The Queens International Night Market is getting ready for its second season. The street food market, which is intended to be like the open-air markets of Asia, debuted last year despite two failed crowdfunding campaigns. Each evening featured an average of 40 different food vendors serving street cuisines from around the world, with a $5 price cap on every item, and the market ended up averaging 6,000 visitors each Saturday, according to organizer John Wang. It's returning to Flushing Meadows on April 23 for another season.
Wang is hoping that each night will have about 50 vendors this year, he says, especially with a new format that requires vendors to commit to a certain number of days. Over the course of last year's event, about 150 vendors rotated in-and-out, he says. On the busiest nights, the market featured as many as 60 vendors, while slower nights had between 30 and 35. This year will hopefully still have the variety, but with more consistency in the numbers. "One of the cool things is that you end up having a natural rotation of vendors," he says. "When people came the next week, it stayed fresh."
Last year's market included options like Japanese rice crepes, Chinese skewers, empanadas, takoyaki, samosas, Korean fried chicken, Caribbean street eats, and arepas. This year's market will run until August, when the park is taken over by the U.S. Open, Wang says. "The focus has always been on community, inclusiveness, and diversity," he says, "and I tried to cultivate that every step of the way." Applications to become a vendor are still open. The market takes place on Saturdays from 6 p.m. to midnight.