You may not be into eating insects – but your ancestors were. Since the dawn of time, humans have been munching on bugs. They’re packed with protein, easy to catch, and they're everywhere. Today, over 2 billion people on the planet practice entomophagy, or eating insects.
In the future, everyone might be crunching on bugs, which are more planet-friendly and sustainable than many other sources of proteins. Be a trendsetter – try these sweet and savory bug dishes at restaurants across the country. Get back in touch with your ancestral food. Bug appetit!
7 Bug Dishes to Try: Dive In!
- Grasshopper Sushi at Sushi Mazi (Portland, OR) – Mazi’s popular grasshopper sushi is a great place to begin eating insects. After all, many sea creatures (crabs, lobsters, urchins) look like they could be cousins to landbound insects. It’s just a short leap from a spider roll to Maki’s grasshopper sushi. The star of the show is deep-fried and tucked onto a bed of rice wrapped in seaweed. Just pop it in your mouth and crunch.
- Red Ants’ Eggs Salad at Playground Bistro (New York City, NY) – Boasting a burst-in-your-mouth spiciness, this fresh salad features lots of flavors going on around the ant eggs. It’s made with roasted uncooked rice, red onion, scallions, cilantro, mint, fish sauce, fresh lime juice, and chili paste. While you’re there, try the fried grasshoppers or fried silkworm larvae as an appetizer.
- Chapulines Tacos at Toloache (New York City, NY) – Chapulines are grasshoppers that are commonly eaten in Mexico’s Oaxaca region. At Toloache’s three taquerias in New York City, the grasshoppers are dried well so that they're nice and crunchy. Tacos are served with onions, cilantro, jalapeno, and salsa verde in warm corn tortillas.
- Sweet & Sour Crickets at Linger (Denver, CO) – Crickets, grasshoppers, and black ant rice all make an appearance in this adventurous meal – along with tofu, Chinese sausage, charred broccoli, long beans, and black sesame. It’s all served with a rich, sweet and sour sauce that brings the dish together.
- Echapulinados Tacos at The Black Ant (New York City, NY) – Dried grasshoppers are crushed into a powder and then coated onto shrimp for these easy-eating tacos, which come served with avocado. Also on the menu: yucca and Manchego cheese grasshopper croquettes with avocado and grasshopper salsa. Wash it all down with a smoky jalapeno margarita rimmed with tangy black ant salt.
- Silkworm Soup at Mok Maru Jong Sul Jip (Los Angeles, CA) – While worm soup may not sound appetizing to Western palates, silkworms are a traditional delicacy in Korea. They can be steamed, snacked on like street food, or submerged in a soup. At K-Town’s busiest sports bar, Mok Maru Jong Sul Jip, they’re served as an off-menu item in a soup with peppers and onions. Crunchy and then creamy – silkworms are for adventurous eaters only.
- Coconut Toffee-Brittle Bugitos at Don Bugito (San Francisco, CA) – Ready for dessert? Stop by this “pre-Hispanic snackeria” to pick up a grab-and-go treat made with mealworms, moths, and crickets. Mealworms may not sound appetizing – but “bugitos” seem friendly and cute. Try the dairy-free, gluten-free Coconut Toffee-Brittle “Bugitos” (aka mealworms) for a toasty-sweet snack reminiscent of caramel popcorn.
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