Cardiff market opens up for rare shopping experience at night

The one-night-only event offers a chance to explore local fare, new stalls and more outside normal working hours

The entrance to the market, a victorian structure opened in 1891
The market will be open from 5 to 9pm for evening browsers keen to sample food and Christmas shopping

From a new spot to try freshly made Italian panzerotti to the classic stalls offering local delicacies, the fifth edition of the Cardiff Night Market is all set to welcome visitors on November 17.

The stall owners, the new traders especially, are expecting this year’s event to be a major business boost. “This will be our first night market after setting up the shop a month ago. We’re hoping to make the best of this opportunity,” says Franco Scarpetta who owns Franco Street Food, which sells “Nonna made” treats from southern Italy.

“My mother will be here on the night making her special Apulian recipes. All our dishes are made from scratch using authentic ingredients from Puglia,” he added.

The second night market organised after the pandemic is conducted in association with the City of Arcades Day happening on November 18, which is an annual celebration of the iconic Cardiff arcades which house more than 100 independent shops.

“This is our second collaboration with For Cardiff, a business improvement district (BID) which hosts the City of Arcades Day,” says Louise Thomas, the market manager. According to her, the night market is a rare opportunity for those who are unable to experience the market during its normal working hours to explore the local produce here. “Last November we had a good run with about 3,500 people visiting us,” she said.

The bustling crowd at the market
Something for everyone, the bustling crowd at the market

The place also happens to be a treasure trove of curios. “Our’s is a family business started by my uncle and aunt in 1969,” says Allan Parkins, owner of Kellys Records.

“The Night Market is indeed a great time. We play some nice music at the shop and people come in to mainly buy Christmas presents. At the moment everyone is into vinyl. The current biggest sellers are Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, Fleetwood Mac, Christmas albums and classics like The Beatles, Queen and Pink Floyd,” he added. 

In addition to the stalls being open from 5 to 9pm on the night, local musician Jack Chandrinos will entertain the visitors.

Slice of history

  • Cardiff Market is an historic Victorian structure, established in 1891, and located in the heart of the city. According to its records there are traders who have occupied the same business stall since 1928.