The First Friday Night Market is a vegan night market that takes place on the first Friday of each month. Numerous vegan vendors such as Maya Cookies, Veg’n Out, El Veganito, Harmless Eats, etc. would set up at the night market selling delicious vegan food to vegans, vegetarians, pescetarians, and even people who eat meat.
History And Origins
The First Friday Night Market opened during the summer of 2018 through a partnership between the former Anthem Vegan restaurant and the nonprofit organization Vegan In San Diego. It took place at the parking lot of where Anthem Vegan used to be. The event started off with 5 vendors and eventually grew to about 20 vendors. When Anthem closed its doors, the market moved and was held at the Fair@44 in City Heights. It moved back to the original location when new owners took over the spot where Anthem Vegan was. However, that agreement soon dissolved. When I went to the first night market, I remembered coming a bit late. A lot of the vendors already closed due to running out of food, but I was still able to get vegan tacos from El Veganito and met some fellow vegans. I was also surprised that a lot of omnivores were at the night market. Maybe they were curious and wanted to try vegan food to see what it tastes like or they must have tried the Meatless Mondays. I went to the second night market after that, but decided not to go to the next night markets after it got very crowded and parking became hard to find. The biggest drawback of having it at the former Anthem Vegan parking lot is that it is in North Park and North Park is notoriously difficult for finding parking. In addition, the San Diego Trolley does not go through North Park. The location and the difficulty of finding a parking eventually dissuaded me from going to the First Friday Night Market.
New Location at Grossmont Center
When I heard that the First Friday Night Market moved to Grossmont Center in La Mesa, I was eager to go. Grossmont Center is more spacious compared to the parking lot at the former Anthem Vegan restaurant. Because Grossmont Center is a bigger shopping center, there was more parking. I was able to find a parking and enjoy the night market. I went as soon as it opened so I was able to beat the crowds. I learned in the article I posted that Grossmont Center contacted Vegan In San Diego and asked if they want to hold the night market there. After getting good feedback from online surveys the organization sent out, they made the move to Grossmont Center and it paid off. Attendance skyrocketed and additional vendors plan to show up. Now I look more forward to attending the First Friday Night Market now that it is in Grossmont Center. Not only is it more spacious and easier to find parking, but it is very nostalgic because I was born at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, the hospital next to Grossmont Center. Such an awesome coincidence that a vegan night market shows up in the area where I was born. Guess I was destined to become a vegan.