Monday, June 16, 2014

Hawkers Market

Last Saturday evening, CJ and I attended Edmonton's third Hawkers Market ( - an underground food market located in the basement of Mercer Warehouse on 104th Street in Downtown. Founder and market director Chris Jerome intends to "create a space where vibrant and exciting local food can be discovered. Hawkers gives local food entrepreneurs a place to conduct commerce, rapidly test ideas and meet their customers face to face". There is also a numbered list of their intentions posted on their website, but my personal favourite has to be Number 6: "Eat Eat Eat Repeat".

Hawkers Market.

The event started at 6pm, but CJ and I arrived about an hour and a half later! Oops. Instead of driving there, CJ and I just took the LRT and then walked a couple blocks north from the Bay Enterprise station. With the warm weather and sunshine, the walk to get there was quite enjoyable.

The entrance.

To be honest, if I didn't know there was a food event happening inside Mercer Warehouse, I would've walked right past the entrance. Good thing there were event posters on the entrance doors to let us know we were at our destination. 

Full house!

CJ and I walked in to find ourselves in a pretty large space. In the centre of the room were rows of tables - all of which were occupied! Along the sides of the room were the local food businesses. There was also music playing in the background, but I didn't really see anyone dancing. CJ and I decided to take a walk around the room to see what we wanted. 

Citrus Glow juice.

The first thing we picked up was our drink for the night - Citrus Glow juice ($5) by Glow Juicery (! I sampled both Citrus Glow and Earthy Glow, but I liked Citrus Glow the best between the two. There were also other juices to sample as well. The Citrus Glow juice contains orange, lemon, ginger, and coconut H2O. I absolutely loved the lemony taste of this drink, and the ginger added a surprising zing to my taste buds. Overall, a yummy, healthy drink. I already want to try more of their juices! 

"The Hulk" sandwich.

Next we picked up food for CJ. We came across the station for The Local Omnivore (, and after reading what food they would be serving for the night, CJ said "this food is definitely for me". He decided on "The Hulk" sandwich ($8), which consists of stewed spiced beef with baconed onions, Swiss cheese and salsa verde. Delicious! CJ and I both thought it had the perfect balance. This sandwich ranked #1 in CJ's most favourite eats of the night. 

Orango Ancho Pork taco.

Of course, I needed to get some food for myself too! I chose the Orango Ancho Pork taco ($5) from Orbit (, which has grilled pineapple salsa, lemon crema, peanut relish, and bacon bits. The first words that came out of my mouth after taking my first bite into this taco was "Whoa bb, you have to try this!" There was this unexpected juicy taste, and I wanted CJ to experience it too! He was skeptical at first, saying "You know I don't really like tacos." But after trying it anyways, he agreed with me! "Dammit b, it is really good. It's different." Hehehe, I told you so. The pineapple salsa and the peanut relish also kicked the flavours up a notch as well. Even though it got messy towards the end (most tacos are like this anyways), I finished the entire taco! 

You might be wondering why the lighting is different in some of the photos. That's because CJ and I actually took our food and drink and ate outside! There was no space for us at any of the tables! We tried two different spots that looked empty, only to have the people next to us say, "Sorry, we're saving these seats for some people". I don't know if it was a matter of us arriving late, or if there just weren't enough seats inside. CJ and I weren't the only people eating outside too. More seating inside for next time please! 

"1 of Each Kind" dumplings.

CJ and I went back inside for a second round of food. At this point the tables weren't as crowded, so we managed to find an empty table for us. We decided to order "1 of Each Kind" dumplings ($5) from Honest Dumplings (, which includes a ginger beef, peking duck, butter chicken, and a Thai basil stir fry dumpling. One of the dumplings that really stood out to me was the butter chicken dumpling! I thought it packed the most punch out of the four dumplings. The only negative for CJ and I was the longer waiting time for our food. But even though the wait time was longer, that can be forgiven. These dumplings were yummy and worth the wait! 

Caramel Amber Ale ice cream.

You can't end a meal without dessert right? CJ and I got Beer Ice Cream from the Cookie Love ( station as one of our last eats of the night. I actually didn't go with him to get our dessert, but he told me there were a lot of flavours to choose from. He picked the Caramel Amber Ale ice cream ($3.50). I wanted to go outside to eat our dessert, but he couldn't wait to eat the ice cream! I actually had to stop him from eating it all by himself! This ice cream was delicious! The caramel flavour had the perfect amount of sweetness. I honestly could eat a tub of this all day. 

Cookie ice cream sandwich.

The second dessert CJ chose from Cookie Love was one of their cookie ice cream sandwiches ($5), featuring Pinocchio's Italian Ice Cream. He ended up getting one with two different types of cookies, with chocolate ice cream wedged inside. I was actually hoping he'd pick one with vanilla ice cream inside, but oh well. The cookies tasted pretty good, but it was a bit hard for me to eat with the ice cream. The ice cream was still too cold for my sensitive teeth! As always, CJ was there to help me eat our dessert so I was able to enjoy the cookies and ice cream together! 

Overall, I had an awesome experience at my very first Hawkers Market. The food was obviously my favourite part, but the music, space, and the local food entrepreneurs were also pretty cool. The only shortcoming for me was the lack of seating inside. Even though CJ and I had already arrived late, there were still some people just arriving after us too! Here's some advice for next time: 1.) Bring cash! Hawkers Market tweeted that the main method of payment would be cash, so good thing I withdrew some beforehand. 2.) Arrive early. Then you can actually sit down at a table inside. Am I right? 3.) Bring some friends! The environment at Hawkers Market is made so you can enjoy local food, listen to good music, and hang out with good people. And according to CJ, if you have more friends with you, you can take up an entire table for yourselves (lol okay). I wish I got to stay longer and try out more food (CJ and I were there for less than an hour!), but we had another event we needed to go to. Other food businesses that were there include Long Lost FoodsTruffula, La Cantina Negra, and South Island Pie Co.. The beer was also by Hog's Head Brewing Company. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for the next Hawkers Market event in Edmonton. It's only $10 for advanced tickets to get in, or $15 at the door. You get to try awesome food and support local businesses... why wouldn't you want to go? ;) 

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