WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (The Big E) – Great entertainment, fun atmosphere and the most delectable treats are all things you can expect from your trip to The Big E. No one can deny that The Big E has the best selection of food on the east coast. From Cream Puffs and Craz-E Burgers to deep-fried delights, international fare and a selection of foods unique to each New England State, North America’s fifth largest fair truly has it all.
- Photos: Food at The Big E
If you are a food aficionado and like to challenge yourself with the task of trying a little of everything, we are adding more to your list! Year after year, The Big E brings new fun foods and different concessions to the grounds. This September is no exception!
The all new Big E Bistro is bringing food from Italy and France to the International Plaza located in the Young building. Frigo’s is serving Panini and giant one-pound meatballs; Pasticceria Italia has gelato, Apollo pastries, expresso and cappuccino; and the Burgundy Brook Café offers French meat pies, Danish and breads.
It’s hugely important to know where your food comes from. When you order from the Matunuck Oyster Bar, you will be getting a great meal straight from the sea! Their selection of seafood includes a raw bar, shrimp cocktail, clam chowder, lobster rolls, fried clams, oysters, calamari and fish and chips. Get it fresh from their location on Commonwealth Avenue! The wildly popular restaurant, located in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, serves a variety of seafood as well as oysters harvested from the farm.
Your favorite place to get a hardy Italian meal at the Fair has been revamped! The Italian Pavilion on Industrial Avenue is now Clemenza’s Brick Oven Pizza and Café! The sit-down dining destination features a full menu; eggplant and zucchini fries, brick oven pizza, risotto balls, three types of ravioli, salads, Tuscan chicken wings, pizzettes, Italian Wedding Soup, brick oven breadsticks, cannoli and gelato pops!
Fried dough with the works has been a Fair favorite for years, but how about trying pretzels instead?! You can find a variety of pretzels with a selection of different toppings from Pretzel Princess in the Better Living Center! Fairgoers will also welcome the new food stand, Pickle Barrel Sirloin Tips, to West Road. There you can find succulent sirloin tip dinners, sandwiches and sirloin tips on a stick.
These new foods will certainly be on the top of your “Must Eat” list.
The place that brought you the famous Moo-Nut is back this year with a new concoction! Introducing Smash-A-Pie – a perfect blend of pie and your choice of soft serve ice-cream at MooLicious on Springfield Road.
What is a Fair without deep-fried goodness? Coffee Break in the Food Court boasts a huge menu of deep fried delicacies from Twinkies to Samoas, last year’s Strawberry Shortcake and now even more new treats! This year, grab yourself a batch of Red Velvet Oreos – America’s favorite cookie dipped in red velvet cake batter, deep fried and dusted with confectioner’s sugar. Also try S’mores on a Stick! Your go-to bonfire food battered, deep fried and drizzled with chocolate and confectioner’s sugar; and a battered and Deep Fried Nutella and Banana Sandwich.
The New England Craft Beer Pub on the Avenue of States is featuring Beer-A-Misu, a tasty take on an Italian specialty dessert, tiramisu, made with a chocolate fudge cake soaked in stout beer and topped with chocolate or raspberry sauce, a creamy topping and chocolate sprinkles.
Fried Dough is an ever popular fair food and you can find it in many places during the Fair, but only at Pop ’n Fresh on West Road can you get maple syrup and bacon fried dough. That’s right – crisp and fluffy fried dough topped with maple syrup and bacon. Other drool-worthy toppings include choice of caramel, coconut glaze, chocolate, peanut butter, strawberries and nuts. Also, deep fried banana balls.
The Pork Palace is substituting meat for ice cream in its new Pulled Pork Sundae. This eye pleasing entrée is their own BBQ baked beans stacked on pulled pork and cornbread with coleslaw and a cherry tomato on top!
And try the new Hot Dog Taco, a winning combination at Crow’s Nest on New England Avenue.
Beloved Fairtime Favorites
It’s an unwritten rule that when you come to The Big E, you are going to indulge in a Cream Puff at some point during your day. It will be love at first bite when you sink your teeth into that massive pastry. Another favorite is the Big Éclair smothered with a layer of smooth chocolate. Both desserts are made fresh on location at The Big E Cream Puff Bakery in the New England Center; they are also sold in the Food Court.
