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Surf meets street eats: Oceanside's Sunset Market

The Thursday evening street fair makes for a North County draw.

Crowds stroll Sunset Market along Pier View Way.
Crowds stroll Sunset Market along Pier View Way.

Every Thursday night for the last eight years, starting at 5 p.m., Oceanside’s Sunset Market kicks off. Consuming four blocks down near the pier, this market’s more than your standard farmer’s fair. With live music on every corner, festive lights, spicy aromas and boisterous vendors, downtown becomes a family-friendly party.

Video:

Oceanside's Sunset Market

Booths stocked with global and seasonal gifts as well as artisan crafts line the streets. And the Market’s International Food Court offers the gamut of culinary choices – Louisiana gumbo to Maine lobster rolls, Jamaican oxtail to West African braised goat, authentic Vietnamese pho to Chinese-Filipino fusion. (Though honestly, you’ve got to try the Thai Burger at Papaya Grill. YUM!)

On the patio at Succulent Café.

What else to do and see

I went early specifically to find the Succulent Café around the corner at 322 N. Cleveland St., directly across from the pier. Think of the café as a coffee shop in an art gallery, only the proprietor’s medium isn’t pigment on canvas or sculpted marble. It’s trash and plants. I had seen Peter Loyola’s artistry with succulents before and marveled at the outdoor space he’d created as I sipped my latte surrounded by draping repurposed doors and waterfalls.

His shop closes at 4:30, just before the Market opens, so the timing worked out wonderfully. The California Surf Museum along the main thoroughfare also closes at 4:30, so if you haven't been yet, plan on an early arrival.

Oceanside has ample downtown eateries, breweries, and coffee shops once the Market shuts down at 9 p.m. The waterfront shops and restaurants at Harbor Village on N. Harbor Dr. – a replica New England seaside town complete with lighthouse – offer more subdued afterparty options infused with quaint ambiance. I go there for an ice-cream stroll along the marina.

If you go

The Market is located on Pier View Way, west of Coast Highway. A little too late for this holiday season, but the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony (December 3rd in 2015) kickstarts the Holiday Gift Market that runs through the end of December.

Call the weather hotline for weather closures: (760) 967-7915. I always park at the pier, but I go early to do so.

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Crowds stroll Sunset Market along Pier View Way.
Crowds stroll Sunset Market along Pier View Way.

Every Thursday night for the last eight years, starting at 5 p.m., Oceanside’s Sunset Market kicks off. Consuming four blocks down near the pier, this market’s more than your standard farmer’s fair. With live music on every corner, festive lights, spicy aromas and boisterous vendors, downtown becomes a family-friendly party.

Video:

Oceanside's Sunset Market

Booths stocked with global and seasonal gifts as well as artisan crafts line the streets. And the Market’s International Food Court offers the gamut of culinary choices – Louisiana gumbo to Maine lobster rolls, Jamaican oxtail to West African braised goat, authentic Vietnamese pho to Chinese-Filipino fusion. (Though honestly, you’ve got to try the Thai Burger at Papaya Grill. YUM!)

On the patio at Succulent Café.

What else to do and see

I went early specifically to find the Succulent Café around the corner at 322 N. Cleveland St., directly across from the pier. Think of the café as a coffee shop in an art gallery, only the proprietor’s medium isn’t pigment on canvas or sculpted marble. It’s trash and plants. I had seen Peter Loyola’s artistry with succulents before and marveled at the outdoor space he’d created as I sipped my latte surrounded by draping repurposed doors and waterfalls.

His shop closes at 4:30, just before the Market opens, so the timing worked out wonderfully. The California Surf Museum along the main thoroughfare also closes at 4:30, so if you haven't been yet, plan on an early arrival.

Oceanside has ample downtown eateries, breweries, and coffee shops once the Market shuts down at 9 p.m. The waterfront shops and restaurants at Harbor Village on N. Harbor Dr. – a replica New England seaside town complete with lighthouse – offer more subdued afterparty options infused with quaint ambiance. I go there for an ice-cream stroll along the marina.

If you go

The Market is located on Pier View Way, west of Coast Highway. A little too late for this holiday season, but the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony (December 3rd in 2015) kickstarts the Holiday Gift Market that runs through the end of December.

Call the weather hotline for weather closures: (760) 967-7915. I always park at the pier, but I go early to do so.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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