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Two weekends ago I attended the 626 Night Market in Los Angeles for the first time. I remember hearing about it a couple of summers ago and never really understood what it was. It was very exciting for me when my friend won four free tickets from the 626 Night Market Instagram and invited me to come. If you are unable to win free tickets admission is $5 per person.
Where Is 626 Night Market Located?
The night market is located in the parking lot of Santa Anita Park. You are able to get free parking but if you would prefer a shorter walk you can pay $5 for preferred parking. I would recommend doing the preferred parking if you have someone in your group who can’t walk for too long. There is a lot of walking and standing at this event so the parking might be a way to eliminate some of that.
Should You Bring Anything With You?
Personally, I recommend getting to the Night Market as soon as you can. My friend wanted to wait until the sun started to go down because there is very little shade at the event. However, it only seemed to get busier and busier as the evening progressed. Arrive early but come prepared with a hat or umbrella and sunscreen. They will let you bring in bottled water which I highly recommend. I didn’t see a single booth that sold water though surely someone would have.
I wish I would have thought to bring a ziplock bag or tupperware with me for my leftovers. Chances are you will fill up sooner than you think. Bring cash. Most vendors will only accept cash so keep that in mind. How much money should you bring? A friend told me to bring $80-$90. That is crazy! By using my two food vouchers I spent $13 on food and drinks total. If I would have paid for everything I got it would have been $23. It is easy to eat for cheap here if you’re smart about it.
The hours are from 4pm to 12am. Arriving as early as possible is recommended.
Do Your Research Before You Go
If you’re reading this post you are most likely doing research. I used Instagram to look up booths that I might be interested in checking out. 626 Night Market posted information about $5 menus which were very helpful and they also highlighted in their stories some booths that were doing freebies. From watching the 626 Night Market stories I learned that I should visit the Lincoln car company booth for a $5 food voucher. There are about five different stands that take the voucher but I was able to get a tasty beef and rice dish from Shake Ramen for free!
Plus, I also learned that I could visit the Be a Match booth for a chance to get a cute metal boba straw. Not only did I get the straw but by registering with them I also got another $5 food voucher. This food voucher had more options than the one from Lincoln. With the voucher I was able to get two small but tasty ice cream sandwiches. I recommend visiting booths for freebies right off the bat. That way you can get the freebie before they run out and have the vouchers to use while you’re still hungry.
If you visit the 626 Night Market website you can see a list of the vendors in advance. The directory is also handy to be able to access during the event if you’re looking for specific places.
My Favorite Purchases From 626 Night Market
I really wanted Strawberry Lemonade and was thrilled to find that one booth was offering $5 drinks (which was a special as the drinks were normally $7-$8) that came in a cute float. It was a hard decision because so many of the floats were adorable. I ended up going with the Flamingo and I love it so much! But, I have already been thinking of which float I’ll get next. When it comes to drinks unless you want the cute float I recommend picking a place that will give you at least one refill. My boyfriend got a glass grenade bottle which included a refill of any of their juices.
I loved the look of a dessert drink that my friend Bruno got. He used his $5 voucher from Lincoln and only had to pay $2 for the drink which came in a nice glass pitcher that he could keep. The drink is the colorful one in the photo below. It is from Twinkle Brown Sugar. I am such a fan of getting drinks in things that you can use again and again.
For dessert, we got a free cookie using the $5 food voucher from Cinnaholic. It was really delicious! But my favorite was the ice cream sandwiches from QQ Ball. The mint chocolate chip ice cream was fabulous!
Once we were full of eating we headed over to the shops which are also where the live music is. I didn’t feel like I truly got to enjoy this part of the Night Market because I was so tired by that point. Next time I want to get there right when they open and get to really experience this area.
Interested in checking out other food events? Every September there is a lobster fest in Long Beach.