re­al­ity BITES

Savour - - REALITY BITES - By Cassandra An­der­ton

as the weather warms up in the Lower Main­land, vis­i­tors and res­i­dents of­ten plan their sched­ules around the many out­door mar­kets the area has to of­fer. With ev­ery­thing from the Rich­mond Night Mar­ket to the var­i­ous Van­cou­ver Farm­ers’ Mar­kets, there are food of­fer­ings for a range of culi­nary tastes and in­ter­ests. Here’s a round-up of some the top mar­kets for the 2013 sea­son.

The Rich­mond Night Mar­ket

Af­ter a four-year hiatus the Rich­mond Mar­ket has re­turned, and this time to a new home on the wa­ter­front at 8351 River Road in Rich­mond be­hind the River Rock Casino. Held each Fri­day and Satur­day from 7:00 p.m. un­til 12:00 a.m. and on Sun­day and hol­i­days from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. this mar­ket boasts close to 330 ven­dors, 80 of them food stands. Along with ring toss games, Hello Kitty blan­kets, end­less socks, and cell phone cov­ers there are an over­whelm­ing num­ber of food choices. Do take the Sky­Train out as park­ing is dif­fi­cult. Come hun­gry and in a group so you can for­age and then re­group to share your find­ings. There’s such a va­ri­ety of eth­nic foods at this mar­ket that you can sam­ple ev­ery­thing from tacos to roast port hock. Favourites in­clude the Mogu Ja­panese Street Eats flavour­ful sweet and sour chicken karaage, a mar­i­nated deep fried chicken with house­made sweet chili sauce, the ten­der Fin­ger Ribs bar­be­qued beef ribs, and the crunchy and juicy Orig­i­nal Ok­to­ber­fest Style roasted pork hocks. Wash it all down with a Man­goo mango co­conut slush and fin­ish off with a QQ Egg Puff bub­ble waf­fle. rich­mond­night­mar­ket.com

The In­ter­na­tional Sum­mer Night Mar­ket

En­ter­tain­ment along with the usual knick-knacks and pre­dom­i­nately Asian food are avail­able at the In­ter­na­tional Sum­mer Night Mar­ket which is held a bit deeper into Rich­mond at Vul­can Way just off the Knight Street Bridge. The mar­ket is open on Fri­days and Satur­days from 7:00 p.m. un­til 12:00 a.m. and on Sun­days and hol­i­days from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Stop in and watch a tal­ent show or Bol­ly­wood dance group while munch­ing on a huge Hog Shack Cook House smoked turkey drum­sticks, Xin Jiang Man or It’s All About Grill grilled skew­ers (pork is best), and the Hur­ri­cane Potato Fries, tasty deep fried potato tornados with a choice of sea­son­ing. You will find some good dim sum from Real Restau­rant At West End, but it doesn’t com­pete with the restau­rant qual­ity you can find else­where in Rich­mond. sum­mernight­mar­ket.com

The Van­cou­ver Chi­na­town Night Mar­ket

This 18-year-old mar­ket has re­vamped for 2013 un­der a new creative team and is of­fer­ing more than just trin­kets and food ven­dors. You will find live mu­sic, chil­dren’s theatre, sto­ry­telling, ping pong tour­na­ments and many lo­cal ar­ti­san ven­dors such as The Pie Shoppe for house­made pies, and Espir­itu De­sign Stu­dio ce­ram­ics, along with im­ported dis­count sale stands. Mar­ket hours are Fri­day, Satur­day and Sun­day un­til Septem­ber 8 from 6:00 p.m. un­til 11:00 p.m. just off Main Street at Keefer Street in Van­cou­ver. For those who are hun­gry there are a great va­ri­ety of food stalls full of dim sum, grilled meat skew­ers, BBQ, wheel cakes, mango pud­ding, chur­ros, deep-fried Oreos, takoy­aki (a Ja­panese wheat ball filled with oc­to­pus or fish), as well as fresh pro­duce for sale. This year the mar­ket also fea­tures food trucks such as Roam­ing Dragon, Vij’s Rail­way, Le Ti­gre and Ta­cofino. There will be a dumpling cook off on the week­end of Au­gust 16. van­cou­verchi­na­town­night­mar­ket.com

Van­cou­ver Farm­ers’ Mar­kets

Those is search of lo­cal pro­duce can find top qual­ity prod­ucts from farm­ers, grow­ers, ranch­ers, wild har­vesters and fish­er­men as well as pre­pared sauces, baked goods and ar­ti­san choco­late. Ro­tat­ing food trucks in­clude amaz­ing veg­gie-filled crepes from La Bo­hème Crêperie, Vij’s Rail­way Ex­press with their cas­sava fries and samosas and Pig On The Street with pork-filled wraps and soups. There’s face paint­ing for kids and mu­si­cal per­for­mances. Van­cou­ver Farm­ers’ Mar­kets in­clude the West End and Trout Lake on Satur­days from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Ker­ris­dale Vil­lage on Satur­days from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Kit­si­lano on Sun­days from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Main Street on Wed­nes­days from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. eat­lo­cal.org

Ar­ti­san Farm­ers Mar­kets

Ar­ti­san Farm­ers Mar­kets are held at Am­ble­side in West Van­cou­ver on Sun­days, and at Lons­dale Quay in North Van­cou­ver and City Hall in Burn­aby on Satur­days. The mar­ket man­date is “to sup­ply, di­rect to the con­sumer, top qual­ity lo­cally grown, made and baked prod­ucts, in an in­ter­ac­tive and pleas­ant en­vi­ron­ment”. Pick up some home­made salsa, jam or or­ganic pro­duce and don’t miss the July 20–21 Teddy Bears Pic­nic or the Oc­to­ber 21–22 Scare­crow Con­test. ar­ti­san­mar­kets.ca

Granville Is­land Farm­ers Mar­ket

Ev­ery Thurs­day in the sum­mer months head down to Granville Is­land Pub­lic Mar­ket. Along with the usual 70 eater­ies and pro­duce stands through­out the mar­ket there is a spe­cial lo­cal mar­ket full of pro­duce, food and bev­er­ages at the Granville Is­land Farm­ers Mar­ket. Toma­toes here are fought over, straw­ber­ries are droolworthy and fresh cut flow­ers will fancy up any din­ner ta­ble. granvilleis­land.com

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