How to Run an Illegal Restaurant

In 2008, when the economy went to shit, my wife and I decided to quit our jobs in the advertising and film industries to run an illegal Asian restaurant out of our small Los Angeles apartment.
Nguyen Tran

These Bakeries Illegally Serve Stoners, Drunks, and Cops

In a city where weed and prostitution are legal, bakeries have become the primary meeting grounds for some of the most illicit activities in Amsterdam.
Stefanie Staelens

Chinese Police Go After 'Pangolin Princess' Who Proudly Eats Endangered Species

This month, the images received new attention and a probe from the State Forestry Administration following the discovery that certain Chinese officials had allegedly been served pangolin at a banquet in 2015.
Gigen Mammoser
Street Food

How This Elotero Is Dealing With Gentrification

A street corn vendor in Highland Park is now accepting debit and credit cards through the Square app, something that was previously unheard of for LA’s street vendors.
Javier Cabral

Drinking Alcohol Is Always an Open Secret in Egypt

Egypt has been brewing beer for 3,000 years, but the highly religious country still has an under-the-table relationship with alcohol. Even some members of the Muslim Brotherhood buy booze on the down-low.
Lorena Rios

China Bans Sale of Endangered Animals as Food

The Chinese government banned the production and sale of food made from state-protected wild animals last week, promising to update the list of what’s protected every five years as populations in the wild recover or take a dive.
Wyatt Marshall

The MUNCHIES Guide to Drinking in Public This Summer

You're outside, it's hot, you're doing something fun, and you want to get sloshed without getting arrested. Here's how.
Munchies Staff

Avoiding the Cops and Running a Speakeasy in San Francisco Bay

I crawled up hills and dodged authorities to visit the Signal Room, an old wooden tower perched atop San Francisco's Yerba Buena Island that's been temporarily transformed into a speakeasy and clubhouse.
Lauren Sloss

My Night at Tunisia's Wine Club

Despite all the teetotaling stereotypes associated with Muslim countries, alcohol consumption is as common as couscous in Tunisia. I spent an evening at the Tunisian Wine Club, where the crowd is just as interesting as the wine itself.
Sarah Souli
The Law

Why Potluck Dinners Are Still Illegal in Arizona

In the great state of Arizona, throwing a potluck dinner can land you on the wrong side of the law.
Alex Swerdloff

I Accidentally Ate the World's Most Illegally Trafficked Animal

If you’re in the market for a truly awful meal sprinkled with guilt and served with a side of sizzling bad karma, as I unfortunately experienced, then pangolin meat is for you. See you in hell.
Anna Hirtenstein
best of 2015

The Weirdest Food Crimes of 2015

A multimillion-dollar "magic cheese" scam, father-son chicken-wing-embezzling, and ma po tofu so spicy a lady called the cops all made the list in 2015.
Munchies Staff