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'Strange Foods' Fest Will Showcase Unique, Family-Owned Chicago Restaurants

By Rachel Cromidas in Food on Oct 14, 2016 7:28PM

2016_eggsmain.jpg via Strange Foods Chicago Instagram

The photographer behind an Instagram that documents the most strange and unusual food dishes in Chicago is partnering with 15 local restaurants to create the city's first-ever "Strange Foods Fest."

The Strange Foods Chicago fest runs from 1 to 4 p.m. at Moonlight Studios at 1446 W. Kinzie St. on Nov. 6. According to creator Keng Sisavath, the point is to show-off the cuisines of people from around the world who have made a home in Chicago.

"Chicago has a wealth of traditional restaurants from all over the world, which you'll hardly ever see at the food and wine festivals in our city," he said in a press release. "Even neighborhood festivals rarely showcase the true flavors of those neighborhoods."

And he promises there will be a "huge pho pot display"!

Tickets are $45 ($40 early bird tickets are sold out) and include unlimited tastings as well as beer and wine.

Some proceeds from the event will be donated to Feed My Starving Children, a Schaumburg-based charity. Here are more details from the press release, including which restaurants are participating:

Though the name is Strange Foods Chicago Festival, it’s not just about eating weird things—these are the traditional foods that families prepare and eat in these cultures. At the same time, they aren’t going to be tamed for western palates. “It's one place where the restaurants won't have to be afraid to serve really strong flavors, because the guests, they know what they're coming for."

Participating restaurants will include:

Immm Rice and Beyond (Northen Thailand)
Bites Asian Tapas (Asian Fusion)
Saigon Bistro crawfish (Vietnam)
Serai (Malaysia)
Tanuki (Japan)
JSmile 51 (China)
Snow Dragon (Taiwan)
Jarabe Mexican Street Food
El Carrito Mexican Street Food
HoneyDoe (Syria)
Shokran (Morocco)
Aha Crepes(China)
Somethin’ Sweet Doughnuts (Cambodia)
Infinite Us (juice bar) (Laos)
Mac Dynamite
Owl's Brew