Food & Drinks

Day 3 at the NYS Fair: Today’s handpicked menu and schedule

Geddes — This year’s State Fair is noticeably different. Many of the buildings are closed, and the crowds are much smaller. Only 38,808 walked through the gates on Saturday, about half the number of people who attended the second day of the Fair in 2019.

It seems a lot of first-timers are showing up this year. One couple from Mendon, near Rochester, said they decided to make the drive because they didn’t want to be forced to deal with a large crowd, but they craved Fair food. “I needed to get a sausage sandwich, a wine slushie and a bunch of fried stuff and still hopefully be safe (from Covid),” he said.

Today’s Menu

I write about food for and The Post-Standard, I rely on readers to tell me what’s good in Central New York. That’s exactly what I’m counting on during the State Fair. I’ll be taking your suggestions and highlighting the best food and drinks here.

If you eat or drink something that knocks your socks off, text me (315-382-1984) and I’ll give it a try. Heck, I might even join you for a meal and pick up the tab.

Lunch: Prime rib sandwich from Bosco’s on Restaurant Row, kitty-corner from the Expo Center. The Bosco family has been selling all kinds of food here since they bought the stand from Peter Coleman in 1981. For this meal, they slow-roast a rib roast that’s been gently seasoned with just salt, pepper and garlic. Once the roast is sliced into an 8-ounce steak, they dunk it in au jus and flash sear it on a hot grill. From there, it goes onto a 6-inch Freihofer’s sub roll.

Do yourself a favor and have them add grilled onions. I also recommend shelling out an extra $1 for sautéed mushrooms. You also MUST get an order of their Potatoes O’Rielly, their version of homemade potato chips.


The prime rib sandwich and Potatoes O’Rielly from Bosco’s on Restaurant Row.Charlie Miller |

Dinner: Irish egg rolls at Horan’s on Restaurant Row. This is some of the best bar food ever, and Horan’s is pretty much an outdoors Irish Pub. It’s corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese inside an egg roll wrapper. It’s served with a side of Thousand Island dressing. They’re $3.50 for one or $6 for two.

Irish egg rolls

Irish egg rolls at Horan’s on Restaurant Row at the State Fair.Charlie Miller |

Beverage: The Belle of the Fair at the Oh My Darling stand, near the front of the Midway. This delicate drink came in handy during a steamy Saturday. It cooled us right off. They mix 1911 gin with lavender and lemonade. It’s simple, yet it made me feel sophisticated. If that’s possible. It’s $10.

Oh My Darling

The Belle of the Fair from the Oh My Darling stand at the State Fair.Charlie Miller |

>> Detailed daily schedule for Sunday, Aug. 22


>> iGNiTE, 2 p.m. at Chevy Court

>> The Barndogs, 2 p.m. at Chevy Park

>> All That Remains, 7 p.m. at Chevy Court

>> Brothers Osborne, 8 p.m. at Chevy Park

Fair Basics

Tickets: Admission this year is $3 at the gate; children under 12 are free every day, and those 65 and older get free admission. The Fair will not accept cash at the gates this year. Buy tickets in advance on etix or use a a credit card at a nearby kiosk.

Hours: Door open at 11 a.m. each day this year, three hours later than previous fairs. The buildings close at 10 p.m., but the Midway shuts down at 11 p.m.

Parking: The parking lots surrounding the fairgrounds can accommodate more than 23,000 cars. Parking is $5 (advance sales or EZ-Pass) for all lots. They will not accept cash this year. (Click here for parking map and directions.)

Masks: Face masks are required for everyone inside buildings. If you’re vaccinated, you don’t have to wear one outside. Workers will have masks available at each building’s entrance.

Other rules: You can bring coolers with food and non-alcoholic drinks. No pets are allowed, unless they are working dogs or in a competition. All bags, backpacks, coolers, purses and fanny packs are permitted but subject to search upon entry. You cannot bring firearms or other weapons, signs, roller blades, skate boards or bicycles onto the grounds.

NYS Fair newsletter

Stay up-to-date on all New York State Fair news, food, music, schedules and more with our free newsletter. Get it in your inbox all 18 days of the 2021 NYS Fair. Sign up here.


New York State Fair attendance fails to reach 40,000 for second straight day

The 2021 NYS Fair is open. But these buildings and spaces are definitely closed

Some NYS Fair booths are cash only, so don’t get caught empty handed

Charlie Miller finds the best in food, drink and fun across Central New York. Contact him at (315) 382-1984, or by email at You can also find him on Twitter @HoosierCuse.