Queens Night Market returns to free entry starting this weekend

Scenes from the Queens Night Market opening weekend (Photo by Sharon Medina)

The Queens Night Market at Flushing Meadows Corona Park will once again be free and open to the public beginning this weekend.

On Wednesday, July 7, the market’s founder John Wang announced that the ticketing used to manage visitor capacity and waive vendor participation fees would be lifted starting Saturday, July 10. Back in June, the open-air market returned for its sixth season at reduced capacity for its first three weekends and required that patrons purchase tickets in advance or at the door.

“We’ve aspired to lift ticketing as quickly as possible because I’m not sure we can as convincingly call ourselves a community event when there’s an admission fee,” Wang said. “That said, I want to tread lightly as this is the so-called ‘Summer of New York City’ and the pent-up demand to get out, socialize and mingle is very real and apparent. If nothing else, ticketing was very effective at capping attendance and ensuring manageable crowds … hopefully we won’t need to revert back to that measure this year.”

The event pledged 20 percent of net ticket proceeds to initiatives promoting racial equity and to COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts. In three weeks, the pledge yielded nearly $10,000 and Wang is currently taking public suggestions for projects and organizations that best serve these causes.

“While we knew the exact number of people we were letting in the first three weeks by ticketing, we didn’t anticipate visitors spending as much money as they did supporting vendors. Visitors really just wanted to soak it up, which led to an amazing atmosphere but also to some operational challenges for vendors who kept selling out no matter how much food they brought,” Wang said. “Most vendors beat their own sales records and consistently sold out early, despite some bringing two or three times as many supplies as they had ever before.”

On its opening night, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards issued a proclamation declaring June 19 “Queens Night Market Day.” Over the first five seasons, the market welcomed over 1 million visitors, helped launch over 300 new businesses in New York and represented over 90 countries through its diverse vendors and their food. In 2019, the event averaged nearly 15,000 attendees each Saturday night.

Borough President Donovan Richards declares June 19 “Queens Night Market Day.” (Photo by Sharon Medina)

2021 vendors

As in years past, the $5 price cap on food, with some limited $6 exceptions, will remain in place. The event received over 600 applications this year and will continue to feature vendors on a rotating basis throughout the season.

“Our mission to be NYC’s most affordable, diverse and welcoming community event informs every decision we make. We try to be a reprieve from the ever-increasing costs of living in NYC, while also celebrating the unparalleled diversity that makes this city so great,” Wang said.

Interested vendors can apply online at https://bit.ly/QNM-Vendor-2021 or by emailing vendor@queensnightmarket.com.

The following is a list of confirmed food vendors for the 2021 Queens Night Market season featuring the return of some familiar favorites with some new vendor additions:

