I’ve been to many different night markets including a few overseas in China and Taiwan. I was very excited when SoCal caught on to the trend (albeit not as cheap and convenient as the original night markets in Asia). Now, there’s KTown Night Market, OC Night Market, 626 Night Market, Electric Night Market in DTLA and now Little Saigon Night Market that takes place in Garden Grove’s Asian Garden Mall.
I definitely appreciate the cultural difference at this night market compared to others I’ve been to. Little Saigon Night Market is happening this summer every week from June to September 2017 (Friday-Sunday)! A few gripes included parking, it was hard to find since the attendance gets so crowded so you’ll have to fight for them on the streets and walk. The location itself, front spot of the Asian Garden Mall, is also really small as well so the night market gets HELLA crowded by 8:00PM (plenty of pushing and foot stepping LOL), come when it starts 7:00PM! But parking and the entrance is all FREE!
The biggest difference I experienced is that this night market was attended mostly by older generation of Vietnamese adults/families so the event was far more traditional than 626/OC night market that’s usually flocked with high schoolers and college students (that’s usually ABCs). 95% of the food vendor signs were all in Vietnamese, so I recommend to go with someone that knows Vietnamese and their cuisine! Or be like me and point at photos LOL, although thankfully my boyfriend was raised Vietnamese so he at least knew the dishes even though he didn’t speak the language.
Unlike Chinese night markets that prefer to sell lamb skewers, there are none at Little Saigon Night Market, rather every stall that sells skewers is pork skewers. We bought 4 for $10.00 ($3.00 for one) and it was quite delicious, although I’d be careful on the vendors (health violations, mannn). LMAO. While waiting for our skewers we saw a customer come back with their half eaten skewer telling the cook that the meat wasn’t cooked through enough and the center was raw. The cook took the skewer and threw it back on the grill with the rest of the unserved skewers. Um, yo, that’s disgusting. LOL. (Under cooked meat AND swapping spit with a stranger? HOW FUN!)
As for drinks, it’s mostly chè drinks/desserts or nuoc mía (sugarcane juice) and very little tea types (green tea/black tea series). We also ordered Summer Rolls (comes with 3 small rolls) that were actually very tasty and refreshing. Loved the lap xuong (臘腸) tightly bound with daikon and carrots with lettuce. The boyfriend got bánh khot (shrimp pancakes), although on the very oily side, he said the flavors were pretty decent. There wasn’t much else, most of the vendors there were there was selling toys and merchandise. Felt like 80% of the event were shop vendors and the rest food vendors– not that many options. Although it’s very awesome that the event provides tables and chairs for the attendees.
It was pretty cool for a free event, but man them carelessness with health procedures (even if one doesn’t care about health procedures, at least common decency should make one think twice about throwing a half eaten skewer with ones that are cooking/not served)… LOL. I don’t know how I feel about that…
For more photos of our time at Little Saigon Night Market!
Address: 9200 Bolsa Ave, Westminster, CA 92683
Hours: Friday – Saturday 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM