Sacramento showed up! Now in its second year, Our Street Night Market, attracted more than 50,000 people to the R Street Corridor for the first weekend of summer. Congratulations to the Yellowbrick Group for bringing such a great experience to Sacramento – they filled a void that we were missing and it’s clear Sacramento wanted this.
We attended both Night Markets last year, but we waited to review the event because we wanted to give them the opportunity to grow and adjust before we put our opinions out there. This third event, was visually and noticeably better than the first two, so we’re stoked to see it grow and flourish.
“Our Street Night Market has grown to become one of the most diverse events in Sacramento. The combination of arts, vendors, food selection and activations shows the right type of evolution we need.”
We have never personally met Youseffi, but we are familiar with his legacy and work – he would be proud of this event. Living in Southern California and the Bay area for over 12+ years has shown us a lot regarding California lifestyle. It’s more than just giving people a reason to go somewhere, it’s about giving them a reason to stay. To create an experience that creates and memories and share through food, retail, activations and art.
The two of us have been to several night markets now – 626 Night Market, OC Night Market, and most recently the Norcal Night Market in the bay area – check out our review here. In fact our next one, we will be making a journey back to the bay for Foodieland. Because Sacramento is our hometown, we were really excited to have one of our favorite summertime experiences come to our city and this event was by a local team so we were even more proud to support it.
Some people were new to the Night Market experience or have yet to visit it, so we wanted to share our top 10 tips for visiting a food festival. I’d say most notably the crowds are great to see but could definitely hinder your experience, so check out our tips on how to make the most of your time at a food festival:
1. Plan Ahead
With the attendance now up to 50,000 people, we highly recommend you plan ahead. The lines to get in and also to get some of the hot new and special festival foods are often long. We typically plan to be there in the very beginning so that we could try everything we want to eat and to avoid the long lines. If the lines are too long, we usually won’t wait so you decide. We also recommend looking at the food vendors ahead of time to see which foods you want to try. Some spots, like HauteBird, were doing special items during certain hours and mos def they sell out of the most popular items quick.
2. Avoid traffic + parking
Sac RT provides free light rail 5pm to close. sacrt.com/schedules. Take the Gold Line or Blue Line to the 13th St Station. If you are drinking, we highly suggest you have a DD or take a Lyft. Also, if you are downtown hop on a Jump Bike or take a pedicab. There are a ton of people walking around and with the crowds, if you want to avoid the stress of traffic and circling for parking take an alternative form of transportation.
3. Arrive early
You have the best chance to get into the festival and into the food lines if you arrive early. We walked right in, no line at the entrance and were able to get food within reason. Although, we still had a wait so if you are dead set on trying a specific food item, like I was – I wanted the HauteBird Mac n Cheese Chicken Cone – then arriving early is your best chance.
4. Divide and conquer for vendors
If you plan to try several food items, you have to bring a friend and divide & conquer the lines. Peter lined up for Nash & Proper while I went to HauteBird and our friends went to Taiwan Best Mart. We were able to get some of each food and share. Sharing is definitely a good idea, if you want to try several foods but don’t want to spend all that money.
5. Bring cash
We’ve found that cash is best when it comes to food vendors. At the NorCal Night Market, it was cash only at most vendors. At Our Street Night Market, more vendors took card but some of the drinks were cash only. We don’t like using the generic ATM machines so have cash on hand so you won’t be stuck using them.
6. Pack a bag
We brought in a water bottle but it’s a good idea to come prepared. Have a backpack or a small bag for things like your water bottle, sunscreen, wipes, antibacterial hand sanitizer, sunglasses, camera, phone charger battery, etc. Sacramento summer nights are no joke and it’s hot, crowds are big so be prepared. There are so many photo opportunities, you don’t want your battery low and you definitely want to be hydrated as we were sweating the whole night. If you need a bag – there were some cool retail vendors. Garage Champs were screen printing tote bags and of course, our friends at Official had the cross body and the tri-strap chest bags.
7. Have a good attitude with vendors and people
We all are there to have fun. It’s easy to let the heat and the crowds get you in a mood but be nice and have a good attitude. The vendors have been there already for hours setting up and preparing and they are hot too. No one wants to deal with grumpy guests all night, they are working hard to get you your food but they can only pump out the food so quickly, have a little empathy and be patient. If encountering a line of 100 people deep, it’s going to take long no matter what. If you don’t have a lot of time or patience, line up somewhere else to save yourself and the vendors the headache.
8. Dress Comfortably
It’s going to be hot, you will be walking a lot and you want to enjoy the night so dress casually and wear comfortable shoes. You’ll feel so much better if you aren’t wearing a sweater in the heat and your feet aren’t killing you.
9. Eat beyond your comfort zone
There are a lot of foods and vendors from different cultural backgrounds. We suggest you eat out of your comfort zone, meaning try something new. This is your opportunity to try Lao sausage from Green Papaya or Halo Halo from our friends at Hella Halo for the first time. Live a little + we love both items, so you probably will enjoy it too.
10. Tell your friends and family
The Yellowbrick Group and all of the volunteers and vendors work hard to put on this event, so continue to show up and share it with your friends. We’ve now been to all three Our Street Night Markets, and they have definitely addressed some of the issues we noticed at the first two events — crowds, hard to walk, no seating, extremely long lines on the streets — so if you heard negative feedback from before, they’ve now addressed it and we think you should give it a try.
Also, we received several messages/comments from people asking about where the event was or what it was, so people still don’t know about it. Even if you think someone would already know, invite them along. A few of our friends we were with hadn’t heard about it before, and they invited their family. If you keep that up, we’ll see more events like it in Sacramento and that’s definitely what we want to see.
I think the expansion of the Silent Disco, the live art painting, and the food section was great, there was a ton more seating and it was much easier to walk – but our favorite part of it all is seeing so many different people showing up to experience the Night Market. We saw families and people from so many different backgrounds who probably never hang out on R Street there and we love that.
ABOUT THE NGHT MKT:
Address: 11th-14th R st. Sacramento, CA 95811
Social Media: https://www.instagram.com/ourstreetmarket/
Hours of operation: 7pm – 1am, June 22, 2019
- Food Variety
- Wide range of Activities
- Great social coverage
- Wait times and lines
- Card vs cash preference
- Additional seating