Every summer, millions of people make their way to enjoy the Richmond Night Market. This world-famous international night market is the largest in North America and is well known for the delicious international food and fun carnival entertainment. It’s a great way to spend a summer evening with your friends, family, or even a date!
Creative & Tasty Food at the Richmond Night Market
Last weekend, David and I made our annual trip to Richmond, B.C. to check out the Night Market. While the entertainment is fun, we mainly go there for the delicious food …obviously 😛 We love that there are so many food vendors that get super creative and think outside the box, and that it’s not just regular carnival or festival food that is available. We always discover something new every year and also enjoy the tried-and-true Richmond Night Market classics!
Read on below to see what we ate at this year’s Richmond Night Market, along with some useful tips, and our must-trys for 2019!
Crazy Zhang- The King of BBQ
From the moment you arrive at the Richmond Night Market, you will immediately smell the mouth-watering BBQs grilling up some delicious food. There are numerous BBQ vendors at the Richmond Night Market, but our favourite is from Crazy Zhang. They offer a selection of traditional BBQ meats including beef, chicken, pork and lamb, and also offered chicken heart this year.
We opted for a selection of beef, lamb and pork skewers, and they were as delicious as they smelled! The skewers were seasoned with a traditional Chinese spice mix that includes cumin and chili flakes (similar to the spice blend I use in my Cumin Lamb Skewers recipe). When combined with the delicious char from the grill, the meat tastes amazing!
Cost: 5 for $14 or 10 for $26, with the ability to mix and match
Follow them on Instagram: @crazyzhangbbq
This year was the first time I saw Nori Express at the Richmond Night Market, and I hope to see them again in future years! They serve “Nori Tacos”, where the nori (seaweed) is formed into a taco shell and fried and then filled with rice, vegetables and raw fish. I had never seen anything like this before (other than sushi burritos) but tacos make so much more sense!
They offered six different tacos this year: Spicy Salmon, Tuna, California, Dragon, Crunchy Basa, and Go Ham. We opted to try a Spicy Salmon Nori Taco, which tasted just like a spicy salmon sushi roll. It was filled with rice, crunchy cucumber, and the spicy salmon. It totally blew our minds and we definitely regret not going back and trying the others!
Cost: $7 per taco
Follow them on Instagram: @expressnori
Speaking of delicious fusion food, we were incredibly impressed with the creativity at Okonomi Bites. They were serving up a Japanese-Canadian food fusion, with Japanese classics like Okonomiaki, Tonkotsu Pork Cutlet, Agedashi Tofu, and Cheese Tonkatsu, but they were served atop the good old Canadian classic: poutine! Such a genius idea!
We decided to try the Cheese Tonkotsu Poutine, since that was one of the most popular food items at the Night Market this year. The cheese was stuffed inside of a deep-fried pork cutlet and melted perfectly over the french fries. Also, instead of traditional gravy, customers have a choice between Japanese Curry sauce or a classic Okonomi sauce. We chose the Okonomi sauce to go with the Cheese Tonkotsu and it really added a nice sweet and savoury flavour to the poutine!
Cost: $10-$13 per poutine
Follow them on Instagram: @okonomibites
Right next door to Okonomi Bites was a tried-and-true Richmond Night Market classic, Teppan Bossam. Teppan Bossam serves up mouthwatering Korean pork belly. If you have never had pork belly, this is a great way to eat it since it is juicy, tender and smokey from being grilled on the flat top.
We always get the classic Spicy Pork Belly whenever we go, since the gochujang sauce that they add on top of the pork belly is our absolute favourite! It’s not too spicy and it balances well with the cool cabbage salad and kimchi that comes with it!
Cost: $8 for the regular size (10-12 slices), $12 for large size (14-15 pieces).
Follow them on Instagram: @teppanbossam
We took a break from the savoury foods to have a bit of refreshing fruit…wrapped in mochi! If you have never had mochi before, it’s a Japanese dessert made from glutinous rice flour, cornstarch, water and sugar. It’s chewy, sticky, and soft and it makes the perfect small sweet snack! They also come in tons of flavours and can be stuffed with just about anything- fruit, red bean, ice cream, you name it!
The mochi from Asomi Mochi came stuffed with a whole strawberry and a layer of sweet red bean paste. We chose to try the “Original” mochi so that we could really taste the flavour of the mochi, red bean and strawberry, although there were several flavours available including purple yam, chocolate, cheesecake, matcha and double strawberry! It was so refreshing, chewy and sweet, and the strawberry was perfectly ripe. It was just what we needed to continue eating at the market!
Cost: 1 for $5 or 2 for $9 (red bean mochi), 1 for $6 or 2 for $10 (cheesecake mochi)
Follow them on Instagram: @asomi.mochi.
