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Sign reading 626 Night Market
Sign reading 626 Night Market
Original photo by Somashree Biswas

Take a (Mini) Trip to the Foods of 626

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

If you’re anything like me, food is the epitome of my love language. There’s nothing like grabbing brunch with your girl gang every weekend, rain or shine. The last few weekends in Santa Monica have been an especially unique opportunity to celebrate your friendships with a trip to the 626 Night Market Mini in Santa Monica!

What’s unique about the pop-up food culture in LA is the sheer amount of cultural fusion and experimentation in the things they offer. From crispy crab cakes to pizza toppings infused into Chinese baos, the variety at the 626 Night Market Mini is simply endless. If your girl gang loves to try new foods from different cultures, supporting the small business pop-up shops is the way to go! Here are a couple of my personal favorites at the market:


A spinoff on the original Chinese bao many are familiar with from their childhood, Baozza creates a unique twist by infusing pizza toppings like pepperoni, cheese and spanakopita filling into the bao for a soft and chewy treat filled with goodness. You have the choice of ordering a steamed or fried bao, so obviously we got one of each! It truly has an amazing texture and I definitely could’ve eaten like 3 at once!

Crab Cakes at Bombing giant Squid

I know you’ve probably seen the infamous giant squid from 626 on at least one person’s Instagram, but as a person who doesn’t love the texture of squid, I was surprised to see that this stall offered a lot more items. The super crispy and succulent crab cakes were a wonderful way to satisfy my seafood tooth. We were surprised at how authentic the crab tasted and they even gave us free condiments on the side when we asked. What a good find!

Drunken Cake Pops

I was also pretty iffy on the “drunken” part of the name, but these turned out to be a great way to satisfy a sweet craving after all that greasy deliciousness! The store had a lot of unique “boozy” flavors like pistachio Amaretto and dark chocolate Hennessey, but none of the pops actually have any alcoholic content. At 3 bucks a pop, it’s a pretty sweet way to end our short stay at the market!

The 626 Night Market has definitely been a unique attraction on my bucket list for years, so I’m glad I got to experience a mini version right down the street in Santa Monica! The foods are super unique, albeit a bit on the pricy side, though I’d say it’s pretty typical for festival-style food. I’d definitely recommend checking it out on a weekend they hold it!

Somashree is a 3rd year Economics major minoring in Environmental Systems and Society and Digital Humanities. She's a huge cinephile with a special affinity for historical dramas (eg. The Crown or Bridgerton). She also loves learning languages and hopes to learn at least 4 languages by the end of the decade.