Noodle Fest to Crown Grand Rapids’ Noodle Champion


Pho 616 Grand Rapids to offer its pho ga at Noodle Fest on February 26th

Fat. Thin. Flat. Rice. Wheat. Egg. Buckwheat. On February 26th at high noon, competitors will choose their weapon and fight to the…joy of noodle lovers in Grand Rapids. Ten professional noodle makers and skilled amateurs will compete at the first-ever Noodle Fest. The Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Foundation (GRAPF) is raising money to support and help raise awareness for Asian American and Pacific Islander businesses in the area.

It’s part of downtown’s ongoing World of Winter Festival, which hosts exhibitions and events from early January through early March. Noodle Fest organizer Mai Thao expects a sizeable crowd of people will be ready to get their noodle on.

“The Noodle Fest will showcase local competitors bringing their best Asian noodle dishes and we challenge visitors to try them all out!” Thao said.

Visitors will purchase tokens that can be used at each competitor. Each dish will cost five tokens (five bucks). Visitors will also vote for their favorite booths by dropping a token into a collection box at each booth. That money will go directly to GRAPF. The vendor with the most money in their box at the end of the competition wins.

Pho 616 Grand Rapids will be among the contestants, offering visitors their beloved pho ga. Thao hopes people ingest more than just noodles.

“Our goal is to create events that celebrate the many cultures of Asia and bring people together to cultivate belonging,” Thao said.

Just to be clear—we’re talking noodles, not pasta. Noodles come in a variety of forms. They’re shaped and processed based on how they’re being used. Many regions of Asia cultivate their own practices for developing noodles—which include regional ingredients. In Grand Rapids, chefs are getting creative with combinations, though classic styles are still quite popular.

Visitors will have to pass a temperature check to get in.

Learn more about Noodle Fest here. You can also follow GRNow on Facebook and Twitter for more about what’s happening NOW in Grand Rapids.