For weeks I have been strategizing on ways to get there! So I pitched the idea to friends and fellow-foodies. Sadly, it didn’t seem to appeal to any of them. One by one I heard all the reasons and excuses of why they cannot or will not join me on this adventure.
But I couldn’t give it up! The whole concept was so tempting to me! Each Saturday evening, all summer long, behind the Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Carona Park, folks gather for a chance to experience the many wonderful world cuisines one can find in the large expanse of the culinary treasure trove called Queens (the ultimate melting pot of world cultures)!
So, I did what a die-hard foodie needs to do. I saw an opportunity and I grabbed it! I told my son, a June baby, its his birthday present! Queens Night Market, here we come! Oh! And a very happy birthday my dear son! 😉
Night markets are hugely popular in many Asian countries. Long after the stresses of the day have been overcome and the hot days have eased into cool nights… locals come out with friends and family to leisurely enjoy their food and culture. Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea, China and Malaysia are some of the countries well known for their night markets. You may have seen excerpts of such enticing scenes in Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown series! When I watched them, I was practically drooling! Ah! The tantalizing smells, sounds and tastes of such an experience. I can only imagine how magical it all must be.
Queens Night Market is inspired by the night markets in Asia! It is literally residents and neighbors showcasing their native cuisines. The entry to the market is free and the food is reasonably priced to encourage all folks to come out with families and friends and partake in this celebration of cultures. I found everything to be pretty well organized. The venue was a short walk from the 111th station on the 7 train. Should you prefer to drive, some parking is available in the Hall of Science parking lot. To make sure you get parking, I suggest you get there early. The crowds multiply as the evening progresses. We got there 5 minutes before the market opened, which was a brilliant idea because the lines were not long, crowds were not out of control and there was plenty of unclaimed picnic tables to grab. There is section offering beer and wine, so be sure to carry your ID to get in. There is also a variety of live entertainment each week as well as games/activities for kids. The whole thing felt like a giant block party! 🙂
I loved the cultural diversity of vendors and visitors alike. Check out the list of all the vendors you will find here. From Burmese palata to Peruvian ceviche to Chinese egg wraps to Korean barbeque to yummy arepas, we tried many bites that were totally new to us, and enjoyed some bites that brought back lovely memories of our past travels. The market will be held every Saturday (weather permitting) from now through August 22nd and then from September 30th through October 28th, 6PM – 12 AM!