food + drink

Strange Foods Festival Debuts in Chicago

Get to know strange foods and this first-ever festival


As kids, we often say we don’t like something when presented with a food we’ve never had — even though we have never actually tried it. Or maybe we say we’re allergic to something, when we’re really not, just to get out of eating it. A little white lie, sure, but who are you really lying to? Yourself. That brings us to a great opportunity for you to try a whole bunch of food you have likely never heard of and it’s fairly certain you have never eaten. Enter the first-ever Strange Foods Festival.

The brainchild of Keng Sisavath, who was born in a refugee camp on the Laos-Thailand border and raised in Green Bay, Wis., the Strange Foods Festival sprouted out of his Instragram feed @StrangeFoodsChicago and he partnered with Jed Swartz, who is behind the @ChicagoFoodEvents feed. Sisavath started taking pictures of cheap, ethnic eats he discovered around Chicago and it caught on.

Now you can get a real-life look into his Instagram feed on Nov. 6 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. when the festival debuts at Moonlight Studios (1446 W. Kinzie). Guests will get to samples bites from all over the world including cuisine of Syria, Laos, Malaysia, Morocco, Thailand and more. More than a dozen restaurants, including Immm Rice & Beyond, Snow Dragon Shavery, Shokran, Jarabe Mexican Street Food and KhaoLaam, will participate. You missed the early bird ticket time, but you can still get the $55 regular admission tickets and explore some strange foods yourself.

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