As if there already weren’t enough reasons to head to the NoLibs area of the city — which is quickly becoming known as the fastest growing area of Philly — there’s now a really delicious incentive.
The semi-annual Northern Liberties Night Market is back for its second fall edition with over 60 food trucks, mobile vendors, restaurants, bars, makers and merchants this week. The festivities will officially take over N. 2nd Street in the heart of Northern Liberties Restaurant Row on Thursday, Sept. 22 from 5 to 10 p.m., and will be housed between W. Laurel Street and Fairmount Avenue.
“We are thrilled to bring these new open-air food festivals to our neighborhood in Northern Liberties,” said President of 2nd Street Festival Corp. Owen Kamihira (also of El Camino Real) in a statement. “For some time, the 2nd Street Festival had been brainstorming ways to expand from just an annual festival into a year-round series of events. When the Food Trust announced the end of their popular Night Market series, 2nd Street Festival saw this as the perfect opportunity to carry the torch of a tradition many Philadelphians hold near and dear to their hearts. That event was always designed to help set-up neighborhoods for success as the event continued to pop-up around the city, with the Mt. Airy Street Fare as a great example of the Food Trust’s work in that area.”
Kamihira also delved into the pivots the event had to make to finally be able to bring the festivities to life: “We originally intended to launch something new in spring of 2020, but COVID had other plans. After two years on hiatus, 2nd Street Festival is bursting at the seams to bring people back to Northern Liberties for fun and festivities. We had a great return with tens of thousands of people this summer — and we are back with Night Market. See you on N. 2nd Street this September.”
And what can Philadelphians find when walking and perusing through the Northern Liberties Night Market?
There’s of course some food and drink options that you can’t miss, such as the 3 Rooosters Food Truck (serving Halal Afghani rice bowls and wraps), Calle Del Sabor (offering street tacos with Caribbean and Latin influences), Cotton’s Place (serving up classic American fair and comfort food, with some of the best banana pudding in Philadelphia), Dr Wutzit’s Wonder Balls (with a few different flavors, but the lobster mac and cheese reigns supreme), Kinda Jerky Really Nutty (offering craft jerky meats and assorted trail mixes), Pot of Essence (serving gourmet comfort food, with must-try saucy wings), Tropical Treats (think water ice with fresh fruits and toppings) and much, much more.
A full list of participating vendors can be found online.
But, what would food be without some drinks? Top spots such as Bourbon and Branch, Heritage, Standard Tap, North Bowl, Joe & Kay’s Produce, Urban Village and more will be offering sippers both spirited and not—ranging from cocktails to beer to wine.
There will be plenty of local makers and shakers offering their crafts up as well. According to a release, for some vendors, this is their first major time back on the road and at this type of festival since the pandemic. The event will support the region’s food truck and mobile food vendor economy that was devastating to the industry after 2020, all while showcasing the food neighborhood of Northern Liberties.
And for entertainment, the night will feature multiple DJs throughout the festival with performances from Snack Time Philly in the North Bowl parking lot, and then The Funk ‘n Bowl after party at North Bowl will feature Benzel Cowan on drums from Parliament/Funkadelic, Eli Winderman on Organ from Dopapod/Octave Cat, Dai Miyazaki on Guitar from Ludacris, Jonathan Colman on Bass from Muscle Tough and Ian Gray on Trombone from Ocean Avenue Stompers.
This Night Market series is not affiliated with the Food Trust and is an independent production of 2nd Street Festival. The Night Market series was and has always been a series of pop-up food festivals designed to bring attention and awareness to different parts of the city, with the hopes of leaving neighborhoods with a sustainable event after it moves on, the release states. This new event was designed with that idea in mind to bolster a new and regular series of events — especially when the classic Night Market events are on pause.
The festival is free to attend, and pay-as-you-go for food and drink. Bring the kiddos and the pups, as this event is fully family friendly. For more info, visit northernlibertiesnightmarket.