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Which Richmond Night Market is optimal for food (of course)?

http://www.insidevancouver.ca/2012/05...

This is a decent overview but I'm wondering if any Hounds have made it to both this year for a personal comparison. Any help/insight would be most appreciated.

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  1. I had three aborted plans to go to the new one (RNM) :-(

    My folks went on Sunday, said the food was meh. But they say that about a lot of places, LOL.

    Dunno if anyone saw this recent article:

    http://www.theprovince.com/news/Compe...

      1. Only been to the "new" one (Bridgeport station) this year. Large selection of food. The usuals and some new stuff too ($8 wood fire pizza, pork hocks). My impression is that there is more selection in the new one than the old one had (but i haven't been to the old one this year). I had BBQ squid (few to choose from, I prefer the place that has whole squid rather than just tentacles), a few different BBQ beef/lamb skewers, a papaya milk, a wood fire pizza, and was going to get a pork hock but ran out of steam.

        12 Replies
        1. re: jcolvin

          Now I'm leaning toward the new one as I will be using transit. Anyone else with feedback on either/both?

          1. re: grayelf

            (Sorry if it's TL;DR!)

            Been to both the "old" (by Home Depot) and "new" (by Bridgeport station) night markets. My allegiance lies with the old one, simply because you get better value for your money. Got a small plate of bbq squid (mmmm tentacles), a bag of taiwanese-style chicken nuggets, two bags of egg waffles (they had a 2 for $4 promotion which was a steal) and one rotato + thai iced tea before calling it quits (!)

            Old night market
            http://www.summernightmarket.com/main...

            PROS:
            - no entrance fee! Save that $1.50 and use it towards a rotato or order of bbq squid ;
            )- from Bridgeport station, there's a (free) shuttle that leaves every 20 mins. going to the old night market.
            - Food's cheaper, and there's a fair assortment of goodies. And not one, but THREE rotato stands (so shorter lines). Plus a very efficient egg waffle stall.

            CONS:
            - parking costs $6 (or $5 I couldn't remember). Me and a lady friend got there around 7:30 pm and the parking lot was near full.
            - If you don't do the free shuttle, you can take the 407/430 (but have to walk a fair distance)

            "New" Night Market
            http://www.richmondnightmarket.com/

            PROS:
            - ridiculously convenient for those taking transit!
            - Parking's free! Aside from the parking lot right beside the night market, there's a smaller lot closer to Bridgeport station (you'll walk past it on the way to the NM).
            - Greater variety of food stalls: this night market's bigger than the old one, so there's more space for food vendors. And as LR mentioned, the "old-school Chinese night market" wood fired pizza. :)

            )

            CONS:
            - traffic is a PITA: left the night market around 10pm and the bottleneck around the parking lot area was INSANE.
            - The $1.50 entrance fee: this really bothers me because you're paying to get in...only to get food that's pricier than at the old NM.
            - I found myself paying "food truck" prices for some of the food ($6-10), as opposed to the lower price range ($3-7) at the other NM.
            - Not a big deal, but I noticed there was a lot more corporate sponsorship "booths" littered around the new NM than the old one. Less shopping to be done.

            Personally I don't mind going the extra step and riding the free shuttle to the old night market. The crowds were so much bigger at the new one and I found myself shoulder-to-shoulder with people more than I'd want to.

            Just my $0.02

              1. re: Sam Salmon

                Ok I'll be the village idiot here ....... what's a rotato ??

                1. re: LotusRapper

                  It's that twirly potato on a stick jobby that you keep seeing in photos of the night market!

                  And I'm on the fence about whether a tourist *should* take one of four dining chances on a night market. I've bought some fun stuff at the "old" night market, and enjoyed the average food there but it is super crowded and not that cheap. I'd say it might be worth it if the visitor was able to do an early supper somewhere in Richmond and just have later night snacks... plus buy some silly swag ;-).

                    1. re: grayelf

                      That could be a potential plan... I'm having trouble narrowing it down anyway! :-)

                      1. re: grayelf

                        Is there a good izakaya in Richmond? That is the one thing I haven't been able to fit in yet. Is the Guu good there?

                        1. re: Katie Nell

                          There is a Guu but it isn't like any of the other ones. Not worth the effort IMO.

                          There are a handful of izakaya there actually. I think the best one might be Nan Chuu which is run by Gyoza King.

                  1. re: TheCulinaryCircus

                    I was at the "new" one tonight. The food selection is definitely more interesting. Overall, it felt a lot more organized than the "old" one. It also felt more spacious.

