I’m not big into “date night”, but a trip to the Richmond Night Market without kids is definitely worth while. My top 5 tips for a fun filled (and belly filled) date night at the Richmond Night Market are:
- Know you’re pre-Market options.
- Be early.
- Bring cash.
- Familiarize yourself with food options beforehand (if you’re reading this then you’re on the right track).
- Pack baby wipes or napkins.
I’ve also included the Mouse House Mom food suggestions at the bottom of this post.
Know Your Pre-Market Options
My husband and I live about 40 minutes away from Richmond so aiming to leave the house around 6pm would make it awkward for a babysitter (aka the grandparents) to only watch the kids for less than an hour before bedtime. For this date night out, we prefer to have the grandparents over ahead of our kids usual dinner time. This allows us to get to Richmond by 5:15.
I normally only go to Richmond to eat, but it’s also home to Ikea and the McArthur Glen Outlet mall. Both are less than a 5 minute drive from the Richmond Night Market. If housewares or clothes are on your shopping lists then you’ve got options!
Now that I’ve got you to Richmond early, you should aim to arrive at the night market by 6:45pm for a 7pm opening. There are 2 line options for entering the market: regular single pay admission or Express Pass. Even 15 minutes early last Sunday there was already a 45 minute line up. If you remember anything from this post, you need to use the Express Pass – it is a 6 admission card for the same price as 6 admissions! We simply walked towards the regular line, had a vendor try to sell us an Express Pass, then asked two other pairs of people if they wanted to buy in together. Yes, you have to talk to a stranger, but it’s super easy and BAM! you all get to enter through Express. We were inside the night market 3 minutes after it opened and enjoyed the absence of food lines!
For my Disney peeps, using Express Pass is like an extra magic morning rope drop.
At the Richmond Night Market cash is king. ATMs are available but prob best to avoid. Having cash also makes buddying up on the Express Pass with strangers easier.
Some people worry about carrying cash these days, but I felt really safe. We brought $50 and had no prob. If you want to eat more or eat fresh lobster then bring more dolla dolla bills… it’s not rocket science. I found $13 tended to be the price of most items at the food booths.
Familiarize Yourself with Food Options Beforehand
A quick google search or Instagram check will yield you plenty of food suggestions. I read those, but also roamed through looking for foods I like. I was shocked to find the dish I found most delicious wasn’t actually listed in the articles I had read.
By familiarizing yourself you can decide where to go first when the lines are the shortest. A lot of the foods are fried so if you have a sensitive stomach you’ll want to prioritize what foods you want to eat. I really loved Korean pork belly last year, but didn’t feel up for it after all the foods I had enjoyed this last visit.
I also learned my lesson my first visit that some of the most Insta worthy dishes aren’t the best tasting and they for sure have big lines. If you gotta do it for the ‘gram then go for it, but I won’t be ordering a heaping pile of fried squid again soon.
Pack Baby Wipes or Napkins
It is extremely rare that I leave the house without my diaper bag, but no need for it on date night. Wrong! I really could have benefited from some baby wipes for the messy foods we were devouring. Most places had napkins, some you had to ask for them, but if you forgot and walked away things got messy real quick.
Mouse House Mom Food Suggestions
The BEST thing I ate was the Poke taco from Nori Express. The seaweed was fried and formed the taco shell which was filled with rice and delicious tuna poke.
The BEST VALUE at $8 was the Filipino fusion tacos from La Meza Grill. These were amazing! Roasted Cebu Lechon served in wonton taco shells with fresh mango salsa and smoked chipotle mayo. This blew my mind for being $5 less than most foods at the market.
The BEST DESSERT was the Taiwanese shaved ice with strawberries and ice cream. I didn’t think I liked shaved ice, but I was very wrong! This was from Icy Bar.
The BEST WTF combination was from Mamak La and somehow combined two of my favourites like I didn’t know was possible: roti and mac & cheese. Together. Forever. I’m glad they added some seasoning to the mac & cheese, which looked just like KD and while I didn’t think I needed to make KD more carby, the roti gave it something extra [maybe just extra calories, but still tasted good].
Let Me Know
Leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve visited and what foods you liked best.