Don’t let the name fool you — the Phuket Vegetarian Festival may be the most hardcore festival we’ve ever heard of. While veggie-friendly eats do play a role in this firecracker-friendly affair on Thailand’s largest island, this nine-day religious festival is really known for its ceremonies that include acts of self-mutilation and face and body piercing with knives, stakes, and household items by entranced mediums — called mah song — who parade through the city in outfits of white. While these and other rituals like firewalking, bladed ladder climbing, and bathing in hot oil may make you cringe, they demonstrate a belief that the gods will heal any wounds and are part of a larger goal of purification that includes abstinence from sex, alcohol, and meat. But don’t worry — like any good festival, this one doesn’t forget the food, and je, special vegetarian dishes marked by red and yellow signs, is one festival tradition that’s easy to stomach. Although you may encounter a bleeding mah song or two as you chow down, that will be the only surprise — apparently je tastes just like the meat-based classics. October 1-9 in Phuket, Thailand.
More Experience Events
If we say the words “East River State Park” and “food” in one sentence, any foodie worth his or her salt (heh) will immediately think of Smorgasburg, the outdoor food bonanza that has been drawing hordes of hungry food lovers to the Brooklyn waterfront since 2011. But for one Sunday this September, those words will take on new meaning — Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint is taking over Smorgasburg’s regular Saturday digs to show off the culinary chops of the area with a full roster of exclusively North Brooklyn eats. It’ll feature longtime faves like Meatball Shop, Pies ‘n’ Thighs, and Brooklyn Brewery along with some neighborhood newbies that you may not have heard of. But don’t worry, in case you have any doubts about local authenticity, of the 50+ vendors who will be showing their stuff, we’ve counted nine whose names include the word (you guessed it) “Brooklyn.” That’s some pretty legit stuff. September 18 at 1pm in Brooklyn.
For the fourth year in a row their will be more capscium concentrated in North Brooklyn than any where else on earth. With names like Naga Morich, Madame Jeanette, Dorset Naga, Bhut Jolokia and Moruga Scorpion, you might think it’s a South American ex-con reunion. The NYC Hot Sauce Expo burns their home into Greenpoint for two days this weekend with representation from India to Africa to Trinidad with sauces highlighting the hottest of the hot. With events like the Torch Bearers Gacumole Eating Contest and Defcon Sauces Chicken Wing Eating Competition, there is something for everyone. Even if you’re not a hot sauce enthusiast you can come down and watch people compete to burn their face and insides to win a pepper topped trophy. April 23rd and 24th from 10am-6pm in Brooklyn.
When it comes to my own personal #omgdessertgoals (don’t worry, I didn’t know about that hashtag either), I’m all about the scene from Home Alone 2 with Kevin McCallister kicking it at the Plaza Hotel in a big bed surrounded by an insane spread of sweet treats and his own personal human ice cream scooper/butler gamely serving him not one, not two, but THREE scoops of ice cream. The scene is enough to make any dessert lover swoon, but let’s face it: we all don’t have access to Mr. McCallister’s credit card. And to be honest, our preferences for the sweet stuff tend to be, shall we say, a little more advanced than those of a 10-year-old from 1992. But luckily for us, Dessert Goals – NYC Dessert Fest is here to make our wildest 2016 dessert dreams come true, recommended hashtags included. The very first event of its kind, it includes a dessert photo garden, a photo booth, unlimited Intelligentsia coffee, and — oh yeah — some of the best of the best confections from NYC’s five boroughs, including sustainable ice cream sandwiches, Twinkie-inspired “cakies,” and bittles, otherwise known as cake bites infused with some of our fave breakfast cereals. Wait, what were we saying about our sophisticated adult palates…? Yeah, let’s table that convo until after the fest. October 23 in Brooklyn.
You’ve heard the names Joey Chesnut and Kobayashi for years. Their world series is pounding down hot dogs in the bottom of the BK on July 4th for Nathan’s 2016 Hot Dog Eating Contest. You should go watch it. It looks something like the above just live and in crazy motion. I promise you’ve never seen people eat food this fast. I’d suggest getting yourself a dog prior to the madness because after you see how they dip and slurp those poor wieners you might be of mind to skip the Nathan’s famous. Good news is, there is plenty more to do down in Coney Island pre and post eat off. Make a day. Hang old school Brooklyn style. 12 noon on July 4th in Brooklyn.