One of the most anticipated activities of the summer is the Richmond Night Market. Nothing beats the sizzling smoke of BBQ being fanned into the crowd or the wafts of stinky tofu as you make your way through the rows of food, stationary and games.

This year, the theme is still dinosaurs but with a twist: Canada’s 150th birthday.  You can learn more about Canadian and Richmond history at the City of Richmond display.

The Richmond Night Market expands every year with new vendors who serve up interesting eats that are sure to draw a crowd. 2017 is no different: there are many new stalls. Among them are local favourites such as Chef James BBQ Skewers and Po Wah Dim Sum, one of the original food stalls from 1999! But there are smaller stalls that are a must visit this year. Here are five new stands that stood out from the rest.

Tabetai Tacos

Photo Credit: Dee de los Santos (Gastrofork)

Sticking to a simple menu, Tabetai Tacos offers three different experiences: Pork Belly, Beef Tongue and Soft Shell Crab tacos. The Soft Shell Crab taco ($8) is topped with a heaping amount of guacamole, spicy miso mayo, teriyaki glaze, masago and nori. The breading on the soft shell crab is crisp and the crab itself is slightly briny but enjoyable. The toppings compliment the crab’s flavour, giving it weight and a salty-sweet finish.

Teppan Bossam

Photo Credit: Dee de los Santos (Gastrofork)

It’s simply impossible to walk by a stall that serves pork belly without salivating. While there are many ways to enjoy pork belly, it seems that Bossam is seeing a spike in popularity in recent months. The pork belly in this dish is boiled in a broth with spices. The belly is then grilled to crisp the outer edges and then served with different sauces – the one pictured above was the garlic sauce ($7.50). It’s also served with a side of freshly chopped jalapenos and kimchi. The pork belly is cooked throughout and it’s not too salty as the sauce is where the majority of the flavour comes from.

Chicking Korean Fried Chicken

Photo Credit: Dee de los Santos (Gastrofork)

Another great stall serves up 5 types of Korean fried chicken: k-yangneom (spicy Korean sauce), topping cheese falls (fried chicken with shredded mozza), honey soy garlic, topping vege deep (topped with deep-fried vegetables) and k-crazy hot. The K-yangneom, which translates to fried chicken with spicy sauce in Korean is one of their most popular items and the one pictured here ($6). The chicken is freshly fried and then heated again with the flavour of your choosing. The amount of fried chicken you get in one single serving is perfect for sharing!

Sippy Tea

Photo Credit: Dee de los Santos (Gastrofork)

Coffee tea mix in a bag? Many people were walking around the night market with these and I just had to investigate. While the mix of tea and coffee has been around for some time, serving it in a pouch is different! They have 7 flavours to choose from including Chocolate Lavender, Chai Coconut, Thai Coconut and London Fog. The London Fog flavour ($6) is mild and not too overpowering. The coffee tea mix is not overly sweet either, so it makes for a perfect thirst quencher.

Perfect Pull

Photo Credit: Dee de los Santos (Gastrofork)

This stall serves up five different types of grilled cheese sandwiches with a cheese crown on top. Each sandwich is made to order and served with a dill pickle and chips. The Notorious P.I.G. ($8, pictured here) is made with Southern-style pulled pork, smoked Gouda and dill dip on the side. There’s a good balance between the pulled pork and Gouda. The pulled pork is still pretty tender and seasoned well. The dill dip puts this all together by cutting the heavy notes with a nice, cool aftertaste.

After you’ve eaten your way through the food stalls, don’t forget to check out the new rides and games on the southern side of the market including Bumper Cars, a Dino ATV Adventure ride and the virtual Dino Hunter game.

The Richmond Night Market is open weekends (Friday-Sunday) and holiday evenings from May 12 to October 9, 2017. Gates open at 7pm. Be warned, the entrance lines can get pretty long, but if you’re with a couple of friends or are planning to come back, a Zoom Pass gets you into the market fairly quickly. The Zoom Pass is good for 7 visits (or 7 people) at $25.

You can find the Richmond Night Market at the corner of Number 3 Road and River Road. Parking is free, but fills up quick – especially in the hotter summer months. It’s easily accessible by transit – take the Canada Line to Bridgeport and walk 5 minutes towards the site.

Make sure to bring cash as the majority of stalls are cash-only. There are 2-3 ATMs on site.

For more information on the Richmond Night Market, visit the website here: http://richmondnightmarket.com/