I visited the Midnight Market on March 17th for their St. Patrick’s Day event not knowing what to expect:
A food and drink market where everything maxed out at $5? Was it going to be too crowded? Was I going to leave hungry? Is this too good to be true? The answer, to all of those questions, thankfully, turned out to be a very firm “NO”.
As someone who worked across the street at Harborside Plaza 5 just a few years ago, walking through Harborside Plaza 2 (where the Atrium is located) on a Friday evening during rush hour BLEW MY MIND. It felt so much more alive than it did when I worked there. People actually stopping to enjoy food at places like Tidal Poke instead of just running through the atrium to avoid the cold while walking to the PATH. I was in awe before I even got to the Midnight Market.
I was able to briefly speak with Perla Nieves, one of the event organizers, and let her know how great everything looked. She explained, “We’re just trying to bring good things to the area!” And from the turn out of every Midnight Market, they are absolutely succeeding
To skip any potential lines and crowds, I opted to spring for the $10 foodie hour (early admission) ticket for me and my boyfriend, instead of the $5 general admission ticket. I did this mostly for the food but also for coat check which was seamlessly provided by Shark Tank success story, coatchex. Two coats, two bags and $12 later, we were in!
Our first stop was to the Beer Garden (I know, I know) where, much to my surprise, everything really was under $5 including cocktails and beer from Jersey City’s own Departed Soles Brewing Company. The $3 green Jell-O shots were St. Paddy’s day perfection.
Of the 20 vendors, there were some Jersey City local favorites such as Eema’s Cuisine, Bucket & Bay Gelato, Taste of Poland along with some welcomed NYC heavy hitters such as Hold My Knots and Smorgasburg favorite, BrunchStreet. We tried as much as we could from as many vendors as possible and I must say, I was not disappointed. Portions exceeded my expectations for the price of just $5 and everything was absolutely amazing. Eating delicious food, against a beautiful backdrop with music playing was a true foodie trifecta.
The evening turned out great. The lines were never too long and the crowd wasn’t overwhelming. We spent about $70 between us, left full, slightly buzzed, and very happy.
My favorite thing about Midnight Market is their commitment to supporting small businesses and local sustainability. Owners, Perla Nieves* and Alysis Vasquez* have been able to take their love of food markets and turn it into an affordable, fun experience for both vendors and patrons alike. They refer to their Pay-It-Forward campaign as “a grassroots crowdfunding campaign that cuts out the middleman”; It’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard of and is a true testament to the hearts of people in Jersey City.
*Perla Nieves is an Assistant Property Manager at SILVERMAN and Alysis Vasquez is Chef and owner of Chilltown Kitchen. They describe themselves as “young Hispanic entrepreneurs in Jersey City who are trying to bring a new foodie scene to the city.” Their next event, "Dessert First", will be on April 14th where they will feature sixteen dessert and four savory vendors.
If you’re interested in becoming a vendor, sponsor, or want to stay updated on all things Midnight Market, visit their site www.midnightmarketjc.com