Blockbuster street food festival Night Market Philadelphia returns to this city’s streets and sidewalks tonight, Thursday, May 14, for the very first event of its fresh 2015 season, transforming South Street West into an alfresco eating-and-entertainment mecca.
If you haven’t had a chance to experience The Food Trust’s epic food fest (what?!), tonight is the night to come out and feast. It’s a not-to-be-missed — not to mention delicious — Philadelphia event, and the weather forecast could not look more favorable.
With vibrant energy coming from the neighborhood’s longtime residents, new transplants and independent restaurants, bars and shops, this first-ever South Street West edition of the street fair ought to be one of the biggest and best events on record — a great way to kick off the 2015 Night Market season.
From 6 to 10 p.m. tonight, Night Market South Street West takes over South Street between Broad and 18th streets with more than 75 of the city’s best food trucks and restaurants.
Of course, these streets will be closed to vehicular traffic from 3 p.m. on to prepare for the eating and drinking extravaganza.
A whopping number — 75! — of vendors are set to pop up along South, with tons of local Graduate Hospital restaurants, beer by Yards Brewing Company and entertainment stationed throughout the four-block festival. (See below for a full Night Market map.)
Read on for our complete guide to Night Market South Street West.
The Food and Drink
As with previous Night Markets, it’s best to come early (to try and avoid the long lines) and come hungry (to taste everything).
A lineup food and drink options from more than 75 vendors, with tons of the tried-and-true favorites on tap for this evening. Perennial favorites not to miss include arepas from Delicias, local ice cream from Little Baby’s, popsicles from Lil’ Pop Shop, mac ’n’ cheese from the Mac Mart Cart, lobster rolls from Luke’s Lobster and pulled pork grilled cheese from Vernalicious.
Look out for all-star restaurants like Alla Spina, Sbraga and Cheu Noodle Bar to be on hand with street food, too, along with a contingent of Graduate Hospital eateries, including Jet Wine Bar, The Baker’s Jar, Rex 1516 and Founding Fathers.
Tonight, crowds will have Yards Brewing Company to thank for bringing out the craft brews. Stop by the three beer tents at 15th, 16th or 17th streets for a locally brewed craft beer.
For the complete list of vendors, see below.
The Live Music and Neighborhood
No festival is complete without live tunes and tons of entertainment to keep crowds grooving.
On the main stage, four bands will rock from 6 p.m. to just after 9 p.m. At 6 p.m. see Rock to the Future House Ban; Joie Kathos goes on at 7 p.m; Jason Jeffries and the Talltrees rocks at 8 p.m.; and to wrap up the music, Worldtown Sound System finishes out the night with a 9 p.m. set.
Beyond the festival, it’s a great opportunity to explore the entire neighborhood. Spanning Lombard Street to Washington Avenue and Broad Street to Gray’s Ferry Avenue, Graduate Hospital goes by many names (South Street West, South of South, G-Ho) and houses a fine mix of young transplants, born-and-raised neighbors and hip professionals.
The recent influx of urban development has brought with it a healthy dose of restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and markets that reflect the area’s residential and cool vibe.
Head out to the festival, then stick around or make a return visit to experience the eclectic dining and shopping. To explore more in Graduate Hospital, and to view these places on a interactive map, check out the full Graduate Hospital guide in the new Philadelphia Neighborhoods section on Visitphilly.com.
Getting There and Staying Over
South Street West is super accessible via foot, bike and public transportation. Street closures are going to mean limited parking, so taking Indego, busses or other public transportation is the best way to make it out.
For those who want to make a city weekend out of festival-going, stay overnight in Philadelphia. Check out Visitphilly.com for super deals on hotel stays and the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package.
Night Market is a delicious and extremely social event, so while you’re out there tonight be sure to Tweet about and Instagram the scene and the eats you enjoy and tag your photos with #visitphilly #NightMkt.
And check out the official Night Market map and complete list of vendors below.
See you on South Street, folks.
Night Market Philadelphia: South Street West