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South Bay's first public market opens in National City

Market on 8th opened with more than a dozen food and local vendors celebrating San Diego's diverse cultures in a communal space.

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — The flavors of San Diego’s diverse culture are being showcased in National City.

Market on 8th is the South Bay’s first food hall featuring more than a dozen vendors.

You can catch catfish and shrimp po’boys and BBQ ribs at Smitty's Taste of the Bayou but Smitty won’t be giving away his secret sauce soon.

“It's a secret,” said GuJuan “Smitty” Smith, owner of Smitty’s Taste of the Bayou.

Or you can walk down and pick up Thai street food at Ping Yang.

“This is Thai street food that you can't find anywhere else. It’s the skewers and sticky rice, and comes from my childhood,” said Pam Peralta, owner of Ping Yang.

Or order up carne asada tacos at La Central Urban Griill.

“This is my first time I opened up a brand-new restaurant and I am so, so excited,” said Miguel Fernandez, owner of La Central Urban Grill.

Novo’s Brazilian Brewery is the anchor of the food hall and opened its fourth location at Market on 8th.

“I'm really excited that we have a venue that promotes small businesses. We have local entrepreneurs that showcase the diversity of our culture through our food and I think it will break down barriers,” said JoAnn Fields, neighbor.

Developer Joel Tubao and his family created the 9,000-square-foot space plus an outdoor beer garden that includes 14 food vendors who serve up more than delicious meals.

“We want to create an atmosphere here in National City or the South Bay where they can come and enjoy the community and meet your neighbors,” said Tubao, Pacific Point Properties.

The communal tables create a space where no one is a stranger.

“I was like OK there is a line over there what are they getting?” said Fields.

Market on 8th is located in National City’s historic district and across the street from Andy Lorenzana’s new apartment.

“National City is up and coming and this place especially is a place you want to vibe out,” said Lorenzana, neighbor.

Opening day was a special day too for Navy veterans Smitty and his business partner Rodney Jordan who had to close their North Park location because of the pandemic.

“It's been a long time coming. It's great to be back in the saddle,” said Smith.

And back to eating their way through San Diego’s diverse communities.

“We get to break bread, we get to share our culture, our heritage at the table here on Market on the 8th,” said Fields.

List of vendors:

Novo Brazil Brewing, Brazilian-style craft beer

Weapon Ramen, Japanese-Asian cuisine

Wordsmith, culinary store

Serbesa, Filipino cuisine

MNGO, café & desserts

Moe Coffee, organic coffee & cuisine

La Central Urban Grill, Mexican-style cuisine

Pacific Poke, Hawaiian-style seafood

Smitty’s Taste of the Bayou, BBQ

Pizza Kaiju, creative-style pizza

The Fresh Yard, streetwear boutique

Donburi, Japanese cuisine

Ping Yang, Thai cuisine

Café Indonesia, Filipino-Indonesian cuisine

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