Flamin’ Hot Cheetos soft pretzels, tacos and lots of fried fare.

The strawberry funnel cake at the San Mateo County Fair. (Photos by Julia Brown)

The San Mateo County Fair has returned, bringing carnival rides and games, Alaskan pig races and concerts back to San Mateo through Sunday, June 12. Along with the traditional slate of activities, the fried fair foods people come to expect — plus some more unusual options — are part of the draw. Here’s what we ate on a visit to the fair: 

Fried avocado taco: The prospect of trying a fried avocado taco was too much to resist at Noel’s, the Mexican food stand serving up tacos, nachos and more at the fair this year. The creamy fried avocado taco is topped with cilantro, sliced onion and tomato and crema. 

Chicken teriyaki bowl with passion fruit, orange and guava (POG) juice: The passion fruit, orange and guava (POG) juice at the Hawaiian Teriyaki stand is a tropical-inspired thirst-quencher, sold alongside stir-fried noodles and bento and teriyaki rice bowls. 

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos soft pretzel with nacho cheese: There’s no graceful way to eat this pretzel, coated in nacho cheese with a crust of powdered Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. But it perfectly encapsulates the messy and slightly strange nature of fair food. More conventional cinnamon sugar, Parmesan and pizza soft pretzels are also available. 

Corn dog and curly fries: Enjoy the enormous block of curly fries sold at the fair in a group, if you can manage to pry them all apart. 

Strawberry funnel cake: Fanny’s Fabulous Funnel Cakes feature standard topping options, including chocolate, apples and whipped cream, plus a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra charge. The crispy, airy strawberry funnel cake comes topped with powdered sugar, strawberries and whipped cream. The stand also sells deep-fried Oreos and Twinkies. 

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Sometimes our work is a collaborative effort, hence the "staff" byline. The best of what to eat, see and do on the SF Peninsula.

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