More Than 40 Food Vendors Will Feed Your Face at iFest

Categories: Edible Events

Photo by Allison McPhail
Try something new this weekend at iFest.
I love iFest so much, I typically go on both weekends of the festival each year. This time around, I'll be missing the second weekend of the International Festival in favor of appearing in a bright blue bridesmaid's dress at a mansion in Las Vegas (HOLLA), but you lucky people will still be able to experience the flavors of Argentina this coming weekend. And that's not all.

This year, iFest has brought in more than 40 different food vendors -- not all of them in keeping with the spotlighted country, Argentina. Sure, you can get delicious empanadas from Lucia's Especialidades Argentina or The Original Marini's Empanada House this year at iFest. But you can also get everything from roasted corn to jerk chicken. After all, it wouldn't be the International Festival without a little world cuisine.

Here's a partial list of who to look for this coming weekend, with our suggestions in bold:

Photo by Allison McPhail
Stop by Mi Pueblito for a Colombian snack.

  • Agape Kitchen

  • Berripop

  • B's Roasted Corn

  • Café du Qvondeyz Express

  • Caribbean Cuisine

  • Churrascos: One word: chimichurri. Churrascos just makes the best around, and you'll stink all day long but it will be worth it.

  • Cool Runnings Jamaican Grill: Always one of the most popular booths each year, Cool Runnings has a prime spot by City Hall and long lines that actually move pretty fast. Look for traditional rice and peas, jerk chicken and roti.

  • Cravin It

  • Cupcakes & More

  • Daniel's European Cuisine

  • Enrique's Place Latin Grill

  • EZ BBQ

  • Fork in the Road

  • Fuddruckers

  • Govinda's Higher Taste: The only vegan food stand at iFest each year, Higher Taste provides excellent Indian vegan food from Houston's Hare Krishna Dham temple.

  • Grandma's Old Tyme Frozen Custard

  • Great American Cookie Company

  • Jamaica House

  • Kim Son Restaurant

  • Lucia's Especialidades Argentina: Lucia's makes a variety of Argentinean favorites right downtown, at the nearby Kitchen Incubator. At iFest this year, Lucia's is offering a huge spread to sample, including empanadas, Argentinean pizza, choripan (sausage sandwiches), hamburguesas gauchas, asado and alfajores.

  • Mario's

  • Mi Pueblito: Branch out and try some other South American food while you're here. Namely, the terrific Colombian food at Mi Pueblito.

  • Mint & Basil

  • The Original Marini's Empanada House: Empanadas. Empanadas. Empanadas. There isn't a filling under the Texan sun that Marini's hasn't stuffed inside its flaky empanadas, but the humitas is still my favorite.

  • Papa John's Pizza

  • Paradise

  • Sang Sang Foods

  • Silver Platter

  • Tango & Malbec: This might be one of the few times you'll find high-class steakhouse T&M at a street festival. Enjoy it while you can, because although the food here is a little more expensive than typical fair food, it's less than you'd pay at the restaurant.

  • Taste & Tell

  • Trentino Gelato: If it keeps getting warmer, you're going to want to head straight to Marcelo Kreindel's booth next weekend for a gelato fix. Eat it on a busy downtown street as crowds stream past and it's almost like being in Buenos Aires.

  • Vivian's Kitchen

  • Volcano Splash

Photo by Allison McPhail
Samosas from Higher Taste are always a good -- and inexpensive -- bet at iFest.
Remember: Although tickets are $15, you'll have to purchase separate food and beverage coupons once you're in the door at iFest. It may seem like a pain at first, but you'll appreciate not having to fumble around for change or wait for debit cards once you get to order your food.

Coupons are sold in sheets of nine for $10, and you can also purchase single coupons for $1.50 each. You can purchase the coupons with cash or credit/debit cards, which is good as the ATMs on site are deadly-expensive.

And remember: iFest lets you bring your own bottled water, so do it. The water for sale on site is also deadly-expensive, and you don't want to waste your coupons on something you could've brought from home for free.

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Location Info


2055 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Original Marini's Empanada House

3522 S. Mason, Katy, TX

Category: Restaurant

Mi Pueblito

9425 Richmond, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Original Marini's Empanada House

10001 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Tango & Malbec

2800 Sage, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Phoenicia has a YUMMY booth in the Village Green and will be selling $2 baklava, $5 nuts, and their family favorite olive oils and spices. You can also get a chance to spin their prize wheel with a $10 purchase. Cash only.


The good ain't that fuckin expensive considering it's a festival. Shit I had a Churrascos number 4 combo that had 2 bacon wrapped chicken breasts with 2 cuts of beef, white rice and beans for 12 tickets. 

Stop bitchin. 


You can not bring water!


And don't forget that this will be your last meal for a week...because the prices are so outrageously high you won't be able to afford the grocery store for awhile.


Peggy is right, it's very clear in the list of rules on the website.  No bottled water allowed.  Wtf, Katharine?


1) Don't go the the iFest hungry.  Buy a tasty snack or two, after reviewing your choices. (This article is a good beginning.)

2) I consider the iFest a bargain--considering the breadth of talent to be seen & the multicultural experience to be had; the crowd is just as diverse as the talent!  However, perhaps that entry fee is too much for those whose grocery budget is so strained....


A "bargain"?  I don't mind the $15 entrance fee for the music, but they can keep the over-priced, sub-par food. ($4 for an ear of corn?  I must be paying for the pesticide marinade and Genetic Modifications ConAgra made to it....).  They can take a cue from The Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana...still free admittance, and great Cajun cooking.

Greg Williams
Greg Williams

 So.... I'm guessing you've never been to a concert, sporting event, or carnival. They all over price food and drink. duh.

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