Thousands indulge in FoodieLand’s Night Market


Cori Nicholson

An attendee holds up a “DreamBun” from the Dream Ice Cream Parlor, one of the many vendors at FoodieLand Night Market.

Music, lights, and delicious smells lured thousands into FoodieLand’s Night Market. 

From Oct. 4 to Oct. 6, FoodieLand held its third event of this year at Golden Gate Fields. The event featured over 100 food vendors alongside live music and pop-up shops. A fusion of food, music, and culture brought all types of people from the Bay Area to the festival. 

This year is FoodieLand’s first year hosting a night market, a take on traditional Asian markets. Traditional Asian markets are known for their great food and entertainment. 

“American night markets such as FoodieLand try to replicate the same thing over here but with American flavor,” said Ty McFly, the founder of Asians Never Die. “That’s why they have Mexican food, Cajun food, Vietnamese, and Korean. It’s cultural fusion, which is what America is all about.”

According to McFly, night markets started popping up outside of Asia about eight years ago with the 626 Night Market down in Los Angeles. The LA night market attracts more than 120,000 people in a weekend. 

“American night markets have a lot of nostalgic value. A lot of what they’re serving, like the whole squid, you’re not going to see that outside of the night market,” said Michelle Mao, a Shanghai native.

However, differences still exist between traditional Asian markets and American ones such as FoodieLand’s. 

“One thing about traditional night markets is they’re very cheap. The squid here at FoodieLand is $20, but in Asia, it’s like $2,” Mao said.

Big Baby Bottles, which are large, gallon-sized bottles of fruity drinks sold for $25, were a prime example of the expense of FoodieLand. 

However, the pricing did not deter attendees, who stood in lines upward of an hour for food and drinks. Vendors such as OG Tacos and Big Baby Bottle had long lines crossing the entire market.

However, people didn’t come just for the food. Live music and DJs entertained people waiting in long food lines, leading many to sing and dance. 

Among the live performers were UC Berkeley’s California Golden Overtones, an a capella group.

“They asked us if we wanted to sing,” singers Ashley Rodgriguez and Sonia Yuen said. “Some of us also came early to the market, and, luckily, we got food vouchers.”

Last year, the Overtones were named one of the 10 female groups running the a cappella world by College Magazine. They regularly perform for their university, along with events around the Bay Area such as FoodieLand. 

Amongst the festivities, organizations also joined in on the fun, setting up booths alongside vendors.

Asians Never Die is an organization that draws Asians together with comedy, culture, and community. The organization attended the two past FoodieLand events this year as well as other night markets throughout California.

“What’s the best way to bring the community together? Through food!” McFly said. “You look around, and every single person is a different class and a different race. Everyone here is celebrating culture, food, and positivity together. That’s why I love it.” 


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