The long-anticipated Market on 8th opens on Monday, October 18, bringing a family-friendly gathering space to National City and contributing to the diversity of dining options now available in the neighborhood.
Located at the corner of East 8th Street and A Avenue next to Neiderfrank’s Ice Cream, the public market spans 9,000-square-feet with a 2,000-square-foot beer garden. The lineup is composed of 12 food vendors and 2 retail outlets with familiar names from the industry such as Moe Coffee and MNGO as well as first-time restaurants.
Developer Joel Tubao, whose family’s real estate company Pacific Point Properties has been operating in the the area since the ‘50s, added communal tables indoors and out and decorated the renovated building’s walls with vintage photos of National City. He tells Eater that he wants the market to be a destination for all of San Diego but is particularly proud of what it means for the local community in terms of jobs and new business. “In everything we do, we want to celebrate that sense of pride, for those who live here and have grown up here,” says Tubao.
Tubao co-founded Chula Vista’s Novo Brazil Brewing Company, which has an outpost within the food hall with 20 taps plus a grab-and-go section for its beer, kombucha, and hard seltzer.
Among the new-to-San Diego establishments is Cafe Indonesia, which carries on a family tradition and celebrates owner Robert Alfonso’s Indonesian-Dutch heritage as well as his upbringing (Alfonso was born in the Philippines and grew up in Japan.) His family ran an Indonesian restaurant in Manila for two decades and the menu for Market on 8th includes his aunt’s recipe for traditional beef rendang and nasi goreng as well as dishes like adobo fried chicken sandwiches on Japanese milk bread.
Although Thunchanok Peralta’s relatives own Thai restaurants in the area, Ping Ying is her first food venture. Focusing on Thai street food and other lesser seen dishes, Peralta is cooking up a variety of snacks and combo plates including Thai sausage, barbecued skewers of meat and vegetables, and sticky rice.
With roots in the South Bay, the market is particularly meaningful to Phillip Esteban, whose community-building work is just as important to the chef as his culinary exploits. “Growing up in National City and later in Paradise Hills, they were neighborhoods that weren’t the most sought-after neighborhoods in San Diego,” Esteban says. “Part of my current identity is finding out who I am, and giving back to my profession and my community, through food and my culture.” Esteban has adjacent spaces at Market on 8th for Weapon, his ramen restaurant that will also offer breakfast, Japanese sandwiches, and grab-and-go bento boxes, and Wordsmith, a culinary shop selling chef supplies and cookbooks.
Moe Coffee, which has other locations in Little Italy and North Park, will usher in mornings with organic coffee drinks, breakfast dishes, and panini.
The lineup also includes an extension of Convoy dessert shop MNGO cafe, Chula Vista’s La Central Grill, Pacific Poke from Poway, and Smitty’s Taste of the Bayou, a Louisiana-style barbecue spot that used to operate in North Park as well as brand new storefronts for popular local pop-ups Pizza Kaiju and Serbesa Filipino Kitchen.
Market on 8th, 41 East 8th Street, National City.