Toloache / Facebook
Insects are one of the most divisive protein sources on Earth. You’ll meet people who have no problem eating a raw cobra heart who still wouldn’t touch a fried grasshopper with a 10-foot pole. But maybe after a visit to one of these 10 restaurants that are making insects taste delicious, they’ll change their minds.
The Black Ant / Facebook
This trendy East Village Mexican restaurant isn’t as insect-centric as its name might imply, but there are plenty of opportunities on the menu to satisfy your bug tooth. Start your evening with a cocktail rimmed with ant salt and an order of black ant guacamole and tlayuda con chapulines (a crunchy tortilla topped with sautéed grasshoppers, cheese, and fresh salsa), and finish with pollo de plaza (black ant guajillo jerk roasted chicken).
Dan Sung Sa / Facebook
This ode to Korean street food is one of the most raucous restaurants in Oakland. It’s most popular for its Korean fried chicken wings, but deep in the menu lurks a slightly more exotic item: chrysalis soup, a spicy broth with about 100 crunchy fried little silkworm pupae. We can’t even begin to imagine what this must taste like.
Grub Kitchen / Facebook
Hailed as “Britain’s first insect restaurant” when it first opened with much fanfare earlier this year, Grub Kitchen features insects in just about every dish, and isn’t for the squeamish. Popular dishes include sweetcorn chowder with basil oil and grasshopper crumb, black ant and olive crusted goat cheese, smoked chipotle cricket and black bean chili, and caramelized apple crumble with a toasted bug and shortbread topping.
Petty Cash LA / Facebook
Chapulines make an appearance as an off-menu item at this popular Los Angeles taqueria in a taco that actually sounds pretty delicious: A handmade corn tortilla is topped with melted Jack cheese, a minty Oaxacan herb called hoja santa, a butterflied Santa Barbara spot prawn, avocado, and whole chapulines.
Yelp / Debbie K
This Roosevelt Avenue restaurant serves Thai food that’s about as authentic as it gets — meaning that they don’t pussyfoot around when it comes to bugs. You’ll find a papaya salad heaping with boiled red jungle ants and their eggs, an appetizer of deep-fried Thai grasshoppers that are up to three inches long, and a plate of pan-fried silkworm larvae on the menu.
Yelp / La Tonya G
At this inconspicuous Northern Thai restaurant in Chicago’s North Center, you’ll find your normal selection of Thai dishes as well as a few more off-the-beaten-path ones that include intestines and pig’s blood, for example. You’ll also find fried bamboo caterpillars and Khai Jiaw Khai Mod, an omelette made with ant eggs!
Yelp / Keri F
Most of the time, when you see a creatively named sushi roll, like Red Spider Roll or Green Dragon Roll, it’s pretty clear that they don’t contain real spiders and dragons. But at the popular Sushi Mazi in Portland, their "real grasshopper sushi" contains just that: rice with a grasshopper on top. "You must have before you die!" the menu implores.
Yelp / Kevin Z
Located in the Santa Monica Airport, the pan-Asian Typhoon has a whole section of its menu devoted to insects. Singapore-style scorpions with shrimp toast; stir-fried Taiwanese crickets with garlic, chile pepper, and Asian basil; stir-fried silk worm pupae with assorted dipping sauces; and Manchurian Chambai ants on a hill of string potatoes are all for sale. Paging Andrew Zimmern!