Mouth-watering food at the OC Night Market

16 Comments
OC Night Market Tuna Poke

We’ve heard about the 626 Night Market in Los Angeles (Arcadia) but we haven’t had the chance to go. According to their official website, 626 Night Market is the original and largest Asian-themed night market in the country. This time, we heard about the OC Night Market, which is produced by the same folks at the 626 market. It was our first time and we had a great experience!

Let’s discuss what to expect, some tips before you go, and look at what we had at the OC Night Market!

Look no further if you want to experience the unique cuisines of Asia. You will find modern, traditional, and fusion Asian food here. Thai, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Hawaiian, and Filipino. Even Mexican!

The OC Night Market is located in the Orange County fairgrounds in Costa Mesa where the OC Fair also takes place. The market does not occupy all of the fairgrounds but there are still a lot of vendors. Honestly, you could spend a lot of money if you try more than three of these places so I suggest looking around online or asking friends what they recommend. Since you’re here, let us share our favorites with you. (Scroll down for our favorite grubs)

The OC Night Market

OC Night Market Entrance

The OC Night Market opens at 4pm and ends at midnight. We came a little early to avoid the dinner rush! We suggest that you go around 4pm as you’ll experience shorter lines and faster service.

Here are some great tips:
  • Before you go, get some cash at the bank. There are ATM machines around the area but they will charge you!
  • Cash only for parking and entrance. Parking is $8 and admission fee is $5.
  • Wear comfortable sneakers. Jessica forgot to change her heeled sandals and it wasn’t much fun after we called it a night!
  • Go with a large group and have everyone try different kinds of food. You can all go to town by having a bite of each other’s food.

oc night market banner oc fairgrounds

Entrance

When you enter the OC Promenade, you’ll see many artsy vendors. We found these things interesting:

soap

orange county night market dancers

(Below) Apparently, these flowers are supposed to last forever and does not require much “caring.” We were told that they were real flowers. To know more about these and how it works, visit their website.

Forever Love Flowers

On to the food and festivities!

There are so many food vendors in the OC Night Market and you’ll find yourself confused, excited, and eager – all at the same time! We had to circle around a few times just deciding on what to eat! This is the exciting part. This blog post does not do the place justice when it comes to the different aromas of umami. I mean, there’s the scent of sautéed garlic, grilled meat, sweet desserts, and of course the sweet Orange County summer air. It really is a sight to see!

OC Night Market Welcome Booth

OC Night Market Vendors

oc night market vendors 2 asian food

oc night market vendors asian food

Some of the vendors

They had this Ramen food truck which had a pretty cool concept. They’re called, Shake Ramen. They put the Ramen and all the ingredients in a cup. You shake it up and you pretty much have Ramen to go. As much as we love Ramen and wanted to try this, it was a pretty hot day in Southern California. (Below)

OC Night Market Shake Ramen

oc night market meat

orange county barbeque bbq

OC Night Market Seoul Street Korean fusion food

OC Night Market Cup town

oc night market korean food cup town

We also found these cookie cups that. It was pretty cool but we didn’t get to try it. You can check it out at The Dirty Cookie. (below)

oc night market cookie cups milk

oc night market the dirty cookie

Also, we really don’t know why McDonald’s was in the area. Oh yeah, right; they were sponsoring the event! What we really don’t understand is why people are lining up for burgers when there’s so much great food around!

mcdonalds i'm lovin it booth photo

OC Night Market Fun

oc night market performer

OC Night Market also gives a stage for local performers to showcase their talents. It adds to the festive vibe of the place!

What we had for dinner

We had Tuna Poke at the Sushi Studio Arts. Being fans of sushi, we were really interested in trying this out. The nice man told us that all their fish are line-caught and they do not use commercial fishing techniques. Whatever that means, the point is, this was actually amazing and tasted so fresh. You can call it our, “appetizer numero uno.”

Appetizer #1: Tuna Poke

OC Night Market Tuna Poke

Here’s a photo of a guy preparing our delicious Tuna Poke:

photo of man making poke

OC Night Market Sushi Studio Arts

Appetizer #2: Squid Balls

Then we moved on to get some squid balls. I enjoyed having fish and squid balls, buying them almost in bulk from Filipino street vendors in the Philippines. So, why not try the squid balls at this Taiwanese place called “Popcorn Chicken.”

photo of a squid ball street food

photo of popcorn chicken in california oc night market

Main Course: Adobo Fries

Most noteworthy is the Adobo Fries. Let me just say that this was one of the best things we’ve ever had in a very long time. Being Filipino, pork and/or chicken adobo has always been a “staple” in our home. My mom would make great adobo and I can never refuse it. It’s just so good. But this one is amazing as well.

