The N.C. State Fair

Oct. 17–27, N.C. State Fairgrounds,

1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, $10–13

The State Fair returns on Thursday with a slew of new rides and attractions, but more important (at least for our purposes), deep-fried, indulgent, sometimes-bizarre FAIR FOOD! Try La Farm’s stuffed Cubano baguette with pulled pork, mozzarella cheese, bread-and-butter pickles, sweet ham, and a garlic, cilantro, and lime Cubano sauce; or get the candied bacon s’more, because it’s the fair. There’s also The Chickenator from Chef’s D’Lites, a golden fried chicken breast nestled in a cinnamon bun and topped with pepper jack cheese and crisp bacon, or deep-fried garlic cheese curds courtesy of the Cheese Curd Shack. Hickory Tree BBQ is offering a Crack-n-Cheese stuffed turkey leg, and the Chick-N-Que has a deep-fried emu burrito. Get the red velvet cheese enchilada funnel cake from Mediterranean Grill or a Reese’s Pieces donut (!) dipped in chocolate frosting and topped with chopped peanuts. When all else fails, opt for a deep-fried Oreo. Goddamn, we love the fair. 

Terra Vita Food Festival

Oct. 16–19, locations in Chapel Hill and Carrboro,

In its tenth and final year, the TerraVita Food Festival is a multiday celebration of culinary excellence, bringing together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors, and other industry luminaries from across the Southeast. At multiple locations in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and the surrounding area, the festival boasts some of the best in food and drink in the Triangle. On October 18 at Lavender Oaks farm, Caitlin McCormick, the pastry chef at FIG in Charleston, will be at the tribute dinner for the late Karen Barker. McCormick will offer her version of Barker’s signature Blackout Cake. 

Poole’side Aperitivo 

Fridays at Poole’side Pies, 428 S. McDowell St., Raleigh,, $20

Starting Friday, Ashley Christensen’s Poole’side Pies will offer an Aperitivo hour, a casual after-work cocktail party from 4:00–5:00 p.m. featuring Aperol spritzes, Peroni beers, and a rotating cast of snacks. Aperitivo is an Italian tradition, a way to unwind and socialize at the end of the workday before dinner. As a bonus, you’ll also be first in line to put your name in for a table at Poole’side to enjoy one of Christensen’s Neapolitan-inspired pizzas. The recurring Friday event requires an advance ticket purchase through 

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