Ah, the allure of the Richmond Night Market! It isn’t just an evening attraction—it’s a vibrant celebration of Asian culture.
From street food’s tantalizing aromas to traditional performances’ rhythmic beats, you’ll find a slice of Asia in every corner.
So, let’s dive into the vibrant atmosphere of the largest night market in North America and discover why the Richmond Night Market draws over one million visitors per year.
The Richmond Night Market
The Richmond Night Market is not merely a market; it’s a cultural extravaganza. As twilight descends upon Vancouver, this market lights up, showcasing the best of Asian food, crafts, and traditions. But why Richmond?
Well, it’s quite simple. According to recent figures, around 74% of this vibrant Vancouver suburb is of Asian descent. This makes it the most Asian city in North America. So, is it any wonder that the district would be home to the largest night market outside of Asia?
Since its inception in 2000, it has grown exponentially, offering visitors a taste of Asian street food and a shopping experience that rivals the great markets of Asia.
Over the years, it has become a beacon for food lovers and shopaholics of all backgrounds. So, let’s take a deeper dive to see what all the hype is about. And why it is one of the top things to do in Richmond.
Richmond Night Market Location
If you’re looking for an Asian-style Vancouver Night Market in Chinatown, you’re out of luck. But we’ve got something better! Nestled in the suburb of Richmond, the Richmond Night Market is adjacent to the River Rock Casino. Luckily, it’s well served by Vancouver public transport, as the market is just three stops from the Vancouver Airport (YVR) on the Skytrain.
So, the Canada Line is your best bet if you’re relying on public transportation. It’s a mere 25-minute journey from the heart of Vancouver. And the market is conveniently located just a block from Bridgeport Station.
What if you’re driving? There is free parking available, but it’s somewhat limited. You can park in the Bridgeport Station Park & Ride, across the street from River Rock, for $3. Just avoid the western tower, as it is reserved for casino patrons.
Nonetheless, I’d recommend arriving early, taking public transit, or even parking at Landsdowne Mall and taking the train. Otherwise, be prepared for a bustling parking scene – but hey, that’s part of the adventure!
Now, let’s get to the good part.
Culinary Delights: A Gastronomic Journey
Asian night markets are synonymous with food; the Richmond edition is no exception. You’ll find a mouthwatering selection of over 110 booths and food trucks serving over 600 sweet and savoury delights!
Culinary treasures from every corner of Asia are represented. And recently, items such as Birria Tacos, Smash Burgers, and Turkish Kebabs have been added to the mix. So there is bound to be something for even the pickiest of palettes.
For most, the food is the main attraction. So, here’s a quick list of my favourites to help whet your appetite.
Big Way Hot Pot (F87/88)
This popular local hot pot chain with a handful of locations is now available at the Richmond Night Market. You’ll find dozens of different ingredients ready to be tossed onto a skewer and dunked into a cup of flavourful broth. Sweet, sour, spicy, the choice is entirely up to you!
Squid Feast (F51)
This family-run booth is known for its Taiwanese-style deep-fried squid. But you can also have it chopped up for the convenience factor. Either way, you’ll have access to five out-of-this-world sauces to kick this kraken calamari up another level.
Golden Scoop Ice Cream Tempura (F2)
Looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth? How does deep-fried ice cream sound? Golden Scoop serves a unique ice cream tempura that involves rolling a scoop of chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry in a tempura batter and covered in your choice of toppings. The contrast of flavours, textures, and temperatures is mindblowing. And don’t worry, you can be back in the gym in the morning!
Taco Nori (F97)
Can’t decide between sushi and tacos? Then why not have both? Taco Nori offers various popular sushi roll fillings such as spicy tuna, dynamite, salmon, and my favourite, chopped scalloped served in a deep-fried seaweed “taco.” Trust me, it’s as good as it sounds!
Momo’s The Himalayan Dumplings (F69)
Have you ever tried Tibetan food? Well, here’s your chance! Momos are a popular steamed dumpling typically served with a garlic hot sauce called achar. Here, you can opt for beef or pork and have them deep-fried or steamed.
