Big Tex Choice Awards

More than a decade of decadence

Since 2005, the Big Tex Choice Awards contest has solidified the State Fair of Texas as the top Fair for great food creations. Each year, State Fair concessionaires fry up tasty and unique foods for a chance to become a finalist in the annual Big Tex Choice Awards competition. Everything from Fried Beer to Fried Peaches and Cream has made the cut to become a part of the exclusive club of fried food creations. Best of all, YOU get to enjoy the winning creations at this year’s Fair!

The 2023 Big Tex Choice Awards winners have been announced! 

2023 Big Tex Choice Award Winners

Winner "Best Taste - Savory"


by Michelle Le

Winner "Best Taste - Sweet"

Biscoff® Delight

by Stephen El Gidi

Winner "Most Creative"

Bourbon Banana Caramel Sopapillas

by Cody & Lauren Hays

2023 Savory Finalists

Deep Fried Cheesy Crab Tater Bites

by Isaac Rousso

This delicious dish starts with a blend of minced crab meat, shredded potato, cheese, and spices that are formed into tater bites. As they go in the fryer, they become golden brown, and you can smell the seasonings coming together with the crab meat. A cheesy Cajun sauce is simultaneously made, which starts off with the holy trinity: onions, bell peppers, and celery. These ingredients are sautéed perfectly with melty American cheese and a secret Cajun spice mix. As it all comes together, crawfish are added to enhance the flavor experience. These delicious golden tater bites are ladled with rich, silky, cheesy crawfish sauce on top, making sure each bite is topped with Cajun gold. Pairs well with Karbach’s Love Street!


Deep Fried Pho

by Michelle Le

Bringing a southern flare to this popular traditional Vietnamese comfort food that is both rich and savory. Deep Fired Pho is handcrafted, rolled up, and deep-fried Texas style! This unique combination creates a perfect balance between flavorful and refreshing. With every bite, you get a harmonious and succulent mouthful of noodles, slices of beef, fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and a taste of aromatic pho broth that has been slowly simmered for hours. To tie this experience together, it is served with a side of pho broth for dipping, lime, jalapeños, cilantro, hoisin sauce, and sriracha for a spicy, fiery kick! Pairs well with Karbach’s Hopadillo IPA!


Loaded Fries Pizza

by the Tom Grace

Daily, fresh-made pizza dough is classically hand-tossed and stretched onto a giant 16″ pizza screen. After ladling on a healthy amount of Texas’ favorite condiment, house-made buttermilk ranch dressing, the pie is covered with a layer of freshly shredded mozzarella. Then a pile of yummy, crunchy, salted French fries is added, and in comes a smothering blanket of cheddar cheese! Finally, nothing tops off cheddar fries better than a ton of crunchy chopped bacon. This bakes, and out comes your loaded fries…ON A PIZZA topped with some fresh chopped chives. Dive into this tangy, cheesy, crunchy, satisfying, one-of-a-kind pizza pie. Pairs well with Ziegenbock!


OX'cellent Soul Roll

by Kerston & Shawn Thorns

Savory beef oxtails are slowly simmered for hours until rendered tender, juicy, and full of flavor. Then, tasty chunks of potatoes are added to savory smoked gouda and mozzarella paired with rich butter, celery, bell peppers, and sweet onions. The hearty beef mixture is rolled into a light and flaky, crispy spring roll, and then deep fried. Served with our piping hot, crispy, and tender southern hush puppies and garlic chili sauce. Come take a bite of this classic Southern staple with a twist. Pairs well with Karbach’s Hopadillo IPA!


Turkey Ribs!

by Abel Gonzales

A new twist on holiday classics. Take the best part of turkey you never knew you loved, gently fry it, and serve it with stuffing seasoned fries, homemade giblet gravy, and a secret salsa recipe. You can also order it Texas Style with BBQ sauce fries, jalapeños, and pickles! You’ll crave it come the holidays, but you’ll only get it during the great State Fair of Texas! Pairs well with a Karbach Love Street!


2023 Sweet Finalists

Biscoff® Delight

by the Stephen El Gidi

Immerse yourself in the realm of a classic New York-style cheesecake coated with Belgian chocolate. Each bite reveals the symphony of an outer layer adorned with crushed Biscoff® cookies, offering a delightful crunch. To elevate this edible artwork, a drizzle of Lotus Biscoff® spread cascades gracefully, imparting a caramelized touch. Finally, a crowning glory is bestowed upon this culinary marvel with a perfectly placed Biscoff® cookie that entices you to embrace pure indulgence. Pairs well with a Ziegenbock!


