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The Most Amazing Food Festival in Southern California

I have never been quite as overwhelmed by food as I was this last weekend at the 626 Night Market. Prior to doing Whole30, the grocery store was my main source of food anxiety but that's in the past. There's a new winner in the food anxiety category.

I stumbled across the 626 Night Market on Facebook and seeing that this was the last weekend for it this year I knew we had to go. Although we've been experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures in Southern California, we made the trek out to Arcadia Friday night.

An hour and a half later, we made it! Friday afternoon Holiday weekend traffic is no joke in Los Angeles. Our stomachs were sufficiently empty and we were ready to majorly chow down. I already told myself that this was going to be my cheat meal so I was ready to go all in.

We arrived to the Market around 6 and were immediately overwhelmed. It's serious like a fairgrounds filled with more food, drink and dessert vendors than you could possibly imagine. My non-foodie self was blown away and so not ready to make a decision about what I would be consuming that evening.

Adam and I shared feelings of disbelief at the sheer amount of food present and we had to make at least two laps around before deciding on our dinners. At this point we were both hangry and the extreme heat was not helping anything.

I decided on a four cheese grilled cheese accompanied by a blackberry lemonade in a plastic lightbulb cup. Yes, the drink tasted much better in the Instagram worthy cup thank you very much.

Adam took a bit longer to decide but landed on the coveted Wacho. Get this, waffle fry nachos. Oh yes, he went ALL in. After scarfing down our subsequent dinners, we guzzled down lots of water as the dehydration was real. We meandered around the grounds to the vendors at the Night Market which included some super fun Asian inspired artists, toys, jewelry and other goodies. I don't know how I managed to restrict myself from buying anything but I did.

The sun was rapidly setting and the lights were coming on at the Night Market so we made our way back to the food section. It was dessert time.

While I may not be a foodie, I am a dessert-ie 100%. It seemed like there was just as many sweets options as food options so we had to do another few laps before deciding.

Adam chose a milk and cookies dessert. It was an edible cookie cup filled with milk and s'mores whipped cream. He's not much of a sweets guy so this was the perfect light dessert for him.

Now it was my turn to take a little bit longer to decide. If I felt overwhelmed before, this was another level. Finally I chose mini macaroon ice cream sandwiches. They came in groups of 3 so I chose Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms and Green Tea. Each one was more delicious than the last and it was the perfect cool treat in the warm evening heat.

The 626 Night Market was seriously one of my favorite things I've done in LA. Without a doubt it was the most overwhelming yet amazing food experience ever. If it isn't already there, PLEASE add it to your bucket list.

A few tips for any who decide to venture out to Arcadia for this foodie paradise.

1. It will most likely be hot - Plan (and dress) accordingly!

2. Arrive early - If possible, arrive as close to the 4pm start time as you can. As the evening goes on it gets PACKED and you will wait in line a very long time for food.

3. Take a lap (or two) - Like I said, there are TONS of options. Make sure you give yourself enough time to properly browse the entire selection.

4. Bring cash! - Most vendors only accept cash so come prepared. While there are ATMs on the premises, there's a $4.25 fee so word to the wise, stop off at your bank beforehand.

5. Bring your appetite - There's more food to enjoy than one person could ever fathom. Come hungry, leave STUFFED! Like seriously, you may need to be rolled out to the car.

(Originally Published September 4, 2017)

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