Young man being served at Cafe Insecta

Come to Café Insecta, where you can get your own taste of entomophagy — the practice of eating bugs! Try bug-filled dishes prepared by local chefs while learning about the health and environmental benefits of this crunchy (and surprisingly delicious) practice. Cafe Insecta has been the center of BugFest since the event started more than 20 years ago, and each year it just keeps getting better. Cafe Insecta opens at 10am, and closes when the food runs out — so come early and vote on your favorite dish!  Remember, Friends of the Museum get to use the Fast Lane, so join today!

Why Eat Bugs??

  • It’s traditional!
    Eating bugs might sound weird, but not eating bugs is even weirder! Whether it’s Mexican agave worms or South African locust porridge, bug-filled dishes have found their way into the culinary palates of up to 80% of countries on earth!map of eatable bugs
  • It’s sustainable!
    Did you know it takes 3,000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef? Compare that to only a tenth of a gallon of water is needed to produce a pound of crickets! Insects also require less food, energy and space than conventional sources of protein like pigs and poultry. Taken together, this means insects are a highly sustainable food source.
    Gallons of water it takes to produce 1 gram of protein from cows, chickens and crickets.
  • It’s healthy!
    When you eat a burger, you’re mostly eating cow muscle. But when people eat insects, they tend to eat the whole animal, which gives them more diverse nutrients. For example, whole insects are high in fiber, whereas steak and eggs have practically no fiber. Insects are also high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.Nutrients per 100g of meat from cows, chickens and crickets.

Participating Restaurants

Every year Café Insecta plays host to adventurous chefs from all over the Triangle who try their hand at crafting a dish using insects. Chefs hand out samples of their dish to up to 3,000 event guests, who then vote on their favorite concoction. This year the winning chef takes home a trophy featuring an amazing 3D-printed model of our theme arthropod: the spider!

Ethio-Indi Alkaline & Vegan Cuisine LLC
Plant-based African & Indian cuisine.
Dish: Krunchy Cricket Mac & Cheese

Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing
Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing in downtown Raleigh offers chef-driven plates and pours — specifically its craft brews made with 100% NC grain. Guests can enjoy bites and beers on Wye Hill’s patio overlooking the Raleigh skyline.
Dish: TBD

SoulBachi Food Truck
SoulBachi is a food truck serving hibachi-style cuisine. Their signature dish is Hibachi Nachos.
Dishes: Buggie Chip Pudding; Bugnana Pudding

Levy’s Jerkstand
Levy’s Jerkstand is an authentic Jamaican cuisine restaurant and food truck. They are located in Selma at the Old North State food hall and throughout the Raleigh/Durham/Knightdale area on wheels.
Dishes: Cheesy Worms “mac & cheese”; Jerk/bbq worms; Curry worms

Lumpy’s Ice Cream
All Natural Homemade Ice Cream
Dish: Buggy Pecan

CocoCrissi Tropical Icees
Serving homemade Italian ice.
Dish: Icee Insects

Mr. Puebla’s Tacos
Mr. Puebla Tacos is an authentic Mexican food truck bringing you a taste of Puebla with a twist. They offer asada, carnitas, Al pastor, as well as brisket and signature chicken. Their menu includes tacos, nachos, quesadillas, burrito bowls, vegged-out rice bowl and brisket poppers.
Dish: Kickin’ Cricket Chicken Salad

Rocky Top Catering/Daily Planet Cafe
We are the Café that is in the Nature Research Center. Winners of Café Insecta in 2018.
Dish: TBD

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