Locals and visitors are marking their calendars as one of B.C.’s favourite outdoor happenings gears up for its much-anticipated 2022 opening. The hugely popular Richmond Night Market–complete with vendors, live performances and a belt-busting menu of delicious food stands–launches on April 29 and runs every weekend until October 10.

But if you’ve never visited the market before or you’re considering a taste-tripping return this year, what do you need to know? Read on for our exclusive 2022 insider’s guide–and start planning your trip to this year’s must-do Lower Mainland event.

Evening at the Richmond Night Market. Photo credit: Richmond Night Market.

Why should I visit the Richmond Night Market?

Inspired by Asia’s multisensory night market scene, Richmond’s version has grown since its launch in 2000 to become the largest of its kind in North America. Attracting more than one million visitors every year, it’s an exciting evening out filled with browse-worthy vendor stalls, fun live performances and famously adventurous food stands serving hundreds of tempting dishes.

Where is the market and how do I get there?

Back to full strength in 2022, the market is once again operating at its large outdoor site near the corner of No. 3 Road and River Road. Although parking is available, the venue is just a five-minute walk from Canada Line’s Bridgeport Station–an easy 17-minute ride from Vancouver City Centre Station.

What are the opening hours?

The market runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings–plus Mondays when they are public holidays. Opening hours are 7:00pm to midnight on Fridays; 6:00pm to midnight on Saturdays; and 7:00pm to 11:00pm on Sundays and holiday Mondays. This year, the market will also run on Thursday June 30 from 7:00pm to midnight as part of the Canada Day long weekend. Top tips: arrive early to avoid an extra-long line-up at the gate or consider purchasing a 2022 Zoom Pass. The $35 pass includes six entries to the market throughout the season and pass holders have their own express entry gate that bypasses the regular entrance line-up.

What kind of vendors are there?

There are dozens of retail stands to explore on your visit. Give yourself plenty of time to browse and you’ll likely spot everything from toys to pet accessories and from phone gadgets to quirky arts and crafts. This is also a great place to pick-up souvenir Canada-themed T-shirts at bargain prices.

What about the live performances?

On stage throughout the season, you’ll find an eclectic array of free performances to enjoy. A restorative break from your evening of shopping and dining, the ever-changing roster can include everything from singers to dancers and from bands to local cultural groups. Check to see what’s on as soon as you arrive, and plan your evening accordingly.

What else will I see?

The theme for the 2022 market is Summer Magic Rainbow, and every stand will be illuminated with its own colourful light display. Large neon Chinese characters–intended to evoke bustling 1950s Hong Kong nightlife–will also be on display throughout the market. In addition, there will be kid-friendly rides, a gigantic bouncy castle and interactive digital fun in the newly enhanced Games Area. And keep your eyes peeled for 2022’s new Coca Cola Fun Park area with its massive, selfie-ready Coke-themed decorations.

Is this a family-friendly event?

Yes, there are lots of attractions for kids here–including huge dinosaur models! If you’re bringing youngsters, it’s best to visit earlier in the evening to explore before the crowds arrive–and to eat earlier at the food stands before they become too busy. Make sure you apply sunscreen to your children; even with the sun fading through the course of the evening, it’s easy to get burned.

What can I eat?

Food is always the market’s star attraction. The rows of steam-shrouded, hawker-style culinary stands offer an exciting array of fresh-cooked options. This includes authentic Asian dishes that in recent years have included everything from macha balls to deep-fried squid and from stinky tofu to dragon’s beard candy. There will also be street foods from other international regions–previous years have featured tasty treats from Brazil, Germany, Jamaica and beyond.

Tempting fusion dishes like this Japanese poutine are popular. Photo credit: John Lee.

What are the best things to eat?

Everyone has their favourites and some diners come back for the same delightful dishes every season. But each year, some unique culinary experiences pop-up that simply have to be sampled. In previous seasons, these Instagram-ready must-tries have included Japanese poutine, rainbow grilled cheese sandwiches, Spam fries, gold-coated chicken drumsticks, lightbulb sodas, rotato stick potatoes, ice-cream-topped bao buns and many more.

Potatoes on sticks at the Richmond Night Market. Photo credit: John Lee.

Any other dining tips?

There are several ways to get the most from the market’s culinary side. Firstly, make sure you don’t eat too much before you arrive; that way you’ll have plenty of room for a full-on culinary adventure! Next, head to the food area as soon as you get here and walk around all the stands before choosing what to eat. Eat a dish or two early in the evening, then explore the rest of the market. After a couple of hours, you’ll likely have room for another dish.

Are there any ways to beat the crowds?

The market can be very busy, especially during the peak weeks of summer. We recommend arriving earlier in the season and also making a return visit towards the end of the run in October. In our experience, Fridays and Saturdays are generally busier than Sundays, while holiday Mondays are often even less crowded. And if you don’t mind rainy days, those are always the best evenings to visit-the market operates rain or shine.

 Crowds gathering at the ever-popular Richmond Night Market. Photo credit: Richmond Night Market.

How much is admission?

General admission is $6. Children under seven years of age as well as seniors aged 60 and above enjoy free admission. Planning to visit more than once this year? Purchase a $35 Zoom Pass, which includes six entries to the market as well as a special express entrance that bypasses the main line-up.

Any other tips?

The Richmond Night Market is great place to snap photos, but make sure your camera is adjusted to the correct settings for nighttime images. Keen to save money? The market’s online coupon book is also back this year and it’s a great way to stretch your budget during your 2022 visit. 

Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by Tourism Richmond