The Craz-E burger is in the same league as those delectable desserts. The Fair’s signature sandwich first gained national attention when it debuted in 2009 at The Big EZ Café. Foodies from up and down the east coast could not wait to get their hands on this concoction – a bacon cheeseburger served between two halves of a grilled glazed donut. If you haven’t tried The Big E Craz-E Burger, what are you waiting for!
We also can’t forget about the Hot Diggid-E Dog at Captain Nemo’s on Commonwealth Avenue! This loaded hotdog is cheddar cheese-infused, wrapped in bacon and layered with BBQ sauce, spicy coleslaw and fresh-sliced jalapeno peppers. Now that’s how you make a dog!
It’s safe to say that The Big E has proven that almost anything can be fried. The long menu of deep-fried items from Coffee Break is even longer with help from our other popular vendors. Deep Fried Oreos from Piché’s Beignéts were the first fried hit at The Big E. Since then, vendors have created everything from Fried Kool Aid, Fried Butter and Fried Jelly Beans at Marion’s Fried Dough inside Gate 9A, to the hearty Deep Fried Shepherd’s Pie at E.B.’s, in the Food Court! A few other top notch creations are the fried Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich, cheesecake, candy bars and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bits.
Local Fare – In the Food Court
Food vendors come from far and wide to serve meals at The Big E. Our local restaurant pals also have a place on the grounds! West Side’s favorite burger joint, the White Hut, can be found at the Fair selling their famous burgers and hot dogs topped with incredible fried onions. Don’t forget to try their Waffle Burger! Our neighbors from across the bridge, Agawam’s E.B.’s, bring their famous chicken wings and chicken fingers. Hofbrau Joe’s German Steak Haus in West Springfield offers fresh and fried seafood at The Clam Shack and German specialties at the Oktoberfest Beer Garden in the Food Court.
Broaden your horizons with different cuisines from around the world. Cuban sandwiches, fried pork, yellow rice, arepas and plantains give fairgoers a taste of Latin cuisine. The Chinese menu boasts lo mein, egg rolls and stir fry. Look for Stromboli, pastas and thin crust pizza if Italian is what you’re craving. Greek food is sure to satisfy your taste buds with gyros, salads and baklava. Indian cuisine includes chicken tandoori, shrimp vindaloo, channa masala, tikka masala and naan.
While The Big E is a great diet “cheat day,” there are a lot of healthy alternatives for those folks who’d like to save those extra calories. Fairgoers can choose from a variety of salads, fruits, sandwiches, lean meats and more. Try one of Billie’s Baked Potatoes loaded with vegetables, or a chicken gyro! Wash it down with a healthy smoothie. If you are looking for a snack for your mid-afternoon munchies, grab an apple from the 4-H Apple Booth in Farm-A-Rama or a bag of heart-healthy nuts from the Nut Lady in Storrowton.
Sit and Dine
If you need to take a break from the Fair action, relax at Storrowton Tavern and enjoy a delicious, sit-down meal and glass of wine, or skip the lines and head straight to their lunch buffet in the Connecticut Room. Grab a booth at Heroes and Legends Café to eat some good all-American grub. There is also the New England Craft Beer Pub, located across from the Rhode Island Building, that features craft beers from each New England state with suggested menu pairings like Reubens, lobster mac’ and cheese, hearty beef stew, popovers and more. If a drink is what you’re yearning for, get a martini, made with the award-winning V-One Vodka at The Big E Martini Bar. The Sam Adams Brew Garden, sponsored by the Boston Beer Company, in Storrowton Village, has a new menu now including gourmet burgers as well as pizza, salads, nachos and appetizers.
The Big E Wine & Cheese Barn
There is no better combination than a glass of delicious wine and a slice of cheese. At the Wine and Cheese Barn you can try the best of both! Award-winning wines from The Big E Northeast Gold Wine Competition and cheeses from The Big E Gold Medal Cheese Competition are available for sampling and purchase. The cheese portion of the Barn is sponsored by Must Be The Milk.
Don’t miss out on the Northeast’s largest fair, Sept. 12 – 28, 2014 in West Springfield, Mass. To stay updated on the latest Big E news visit TheBigE.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or call our Info Line at 413-205-5115.