The Queens Night Market will be back again this year, and you can get a sneak peek next Saturday, April 23. To attend the preview you must book your $5 ticket online (children under 12 are free) by 1 p.m. on Saturday. If not, you will have to purchase tickets at the door for $8. The Queens Night Market will be free to the public when it officially opens on May 7. There is no timed entry this year, so you can arrive any time between 5 p.m. and midnight.
Our community reporter, Andrea Pineda-Salgado, headed there for a sneak peak last weekend. Here are some tips from her and updates to our 2021 Queens Night Market guide.
- Go early. By 9 p.m. the majority of vendors sell out of their most popular dishes. Perhaps it was the weather, but most booths were sold out and packing up by 10 p.m. I was lucky enough to have gotten the last of Nansense’s award-winning mantu dumplings — Afghan dumplings filled with seasoned beef and onion served over yogurt. If there is an item you are hard set on trying, get there early.
- Take the train. Parking is limited. If you can’t find a spot around the park (which can be very difficult) the only place to go is the parking lot adjacent to the market. However, they were charging $15 per vehicle. We say the 7 train is your best bet.
- Walk around first. If you walk around the market, you’ll be able to see everything that is available and then go to the place you favored the most. I was tempted to get fried ice cream from Sam’s Fried Ice Cream once again since it was a favorite from last year. But walking around I came across Janie’s, which sells pie-crust cookies. I tried its pecan, strawberry and chocolate; pecan cookie took first place. Despite the cold weather, the cookies were warm, and that perfect combo of soft-crispy.
- Try the places with no line. If you take our advice and walk around first, you will be able to notice some booths with no lines. While they may not seem as popular, give them a chance and they might just surprise you. We discovered Cambodia Now, which had no line, but served up traditional and tasty egg rolls. They were only about three inches long and served in sets of four—a small yet flavorful bite that paired perfectly with an Arnold Palmer.
- Divide and conquer. If you choose to get in big lines, make sure you divide them up with friends. You can all buy and share your favorite foods and that way you’ll be able to taste more of what the Queens Night Market has to offer.
- Come with a gameplan. In a sea of mouth-watering options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Study the list of vendors, which includes everything from chicken teriyaki buns from C Bao Asian Buns to Avli’s Greek grilled octopus to Haitian chocolates from Askanya. Options abound for all types of eaters, even the picky ones.