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Vancouver’s Mercato Italian Market

Friday Italian Market

The Mercato Italian Market is a produce and artisan market that takes place at Vancouver’s Italian Cultural Centre in June, July, August and November.

It takes place on four Friday evenings a year from 5:00 until 9:00 pm. In the summer it’s outdoors and takes the form of an Italian-themed farmers and artisan market. In November, however, the event is indoors and has a Christmas theme.

Mercato Italian Market

The Mercato Italian Market is similar to other Lower Mainland farmers markets except that it happens only four times per year, has an Italian theme, and takes place in the evening as opposed to mornings and afternoons.

In the summer, the market features vendors selling organic produce, Italian food and local artisan products. There are fruits and vegetables for sale, but also imported Italian goods like canned tomatoes and dry pasta.

At the market there are also a small number of food trucks as well as live music. The Italian Cultural Centre kitchen also has a stall selling homemade pasta or other Italian cuisine. Tables and chairs are set up for people to enjoy their dinners and other refreshments at.

Admission to the market is free and so is the parking (although parking at busy times can sometimes be a challenge).

Mercato Italian Market
Market Day at the il Centro Italian Cultural Centre

Where and When

The Mercato Italian Market takes place at the Il Centro Italian Cultural Centre at 3075 Slocan Street which is just off Grandview Highway about a kilometre east of John Hendry Park and Trout Lake.

The market happens outdoors in the Italian Cultural Centre’s parking lot in the summer months, but indoors in November.

In 2018 the Mercato Italian Market takes place on the Fridays of June 15th, July 13th, August 17th and November 23rd. Each time it runs from 5:00 until 9:00 pm.

There is usually some form of live music at the market. On Friday, June 15, 2018, for example, live entertainment is provided by Stephen Scaccia, Antonio Larosa and the band Take Two.

Italian Market Display
Fresh produce and Italian products at the market

About the Italian Market

The Mercato Italian Market is part farmers market and part night market. It’s similar to other outdoor farmers and artisan markets in the Lower Mainland, but with an Italian theme and an evening schedule.

With about four dozen or so vendors each week in the summer, as a farmers market it’s medium-sized. It’s larger than some farmers markets, but smaller than others, so overall about average.

Compared to other Metro Vancouver night markets, like the Asian-themed Richmond Night Market or North Vancouver’s Shipyards Night Market, the Italian event is tiny, much quieter and far less crowded. It’s still a nice little night market though in its own special way.

At the once-a-month Friday events expect to see up to a couple of hundred people at any given time, although often fewer. Also, in addition to the fresh produce, homemade-style goods and artisan products, expect there to be pizza, cannoli pastries, gelato and sometimes even a bit of Italian music.

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Italian Market History

The Mercato Italian Market has been running since 2014. In that year it took place every third Friday from August until November. It was also more of an afternoon and early evening market then, with operating hours running from 3:00 until 7:00 pm.

In 2015 there were seven markets scheduled – one each in May, June, July, August, September, October and November (although the October one got cancelled).

Today the market runs just three times in the summer and once about a month or so before Christmas. It’s a popular event for Vancouver’s Italian community, but also for the general public and anyone who likes all things Italian.

Other Information

For more information about the Friday markets at the Italian Cultural Centre, click Mercato Italian Market.

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