A Local's Guide to the 2024 Ramadan Night Markets

Here's how to eat and drink your way through these annual markets like a pro — with tips from Concrete Playground's very own Lakemba local.
Nishika Sharma
Published on March 12, 2024

Whether you're looking for an excuse to visit this year's Ramadan Night markets, or are simply seeking out the best of the best to build your itinerary before you go, you've come to the correct place.

Running from Saturday, March 9-April 8, Lakemba's vibrant celebration of food and culture has returned, open from 6pm to 3am every Thursday to Sunday.

These month-long markets take over Haldon Street to honour the Islamic month of Ramadan, providing sustenance and a sense of community for participants while they break their daily fast (something to keep in mind when visiting), as well as providing the rest of the community with platefuls of reasons to head along.

Solidifying itself as an annual institution within the community, the markets breathe life into the local haunts of the suburb with food that you'll be craving all year round. If you are looking to test the waters with different cuisines, this is the perfect place to do so. Each stall features a particular cuisine, with the selection ranging from familiar crowd-pleasers like Lebanese and Indian dishes to lesser known gems like the Pakistani, Syrian and Burmese options on offer.

As a local, I've collated a range of helpful tips — as well as a selection of the top stalls to add to your hit list — to ensure a successful haul of top-tier dishes. Our recommendation: dive in headfirst and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

The Headliners

To start the night with a bang, hit up the stars of the show. These must-visit stalls range from mains to snacks and desserts to local sips.

Looking for dessert and a show? Secure a slice of knafeh from Yummy Yummy Knafeh or Al Fayhaa Nablous Knafeh. The delicious Middle Eastern dessert is a must-try, with cheese as the main ingredient — so you are guaranteed to enjoy the perfect cheese pull — combined with a topping of pistachios and a dousing of rose water sugar syrup.

For a creamy dessert, Syrian ice cream from Bakdash Ice Cream is a cold treat that'll sit lighter in the stomach. Or you can opt for decadent strawberry chocolate pots from Sugar House Waffles.

For heftier dishes, sink your teeth into a freshly-made burger from Broaster Chicken, the Chicken Tikka burger from Adda Kebab & Spicy Chicken (a personal favourite of mine), or opt for the Ramadan-special camel burger if you're feeling adventurous. Unfortunately, the two limited edition burgs are only available annually — so make the most of this rare treat.

If you are not on the burger train just yet, head over to Deccan Flavours or Desi Hub for a Chicken Tikka box fresh off the grill. Each box includes naan, juicy chicken pieces fresh off the grill, creamy mint sauce to accompany and a side of salad.

Then there's Shahi Dastarkhwan where the chicken curry wraps are the main event. Packed full of flavour and encased in light, pillowy bread, these wraps are also an annual go-to. At the stall, you'll find four flavours of curries to try, including the Hariyali chicken covered in a minty marinade (green), chicken cooked in coconut cream (white), 'Majestic chicken' — a blend of turmeric and other spices (yellow), and the classic Chicken 65 (red).

For a palate cleanser, try the refreshing lemonade from a small lemonade stand with a humble setup called Fresh Lemonade (situated next to the Commonwealth Bank). There is an expansive array of flavours on offer here, including the crowd-favourite classic lemonade, strawberry lemonade and mint lemonade — all of which contain fresh fruit. You'll also find a new-and-improved set of offerings, from Turkish lavashak and Italian cannoli to camel milk hot chocolate.

The Culture Vulture

For those seeking to fully immerse themselves in the culture of the night markets, opt for a coffee hit with a shot of Arabic coffee. This is also available at the Yummy Yummy Knafeh stand, so you can pair it with a slice of knafeh for the full experience. This intense blend is reminiscent of a long black — and is not for the weak — so we highly recommend sipping.

Keen to avoid coffee after hours? Head to The Nawabz or Adda Kebab & Spicy Chicken for the rose-flavoured Kashmiri Chai (dubbed the 'pink drink') and stay for a snack. The Nawabz stall also offers gol guppas (thin, round shells filled with curried chickpeas), which are a bite-sized delight accompanied by a tangy liquid spice mixture to dip the balls into — a treat that you'll also be able to find at the Desi Paikari Bazar stall.

For a creamier drink comparable to a thick white hot chocolate, opt for the Sahlab next to the King Crepe stand. Much like a warm milk pudding, this Middle-Eastern drink is the perfect selection to warm you up on a cooler night.

Comfort Classics If You Don't Intend to Venture Too Far

For visitors who don't want to venture too far outside their usual takeaway favourites, you can grab chicken fajitas from Fajita King; dutch pancakes, chocolate-covered dessert sticks and crepes from King Crepe; chips on a stick — the best being from Al Fayhaa Chicken; and manoush (Lebanese pizza) from Traboulsi Bakery and Al Fayhaa Bakery.

Tips and Tricks to Keep You Ahead of the Game

Hankering for some extra insight? I'm going to share some insider tips with you.

First and foremost, be sure to take cash. Many businesses only accept cash, while the majority have a preference for it. Peak times tend to be from 7pm-10pm if you're looking to avoid the crowds but keep in mind that you run the risk of stalls not being fully set up if you arrive earlier. Of course, the risk of visiting later in the night means items could be sold out completely — disastrous!

Hitting up the markets in groups or with reusable bags is also highly recommended. There are plenty of stalls to explore and you'll need your hands to either hold your loot or post those money shots on social media — many businesses are happy to put on a show for you if you do.

Searching for parking is a difficult feat, so public transport will be your best bet. There are shuttle buses available from Roselands and Campsie from 6:30pm to 12:30am for those in the neighbouring suburbs. Plus, Lakemba's train station is less than a minute from all of the action.

Finally, many of the businesses are now also available on UberEats for those residing nearby. Keep in mind, though, that many of the popular dishes are stall specials and are only available at the markets.


The 2024 Ramadan Night Markets will take over Lakemba from 6pm-3am every Thursday to Sunday from Saturday, March 9 until Monday, April 8. To stay up-to-date or for additional information, head to the event's page on the CBCity website.

Published on March 12, 2024 by Nishika Sharma
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