgian Waffles, Kettle Corn
Soup-R Bowl – Soups, Chili, Bread Bowls, Regular Bowls, Maple Marshmallow Drizzled Sweet Potato Fries
Super Dog – 6-inch Dog-on-a-Sick, 12-inch Super Dog, 18-inch Mega Dog
Stella’s Milk & Cookies – Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Cone or Bucket, Milk
Sugar Shakers (Funnel Cakes) – Deep-Fried Whoopie Pie, Funnel Cake, Giant Eclairs
Tootsie’s Fried Dough – Fried Oreos, Dough Nuggets, Fried Candy Bars
Tots-A-Lot – Chicken Tot Pie, Loaded Tots, Apple Dumpling Tots, Bacon Mac & Cheese Tots, Vegan Tots
Wild Bill’s Curly Fries – Chicken Tenders, Foot-Long Corn Dogs, Curly Fries
Xena’s Cafe – Pretzels, Bratwurst, Nachos, Beer
For the first time in years, there’s a whole new section of The Big E. It’s called “The Front Porch” and is designed as a chill hangout area with Adirondack chairs to let fairgoers take a break.
The new subsection of the fair is situated between the Better Living Center and the Court of Honor Stage and will feature many of the new arrivals at the fair this year. That list includes The Place 2 Be, which is known for its flamboyant and spectacular milkshakes and breakfast foods.
Did we mention there’s an Oreo Pancake Milkshake (topped with pancakes and a fried Oreo)?
Foods to try at The Front Porch (The Big E)
Vendors/Foods you should try:
Full List of Foods and Vendors:
Bakery on Brewer (Fritters) – Apple-Bacon Fritters, Pumpkin Fritters
BoardWok Noodles – Rice Bowls, Yakisoba Noodles
The Place 2 Be – Breakfast foods, Fruity Pebble Pancakes, Waffles, Crazy Milkshakes
SoulFully – Vegan options, Spicy PB&J Burger, Hot Dogs, Loaded Fries, Milkshakes
If you walk around the fair long enough, you’ll end up on Commonwealth Ave. It’s one of the main drags of The Big E and holds one of the biggest collections of vendors at the fair. It also holds a ton of little nooks, crannies and side streets, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options. Wurst Haus has one of the best beer/food combinations at the fair.
Foods to try on Commonwealth Ave. (The Big E)
Vendors/Foods you should try:
Full List of Foods and Vendors:
Amy’s Sweet Treats – Maple Bacon Waffle Sundae, Ice Cream, Belgian Waffle Sandwich, Fried Cheesecake
Angela’s Pizza – Giant Mozzarella Stick, Pickle Pizza, Normal Pizza
Banquet In a Bun – Steak & Cheese, Italian Sausage, Burgers, Fries, Whole Dill Pickle
Billie’s Baked Potato – Baked Potatoes
Captain Nemo’s – Hot Diggid-E Dog, Sundae Supper Keg Tots, Pot Roast Patty Melt
The Donut Family: Cinn-a-roll Donuts, Mini Donuts
Jack’s Fries – Chichen Tenders, Corn Dogs, Millennium Chips, Dough Nuggets, Funnel Cakes
Millie’s Pierogi – Millie’s Masterpiece, Pierogi
Poppie’s Belgian Waffles – Fried Cheese, Belgian Waffles, Corn Dogs, Fried Twinkies
Pork Palace – BBQ Sundae, Pulled Pork, Giant Turkey Legs, Maple Waffle Breakfast Sandwich, BBQ Brisket Sundae, BBQ Split
Red’s Red Apples – Gourmet Apples, Caramel Apples, Candy Apples, Caramel Corn, Cotton Candy
Schroder’s Cheese Curds: Cheese Curds
Tootsie’s Fried Dough – Fried Oreos, Dough Nuggets, Fried Candy Bars
Veggie Patch – Frozen Cheesecakes, Frozen Banana, Cheesesteak Eggroll, Deep-fried Pickles, Vegetable Tempura
Wings-N-Fries – Buffalo Chicken Eggroll, Chicken Waffle on a Stick, Poutine, Roasted Corn on the Cob
The Wurst Haus/The Student Prince – German Giant 12-inch Bratwurst, Beer Boot, The Mighty Pretzel, Bavarian Poutine, Sweet Pretzel Bites, Brat Burger
The Food Court is its own little kingdom of brick-and-mortar vendor locations and houses some of the most underrated options at The Big E.
Keep an eye out for EB’s Food for Fun. They’re easy to miss, but have some of the best fried foods at the fair. Their Fried Shepherd’s Pie was our best Big E Fried Food of 2015. Meanwhile, their Fried Mac & Cheese was our pick for Best New Food at the Fair in 2016.