                2. re: jcolvin

                  Wood fired pizza ...... very old-school Chinese night market ! [wink]

                  1. re: LotusRapper

                    Maybe that Chinese wood-fired pizza stall is a covert operation backed by Trader Vic's:

                    (scroll down dinner menu's Entrees section):
                    http://tradervicspdx.com/Food/

                3. So... if you were going to be vacationing in Vancouver for 4 nights, would you spend a precious evening at one of the markets, or is it not really worth it? Is it too touristy? I was kind of thinking it was a no-brainer, but after reading some of the comments on the article and here, I'm not too sure!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Katie Nell

                    It's definitely not too touristy. But generally most of the food at the night markets is nothing especially spectacular. I find it enjoyable due to the large variety of food available and being able to see your food prepared before you. If you have nothing like this where you live it would probably be fun. Most people from out of town that I take to the night market enjoy it as well.

                    1. re: barcosbarcos

                      Well for me, I've bought 3 cell phone holsters (~ $5 each) from the old night market from at least 2 years ago and all three are still fully intact and serving me well, better than any of the more expensive crap I've bought at my local FIDO outlets :-D

                      1. re: LotusRapper

                        just bought a new cell phone , anyone know if market near river rock has cell phone skins etc.... ?

                      2. re: barcosbarcos

                        Not touristy at all. They are both open fairly late so you can have a light early dinner downtown then head over to try the food stalls.

                      3. re: Katie Nell

                        It's a great place for a tourist to visit. A unique experience you can't really find outside of Asia. It's mostly locals rather than tourists and worth going as a dinner destination. Hit 4 or 5 stalls and you're full. I'd recommend the new one; there's just more of it.

                      4. Hey grayelf (& co)

                        We're talking about taking a trip up to Vancouver/Richmond from Portland over the Halloween weekend.

                        Are both of these night markets strictly summer events, or do they run all year long?

                        Also, as you may know we're from Los Angeles (and Taiwan). We're well-versed in the many ways of regional Chinese cookery as represented by LA's massive San Gabriel Valley. However, I understand the cooking in Richmond to be superior to what we have in LA, and I'd be very interested to try some dishes that are 1) cooked better than their equivalent in LA and/or 2) are not represented well in LA (we have no Hakkanese food to speak of in LA, for example-- any my wife is Hakkanese)

                        Thanks all for your input.

                        Mr Taster

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Mr Taster

                          Night markets are summer only. I've never been to LA to eat Chinese so have no benchmarks for you, Mr T. I think we have some pretty decent Shanghainese restos here though, if you want to take a flyer on one of those. I think Kalvin's has some Hakka dishes (LR mentioned that on a recent thread) but I've no idea if they are good renditions or not.

                          1. re: Mr Taster

                            Hey Mr. Taster,

                            I saw your post and felt like responding to some of your questions.

                            First of all, yes both summer night markets in Richmond only run in the summer and into early Fall. The bigger (and better) of the two, Richmond Night Market, just closed last week: http://www.richmondnightmarket.com/in...

                            While the other one, International Summer Night Market, only opened until mid-Sept: http://www.summernightmarket.com/abou...

                            Re: Hakka restos ..... I'm no expert on the cuisine and there seems to be very few here in Metro Vancouver. I believe this one is still open in Richmond:

                            1) Hakkasan Bistro
                            http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/14/763359...

                            http://www.hakkasan.ca/

                            2) IPOH Bean Sprout Chicken (Crystal Mall food court, located just west of "Metropolis at Metrotown Shopping Mall" in Burnaby, the suburb directly east of Vancouver proper:
                            http://chowtimes.wordpress.com/2014/0...

                            I know there are others but I recommend you contact these two food bloggers for their expertise on Hakka cuisine.

                            1) http://dontcallmeafoodblogger.com/

                            And in this thread (replies) he made a specific reference to comparing xiao long bao's between Vancouver, SoCal (San Gabriel Valley) and other parts of the world and he's originally from Taiwan:

                            http://dontcallmeafoodblogger.com/201...

                            2) http://chowtimes.wordpress.com/

                            Ben & Suanne are from Malaysia and who are very knowledgeable on Chinese regional, Chinese diasporic and SE Asian cuisines.

                            I myself am originally from Taiwan also, but spent my formative years here and my first-hand experience of Asian cuisine in Asia is limited at best, other than a trip back to Taiwan in 2013.

                            Good luck and have a fun and rewarding trip here in Vancouver next week !

                            1. re: LotusRapper

                              This is great information. The more I read about Vancouver, the more excited I get.

                              Unfortunately, it appears we won't be visiting this weekend, but I'm sure we will before my wife's residency is completed in June 2015. I'll be bookmarking this for future reference, and will let you know once I've had a chance to explore your suggestions.

                              Thanks to both you and grayelf for chiming in.

                              Mr Taster