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These fish balls from Cafe949 were amazing


OC Fair and Event Center
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(near Orange Coast College)

Getting Inside the Fun:
$5 admission. $8 parking. Cash Only
Children 6 and under get in free.
*I've seen people park across at Orange Coast College and walking over. Park there at your own risk though. It's $1 for 4 hours there

2016 OC Night Market Dates:
May 13–15 // Friday & Saturday 4pm–12am, Sunday 4pm to 11pm
June 17–19 // Friday & Saturday 4pm–12am, Sunday 4pm to 11pm
August 26–28 // Friday & Saturday 4pm–12am, Sunday 4pm to 11pm

See what food and shops are gonna be there for May here:

What to wear: There are some quite fashionistas here! I recommend wearing loose flowy clothing if you plan on eating a lot. That way, no one will ever know about your food baby... Also, it gets chilly! Make sure you bring a sweater!

Cash or Card? Definitely bring  a lot of cash. I guess you can limit yourself by bringing only a certain amount and say you're done splurging once you made it all rain. I thought there would be some booths that take card. WRONG ! Almost every booth with the exception of non-food shops only take cash. Even the food trucks take only cash. Just bring cash to be safe.

Check Prices! You'll probably notice that there are a lot of similar booths that sell the similar things. Their prices might be different though by a few bucks. If you have time, make the best bang for your buck by comparing prices!

Similar but different: Some booths may look like they are selling the exact thing if you are judging by just their banners. This may not be true! Here are some examples

  • Beach Live vs. Poppa's Fresh Fish Company
    • Beach Live sells a "Uni Bowl" with fish and rice for $15
    • Poppa's Fresh Fish Company sells live uni for $13 (no extra toppings like Bach Live)
  • NiMo Yaki vs. Vietnamese Food Booth that also sells Taiyaki
    • Both booths sell Taiyaki Ice Cream for $6
    • The Vietnamese Food Booth (idk the name) serves a gigantic fish with ice cream and other food
    • NiMo Yaki specializes in Taiyaki stuffed with soft serve ice cream and red bean paste. 
    • I preferred NimoYaki 
Unique and Hyped Food you might be interested in: 
  • Thai Ice Cream Rolls
  • Rainbow Grilled Cheese Sandwich (from Ice Cream Garden LA)
  • D-Cake (a cake shaped like a penis)
  • Fog Ice Cream by Nitrolado 
  • Tempura fried seaweed shaped like a taco shell filled with Poke faves by Norigami
  • Grilled Lobster from various booths
  • Slush drinks served in glass bottles shaped like Light Bulbs by Squiddies
  • Custom shaped Cotton Candy such as a Flower or Poop

The number you get isn't always in order! I went to a few of the Chinese (or were they Taiwanese!?) booths and oftentimes they'd give me a number but the row of numbers they'd be calling for pick weren't in any consequential order. It was very random so knowing when it would be my turn was hard to guess.

Experience Recap:
This year, the OC Night Market exceeded my expectations! Only because it was not that good last year... so my expectations were already low anyway. I went on Saturday night around 6pm. It was not that crowded and lines were fairly short. But damn people love eating at night! The whole place got really crowded around 8pm until midnight. Lines became super long. I waited for the D-Cake for 40 minutes! Insane! There were a lot more unique vendors this time around. There were also a lot of vendors selling the current "hyped up" foods.I noticed there are a lot more vendors by Chinese (Taiwanese??) people. Actually, I didn't even know there were that many Chinese-speaking people in the area. Did they all come down from LA for the event? Usually at the past OC Night Markets I notice a Vietnamese majority.  I'm not sure if the vendors for the next events this summer will be the same, but the May vendors were pretty legit.

Here is what Kevin and I bought!

  1. Live Sea Urchin from  Poppa's Fresh Fish Company for $13. Tasted super fresh. Not a long wait at all
  2. Taiyaki from a random Vietnamese booth for $6 
    • They were explaining the ice cream flavors and confused sherbert flavor... Instead they told us it's the "Rainbow" flavor which has Vanilla and Strawberry and Green Tea. What? Green Tea? I'm so down for that. WAS DISAPPOINTED! Flavor was actually sherbert. The fish itself was bigger than normal but very dry and hardened from the freezing cold ice cream. I felt lied to!
  3. Taiyaki from NiMo Yaki for $6
    • They specialized in serving Taiyaki. Got the Vanilla and Chocolate Soft Serve Ice Cream swirl. It was soo much better than the other Viet place. 
    • Also includes red bean paste which Kevin and I had mistaken for chocolate
  4. Tempura Fried Fish Balls in Fish Eggs inside for $4
    • got 4 fish balls total and they were big! Totally worth it!!
  5. Shake Ramen (customize your own ramen with toppings and flavor) for $7.50
    • it was good but wish there was more. Kinda felt skimped... 
    • We got highest level of Garlic and Spice. There was definitely a lot of Garlic that you'd probably be able to kill a Vampire with
    • The Spice wasn't a sizzle on your tongue spice but instead it was a burn in your throat spice. Kind of weird.
  6. Chinese Hamburger ($5) and Lamb Kebab ($2)
    • really good and actually worth it for the price!
  7. Fruit Sorbet that is literally served inside the Fruit it's made of! We got the Peach for $6
    • It was very cold and sort of icy but very true to flavor and yummy!
  8. D-Cake for $6 (Penis shaped cake similar to deli-manjoo)
    • the wait for this took freaking 40 minutes. 40 minutes! Did they only have one machine to make it ?!...
    • it is filled with very little nutella. Maybe they only put one drop in there wthek...
    • Also drizzled with condensed milk
  9. Mango Slush served in a Light Bulb shaped glass bottle for $6
    • the drink itself is good but they won't let you buy tea. Only Slush drinks for the bottle. 
    • Wait took forever. I blame inefficiency. Maybe they only had one blender .... ?!
  10. Matcha Mask Kit from Honeybelle Shop for $12
    • Totally worth it. Virtually it'll last forever I think since it's just a powder and you mix it yourself! That means no preservatives and all natural baby!
  11. Bruce Tea
    • 2 bottles for $5 but sample for free all you please

I hope everyone will have fun because I did! 

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