The joyful NOLA Nite Market returns to New Orleans’s Westbank this weekend on Sunday, December 5, the third year running for a unique event celebrating the area’s “multicultural theme cuisine” and fusion foods.
It’s a different kind of food festival for New Orleans, home to celebrations like the National Fried Chicken Festival, Beignet Fest, Po’ Boy Festival, and other events dedicated to a specific dish, ingredient, or cuisine. NOLA Nite Market debuted in 2019, organized by Thuy Pham and modeled after the bustling nighttime outdoor markets common in many Asian countries. 16 vendors, among them favorites like TD Pho Seafood House, Wishing Town Bakery, and Thai D-jing, gathered at the Gretna farmers market in late October — and it was a major success. It even served as a preview for Union Ramen, a pop-up that was becoming a restaurant on Magazine Street at the time and is now a hugely popular destination for ramen and Japanese, Vietnamese, and Filipino small plates.
The list of vendors this year is as strong as in the past, and is even more wide-ranging — among the eye-catching names are hit pop-ups Kusina and Milkfish, which both specialize in Filipino food; Black Roux Culinary Collective, Myisha Jade Mastersson’s pop-up supper club and tasting menu; St. Roch’s Burmese food stall Laksa NOLA; Jamaican Jerk House, and Mr. Bubbles. All in all, more than 20 food vendors are set to participate, accompanied by a lineup of performances by local bands, dance troupes, and farm alpacas to pet, for the kids of course.
This year the night market is at the Stonebridge Golf Club in Gretna; admission is free, and food costs go to vendors while sponsorships, beer and wine sales, and merchandise sales help raise money for local nonprofits. Proceeds this year will go to First Tee of Greater New Orleans; the event has previously supported the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana and the National Alliance on Mental Illness New Orleans.
NOLA Nite Market takes place Sunday, December beginning at 2 p.m. at 1500 Stonebridge Drive in Gretna.