“I’m in Oklahoma City, it’s the last Friday of the month… Isn’t there something I’m supposed to do tonight?”
Yep, there most certainly is.
H&8th Night Market is a street festival located on Hudson Avenue and 8th Street in Midtown OKC that takes place on the last Friday of every summer month. The fun starts at 7pm and ends at “11pm.” Since it’s inception earlier this year, H&8th’s success has skyrocketed, turning the festival into a can’t miss event.
It seems like only a few short months ago (truly, it was only a few months ago) there were only four or 5 food trucks, the music stage was modestly tucked between Elemental Coffee and Ludivine and you could actually find parking on Hudson… Ah, the memories.
For a newbie, I can understand how H&8th may be overwhelmingly frustrating, and overrun with hipsters. That’s why we’re here. This is your “Guide To: H&8th Night Market.”
Preliminary recommendation: Approach H&8th with a divide and conquer mentality. Meet a group of friends and split the food/beer ordering duties. Unless you’re the first person there, most of your time will be spent standing in a line. Less time standing in a line = more time hanging with your friends and listening to music. Divide and conquer, people.
Can I drink?
Are you 21? You are? Oh yes, you can most certainly drink.
My personal festival favorite is being able to walk around with an open container with nary a worry!!
“But what about the cops?” you might ask. Psh. At this event, the police earn the ‘fine’ in “OKC’s Finest” (obviously this goes without saying, but our police always do a great job, we’re just ecscatic to walk around midtown with a cold one in hand.. A truly liberating feeling).
COOP Ale Works graciously serves up two of their brews out of a beer truck. Justifiably, this line is extremely long. Get there early, and buy as many as the COOP-ers will allow you to in one trip.
I remember when Elemental Coffee served beer to the H&8th-ers. Well, we all blew that one.
Give an inch, and they take a mile, right EC?
Unfortunately, people were taking beer off the Elemental premises which
is was a no no. You can still grab a delicious cold brew to help curb the Oklahoma heat.
Ludivine has a full service bar, and it’s on full display during the night market. They have a patio that offers a great view of the new stage location, but again, early bird gets the worm…
Pet owners are more than welcome to bring their four legged family members, and if you’ve got kiddos, you’ll also fit right in at H&8th; strollers and other restraint/transportation devices have become a fixture of the event.
There is also a nice grassy area on the east side of Hudson (the lawn of the new Federal Building) where your tots/pets can play while you munch on your food and hang.
Kids or not, it’s not a bad idea to bring a blanket or lawn chairs if you’d like a catered picnic, or if you plan on lounging around during for an extended period.
If crowds and live music aren’t your thing, we suggest dropping by around 7 o’clock as the festivities are getting kicked off to grab a quick bite before you head off bar-hopping, movie-watching or whatever. This is an especially good plan if you’re going out with a group and want to avoid a back and forth debate about where to eat that ends up lasting longer than a trip Eischen’s would have taken. Everybody, regardless of their taste or budget, can find something satisfying here.
By my count, there will be 18+ food trucks at the July 27th festival, all of which are scrumptiously delicious. Below are a few of the trucks we’ve tried:
This farm-to-table culinary coach is gourmet on the go.
Actually, why don’t they use that as their slogan? It’s your’s if you want it, Moto.
We’ve had their burger and fries, mac’ and cheese, and the Scotch Duck Egg. All wonderful.
La Gumbo Ya Ya:
I just read LGYY’s menu, and, apparently they have more than just gumbo. Who knew?!
Order the gumbo. It comes in a to-go cup, making it perfect street food.
Mutt’s Hot Dog’s:
From classic to fancy, Mutt’s has got you covered in the hot dog department. I’ve been to their brick and mortar store more than I care to admit. We’re unfamiliar with what they serve out of their truck, but you can’t go wrong with the Liberty Dog, the Big Easy or the Tantonka. No matter which dog you choose, it’s imperative you get a side of duck fat fries with white truffle oil… And order a side of white truffle aioli for good measure.
Believe it or not, in 1975 there were only 3 Asian restaurants in Oklahoma City’s inner-north-side. All it takes today is a short drive down NW Classen Boulevard to see that, since then, a large and diverse east Asian community has blossomed, bringing with it dozens of delicious dining options, from Pho to Dim Sum, to Thai and Malaysian curries.
Of course, pork chops and pulled pork are American staples, but when it comes to cooking hog, recipes from the eastern hemisphere are a force to be reckoned with. ”Heo” means “pig” in Vienamese and the Heo’s Kitchen crew have established themselves as the top Asian fusion vendors on the block.
The mash-up of traditional Vietnamese flavors with influences from Korea, Germany, and the Mediterranean makes for a unique and delicious menu that speaks to Oklahoma City’s diversity at its very best.
Taste of Soul Eggroll:
Speaking of fusion, bacon-hashbrown-and-cheese egg-roll anyone?
These eggrolls are as big as they are delicious. The first time I ate TOS, I ordered two; a mistake my stomach both loved and hated me for. Rookie mistake.
Roxy’s Ice Cream:
This is your typical ice cream truck. Minus the weird music and terrible tasting ice cream. Roxy’s provides a creamy, frozen relief to the Oklahoma heat.
If you’ve ever had the “Grand Lake Monte Cristo” at The Mule, then you’ve tasted Roxy’s salted caramel ice cream. If you haven’t had the Grand Lake Monte Cristo, it’s good–good enough for the Food Network to pick it as their “50 States, 50 Ice Cream Treats” selection for Oklahoma.
Urban Agrarian: Seasonal. Local. Organic. The way produce should be. No one does it better than Matt and his crew. Everything I’ve purchased from UA has been incredible.
Their local peanut butter sweetened with some local honey is orgasmic. If you don’t buy your produce from UA, you’re only cheating yourself. Stop cheating yourself!
- Photo from weheartokc.com
First off, how the hell did they get that domain name? No one else had “jerky.com“?
Good for those dehydrators.
I had the kangaroo jerky. Never in my life have I felt more atop the food chain.
The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen:
It’s wood fired pizza by the slice. Need we say more? This place gets a crazy long line, bring a buddy or a reading material if you don’t grab a slice before the crowd hits. Since people do bear with the line, one can assume that this is some pretty good pie.
Were the food trucks sold out of food when you got there?!?!?!?!?!? OH MY GOD!!!! Don’t panic. Ludivine is hoppin’ long after the H&8th festivities. And, there’s absolutely no reason to hype Ludivine. If you haven’t dined there then you must hate yourself and/or be a zombie. There’s not a more innovatively delicious restaurant in the city. They were the ones serving up hors d’oeurves and drinks to VIPs after Anthony Bourdain’s show at Rose State College. If that’s not a culinary stamp of approval, I don’t know what is (Michelin stars, blah). Their late night bar menu is available from 11pm – 2am. Order some bone marrow. Then order another….(If bone marrow creeps you out, don’t worry. They always have inexpensive late-night options including some clever variation on traditional bar food.)
ACM@UCO’s students provide the live music, which starts at 7pm and ends around 11pm. At 11, The Spy FM grabs the musical reins and provides a cinematic soundtrack for the late night after party at Ludivine.
I know H&8th touts themselves as being a “night market” and “festival,” but I’m not so sure that’s accurate. In my
respectable opinion, H&8th is more than that. It’s a movement. A culture. A community of like-minded, beautiful people who have engineered an outlet to showcase their weirdness and brilliance. Eventually, this will just be a typical Friday night in a midtown neighborhood. It’s coming Oklahoma Cityans, embrace yourselves.
Do yourself a favor. Enjoy the weird.