Top things to eat and drink at the North Texas Fair and Rodeo
Planning a trip to Denton to experience the North Texas Fair and Rodeo? Of all the thrills found at the NTFR, one of the biggest attractions every year has been the food. Fried, grilled, or baked, the fair has a tradition of offering the best fair food in north Texas!
Make sure you check out this itinerary for the best way to eat and drink your way through the fair weekend.
Here’s what’s cooking!
EVENING | Day one of the fair begins at 5:30 PM. Grab dinner at Rudy’s BBQ and then quickly head over to the Cool Zone Revolver stage to catch Tim Montana (Friday, August 19) or Hayden Tyler McCollum, Dustin Massey, Jared Thomas (Friday, August 26).
Rudy’s serves up famous BBQ sandwiches. Their pits are 100% slow cooked over a wood fire with oak and a dry spice that ensures each plate of Rudy's Bar-B-Q is perfectly prepared. They’ll also have their special “Sause” on hand for those who like to kick things up a notch!
After enjoying the live music, grab a snow cone from Blake’s Snow Shack! These are world-famous Snow Cones from Sanger's youngest biz owner, Blake, and Texas' first with Down Syndrome. With close to 40 flavors and unlimited combinations, these snow cones will keep you cool in the Texas heat. Blake’s Snow Shack is located in the rodeo area where you can check out the PRCA Rodeo in the Coors Rodeo Arena at 7:30 PM.
Rodeo not your style? Enjoy another sweet treat from Shilling Ice Cream, located in the giant ice cream cone, before heading over to the Miller Light Stage at 9:30 PM to catch a live performance from Aaron Lewis & The Stateliners (Friday, August 19) or Charley Crockett (Friday, August 26).
Shilling Ice Cream offers soft serve ice cream, shakes, and Sundays!
MORNING | After a good night's sleep at NTFR’s host hotel Embassy Suites by Hilton Denton Convention Center, enjoy their complimentary breakfast and a swim in their outdoor pool. Take it easy as you wait for NTFR to open their gates at 1 PM
AFTERNOON | Enjoy a late lunch on the fairgrounds from Ms. Piggy's Catering in the Midway. This place is a cajun haven! Menu items include Shrimp & Catfish Po-Boys, Bayou Balls, Crawfish Mini Pies, and Beignets. Order one of each, and have yourself a feast!
Wander the Midway and check out the carnival area where there is a large array of kiddie rides and old traditionals. Take a ride on the Kamikaze, Scorpion, and Starship 2000. If you’re not into high thrill rides, take time to enjoy the carousel or ferris wheel.
Thirsty? Enjoy an all-natural tea, lemonade, or soda from Pecos Pete’s. Based in Dripping Springs, Texas, they have seventeen flavors on tap, including Sweetwater Sarsaparilla, Hill Country Unsweet Tea, and Hutto Huckleberry.
While sipping on your soda, test your skills at challenging midway games. Skeeball anyone?
EVENING | Bellamy Brothers (Saturday, August 20) or Josh Turner (Saturday, August 27) take the stage at 9:30 PM giving you plenty of time to grab dinner and dessert from one of the many delicious vendors. Bobby’s Fajitas serves up beef and chicken fajita burritos and quesadillas.Turkey & More has famous turkey legs. McKinney Foods serves corn dogs, nachos, and limeade.
Grab a cone or sundae from Beth Marie's Old Fashioned Ice Cream. Their handmade ice cream is classified "premium quality" and contains 14% butterfat. New flavors are created regularly, so stop by their space inside the building to check out what flavors they are serving up at the moment.
The fair closes at 1 AM, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy a few more snacks or head off the fairgrounds to check out some of the other nightlife Denton has to offer.
AFTERNOON | The fair gates open at 1 PM. Check out the livestock shows and the contests. Creative arts, photography, canning, and baking are just a few of the categories on display. Snack on some gourmet Mac & Cheese from Smackin Mac or some jerky from Koots Jerky. Their hickory-smoked jerky is hand-cut and uses the finest ingredients. Flavors include Ghost Pepper, Cayenne, Black Pepper, Teriyaki, Jalapeno, and Regular. Or try some roasted corn on the cob and street corn at Stephen's Corn.
EVENING | Craving late-night breakfast? Stop by Tartan Treats Bakery & Coffee Shop to grab an iced coffee, pastries, and espresso shots. Or a bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes located inside the Commercial Exhibit Building. Pick up yours and bring them over to the rodeo queen coronation or check out more live music.
THE REST OF THE WEEK | The NTFR runs August 19 through the 27th, so there is more to do than just opening weekend. If you find yourself in Denton mid-week, be sure to check out the other live music acts like Kody West (Wednesday, August 24) and Casey Donahew and Stoney LaRue (Thursday, August 25 at 8:30 PM).
For a full calendar of NTFR events, check out their website ntfair.com/events.
Hungry for more? Denton has tons of options to keep your belly full over the Fair week. Check out our full list of restaurants, bars, and breweries here.