  • Anda Café – Bubble Tea & Shaved Ice
  • Arepalicious – Colombian Arepas
  • Askanya Chocolates – Haitian Chocolate
  • Ay Cachapas! – Venezuelan Cachapas
  • Bengali Street Eats – Bangladeshi Fushka
  • Black Orchid Kitchen – Belizean Shark Panades & Conch Fritters La Braza – Roasted Corn & Skewers
  • Bstro – Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken
  • Burmese Bites – Burmese Palatas
  • C Bao – Asian Duck and Pork Buns
  • Cambodiannow – Cambodian Fish Amok
  • Chick’n Rotonda – Filipino Lechon Paksiw
  • Cilantro & Mint – Indian Chole Bhature & Masala Noodles Cocotazo – Puerto Rican Pastelles & Rellenos de Papa
  • DiLena’s Dolcini – Italian Cannoli and Baked Goods
  • Dolce Facce – Cute Animal Ice Cream Faces
  • Don Ceviche – Peruvian Ceviche and Jalea
  • Go Green Yaks! – Tibetan Tsel Bhakleb & Tsamthuk
  • Grilla in Manila – Filipino Choribuger, Dinuguan & Balut
  • Hong Kong Street Food
  • Kanin NYC – Filipino Lugaw and Halo Halo
  • Janie’s Life-Changing Baked Goods – Pie-Crust Cookies
  • Jhal NYC – Bengali Jhal Muri
  • Jibarito Shack – Puerto Rican Jibaritos
  • Joey Bats Café – Portuguese Pasteis de Nata & Stuffed Bica
  • Joon – Persian Crispy Rice
  • Kanin NYC – Filipino Lugaw & Halo-Halo
  • La Carnada – Mexican Huaraches
  • La’Maoli – Antiguan Black Pudding & Ducana
  • Lapu Lapu Foods – Filipino Chicken Adobo
  • Leticia’s – Ecuadorian Ceviche & Quimbolitos
  • Lion City Coffee – Singaporean Mee Pok & Chai Tow Kway
  • Los Almendros – Salvadoran Pupusas
  • The Malaysian Project – Malaysian “Ramly” Burgers & Kaya Toast Mama Food – Squid Skewers
  • Monday Dinner – Ukrainian Kasha Varnishkes & Kotletke;
  • Moon Man – Indonesian Kue Pancon
  • Nansense – Afghan Mantu, Chapli Kebabs & Shor Nakhod Nomad Dumplings – Tibetan Momos
  • Odin’s Might Musubi – Hawaiian Musubi
  • Oh Dango! – Japanese Dango
  • Oh Malatang! – Mala Skewers
  • Pancho’s Taco Shop – Oaxacan Chivo and Lengua Tacos
  • Sam’s Fried Ice Cream
  • Sambuxa NYC – Sudanese Sambuxa & Kofta
  • Sea Monster – Malaysian Grilled Skate Wing
  • Sholay – Indian Tandoori BBQ
  • Taste of Palestine by Baba’s Olives – Palestinian Makloubeh & Mutabbal Tada Noodles – Korean Jjajangmyeon
  • Treat Yourself Jerk Chicken
  • Twisted Potato – Fried Potato Twist
  • Twister Cake Bakery – Romanian/Hungarian Kürtőskalács
  • Vhorta NYC – Sylheti Doi Bora & Halwa
  • Viva Natural Foods – Brazilian Pão de Queijo & Brigadeiros
  • Warung Jancook – Indonesian Sate, Tahu Pong & Ote Ote

Also available at the market are signed copies of the official Queens Night Market cookbook “The World Eats Here,” co-authored by Wang and Storm Garner, a filmmaker and oral historian who married Wang in March 2019.

Photo by Storm Garner

Live performances and art

The Night Market features several live performances every Saturday night and has featured approximately 300 musicians, bands and performance groups since its inception.

This weekend, audiences will be treated to performances by DJ Jordan Knoxx, Greek guitarist Vasilios Tselios, Alex Owen & His New Orleans Style Jazz Band, improvisational percussionist Anthony Anderson, Gotham Dance Theater and five-piece classic rock band Graft.

On July 17, performances include DJ Poon, the Jonny Parks Band and Atlantic City House Band (ACHB), a four-piece band specializing in rock and pop covers.

Attendees can also purchase homemade art, crafts and other goods from the following local vendors.

  • Aphrodite Rose – Handmade Caftans
  • Art by Alex Alba – Art & Photography
  • Art by Larceria Brown – Paintings
  • Autumn’s Bake Shop – Gourmet Dog Treats
  • Bartheory – Artisan Body Products
  • Candlez for a Cause – Soy Candles
  • Colombian Handicrafts
  • Colorful New York – Art & Prints
  • Feride Sultan – Hair Accessories
  • First Team Vintage NYC – Vintage Sportswear
  • Gvalentineconnections – Dinosaur Art
  • Hecho Local by The August Tree
  • Issues Gallery – Superhero Art
  • Kat’s Handmade Jewels
  • Leí è Glamour – Handmade Jewelry
  • Mel’s Handmade – Crochet Toys
  • Nose Best Candles – Tongue-in-Cheek Candles
  • Ombrato – Japanese Crafts & Gifts
  • Peaches Design – Tees & Prints
  • Queens Thread – Queens-themed Apparel
  • Queeny Studio – Vaccination Card Holders
  • Really Bad Portraits
  • Sabrina’s Henna
  • SerotoninChaser – Skateboards & Decals
  • Sweet Sincerely – Calligraphy and Stationery
  • The Cool Table – Vintage Apparel
  • Theobucket Vintage – Vintage Brooches & Ads
  • Tragos – Locally Created Card Game
  • Treestar – Small Batch Soaps

The Queens Night Market is opened on Saturdays from 4 p.m. to midnight through Oct. 30, 2021, with a three-week break during the U.S. Open at the end of September.

For more information, visit queensnightmarket.com or check them out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.