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The Best Places in NYC to Eat Insects

Tlayudas con chapulines at Black Ant | © Krista / Flickr
Tlayudas con chapulines at Black Ant | © Krista / Flickr
Diners are finally catching on to the fact that bugs are not only high in protein and nutrients, they’re also surprisingly delicious. Williamsburg just hosted its first edible insects festival. Bugs, a documentary on eating insects, is playing at the Film Forum. There’s never been a better time to bug out, culinarily speaking. Here are our favorite places in town to indulge an insect craving.

The Black Ant

Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
Black Ant
Black Ant | Courtesy of The Black Ant, credit: Paul Wagtouicz

The name of this East Village Mexican restaurant would seem to give it all away. And, to be sure, you’ll find black ant salt sprinkled onto your guacamole or rimming your smoky jalapeno margarita. But chapulines (grasshoppers) also make an appearance here: as the batter for your shrimp tacos, resting atop your croquettes, or as an appetizer in a small bowl.

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Playground

Restaurant, Thai, Asian, $$$

Be warned: the spice levels in this Thai restaurant are probably scarier than the insect offerings. The restaurant’s famed red ant egg salad isn’t always available—it depends whether they can get the ant eggs from Thailand—but if not, you can always go for the fried grasshoppers or silkworms.

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Tacuba

Restaurant, Mexican, $$$

The chapulin tacos at Tacuba (and also at the various branches of Toloache, chef Julian Medina’s other Mexican restaurants—Tacuba just happens to be our personal go-to) are one of our very favorite snacks. The grasshoppers are shipped up from Oaxaca, Mexico, and are crunchy and popcorn-like. We’d happily eat them all by themselves … but won’t complain that they’re served on soft, fragrant tortillas and joined by onions and pickled jalapenos, guacamole, and salsa verde.

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