One of the summer night markets has an Asian focus, one is more upscale, some are free and others cost just a couple of dollars or so. They all include live music and are interesting in their own ways.
Weekend Night Markets in Vancouver
Night markets in Metro Vancouver include the Richmond Night Market, Shipyards Night Market and Italian Night Market.
In previous years there was also the Illumination Night Market in Richmond, which had also been known as the International Night Market and Panda Night Market. Its last year, however, was in 2017 and it is now permanently closed.
Also in past years there has been a Surrey Night Market and a Vancouver Chinatown Night Market. Neither of these continues to run either.
Richmond Night Market
The Richmond Night Market has a distinct Chinese theme and offers tasty Asian smells, music and imported things to buy. It takes place at 8351 River Road, attracts as many as 30,000 shoppers per weekend and boasts over 1,000,000 visitors a year.
The Richmond market is huge and quite the sight to see, with its hundreds of vendor stalls and crowds of people. In fact, it claims to be the largest night market in North America for the last dozen or so years running.
The Richmond Night Market costs only about $4 or so and is open from 7 pm from mid-May until mid-October on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays. It’s highly recommended – you’ll think that you’re in China!
The 2020 dates have yet to be confirmed for this market.
Vancouver Night Markets
The City of Vancouver has a couple of its own night markets, which are quite different from the one in Richmond. Its Italian one takes place just once a month in the warmer half of the year, plus once in November, and its Christmas one, as might be expected, doesn’t actually take place in the summer at all.
- The Mercato Italian Market is an Italian-themed farmers market on the third Friday of the month in June, July and August, plus once again in late November. It’s actually a farmers market, although it does take place at night, from 5 pm until 5 pm at 3075 Slocan Street. It’s much smaller than the Richmond market, and distinctly Italian as opposed to Asian.
- The Vancouver Christmas Market obviously isn’t a summer market, but it is a night one. It takes place at Jack Poole Plaza beside the Vancouver Convention Centre in downtown Vancouver from late November the end of December. Its theme is 100% Christmassy and definitely European.
North Vancouver’s Shipyard Night Market
North Vancouver also hosts an exceptional night market. It’s 100% different from the Richmond Night Market, but equally as impressive in its own way.
Whereas the Richmond market is amazing for all its Asian tastes, smells, sounds and products, the North Shore event has a beer garden, great live bands, views of Vancouver and Burrard Inlet, farmers’ market-style vendors and dozens of food trucks selling every kind of food imaginable.
North Vancouver’s Shipyard Night Market takes place at Shipbuilders’ Square near Lonsdale Quay, just a short walk from the North Shore’s Seabus terminal. It’s open on Friday evenings from May until September between 5 and 10 pm.
Other Lower Mainland Markets
In addition to night markets, Vancouver and the surrounding region is also famous for its farmers markets. For a list of Lower Mainland farmers markets in alphabetical order, see Metro Vancouver’s Farmers Markets, or, for lists of farmers markets on specific days of the week, check out the following:
- Wednesday Farmers Markets: Main Street, Surrey and Whistler.
- Thursday Farmers Markets: New Westminster, Granville Island and Downtown.
- Saturday Farmers Markets: Abbotsford, Burnaby, Fort Langley, Haney, Squamish, Trout Lake and the West End.
- Sunday Farmers Markets: Ambleside, Coquitlam, Kitsilano, Mt. Pleasant, Steveston Village, White Rock and Whistler.
And for farmers markets taking place outside the summer season, check out Lower Mainland Winter Markets.