This food vendor is selling exactly what they are advertising: fish sticks! But these are not like the fish sticks that you get in the frozen packages at the grocery store. These fish sticks are a play on the classic Asian fish balls or Taiwanese fish cakes that are threaded onto skewers, battered and deep fried. Sounds amazing right?
The fish cakes have a very subtle fish flavour, but have a great fluffiness and chewiness to them, and goes great with the crunchy batter once it’s fried. I also love the creaminess of the different sauce toppings that you can get on it as well such as wasabi mayo, chipotle mayo, tzatziki, garlic seasoning, or teri-mayo (our choice).
Cost: 1 for $6 or 2 for $11
Grill and Chill
The Grill and Chill booth is strategically located in the centre of the Richmond Night Market so that the yummy smell of BBQ wafts throughout the entire market. Smart planning! This year, the Grill and Chill booth was grilling a bunch of seafood including fish, lobster tails, prawns, and Dungeness crabs! Since I rarely eat crab, I had to try some BBQ crab once I saw it on the grill! I opted for the half Dungeness crab that came with a lemon wedge and pot of butter.
The classics were all that I needed! The crab was sweet, meaty and succulent, and tasted amazing dipped in butter and with a squeeze of lemon. Since eating a crab can be very messy, they also give you a bib and gloves so that you don’t mess up your outfit!
Cost: $15 for half a crab; general market price for seafood
To finish off the evening on a sweet note, we went to Mango Yummy. This has been a Richmond Night Market favourite forever since everyone loves mango!
Mango Yummy offers a variety of mango-based desserts including Mango Shaved Ice (our choice this year), Mango & Mochi Shaved Ice, Mango and Jelly, Mango Tapioca, Strawberry & Mango Shaved Ice, and Mixed Fruit Shaved Ice. Most, if not all, these desserts come topped with ice cream or whipped cream too!
The Mango Shaved Ice is one of the more popular items at Mango Yummy. Freshly diced mango is placed on top of a pile of shaved ice, topped with mango sauce (pureed mango), ice cream, and even more mango sauce. It’s sweet, cold and perfectly refreshing on a hot summer evening…although I could eat this any time of year!
Cost: $7 to $8.50 per dessert
Follow them on Instagram: @mangoyummy
Richmond Night Market Tips
Cash Only, Admission & Location
- The Richmond Night Market is open Friday and Saturday from 7pm to 12am, and Sunday from 7pm to 11pm
- The market is CASH ONLY, so make sure to bring some! If you forget, there are a few ATMs on the market premises to withdraw money if you need. For the two of us, we spent ~$80 and were full when we left
- There is an admission fee of $4.75 for adults. Children (under 8 years) and seniors (60+) can get in for free
- There is typically a long line up to get in, but it moves relatively quickly (30 to 45 mins). If you get impatient, you can purchase a “Zoom Pass” for $28 that is good for admission for 6 people. You can buy the pass if you plan on coming back multiple times, if you are in a group of 6 friends or family members, or you can do what we did and made friends in line and split the cost
- You can get to the Richmond Night Market by car, but it is much faster (and environmentally-friendly) to take the SkyTrain. Take the Canada Line to Bridgeport station and walk over!
What to Wear & General Tips
- Wear comfortable walking shoes. You will be walking and standing for most of the time, but there are some picnic areas that are set up throughout the market. The Richmond Night Market is also set up in a field that has gravel and as such, things can get a bit dusty, so older shoes (or shoes that you don’t want to ruin) are best
- Wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting stained. Eating at the Richmond Night Market comes with its own risks of food spills and splatters. Wear something that you don’t mind getting dirty or that hides a stain well if something does spill. Loose clothing is great too since it will keep you cool and will allow for food baby expansion 😛
- Long lines tell it all! Typically, if a vendor has a long line, the food is amazing or is a crowd favourite so consider checking it out! Always wait in line and be patient for your food!
- Check Instagram to plan what to eat! Follow the Richmond Night Market on Instagram and search their hashtag to see the most popular foods at the market!
- Be prepared to smell the Stinky Tofu! Stinky tofu is essentially fermented tofu, and has a very pungent smell. Many people relate the smell to rotting garbage or really bad cheese, so if you don’t like the smell, re-locate to another area in the market. I’ve never eaten stinky tofu before, but many people enjoy it! Don’t let the smell stop you from taking a bite 🙂
The Must Try’s of 2019
Out of all the delicious food we ate this year, Nori Express, Okonomi Bites, and Asomi Mochi are our top picks! These foods were extremely creative and were made from the heart and they are winners in our books!
Until next year, Richmond Night Market!