The Night Market is one of the first Cleveland events I ever heard about... from a friend in Los Angeles. "Cleveland is getting cool!" he told me, "It even runs an authentic Asian night market!" Why did my LA-based friend know more about the 216 than I did? Man, I don't know, but I was a month away from moving here, & hearing that something cool in the CLE sounded cool to someone in LA gave me some reassurance.
The Night Market is only in its second summer, but its already become one of the city's favorite events, & certainly one of its most unusual. The event description says of itself, "Think farmer's market meets flea market meets food festival meets concert," which pretty much sums it up. It's a street fair in old Asiatown, with rows & rows & rows of little booths, some hocking wares & others selling hot food.
There's plenty going on at Night Market, but far & away, the best part is all that food. Local Asian restaurants, the ones that never come to food truck festivals or other street fairs, bring their A-game to Night Market, selling their most popular menu items & all kinds of culturally specific goodies you never, ever see at other events. Curried fish balls? Grilled squid on a stick? Inari boats? Korean poutine? Egg waffle sundaes? Yeah, Night Market's got all that.
While you chow down, enjoy parades & performances & weird hobo bands performing on the street corner... & possibly a Tom Hanks sighting?! Apparently Forrest Gump himself visited the Night Market last weekend, though that was a celebrity appearance that went completely unnoticed by my friends & me, probably because the whole place was jam-packed with people & dogs & did I mention all the food?
Wait, wait, let me just show you some of it.
|Pork fried rice from Boo Long|
|Amazing pork buns from Li Wah|
|Crab rangoon & fried veggie balls from Wok & Roll food truck|
|Dragon parade passing by!|
|EGG WAFFLE SUNDAE! With scoops of taro & mango lassi ice cream|
|This weird band that seems like... grown-up Boxcar Children?|
|Full & happy!|
I didn't even get many photos because my phone was so close to its deathbed, which means you can mentally multiply the joy & deliciousness of these photos by, like, five, & that's how much I loved the Night Market. It takes place on the final Friday of the month, June through September. See you at the next one!