By: Yelin Gemma Lee, Arts & Culture Editor
When I think of summer, one thing that comes to mind is food festivals. Walking around an outdoor market and trying so many foods that you have to loosen your belt is one of my favorite ways to spend a hot summer day. Food festivals are also a great way to find out about new local brands and businesses to support. Mark these dates on your calendars because many of these food festivals only come once a year!
This food truck festival began in 2020 as a bi-weekly drive-thru to safely support food truck businesses and the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation impacted by the pandemic. It’s returning as an in-person event this year, welcoming folks to set up a picnic and listen to live music while they eat. According to Daily Hive, there will be a rotation of 20 participating vendors differing each day and local businesses selling their products as well.
Where: 97 Braid Street, New Westminster (next to Braid SkyTrain station)
When: May 21–May 22, 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
A new food festival is born this year and a much needed one at that. With BC being the home to over 79,000 muslims, the festival aims to “strengthen and unite the Halal food community to create a delicious collection of vibrant cultures and traditions in our own little corner of the world.” The event is free to attend and welcome to everyone, promising Halal food and drinks, vendors, and activities.
Where: Surrey Civic Plaza
When: June 25, 12:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Previously called Veg Expo, the largest plant-based lifestyle expo of the year returns to the Vancouver Convention Centre this summer! The event boasts over 200 vegan food and lifestyle vendors and features a stage programme of inspirational speakers from all over the world. Every year I’ve gone to this Expo, the sense of community and compassion has always been strong. Whether you’re vegan or not, be prepared to learn something new and to try many different vegan delights.
Where: Vancouver Convention Centre West (1055 Canada Place)
When: June 4–5, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
With almost no need for mention due to its raging popularity each summer, the Richmond Night Market is introducing Hawaiian food to their stacked roster. Although not quite the same, the Richmond Night Market makes me nostalgic for late night food-stall snacking under street lamps in Korea. This is a fun place to try both innovative and nostalgic Asian street foods, especially with their expanded seating this year.
Where: 8351 River Rd, Richmond
When: April 29–October 10, weekend evenings (hours vary)
As part of explorASIAN 2022’s programming, this Japanese market is making a comeback after a two-year hiatus. They promise over 70 vendors of Japanese edible treats and merchandise. The event is in the heart of downtown this year, so you can snack your way through the festival before checking out an exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza
When: June 11–June 12, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.