Foods to try at The Food Court (The Big E)
Vendors/Foods you should try:
Full List of Foods and Vendors:
Big E Cream Puff Bakery – Big E Cream Puff, Big E-Clair, Chocolate-Covered Cream Puff, Pumpkin Cream Puff
The Coffee Break – Fried Pop-Tarts, Fried Cookie Dough, Fried Snickers, Fried Samoas, Fried Cannoli, a crazy variety of more deep-fried foods
Calabrese Market – Paninis, Cucumber Salads, Pasta Salads, Caprese Salads
EB’s Food For Fun – Fried Shepherd’s Pie, Fried Mac & Cheese
Hofbrauhaus Oktoberfest Biergarten – Bratwurst in a Blanket, Potato Pancakes, Pork chops, Home Made Pretzels
Joe’s Clam Box – Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl, Fried Seafood, Shrimp Tacos, Whole Belly Clams, Beer
Kulfi Ice Cream Taste of Persia – Traditional Indian Ice Cream (Not Whipped, More Dense)
White Hut – The Garbage Bowl, Waffle Burger, Hamburgers, “Biggie” Waffle Burger, Next Level Fries
The Ultimate BBQ – 3 Pigs in a Bun, Choco-Baco Frenzy, Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese, Chocolate-Dipped Bacon, Ultimate Cowboy Nachos, BBQ Waffles, Mac & Cheese Waffles
Tucked away at the back of the fair, the Avenue of States is the road on which you’ll see all the replica state buildings for each state in New England. It’s also home to some awesome foods. Storrowton Tavern is the one haven away from the hustle and bustle from the fair where you can get a classy dinner — including an awesome Ice Cream Cake Ball.
Foods to try on the Avenue of States — not counting the State Buildings themselves (The Big E)
Vendors/Foods you should try:
Full List of Foods and Vendors:
Giant Corn Dog Factory – Turkey Legs, Big E Rib, Meatball Sub, Bacon-Wrapped Dilly Dilly Dog
Kettle Korn Express (Storrowton Village) – Kettle Corn
New England Craft Beer Pub – Beer-a-Misu, Turducken Sandwich, Pork Belly Lollipops, Lobster Mac & Cheese, Pulled Pork-stuffed Popover, Craft Beer
Sam Adams Beer Garden – Nacho Balls w/ Cheese, El Diablo Chorizo Burger, Mac & Cheese Burger, General Tso’s Chicken Pizza
Storrowton Soup Shack – Soups, Chowder, Bread Bowls
Storrowton Tavern – Ice Cream Cake Ball, Dessert Ball, Full Lunch/Dinner Menu
East Road is a crossroads of sorts at The Big E. It’s close to the main gate and will take you to the Mallary Complex, with all its animals on display. It also leads to the Midway with all the fun rides and games. It also has an underrated lineup of food options.
The “Doughco” from Anna’s Fried Dough is one of those crazy-looking foods that’s actually really delicious. It’s one of the best foods at the entire fair. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something, big, crazy and deep-fried, check out Jim’s Deep-Fried Tacos.
Foods to try on East Road. (The Big E)
Vendors/Foods you should try:
Full List of Foods and Vendors:
Anna’s Fried Dough – Fried Dough, ‘Doughco,’ Fried Dough Bites
Bernat’s Deli – Kielbasa Mac & Cheese, Chili, Pierogi
Fried Factory – Blooming Onion, Chicken Strips/Fries Buckets, Spiral Spuds
Hot & Fresh Mini Donuts – Mini Donuts
Jim’s Deep-Fried Tacos – Deep-Fried Tacos, including BBQ Brisket Mac, Pot Roast Sundae and Buffalo Chicken options
KB Foods Fresh Cut Fries – Chicken Tenders, Fries, Nachos
Mini Donut Express – Mini Donuts by the Bag
Riceballs Arancini – Arancini Riceballs, including Beef, Veggie, Big Mac, Philly, Italiano options
Sassy’s Sweet Potatoes – Sweet Potato Tacos, Sweet Potato Bread, Sweet Potato Pie
West Road can either be hard to find, or the place you keep accidentally winding up. It’s tucked deep into the fairgrounds behind the Midway and runs along the Big E Arena, which is where the biggest musical acts are held.
Big news: The Dinner-in-a-Cone is back at Agawam Lions’s Club, including the Bacon Mac & Cheese and Sheperd’s Pie options in a savory, bready cone.
Another big note: Moolicious has taken the place of the old Rondeau’s location on West Road, giving them a second spot at the fair.
