What to Expect at Richmond Night Market

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I only had a few short days of drinking wine in the Okanagan and had to return back to Vancouver to fly home to Toronto.

I had planned just to spend the night watching terrible television and ordering room service but while in the airport I discovered that French food blogger Emilie from Griottes blog on another trip in Kelowna was staying at my hotel and was going on a tour of the Richmond Night Market.

Emilie insisted that I come along with her and I don’t like disappointing the French.

Richmond is a suburb of Vancouver and it has a very large Asian population. The community started a night market over a decade ago and grew rapidly with up to 30,000 people visiting each night.

It can get really busy on weekends as tourists also come, it’s one of the popular weekend getaways from Seattle.

There are a bunch of stalls with people selling random superhero and Hello Kitty branded items as well as a kagillion cell phone cases and other blingy electronic covers but I came for one thing.

 

The food

 

There are 88 food vendors (is this a coincidence with 8 being perceived as a luxury number) at the Richmond Night Market and as hungry as I was that is even too much for me so we just asked our guide to show us her favourites.

 

richmond night market

Dim sum was the first stop and such a favourite of mine. It was pretty good but I’ve had better.

Speaking to one of the cooks they told us it is frozen not fresh, maybe that was the problem, I’m not totally up on dim sum etiquette or what makes some better than others.

 

mango smoothie

Emilie was ecstatic to try the mango smoothie, maybe they don’t have mango in France. It was delicious and tasted just as I expected.

 

pork hock

Next up was German-style rotisserie pork hock – you don’t need to ask me twice about trying it!

 

octopus

Our guide then hesitantly asked if we wanted to try the octopus, clearly she didn’t know who she was talking to because I adore it.  This was actually my favourite dish as it was really tender, first they boil it and then they grill it.

 

rotato

Our guide saved the most popular for last – the rotato, a deep-fried potato tossed in potato chip seasoning. It also had the longest line with people waiting up to twenty minutes.

It has reached such popularity there are little cartoons to tell you all the things you can do with the rotato. While this isn’t an Asian dish apparently it is very popular in Korea.

And with that we had to tell our guide we simply could not eat any more food. We rolled home and I passed out in a food coma at the hotel. So tired I didn’t even bother to turn on the television.

 

 

Join the Conversation

  1. Emily in Chile says:

    I’ve never heard of this night market before! I’ve heard that Vancouver has one of the biggest Chinatowns, but no one has thought to mention the all-important street food that comes with that fact before now.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      They actually have more than one night market and there is a bit of controversy over it but I think they are so popular here the city can support more than one.

  2. Kristin Addis says:

    “Emilie insisted that I come along with her and I don’t like disappointing the French.” Hahaha, awesome. I chuckled at that one.

    I absolutely love night markets. The rotato is so good – saw that in Chiang Mai last week as well. I wish we could have night markets like this in Los Angeles – too many food regulations I guess. We do have food trucks, though. A nice alternative, I suppose.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      LA has such a thriving food truck scene it is difficult to be disappointed for you. We have a night market here in Toronto as well for a week or two in the summer in the parking lot of an Asian grocery store and it is so popular it almost makes it unbearable to go because of the crowds.

  3. EarthDrifter says:

    One thing I love about some Asian lands is the night markets. I didn’t know they existed outside of that continent. If I make it to Vancouver I’ll make it a point to get to the Richmond Night Market, ideally after having fasted for most of the day…

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      We also have a smaller version in Toronto. I went this year and it was packed!

  4. What a great market! My mouth started watering when I saw the picture of the rotato – we saw them everywhere in the markets in Thailand and had to have one at least once a week 😀

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Other people mentioned Thailand too, I guess a good thing catches on quickly.

  5. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says:

    Oh wow I would have been in heaven. That 1st shot btw is AMAZING!!!!!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It was tasty too!

  6. Next time try and make it over to Vancouver Island. 🙂

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I never have enough time to see everything I want but I know I’ll be back!

  7. Martine @ Chompchomp says:

    I love food markets – the energy and the passion for each little food stall is often so electric.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      For me it is usually the best kind of food.

  8. Seeing that first photo, I thought you had come to Bangkok! I had that swirly potato when I was in Seoul at the beginning of the year – kind of like a cross between fries and potato chips. Looks like a tasty market!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Here in Richmond 50% of the population identify themselves as Chinese. I don’t think many people outside Canada or the West coast realize how diverse the Canadian population is depending on what city you are in.

  9. 88 vendors make a lot of food choice, amazing. I’ve never heard of this market, it will be one my to-do things when I’m visiting Vancouver the next time!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I had heard of it but I had no idea Richmond was so close to Vancouver I wouldn’t have gone if Emilie hadn’t insisted.

  10. Love it! When I go back to Vancouver, I’ll definitely be checking this out. That rotato looks delish! Love the cartoons.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      The cartoons are amazing!

  11. I love German and Asian food to be honest. The market looks great like one of the Christmas markets in Berlin. I would visit every vendor and taste all of the food as I did in Berlin. What food did you like the most?

  12. Ayngelina Author says:

    It was so hard to pick but I would have to say the octopus.

    I’m actually coming to Berlin this winter. If you have food recommendations I would love to hear them.

  13. I’ve lived in Vancouver for about 12 years and have never been to the Richmond night market. I’ve been missing out, I’ll definitely check it out this summer!

    PS, now I’m craving some Asian food.

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