When it comes to street food, or food markets, our minds tend wander to foreign, perhaps even exotic places outside North American borders. Distant countries like Thailand, Vietnam, or India come to mind.
Withstanding the pockets of food trucks — which we adore — parked within the city, truly authentic street food doesn’t quite reveal itself as an edible option in our city. To this idea we gladly refute. For Houstonians can embark on a street food excursion in their very own backyard.
The Sunny Flea Market is somewhat unassuming. Located at 8705 Airline Drive in between I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road, the market doesn’t resemble much in the way of flourish. The parking lot costs $2 and isn’t paved. The entrance is a touch glum. Once inside, however, the festive excitement starts to settle in.
As a flea market, there are many vendors and shops that sell everything under sun: from cheap clothing, makeup, trinkets, to birds and baby turtles — you also might have a run-in with a couple dinosaurs (yes, dinosaurs).
However, the expansive market offers much more than knick knacks and cheap electronics. If low-cost, authentic, and delicious food is what you’re looking for, there’s no better place than Sunny Flea Market.
You won’t have to search hard to find the food. Mexican and Central American food stands line the entrance and walkways — just follow your nose if you’re eyes haven’t adjusted to the heavenly sight.
Some of the highlights include the as-seen-on-Tik-Tok Stop N’ Grubb, an authentic Mexican food stand that serves up cowboy-made churros courtesy of Ruben Alcala, along with aguas frescas, and other tasty eats.
Visitors can also find famous carnitas tacos at Tacos El Chilly Willy, fresh pupusas at Pupusas Alexis, and quesadillas at Las Chenchas Quesadillas. Many of the stands offer $1 tacos, and many will mix fresh elote right in front of you.
All round the market you can buy wine, beer, and juice. While you’re there, you ought to venture out and try one of their chamoy drinks served in pineapples. Or, pay a visit to The Fruit Lady, who will hook you up with the most immaculate juices you’ve ever laid your eyes upon.
The market is only open on weekends from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. You won’t need much, but the market is cash only, so you ought to have some on hand. Sunny Flea Market hits its busiest hours from 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m..