Los Angeles is well famous for its street food and music festivals throughout the year to eat, drink, and socialize. From the downtown Tequila and Taco music festival to the Long Beach lobster festival, you can always find some sort of food festival event going on during the weekend. If you’re a visitor on a road trip through California, L.A. is a must-place stop to catch your breath and enjoy what the city has to offer. Or if you are a born and bred Angeleno this is an event you may not have heard of and would definitely like to check out.
One of the hidden gems you may not know about when coming to L.A. is the 626-night market. A 3-day street market style event of Asian foods and fusion cuisine, live entertainment, and an abundance of boba. It has become widely popular since its conception and continues to increase in attendance every year.
This is a must go to event for any avid Asian food lover. Going on for a 9th year, this event has nearly become an institution and perfect for all ages of So-Cal locals, foodies and food vendors, and influencers, or just someone looking to spend a fun day and nightlife with friends and family trying something new.
When is the 626 Night Market?
This event was held only 10 times a year between May and October. Recently though in 2022 it has started up again between February to April with a 626 night market mini. This is a smaller, more casual expo event but still with the same appreciation for street foods that everyone will enjoy. So don’t be sad if you’re busy one weekend and have to miss it. You’ll have plenty of chances to go again.
Where is 626 Night Market located?
The night market originally started at the Santa Anita Park. It has become so popular that they have expanded to include locations at the OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa. There has even been a push into Northern California as well, being currently held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. The 626 night market mini which just started in 2022 is being held in Santa Monica. So not only can you enjoy good eats but stop and enjoy the pier and boardwalk as well.
What to expect at the 626 Night Market
The delicious Asian street fusion is what has made its mark at the market. You’ll find Japanese, Thai, Filipino, Chinese, Korean, and Singaporean in a wide variety of food trucks, stalls, and vendors. Plenty of opportunities to have some Instagram worthy foodie pics to show off your tastes.
Some of these include local recommended favorites:
A new easy way to enjoy ramen noodles. They replace the base soup with their signature special sauce. Toss all the ingredients into a container and all you have to do is shake and pop the lid for this on-the-go meal.
So delicious, you wonâ€™t want to put it down.
This delicious pop-up is known for its hand-pulled noodles. Fresh and tasty you can watch them pull and stretch your meal right there on the table.
These guys are taking it to the next level with their variety of dumpling flavors. You can stick to the classic dumpling or try the fried chicken and mac & cheese dumplings that have made these guys a hit in the night market community. Add some bulgogi waffle fries to the mix and thank me later.
You’ll also usually see these food trucks and stalls at every event:
You come for the street-food but there is much more here than that. There is live music stages with multiple performers throughout the day. This can be from traditional Asian music to dance performance groups or individual artists showcasing their talents. Anyone can apply to perform as long as it is family friendly. There is also vendors selling handmade arts-and-crafts, anime figurines, traditional and current clothing and accessories. Some are entrepreneurs just starting their own business and finding this is a good place to market and start building up a customer base. This is usually set in a small corner of the night market.
Bring cash as most vendors will only accept this at their stands. Some will accept a credit card and there are ATMâ€™s if needed.
Come early!!! After 7 pm expect long lines and big crowds. Best to avoid them and have more time to try all the different food options.
Have fun, try something new, and enjoy this L.A. experience. Hopefully they become popular enough to have them open year round.