The Chinatown Night Market has changed a lot since I was a kid. With the emergence of the other Night Markets in town, the quality of the Chinatown Night Market isn’t as good as it used to be. Despite that, it still attracts thousands of people every weekend to enjoy the festivities. It’s the closest night market to the Downtown core, so it makes sense. If you’re in the area, take a short stroller here and then enjoy the sunset at False Creek near Science World.
The Vancouver Chinatown Night Market is open from May 17th till September 8th, 2013 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The market spans from Main Street to Columbia Street on Keefer street. The block is closed off so people can walk freely on the streets.
There are a few stalls that sell toys, jewellery , clothing, and a lot of random stuff.
I honestly never come here to buy things. It’s all about the food for me. But when it was about 10 years ago, I would come here to buy pokemon cards. Nowadays, there’s nothing very spectacular from the vendors.
There’s a stall that sells a lot of skewers. It’s one of those staple items that you must have at a night market.
Bubble Gallo Tea House
There’s bubble tea too. Perfect for the hot summer weather.
Dim Sum Express
The food area is quite popular and the most congested part of the street. There’s even Dim Sum Express, they have a food truck near Waterfront station too.
One thing that was a must for MedicalGiraffe and I were the potato tornadoes. You might know them as hurricane potatoes…. depending on where you’ve been. It’s $3.75 each and you can choose your seasoning. They also sell popcorn chicken for $4.50.
This was a popular stall, so the food did take about 10 minutes.
The way that they cut the potatoes is with a drill. Very strange but I guess it gets the job done. Then they deep fry it for the crunchy goodness. The last step is sprinkling on the spices.
We got our ketchup flavoured potato tornado and it sure looked pretty. The taste was ok, but it was very very oily.
Takoyaki was another item on our mind. It was very very busy at this stall, so it took about 20 minutes to get our order.
They had a lot of people waiting for them, but it took me a long time to figure out something was off about this stall.
All the balls looked ready and perfect to eat, but they took a long time to cook. After watching them for a while, we realized they were frozen store bought takoyaki heated up in these pans.
She wasn’t poking to see if the batter in the centre was cooked, she was seeing if it was not frozen on the centre.
6 pieces for $4.50.
We did feel a bit ripped off since we now know we could probably go to T&T and get a gab of frozen takoyaki for that price.
It tasted passable, but sucks that it wasn’t prepared the way it should be.
There was also bubble waffles too. 1 for $3.75 or 2 for $6.50.
Near the other side of the Night Market seemed a little more Gastown-like with artist, local produce, plants, and jams on sale. There were also 3 Food Trucks there too – JJ’s Trucketeria, Holy Perogy and Ze Bite.
JJ Trucketeria is a Filipino themed Food Truck. I’ve always wanted to go for a visit but they are usually on Fraser and 43rd. Way too far for me to get to during lunch.
During the night market, they had salads, garlic fried rice plate, panwiches and their market bowls. Their prices are pretty good for a food truck. We really wanted to try their meaty items but we held back and decided to try the market bowl.
Market Bowl ($5) has brown rice, carrots, leeks, caramelized onions, yams, black beans, chick peas with their signature JJ sauce. It is completely vegan, so good for those people with dietary restrictions.
MedicalGiraffe and I didn’t particularly like this item since it was mostly the brown rice mixture with a bit of sauce.
Ze Bite was there selling their amazing French food.
Nice Pops were selling some gourmet popsicles with 4 flavours:
- Rhubarb and Cardamom
- Cucumber, lime and Chili
- Strawberry and balsamic Vinegar
- Strawberry and buttermilk
The prices are $4 each or 3 for $10.
Cucumber, lime and Chili starts off with the refreshing cucumber and lime flavours but them the spicy chili taste kicks in. MedicalGiraffe’s mouth was literally on fire. She can handle her spice, but this was definitely spicy.
Rhubarb and cardamom was very refreshing. Highly recommended.
On the day that we went, there was outdoor karaoke. Surprisingly a lot of people were fearless and stepped up on the mic. There was a variety of songs sang by people of various ethnicities.
The Chinatown Night Market is not as impressive as the Richmond Night market, so don’t go out of your way to come here. If you are in the area after dinner Downtown, you can just take a stroll over here after dinner.