Foodies Delight at the Vancouver Summer Night Market
We’re big fans of the outdoor markets in Southeast Asia, so when the annual Vancouver Summer Night Market opened its doors in 2008 we put it on our list of things to do in Vancouver. After 3 years of putting it off, we finally made it out to the increasingly popular market last weekend.
Although the open-aired Asian-style market hosts several vendors that sell a variety of inexpensive items, the real draw to the market is its diversity of mouth-watering Asian cuisine.
We arrived at the market just as its doors opened to the public, which turned out to be a wise decision because parking quickly became a nightmare. We brushed past the tacky souvenirs and mobile phone accessories and headed straight for the market’s star attraction – the food!
Dozens of welcoming merchants shouted out their daily offerings as we sized up their enticing menus. Clouds of smoke spit out from the makeshift kitchens as the assortment of freshly prepared meat skewers sizzled on the open grills.
The Potato Hurricane, a unique take on the deep-fried potato.
It’s probably the most popular item at the market
Rice noodles with spicy prawns and vegetables
Takoyaki – pastries stuffed with scallops, squid, octopus and prawns
Takoyaki served with Yakisoba noodles, garnished with a variety of sauces, herbs and shaved dried fish
Assortment of noodles, dim sum and steamed pork buns
Delicious BBQ meat skewers straight off the grill
Hungry crowds sampling the various Asian food offerings
Fresh imported Asian fruit
Stewed mystery meats – I’m told it’s a combo of stomach, lung and other organs
Freshly made steamed pork buns
Delicious sweet and sour pork buns – surprisingly, a favourite taste of the night
Chinese fish balls stewing in a spicy sauce
Steamed dim sum pork dumplings
Steamed pork dim sum dumplings
Fried wrapped tofu
Steamed prawn dim sum dumplings
Stuffed prawn and squid pastry
Malaysian roti with gravy
Variety of Korean marinated chicken, beef and pork skewers
Homemade Japanese pork gyoza
Thai chicken satay with spicy peanut sauce
Grilled octopus and squid
Now that’s a lot of grilled octopus!
Mango, ice cream and chocolate crepe
Deep fried cheesecake and chocolate bars – now is that really necessary?!
Caramel candy apple
The Vancouver Summer Night Market is a great place to spend a few hours on a summer evening. We liked that there is no entrance fee or tickets required, which also makes it a good last minute option for those nights that you’re looking for something to do.
What to expect at the Vancouver Summer Night Market
- The food is delicious and there are plenty of options for all food preferences (Nicole is a vegetarian and she made out just fine!)
- The crowds are never-ending. It’s not that there are excessive line-ups for food, it’s that once customers receive their food they just stand in the middle of the market walkway, making things quite congested. There are few places to sit and eat, so people tend to collect near the food vendors. As long as you go in expecting crowds, it’s actually not a big deal. In fact, we think it adds to the atmosphere
- There are lots of cheap clothing, toys, foreign videos and accessories for popular electronics like the iPhone and 4G Slide Android Phone. And, like the markets in Asia, there are a lot of vendors selling similar items (but barter with caution – you’re not in Bangkok!)
- Bring money. Although most of the food is priced between $3-$7, if you’re like us you will probably want to try several items. One can easily burn through $20 on the meat skewers alone!
- Arrive early or late. The parking situation is quite chaotic. There is free parking right at the Vancouver Summer Night Market, but it fills up quickly. After 7:30PM there is a slim chance of finding parking at the market. Neighbouring businesses offer parking spots for between $3-$5
Hours of Operation
- June – August 2011
Fri-Sat: 7:00pm – 1:00am & Sun: 7:00pm – 12:00am
- September 1-18, 2011
Fri-Sat: 7:00pm – 12:00am & Sun: 7:00pm – 11:00am