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5 of the Wildest Foods at the World Food & Music Festival in 2023

WFMF Wild Foods

August 11, 2023

Have you ever tried a Halo-halo dessert or heard of a sushi burrito?

At the World Food & Music Festival, the opportunity to try new foods from cultures around the world and right here in the U.S. is too good to miss. Some of these interesting menu items are sure to surprise your palate so take on the adventure of trying something bold and exciting by heading to the event Friday, Aug. 25 – Sunday, Aug. 27 in Western Gateway Park. The full list of vendors can be found on the World Food & Music Festival website.

Wildest Foods at the Festival

1. Birria Grilled Cheese from Ninas Tacos

A Mexican grilled cheese is slow-cooked beef with enchilada sauce or other spice sauce smothered in gooey cheeses. Ninas Tacos will have the item at Booth 15 on Grand Avenue.

2. Fried Chicken & Mac and Cheese Egg Roll from Crazy Onez

At Booth 7 on Grand Avenue is the Crazy Onez booth, new in 2023. Their Fried Chicken & Mac and Cheese Egg Roll sounds like the perfect combo of ingredients to mix into an egg roll.

3. Halo-Halo from Filipino Store

If you’re looking for an end-of-summer dessert at the Festival, try the Halo-halo, which features all sorts of textures — think beans, ice cream, fruit, jellies — that make up a unique option you’re sure to remember.

4. Sushi Burrito from Pho Wheels & Sushi

At Booth 17 on 13th Street, Pho Wheels & Sushi offers up a fusion menu item with the Sushi Burrito. This booth is also new in 2023, so don’t miss out on seeing everything they have to offer, including sushi classes around the region — try sushi at the booth and then learn how to make it when you sign up for a spot in their upcoming September class (check their Facebook page for updates).

5. Sweet Corn Honey Cake Pop from Kimmy Cakes

A shop located in Indianola, Kimmy Cakes offers all kinds of cupcake and cake pop flavors. They’re new to the Festival this year, too, and are serving up a Sweet Corn Honey Cake Pop that you can try at Booth 61 on 12th Street.

You can learn more about these vendors and the rest of the lineup by visiting the World Food & Music Festival website and plan your adventures. The Festival’s hours are 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. There are still spots to sign up to volunteer. Assist with set-up or cleanup, sell at the Soda Tent or help sell Festival merchandise.

Western Gateway in Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is home to the World Food & Music Festival, where diverse cuisine, live music, cooking demonstrations and other performances offer a place to experience culture every September.

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a burgeoning city with a brilliant future. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.

Amelia Klatt

Amelia Klatt is the Director of Events for the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Her background working with nonprofit organizations has led to skills as a relationship builder and events professional. Klatt received her MPA from Drake University in 2019.