Dyckman Street in Inwood will transform into a party on Friday when the city’s first Latin Night Market hits the town with live music, dance performances, and food from the Latin American and Hispanic diaspora.
Organizers said that guests can expect to find food from Latin American countries including Columbia, El Salvador, and Ecuador: empanadas, tacos, pupusas, chicharrones and more. The event will also feature live music and dance performances showcasing salsa, reggae, rumba, and Latin pop music.
The event is organized by MASC Hospitality Group, which is also behind the Bronx, Uptown, Brooklyn and Vegan Night Market.
“The focus is on a true representation of Latin food and culture from 21 countries plus the Caribbean,” said MASC founder Marco Shalma, who said he hopes the event will eventually become a monthly series.
The market will take place from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. between Dyckman Plaza and Inwood Park in a neighborhood that’s home to many people of Latin and Hispanic heritage.
New York City is home to about two and a half million Hispanic and Latino people, comprising more than 25% of the city’s population of 8.8 million people.
“Dyckman is really a hub of the center of the Latin community,” Shalma said.
Shalma is not Latino or Hispanic himself, but said the night market is about celebrating the wide range of meal options and how certain ingredients – such as a maize dough, also known as masa – connect the countries.
“This is the opportunity that we saw to bring it all to one place and to celebrate the connection,” Shalma said. “Certain ingredients that are being used by different nations, but in a similar vein.”
He said the market will host around 40 vendors, including Barrelhouse NY, which was started by Hector Pedraza. It specializes in Colombian barbecue foods that have been cooked in a steel barrel instead of on a regular grill.
“Barbecue in a barrel is very big in Columbia ever since the pandemic,” said Pedraza. “We decided to pretty much bring it to the US. People taste the food and see how different it is from a regular grill.”
Pedraza and his team will offer people the chance to try their mixed meat platter, called “Guilty Pleasure.”
Another vendor, Maria Bido, will bring her traditional Puerto Rican cooking to the market through her company, Mias Cocina. Bido has been teaching monthly cooking classes at the Essex Market in the Lower East Side, as well catering and participating in food festivals.
She’ll be selling Puerto Rican tamales, empanadas with various fillings, and the Puerto Rican dish known as arroz con gandules, made by slow-cooking yellow rice, pigeon peas, and pork.
Bido said she’s excited for the chance to put Puerto Rican dishes including their tacos, on people’s radar.
“I think that by me bringing the Puerto Rican version to the street, I am helping to share and to broaden people’s horizons and let them know that there is diversity even among the Latin cultures,” she said. “And that is exactly what this first Latin Night Market is going to do. It’s going to highlight all of the Latin American countries and all of the different vendors with all of their different foods.”
The Latin Night Market is Friday, Sept. 22. Admission is free, but food and drinks cost extra. For more information visit here.