By Rick Gion
Photos by Rick Gion
Fargo’s favorite farmers market seems to grow year after year. This season is no different. And if you go to Red River Market on its regular Saturday at Broadway Square in Downtown Fargo, you’ll notice the addition of a bunch of new mobile food vendors.
I’ve attended the Red River Market each week since the start of this season on July 8 and have definitely been busy checking out the food offerings. After all, there are now 18 hot food vendors, nine boozy drink stalls, and seven places to get non-alcoholic beverages. And of course there are also many many produce vendors. It’s a panoply of fun and tasty products that goes on for blocks, with nearly 100 vendors in total.
“At the Red River Market, we are constantly scouting out new and unique food vendors,” explained Simone Wai, Red River Market co-founder. “It’s one of the things that our customers come back for week after week, and we love seeing visitors enjoying their breakfast or lunch in Broadway Square while listening to our live performances.”
The new hot food vendors that have garnered much attention this year at the Red River Market include Broskis Birria Street Tacos, K-Dawg Korean Korndog Food Truck, Mabel’s All Day, Momos n More, Namaste Kitchen, Nit's Spring Rolls, and Oat & Toast. The lines are long for some of these new vendors for good reason. Show up early if you want to try some of their good grub.
You’ll notice the diversity in the cuisine of these new vendors as well as the mainstays, which needs to be celebrated. We no longer live in the land of just lefse and lutefisk as exotic international specialties.
“First, the Red River Market is truly a taste of Fargo, along with being a taste of the world,” Wai said. “Buying food from local food stands at the Red River Market brings our community closer together. Enjoying meals from these mobile kitchens lets us connect with our neighbors' unique backgrounds, creating a strong and inclusive community from West Africa to Vietnam.”
I can’t disagree. One of my favorite food tents at the Red River Market is Saigon Kuisine, and one of the best food trailers there is Adibon - a mobile eatery specializing in African fare. The flavors of these two funky food vendors are addictive.
One of the big names in local boozy drinks that’s new to this year’s Market is Wild Terra. It’s a great addition for those wanting a cool adult beverage that’s gluten free. Dakota Vines Vineyard and Winery is also a new vendor with this option. They’re an established winery with a physical location south of town.
I do need to mention another fun item that’s not new. While you’re enjoying breakfast or lunch at the Red River Market, be sure to check out one of the weekly live cooking demonstrations at 11 a.m. It’s a great opportunity to check out local culinary talent, and you don’t even have to take notes.
“At the end of each demo, visitors can taste the dish and get a free recipe card,” Wai said. “As a part of our Bite Size Kids Club, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield Caring Foundation, kids who try the sample receive a $1 token to use at the market. All of the recipes that have been shown at our previous cooking demonstrations are available at our Free Little Recipies cart located next to the cooking demonstrations.”
To me, all of these features make the Red River Market an exceptional experience. Eating good food and listening to live, local music while being outdoors is something special here in the Upper Midwest. It’s definitely my type of scene, and the vibe at Broadway Square has that big-city feel. I’ll definitely be taking advantage of it, because the snow will fly soon. And, I’m not talking about shaved ice for snow cones either.
If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out this year’s food selection at the Red River Market in Downtown Fargo. The additions are great in more ways than one. The event takes place each Saturday into late October, so there’s plenty of time left to enjoy Fargo’s favorite farmer’s market.
IF YOU GO
Red River Market
Broadway Square, Downtown Fargo
Saturdays until the end of October, 10am-2pm
Rick Gion administers a Facebook food group called “Fargo-Moorhead Eats” that’s dedicated to the area’s great cooks and cuisine. The page now has nearly 24,000 followers. Check it out, join, and feel free to post items about your local culinary adventures and home cooking. And, while you’re at it, also join the Instagram page!
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