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Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST STATE FAIR FOOD

Pig Lickers

The first order of business is to figure out how to get past the cringe-inducing name of this delectable snack. The most Minnesotan option is to ignore it completely. The teenagers behind the counter at Famous Dave's (near the Grandstand) will understand you just fine if you simply ask for a portion of chocolate-covered bacon. Another choice is to embrace your inner redneck (this is the fair, after all). If you can pull off "Gimme a order a them there Pig Lickers" without a hint of shame, go for it. Either way, you'll soon be enjoying the pinnacle of the salty/sweet/fatty fair-fare triumvirate: crispy bacon, each strip dipped halfway into melted chocolate, then sprinkled with just a touch of sea salt. The results are chilled and served cool, so the chocolate stays in place and your hands and face won't require a cleanup crew before you move on to the next distraction. The meaty, salty, chocolaty flavors are perfectly balanced, and the bacon pieces are thin enough to hold a crisp texture and be eaten almost like potato chips. This summer's fair will be the third to have Pig Lickers on offer. The foodie trend of bacon, bacon everywhere may be (thankfully) on the wane, but this is one idea we hope won't disappear anytime soon.

Best State Fair Food (2015) O'Gara's Pretzel Curds

Best State Fair Food (2013) Classic Walleye Roll at Giggles Campfire Grill

Best Tourist Attraction (2012) Minnesota State Fair

Best State Fair Food (2012) Sweet corn ice cream at Blue Moon Dine-in theater

Best State Fair Food (2011) Cheese curds

Best State Fair Food (2009) Corn on the cob

BEST NON-FOOD THING ABOUT THE STATE FAIR (2010) Feeling better about your lot in life

BEST STATE FAIR FOOD (2008) Walleye on a stick

Best State Fair Food (2019) Garlic Fries at the Ball Park Cafe

BEST AMUSEMENT PARK Valleyfair

BEST BATHROOM Macy's Minneapolis, fourth-floor ladies room in Intimate Apparel

BEST BUS ROUTE 21

BEST CHARITY Second Chance Animal Rescue

BEST CORNER Lyndale Avenue South and 26th Street, Minneapolis

BEST CURE FOR WINTER DOLDRUMS Learn to skate ski

BEST DAY TRIP Red Wing

BEST DOG PARK Airport Dog Park

BEST FESTIVAL Soundset

BEST GRAFFITI Jimi Hendrix in Uptown

BEST KARAOKE Cloggy's Tavern

BEST LAKE Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis

BEST LIBRARY Franklin Library

BEST LOCAL BLOG The Adventures of Johnny Northside

BEST LOCAL BOY MADE GOOD Al Franken

BEST LOCAL GIRL MADE GOOD Dessa Darling

BEST LOCAL WEBSITE Minnesota State Legislature

BEST MAYOR Chris Coleman

BEST MISSISSIPPI RIVER EXPERIENCE The view from the Guthrie

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD Northeast Minneapolis

BEST NEW HIPSTER HANGOUT Angry Catfish

BEST NON-FOOD THING ABOUT THE STATE FAIR Feeling better about your lot in life

BEST PARK Loring Park

BEST PLACE FOR A FIRST DATE Loring Park Summer Music and Movies

BEST PLACE TO BREAK UP Minnehaha Falls

BEST PLACE TO DO SOMETHING FOR FREE Aquatennial fireworks

BEST PLACE TO HANG OUT WITH THE KIDS Midtown Global Market

BEST PLACE TO MAKE OUT Middle of frozen Lake Harriet

BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE MEN (GAY) 19 Bar

BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE MEN (STRAIGHT) Vertical Endeavors

BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE WOMEN (LESBIAN) The Town House

BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE WOMEN (STRAIGHT) Bar 508

BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE-WATCH Mayo Clinic

BEST PLACE TO STAY WARM IN WINTER Water Park of America

BEST PLACE TO STUDY Dunn Bros, University Avenue and Sixth Street

BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWN GUESTS Linden Hills neighborhood

BEST PLACE TO WASTE AN AFTERNOON Marjorie McNeely Conservatory

BEST POLITICIAN Al Franken

BEST PUB CRAWL Zombie Pub Crawl

BEST SCANDAL Denny Hecker's fall from grace

BEST SHOUT-OUT TO THE TWIN CITIES BY A NON-NATIVE Ringo Starr's plug for the Electric Fetus

BEST SIGN OF SPRING Art in Bloom at Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Best Staycation Bloomington

BEST STREET Summit Avenue, St. Paul

BEST TWEETER Jason DeRusha

BEST UNDISCOVERED NEIGHBORHOOD Dayton's Bluff

BEST VIEW The High Bridge

BEST VILLAIN Michele Bachmann

BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY Madeline Island, Bayfield, Wisconsin