For those of you who are not familiar with Adobo. Adobo is a way of cooking something; it’s to cook something in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, pepper, and bay leaves. Filipinos love their vinegar and most of all, we love our adobo!

But this is kind of weird but amazing at the same time. They served the pork adobo on top of fries. They topped it with scallions and aioli sauce. It was just very delicious! You must try this!

Adobo Fries OC Night Market

(Below) This is where we got our Adobo Fries. They also sell lobster corn dog, hot fries, and halo-halo (Filipino shaved ice with delicious ingredients)

Craft filipino food oc night market

Dessert: Rolling Ice Artisan Creamery

The menu is definitely interesting. A good-sized cup of Rolling Ice ice cream is $7. Honestly, it’s really not a bad price since they put some kind of art and love into making it. They also add toppings that take the ice cream to a whole’nother level. While the price was reasonable, the wait was rather long. We pretty much had to wait about 25 minutes for our ice cream. Here it is though! (not the best picture, legs were getting tired!)

Here’s the Ooh-Bae (Ube) Ice cream. It’s a purple yam ice cream. Due to my Filipino upbringing, I’ve always been a big fan of Ube. It’s as Filipino as you can get! Rolling Ice might not be a Filipino business but this ice cream appeals to us Pinoys!

rolling ice ice cream oc night market ube

Rolling Ice Artisan Creamery OC Night Market

Overall, it was a great time!

Ultimately, we had such a great time at the OC Night Market. The place was crowded and there were really no places to sit and enjoy the food but standing there in the middle of it all is part of the great experience. The OC Night Market will be back at the OC Fairgrounds on the weekend of August 26-28. Make sure you check them out!

Looking forward to checking out the big 626 Night Market in Arcadia, CA this summer! They will be there on July 22-24, August 5-7, and September 2-4. It should be a great summer for foodies!

Have you been to a food event like this? What was your experience like? Please leave us a comment below!

16 Comments
  • Hali -daytodayMOMents

    Reply

    Reading and enjoying your pics at this late hour, can’t wait to get cooking tomorrow! 🙂
    I’ve been wanting to try “rolled ice cream” forever, those look good.

  • Laveena Sengar

    Reply

    What an amazing work with the pictures! Loved the post

  • Sal

    Reply

    This all look like so fun and delicious! Thank you for sharing. I love food markets! I will make sure to check this one out next time I am in California. Have a great Sunday!

    • Ron

      Come in the Summer, Sal!

  • kittylimon

    Reply

    oh wow everything looked great and it seemed like you had a fun time there 🙂

  • Aurelie

    Reply

    Oh gosh everything looks yummy, I love eating, I love good food.
    The tuna poke and squid ball are something that I know I would enjoy!!!
    Really glad you had a great day !
    Thanks for sharing

    Aurélie from http://www.bumpandblush.com

  • Adetunji

    Reply

    Nice pictures. The Adobo fries looks interesting and I would try it if I was there. Telling from the photographs, I’m sure you did have an amazing time. The McDonald bit made me laugh though.

    • Ron

      Thanks, Adetunji. It really was a great time!

  • Jasmin N

    Reply

    Everything looks so pretty and delicious!

    ~ Jasmin N
    Little Things With Jassy
    Bloglovin’

  • Karoliina Kazi

    Reply

    Hi Ron! I love chicken adobo and the adobo fries sound like interesting. Great post thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Have a fab day!
    http://www.karoliinakazi.com

    • Ron

      Thanks Karoliina! I had fun compiling all the photos for this post and of course had more fun eating at the OC Night Market 🙂

  • Karoliina Kazi

    Reply

    I love chicken adobo and the adobo fries sound really interesting 🙂 Great post, thoroughly enjoyed reading it!
    http://www.karoliinakazi.com

  • Melissa

    Reply

    Nom, nom, nom … all that food looks great. I really want one of those cookie cups, lol.

    • Ron

      Hi Melissa. I wish I tried the cookie cups. There was just so much food in that place that we couldn’t try everything! Also, as good as they look – some can get quite pricey!

  • heather (delicious not gorgeous)

    Reply

    mcdonald’s just had free smoothies! i (sort of) understand why people would wait for that, considering the fact that that was the only free food there lol. i tried rolling ice when i went to the may night market, and i think i waited 45+ minutes; not worth it!

    • Ron

      Hi Heather! Oh now, I kind of understand why people would get in line for McDonald’s. If it’s free, then why not right? It was a hot day too when we went. Yes, the line was too long for Rolling Ice and I thought it was okay. Not the best! Thanks for dropping by 🙂

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