Boba Time (F45)
Let’s be honest: all that sodium, spice, and sugar is bound to make you thirsty. But with so many options, where should you go? To me, this refreshing Taiwanese drink consisting of milk tea mixed with fruit, juices, and flavouring and poured over small tapioca pearls called boba is just the ticket. And Boba Time is my favourite spot to punch it!
Night Market Food Alternatives
The choices above are just what I happened to choose over the course of my visits in 2023. But there are too many options to count. And in order to try them all, you’d have to go every night!
Half the fun is wandering the market in a succulent search for your next snack. So, below, I’ve provided a list of some of the other options you’ll have to pick from:
- Rotato – Korean-style spiral-cut deep-fried potatoes.
- Aloha Boys – known for their unique flying cup instant noodles.
- Vietnam Fusion-Y – delectable Vietnamese banh-mi sandwiches.
- Daikichi Takoyaki – offers a choice of 10 different giant takoyaki balls.
- Dim Sum Express – popular for their chow mein and dim sum combo plates.
- Ice Monster – a choice between 5 different refreshing flavours of shaved ice.
- Bao Buns – famous for deep-fried mantou, a Chinese deep-fried steamed bun topped with ice cream.
- Mochido – offers unique Japanese mochi donuts.
- Mars Fried Oreos – a variety of deep-fried cookies, candy bars, and cakes.
Entertainment and Activities
Sure, the markets’ vast array of culinary delights is the main draw. But beyond the food, the Richmond Night Market is also a hub of entertainment for the whole family.
Here’s a quick overview:
- Carnival/Midway Games: Perfect for families and kids, this area has a Wonderland theme, a 60-ft bouncy castle, and games that allow your little ones to test their skills and win some prizes.
- Live Performances: From music to dance, there’s always something happening on the entertainment stage. Typically, you’ll encounter Asian-themed music and dance performances.
- Shopping: Looking for quirky trinkets or unique gifts? The market has over 200 vendor stalls that cover everything from clothing, belts, wallets and sunglasses to cell phone accessories and other assorted souvenirs.
Richmond Night Market Hours
In 2023, the market was open from April 28th to October 9th. In 2024, you can expect much the same.
Richmond Night Market hours are as follows:
- Friday: 7 pm to 12 am
- Saturday: 6 pm to 12 am
- Sunday and Holiday Mondays: 7 pm to 11 pm
Pro-tip for families and first-time visitors: Aim to arrive by 6:30 p.m. Sure you’ll be early, but you can beat the rush and truly soak in the ambiance.
Richmond Night Market Tickets
The cost of admission is as follows:
- General Admission (8-59) – $8.00
- Children (0-7) – Free
- Seniors (60+) – Free
- Zoom Pass – $35.00
*Zoom Passes are good for up to 5 admissions. You’ll also be granted VIP access, allowing you to skip the line.
Richmond Night Market Visitor Tips
First-time visitors, take note! Here are some insider tips to enhance your Night Market experience:
- Use Public Transit: Parking at the Night Market is somewhat limited, and getting in and out can be a chore. The Canada Line’s nearby Bridgeport Station is only a block away and offers service from downtown in 25 minutes.
- Go Cash-Heavy: Many stalls are cash-only, so it’s best to be prepared and avoid ATM lines.
- Zoom Pass: If you’re short on time or patience, the Zoom Pass lets you skip the long queues. The pass is good for five visits, making it a good option for locals.
- Stay Hungry: With so much to taste, make sure you arrive with an appetite!
- Group Visits: Travelling with family or friends? Set a meeting point in case you get separated from the crowd.
Richmond BC Night Market FAQs
Ready to savour Asia’s tastes, smells, and sounds at the Richmond Night Market?
The Richmond Night Market is more than a market—it’s a symphony of flavours, aromas, and music that encapsulates the essence of Asia.
As you depart, the lingering taste of authentic dishes and the echoes of cultural performances remind you of the rich tapestry of experiences on offer at North America’s largest night market.
So, what’s the hold-up? Head down to the Richmond Night Market now to enjoy Vancouver’s gateway to Asia’s rich culinary and cultural treasures.
Don’t forget your appetite,