Foods to try on West Road (The Big E)
Vendors/Foods you should try:
Full List of Foods and Vendors:
Agawam Lion’s Club – BBQ, Chicken Dinner, Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwich, All-in-a-Cone (Bacon Mac & Cheese, Meatball, Pulled Chicken, Shepherd’s Pie)
Ann Maries Candies – Candies, Fudge and Nuts
Big Kahuna’s – Gyros, Falafel, Gluten-Friendly Options
Apple Fries (The Happy Dough Co.) – Apple Fries, Bacon Caramel Apple Fries, Jolly Rancher Slush, Apple Fry Sundaes
Opa Opa Saloon – Local Draft Beer
Pickle Barrel Sirloin Tips – Sirloin Tips, Sirloin Pita
Pig Park BBQ – Ribs, Nachos, Brisket, Pig & Cow Bowls
Moolicious – Ice Cream, Sundaes, Floats, Moo-nut, Holey Cows,
West End Pub – Pretzels, Beer
West Springfield Lion’s Club – Burgers, Grilled Cheese, Reubens, Flatliner Burger, Reuben Burger
Yankee Boy/International Lobster House – Kangaroo/Camel/Alligator Burgers, Rattlesnake/Pheasant Sausage
Springfield Road is a branch road off of New England Ave. and can be a little overlooked. But houses some really fun vendors — and the signature Giant Slide.
The Moo-nut from Moolicious is one of the most fun things you can eat at the fair. Just down the road, you can find the Sweet & Salty stall, which sells a big, foamy cup of Harry Potter-inspired “butterbeer.” Here’s also where you’ll find the new Chick-fil-A location that will be at The Big E.
Foods to try on Springfield Road (The Big E)
Vendors/Foods you should try:
Mobile users click here for a detailed map
Full List of Foods and Vendors:
All-American Craft Beer Bar & Grill – Specialty Sliders, The Big Mick “E” (like a Big Mac), Loaded Fries
Chick-fil-A – Chicken Sandwiches, Spicy Chicken Sandwiches, Waffle Fries
Dr. Vegetable – Blooming Onion, Corn Dogs, Fried Veggies
Gertrude’s Pretzel – Giant Pretzels, Pretzel-Wrapped Hot Dog, 10-inch Bratwurst
Moolicious – Moo-nut, Ripieno, Smash-a-pie, Blueberry Pierogi Sundae
Poppie’s – Maple Bacon Fried Dough
Poutine Gourmet – Classic Poutine, Pulled Pork Poutine, Chicken Bacon Ranch Poutine, Bacon Cheeseburger Poutine
Rudy’s Pizza – Buffalo Mac & Cheese Pizza, Stromboli
Super Dog – 6-inch Dog-on-a-Sick, 12-inch Super Dog, 18-inch Mega Dog
Sweet & Salty – Flavored popcorn, Pretzel Bites, Butterbeer, Frozen Oreo
Yankee Boy/International Lobster House – BBQ Ribs, Mac & Cheese, Lobster Dinners, Exotic Meat Burgers
This branch road leads from Gate 7 to the Court of Honor Stage at the head of the fairgrounds. Here, you’ll find some of the biggest food stops at the fair, like the Deep South Food Company and the Big E Martini Bar. But don’t miss the cheesy goodness at the Granville Country Store.
New this year at The Deep South: “Top of the Crust” pizzas including Street Taco, General Tso’s Chicken and Big Mac-based “Mac Daddy.”
Foods to try on Industrial Ave. (The Big E)
Vendors/Foods you should try:
Mobile users click here for a detailed map
Full List of Foods and Vendors:
Big E Martini Bar – Cocktails
Deep South Food Company – Waffle Chicken Bites, Fried Cheese, Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, Crazy PIzzas
Granville Country Store – “Mac Melt” Mac n’ Cheese Grilled Cheese
Jack’s Corn Dogs – Corndogs
Sangria Shack – Blueberry Lemon Sangria
Shock Top – Beer
Tootsie’s Fried Dough – Fried Oreos, Fried Candy Bars, Funnel Cake
As opposed to most streets, Hampden Ave. is filled mostly with craft vendors. However, there are still a couple of key food stops here to keep an eye out for.
Foods to try on Hampden Ave. (The Big E)
Full List of Foods and Vendors:
Big E Bakery – Cream Puffs, Eclairs
Cinnamon Saloon – Cinnamon Rolls, Apple Crisp, Muffins, Coffee
Dr. Vegetable – Fried Veggies, Blooming Onion, Fried Pickles
Kora’s Cookie Dough on a Stick – Deep-Fried Cookie Dough
Omar Gourmet Coffee – Coffee, Drinks, Brownie Sundae, Cinnamon Buns, Cookies
West Springfield Firehouse Restaurant – Breakfast Sandwiches, Deli Sandwiches, Chowder, Burgers, Hot Dogs
Not all the food is outside. Sometimes, it buys to venture inside and out of the sun to check out the big buildings. The Young Building is one of the big hubs of commercial vendors — and also houses a wide range of food options.