Bourbon Banana Caramel Sopapillas

by Cody & Lauren Hays

Hot and delicious traditional sopapillas topped with vanilla-caramel-infused bananas, sweet bourbon syrup, crushed candied pecans, sweetened mascarpone cheese, crumbled Nilla Wafers, and dusted with powdered sugar. Pairs well with a Ziegenbock!


Fernie's Fried Cherry Pie in the Sky

by Christi Erpillo & Johnna McKee

We cannot tell a lie—this is the best rendition of America’s favorite pie! A pie tart mold is lined with flakey, buttery pastry dough, then layered with tender, crumbly shortbread cookies, juicy and tart sweet cherries, a layer of blended shortbread cookies and finally topped with more light, airy pastry, and hand-crimped forming the cutest pie. After a quick dip in the fryer, the luscious dessert is topped with a butter almond shortbread crumble, giving you all the taste of your favorite cherry cobbler and tangy cherry pie! Presented with the iconic pairing of Blue Bell ® vanilla ice cream drizzled with cherry preserves, clouds of whipped cream, and garnished with sugared dark sweet cherries! This divine dessert is cherries from heaven! Pairs well with Karbach Ranch Water Original Lime!


Sweet Encanto

by Tony & Terry Bednar

Sweet Encanto is the ultimate sweet delight that is sure to satisfy even the sweetest tooth. A round waffle is lightly sweetened with caramel dulce de leche that is swirled perfectly on a wafer. A specialty cream with slices of strawberry, kiwi, peach, and shredded coconut is added. Then this is topped with raspberry jam and drizzled with sweetened condensed milk. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity to indulge in the best flavors of Latin America and taste the magic of Sweet Encanto! Pairs well with a Karbach Cerveza Especial!



by Ruth Hauntz

If the Texas heat is bringing you down, Trail-Ade is the perfect remedy! This delightful blend of summer fruits, crisp cucumbers, and fresh mint blended with homemade lemonade is the ideal elixir to cure what’s ailing you. Trail-Ade is a fruity, refreshing, nonalcoholic cocktail served in a souvenir cowboy boot cup to be enjoyed anywhere: after a trail ride, in a saloon, and especially while strolling through the State Fair of Texas fairgrounds. As Big Tex would say, “These boots were made for walkin’!” Trail-Ade, it’s boot sipp’n good. Pairs well with a Karbach Cerveza Especial!


Previous Big Tex Choice Award Winners

Year Category Winner
Best Taste :: Sweet THE ARMADILLO
2019 Best Taste :: Savory RUTH’S STUFFED FRIED TACO CONE
Best Taste :: Sweet BIG RED® CHICKEN BREAD
2018 Best Taste :: Savory Fernie’s Hoppin’ John Cake with Jackpot Sauce
Best Taste :: Sweet Arroz con Leche (Sweet Crispy Rice)
Most Creative Cotton Candy Taco
2017 Best Taste :: Savory Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger
Best Taste :: Sweet Gulf Coast Fish Bowl
Most Creative Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger
2016 Best Taste Fried Jell-O®
Most Creative State Fair Cookie Fries
2015 Best Taste Fernie’s Holy Moly Carrot Cake Roly
Most Creative Smoky Bacon Margarita
2014 Best Taste Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil
Most Creative State Fair Brew – Funnel Cake Ale
2013 Best Taste Deep-Fried Cuban Roll
Most Creative Fried Thanksgiving Dinner
2012 Best Taste Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll
Most Creative Deep Fried Jambalaya
2011 Best Taste Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack
Most Creative Fried Bubblegum
2010 Best Taste Texas Fried FRITOS® Pie
Most Creative Fried Beer™
2009 Best Taste Fernie’s Deep Fried Peaches & Cream
Most Creative Deep Fried Butter
2008 Best Taste Chicken Fried Bacon
Most Creative Fried Banana Split
2007 Best Taste Texas Fried Cookie Dough
Most Creative Deep Fried Latte
2006 Best Taste Fried Praline Perfection
Most Creative Fried Coke
2005 Best Taste Fried PB, Jelly and Banana Sandwich
Most Creative Viva Las Vegas Fried Ice Cream