Summer in the city means night markets, and you can build up an appetite just by checking out all the food stalls. With these lively events now up and running in Surrey, Richmond, and North Vancouver, get ready to dig into everything from dim sum and deluxe hot dogs to samosas and sushi.
Surrey Night Market
(Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights until August 14 at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds [17726 62 Avenue])
First stop: Hillbilly Dawgz. Banjo-slinging Darrell McFarlane serves up numbers like the Canadian Lumberjack Dawg—an all-beef dog double-wrapped in applewood-smoked bacon, then set on a bed of cheese, drizzled with maple syrup, and topped with shredded cheese, fried onions, and applesauce—and Porky’s Dirty Pig Fries, which come with a double layer of beef gravy and Mexican blended cheese. The poutine fries are then topped with applewood-smoked bacon, sweet fried onions, and house-made chipotle sauce.
New to the market this season is Indian street food at Khatta Meetha, which means “sweet and sour” in Hindi. Chef Nidhi Varma will be whipping up dahi bhalla—which are lentil dumplings dunked in creamy whipped yogurt, then topped with spicy and sweet-and-sour chutneys and julienned ginger—and other popular snacks.
Then there’s the tornado potato. Imagine a stretched-out Slinky toy and you have an idea of what one of these looks like. A single spiral-cut spud ends up being 17 inches long. Then it’s deep-fried and topped with your choice of seasonings, from white cheddar to honey wasabi.
You’ll also find Pakistani, Vietnamese, Korean, Italian, and Latin American food, to name just a few of the other cuisines.
(Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until September 11 at 12631 Vulcan Way, Richmond)
Also known as the International Summer Night Market, this extravaganza features Shanghai-style schnitzel, cinnamon Slovakian “chimney” cakes, and fresh watermelon juice, among other treats.
New this year is a lantern-lit food-court style area where you can sit down to enjoy items like barbecued skewers and mango desserts instead of having to gobble them while standing.
Richmond Night Market
(Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays until October 10 at 8351 River Road)
The biggest night market in North America has more than 500 food items on offer from 100 venders, including Chinese barbecue, tuna poke, butter chicken, fish cakes, pan-fried squid, Korean spicy noodles, bubble tea, bubble waffles, and much, much more. Admission is free for children and seniors.
Shipyards Night Market
(Fridays until September 30 at Shipyards Square, North Vancouver)
Taking place on the waterfront steps just east of Lonsdale Quay and the SeaBus terminal (at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue), the market has a beer and cider garden, along with live music.
Then there are at least 35 food trucks and venders, including Varinicey Pakoras. Pronounced “very nicey”, this vender features pakoras stuffed with every kind of vegetable you can think of, from bok choy and kohlrabi to su choi and yam.
You’ll find dishes like organic plantain chips and baked fish cakes at Island Time, while Tubify offers freezies made with whole fruit instead of artificial flavours and dyes.