Foods to try in the Young Building (The Big E)
Vendors/Foods you should try:
Full List of Foods and Vendors:
Burgundy Brook Cafe – Meat Pie, Bread Pudding, Homemade Breads, Sweet Pepper Bacon, Slushies
Cha Feo – Boba Tea, Milk Teas
Dingle Whiskey Bar – Ciders, International Beers, Products from Ireland’s Dingle Distillery
Frankie’s Famous Italian Frozen Lemonade – Springfield’s Iconic Lemon Italian Ice
Las Kangris Food Truck – Yellow Rice with Pigeon Peas, Baked Pork, Baked Chicken, Green Bananas “al mojo”
Noujaim’s Mediterranean Food – Homemade hummus, Bread Pudding, Falafel, Chicken Gyro, Baklava, Spanakopita
Pasticceria Italia – Biscotti, Cannolis, Cappuccino, Espresso, Gelato
The Speakeasy by Stanley – Craft Cocktails
Villa of Lebanon – Hummus, Meat Pies, Baklava, Kofta Kabobs
West Side Grill – Burgers, Hot Dogs
Looking to buy a new vacuum cleaner, stockpot or mattress? This is your place. It also has a couple of places to try foods from some lesser-known vendors.
What foods to try in the Better Living Center (The Big E)
Full List of Foods and Vendors:
Calabrese Market – Chocolate Candies, Dried Fruits, Fudge, Candy Apples, Caramel Apples, Caramel Corn
Chocolate Moonshine Co. – Artisan Chocolates
Cranston Licorice – Licorice
Ferrandino Maple Farm – Maple Cotton Candy, Maple Cream
Glass House – Burgers, Hot Dogs
Heidi Jo’s Jerky – Beef Sticks; Ostrich Jerky, Buffalo Jerky, Venison Jerky, Trout Jerky
Omar’s Coffee – Brownie Sundae, Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae
While there are multiple places at the fair to get a Big E cream puff, this is the only spot where you can see them be made. Make sure to check out the new chocolate cream puff, which replaces last year’s pumpkin version.
There's really only one place to get food at the New England Center (The Big E)
Vendors/Foods you should try:
Full List of Foods and Vendors:
Big E Cream Puff Bakery – Big Cream Puff, Big E-clair, Chocolate-covered Cream Puff, Chocolate Cream Puff
Along the Avenue of States lie the six state buildings, each of which house a wide array of vendors from their respective state. Don’t overlook them as there are more options tucked in the back and in some spots even along the sides. There are some amazing food finds inside (and outside) each of the buildings.
The Massachusetts Building has really stepped up its game in recent years, with the Bacon Waffle Burger from Macken’s Specialty Sliders (outside the building) emerging as my favorite new food in 2021. Meanwhile, the Valley Malt Beer Garden behind the building has one of the best beer lists at the fair.
What foods to watch for at the State Buildings (The Big E)
The State Buildings – Vendors/Foods to watch for:
Maine Building – Maine Baked Potato (if you want to brave the line) | Wild Whoopie Pie Flavors from Wicked Whoopies
New Hampshire Building – New Hampshire Kettle Corn (Behind the building) | Lobster Mac & Cheese from Zac’s Mac Attack
Massachusetts Building – Big E Cream Puff Stout (Valley Malt Beer Garden, behind the building) | Bacon Waffle Burger from Macken’s Specialty Sliders (outside the building)
Vermont Building – Special flavors from Ben & Jerry’s
Connecticut Building – BBQ from Bear’s Smokehouse Barbecue | Pizza from Randy’s Wooster Street Pizza Shop
Rhode Island – Cookies, Ice Cream Sandwiches from Wright’s Dairy Farm | Crazy Fries from Friskie Fries
So, yeah, this was a lot to throw at you. With 13 sections and hundreds of vendors, there definitely a wealth of choices at The Big E.
So, to simplify things, here are 10 foods I’d recommend looking for at The Big E to give you a full run of what it has to offer. From cheesy to sweet to snackable, these are the foods I’d look for first at the fair.
Nick O'Malley's 10 foods to try at The Big E in 2022. (The Big E)
1. Fried Oreos from Tootsies (Multiple Locations)
2. BBQ Sundae from Porky’s (Commonwealth Ave.)
3. DoughCo from Anna’s Fried Dough (East Road)
4. Moo-nut from Moolicious (Springfield Road)
5. Turducken Sandwich from New England Craft Beer Pub (Avenue of States)
6. Bacon Waffle Burger from Macken’s Specialty Sliders (Outside the Massachusetts Building)
7. Fried Shepherd’s Pie from EB’s Food for Fun (In the Food Court)
8. Giant Mozzarella Stick from Angela’s Pizza (Commonwealth Ave)
9. Spicy PB&J Burger from SoulFully (New England Ave)
10. Big E Cream Puff from Big E Bakery (Multiple Locations)
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