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.
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Hey Americano! You may know these as Disco Fries. Just know the best late night cheese fry and brown gravy throwdown you’ve ever had can’t hold a candle to a proper Canadian poutine. It’s all about the curds. Double that up with old town Montreal, one of the prettiest of North American city waterfronts, and you’re two goals to a hat trick. (It’s hockey country. Yes, even in the summer) That third goal can be scored in two ways. The best strip clubs north of the Dade County line (not recommended) or a post poutine cocktail crawl up Boulevard St. Laurent to the Plateau. Whatever your evening entails, be certain The Great Montréal PoutineFest will blow your taste buds into a Nova Scotian Noreaster and prime your belly for an evening of mixologist guided, gastro-debouchery. June 29th – July 3rd in Montreal.
The organizers say it best. Donut Fest is a celebration of the love of fried sugary dough with a competition of yeast, batter-y, deep-fried treats. The best restaurants and bakeries in each city submit their best cruller, ring or long-john and compete against each other with only one walking away with the coveted title of “Best Donut.” With that bouncing around your foodie brain jump on some tickets. January 23th @ Verboten in Brooklyn. 11:30 and 2:30 entrance.
We love a good Taste Festival. Next week is Sydney. Some of Australia’s greatest chefs are cooking up some of their most creative and favorite bites for you to snack on while sipping that lil’ something you best have in your other hand. By that we mean BOOZE. This event is jammed with options and, from what we can tell, really well organized. Their list of attractions hits every possible machination from tastings to lounges to learning. Wish we could get down under but hope some of you already are. March 10-13 at Centennial Park.
As newish Queens residents, Bushwick is our Brooklyn backyard and they just kicked a ball over the fence that we need to bring back to those hipster kids. That ball looks like Taste of Bushwick, strutting into its 6th year, bringing such a strong line up that we just pasted the whole food linkage below. Archie’s Bar + Pizza, BKE Kombucha, Brooklyn Cider House, Brooklyn Crafted, Bushwick Food Cooperative, Bushwick Grind, City Bear BK, Dock Asian Eatery, Elisa’s Love Bites, Fine & Raw Chocolate, Glazed & Confused, Guadalupe Inn, GuS Soda, House Of Kava, House of Yes, Interboro Spirits & Ales, Kings County Brewers Collective (KCBC), Le Garage, Pine Box Rock Shop, Precious Metal, Queen of Falafel, Sally Roots, The Sampler, Sazon Nuñez, Sea Wolf, Sey Coffee, Superlost Coffee, Syndicated, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Tony’s Pizzeria & Restaurant, The V-Spot. That list fully covers every food base there is except maybe the Aperol Spritz itch (Mixed reviews. Thumbs down. Thumbs up.) but they have been banned in Bushwick since 2015 anyway. If that’s not enough for one day, the after party rolls on at Pine Box Rock Shop after nine. Slow your roll and hang with the cool kids until way past your Upper East Side bed time. June 10th from 5:30-9pm in Brooklyn at The Brooklyn Cider House.