An Ode to the Festival of Nations


Cevapi -- and so much more -- is waiting for you at the Festival of Nations. - IAN FROEB
  • Ian Froeb
  • Cevapi -- and so much more -- is waiting for you at the Festival of Nations.

Several years ago, not long after I moved to St. Louis and before I had this gig, I attended the International Institute of St. Louis' Festival of Nations for the first time. The summer of '04, I think. I don't remember much from this year in particular -- my memories of each festival have begun to blur together -- but one experience does remain vivid.

By this point, I knew that St. Louis had a large Bosnian community, but I had yet to try one of the Bosnian restaurants. Curious, but with no knowledge of the cuisine, I stopped at one of the Bosnian booths.

(This booth might have been run by the restaurant Grbic -- again, though, my memories are fuzzy.)

I didn't know what to order, but everyone else was getting ćevapi -- plump little sausages on a massive bread roll -- so I did, too. It was a revelation. Not just the ćevapi itself, which would be one of my 100 Favorite St. Louis dishes, but the knowledge that St. Louis could be full of stuff like this, dishes that I'd never heard of, let alone tried.

If you've never tried the Festival of Nations, you should. Stop by for lunch before LouFest -- or make a day (or two) of it. I know life in St. Louis would be a lot less fulfilling if I'd never gone.

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Riverfront Times has been keeping St. Louis informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources. A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Riverfront Times. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.