So once a year my younger sister, joe and I have tulip time fried food fest. Rather than have a bit here and there we commit an entire night to hitting up the best food stands at the tulip time festival in Holland, Michigan. This year my sister brought her boyfriend because she felt he could handle the hours of stuffing our faces with fried food. The ticket is to go with a group so you split everything four ways. This gives you a chance to taste and sample everything while maintaining optimum stomach capacity (and usually not throwing up)
I thought it would be fun to share with my local friends the best food stands we revisit each year and some new favorites. There are about a gagillion elephant ears, hot dog stands etc so it’s important to know where the best ones are hiding.
We are going to start on the east end of 8th street and walk towards the civic center then cut over to centennial park ending back at the east side of 8th street near macatawa bank.
Hot dog/ polish sausage/ Italian sausage – the best one hands down is the stand on the east side near the old macatawa bank (right across from the new one) the stand is almost all white and advertises homemade buns. I could just order buns with cheese and onions. i waiver between the polish sausage and hot dog but always get onions, peppers and cheese on top. Joe also mentioned it’s one of the best corn dogs he’s ever had. (they also make their own batter)
Elephant ear – buyer beware there are many stands that sell the frozen pre made elephant ear. There is stand called georges “nibble on our ear” that is the best stand. They are made fresh and offer an array of toppings.
Fried misc – There is a stand still along the east side that says original recipe funnel cakes Pennsylvania dutch. They offer deep fried oreos, milky ways, reeses, 3 musketeers and pretty much any other kind of candy you could toss in a fryer. Last night we went with milky way and then a deep fried ball of mozzarella which sounds like it could be just mozzarella sticks but the batter is totally different.
Smoked meat/pulled pork – There are two blue star meat stands, either one is amazing. There is one in the east side near the hot dog stand or there is one down by the carnival area by the civic center. There are a handful of other stands but blue star is the best.
Gyro – while you are down by the civic center there is a stand offering philly cheesesteak and gyros. This guy has been coming to tulip time for over 30 years and is one of the better gyros I’ve had. It’s not too garlicky and it’s delicious.
Cinnamon Roll – this is a new category. This stand is all by itself on the corner of 9th street by centennial park. This stand is called grandma ruths. It is probably one of the best cinnamon roll’s I’ve ever had and my second favorite thing I ate last night. (hot dog being #1).
Caramel Apple – on your way back to your car (if you parked on the east side) there is a caramel apple stand with cotton candy next to georges. They are the only one to offer “apple chips” which is just a sliced caramel apple BUT they top it with more caramel topping. It’s worth a stop on your way out.
If you haven’t been to the tulip time festival you should go. The people watching is amazing, the weather is usually great and there is great food to be had everywhere.