Top 5 Reasons to Visit the Summer Night Market in Richmond

Photo credit: Kiwinky on Flickr

It’s that time of year again.  The days are longer, the nights are warmer and, on the outskirts of Richmond, the fish balls are frying.   The city’s night market – modeled after traditional nighttime bazaars in Asia – opened up shop last Friday.  For those who’ve never experienced the madness first hand, Richmond’s market brings together merchants selling everything from samurai swords to knock-off sunglasses, vendors hawking decadent Asian street snacks and thousands of nightly visitors, all in an outdoor setting with a carnival atmosphere.

Running on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights through September, the market strikes just the right balance between kitsch, culture and cheap street food and is definitely worth a visit.  To get you in the mood for those fish balls, here are five reasons to visit the Summer Night Market in Richmond.

1) The food. Eating is probably the top priority for most people at the market.  Working from cramped outdoor booths, cooks turn out an incredible selection of Asian treats, from the ever popular Japanese red-bean pancakes to Korean barbecue and Hong-Kong style dim-sum.  The food is cheap and unfailingly authentic.

2) The haggling. There aren’t many places in Vancouver where you can name your own price, which makes the market unique.  Got your eye on a nice pair of “designer” sunglasses?  Discount Avatar Blu-ray?  Hello Kitty cellphone cover?  Don’t even think about paying full price.  The give and take of bargaining is an intrinsic part of night market culture.  Start the bidding low and enjoy the experience.


Photo credit: Kiwinky on Flickr

 3) The contests. Aside from the food, the main draw for lots of visitors are the quirky contests at the night market.  Saturday features the ever-popular fishball eating contest, as well as a fried chicken eating contest sponsored by Church’s Chicken.  There are also Michael Jackson impersonating competitions and even baby crawling races.  The games are tacky, tawdry, often in questionable taste and irresistible to watch.

4) The takoyaki stand. Japan-ophiles flock to the night market for takoyaki – fried dumplings made with batter, octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger and green onion and topped with a glorious lather of ponzu, mayonnaise and other sauces.  At the night market, the dumplings are turned out assembly-line style by a trio of cooks working at blinding speed in a cramped booth.

Photo credit: Kiwinky on Flickr

5) The karaoke (Bring it back!). There’s something captivating about bad karaoke.  Who doesn’t secretly enjoy watching bathtub crooners butcher beloved classics on stage?  For years, karaoke was a staple of the Richmond night market, where on any given Friday you could catch an ear-splitting rendition of Dancing Queen or Total Eclipse of the Heart.   Sadly, organizers decided to nix the karaoke this year, citing negative feedback from visitors.  I’m not sure who they were talking to.  Bring back the karaoke!

Anybody else a fan of the Summer Night Market in Richmond?  Any favorite snacks?  Contests not to be missed?  Please let us know below.

Remy Scalza

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16 Responses to Top 5 Reasons to Visit the Summer Night Market in Richmond

  1. chai

    When does the Richmond night market start?

  2. sylvia

    I heard that this was moving to New Westminster. Where is it located this year?

    • It is still located behind home depot:
      Head north on No. 5 Rd.
      Pass Vulcan Way
      Turn right at River Road and head east about 0.3km.
      Summer Night Market parking lot on the right

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  4. The Richmond Night Market (technically called the Summer Night Market) opened on Friday, May 21. It operates on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., 12 a.m. or 1 a.m., depending on the date.

    The market is located in Richmond. The exact address is 12631 Vulcan Way, behind the Home Depot on Sweden Way.

    Hope that helps

    • Summer Night Market and Richmond Night Market are two different night markets and are run by different organizations. That is where the confusion has occurred. The Summer Night Market is currently operating behind the home depot (12631 Vulcan Way)
      The Richmond Night Market was going to open in New Westminster, but it is not happening anymore.
      Hope that clears up the confusion! Regardless, the Summer Night Market is going to put on another great season!

  5. Teresa

    Is haggling really expected? I’ve never done it before. Will all the sellers give 10-20% off???? Any tips on how to haggle?

  6. i am a horrible haggler, but i hear that you get better results by haggling closer to closing time, that way the vendors have less to pack up at the end of the night ;)

  7. Hana

    when does the night end?

  8. You forgot about the reptiles.

    They have a display with snakes and lizards. It is awesome! You have to go check it out.

    They may even let you hold one for a good donation.

  9. jean

    what is the address for the summer night market please?

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  11. NoDrivingHateParking

    So…how to get there via transit ??? hmmmm…? helllooo….?
    anyone there….?

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  13. Sandy Hoyle

    I’ll be Visiting the Richmond/Vancouver area this June. I’m flying in from Reno, Nevada and I am so looking forward to visiting the Richmond Night Market. Can’t wait.