I know by now it’s probably no secret how amazing the Thai – Lao Sunday Market at the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center is. After a few social media posts went viral on Instagram and TikTok, many people have been hurrying to visit the beloved Sunday Market located in Warren, Michigan.

Surprisingly, this was my first time attending the event, even though I live 15 minutes from the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center (MBMC).

A friend of mine sent me an Instagram Reel about the Thai – Lao Sunday Market because she knows how much of a Detroit Foodie I am. After looking up the location, I was astonished to learn I live so close to the meditation center. 

How in the world did I not know about it?! 

Well, I didn’t need any further convincing. Just that one reel was enough for me to go check out the Thai -Lao Sunday Market!

The Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center in Warren, Michigan.
I loved visiting the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center for the Thai – Lao Sunday Market!
Detroit Food: Thai - Lao Sunday Market at the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center in Warren, Michigan
Preparing food orders at the Thai – Lao Sunday Market.
A cook prepares a traditional Thai dish at the Thai -Lao Sunday Market in Warren, Michigan.
Cooking traditional Thai dish at the Thai -Lao Sunday Market in Warren, Michigan.
A cook prepares a traditional Thai dish at the Thai -Lao Sunday Market in Warren, Michigan.

WHAT IS THE THAI – LAO SUNDAY MARKET?

The Thai – Lao Sunday Market at the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center is a cherished, community event. The MBMC has been hosting the market for about 10 years now.

The event occurs twice a month, beginning at the end of April and ending in mid-November. This year’s official event date range are April 30 to November 12, 2023. Each Sunday market is held on a Sunday starting from 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. All of the proceeds from the market benefit the MBMC.

The Thai – Lao Sunday Market is a family-friendly event which welcomes a diverse crowd. It gets pretty busy at the market, so make sure you get there early. We arrived around 10:30 a.m. and the lines were very long at the food tents.

I noticed crowd-favorites were Pad Thai, Papaya Salad, and Fried Bananas. I had wanted to try the Papaya Salad, but the line was so long that by the time I made it near the front of the line, they only had enough food for six more orders. It must be really good!

Papaya Salad at the Thai - Lao Sunday Market.
The Papaya Salad was a popular meal at the Thai – Lao Sunday Market. The line stayed long until they sold out of food!
A woman mixes ingredients for a Papaya Salad at the Thai - Lao Sunday Market.
A woman mixes ingredients for a Papaya Salad. I’m looking forward to returning to the Sunday Market in July so I can try the Papaya Salad!
The lines get pretty long at some of the food tents, so make sure you come prepared. But it’s worth the wait!
Detroit Event: Thai - Lao Sunday Market in Warren, Michigan.
There is a patio with benches, tables, and chairs for you to sit down and enjoy your food.

AFFORDABLE PRICES AND DELICIOUS FOOD ARE WORTH THE WAIT!

Despite a possible lengthy wait time to get food, I don’t think you should let the long lines discourage you from attending the Thai – Lao Sunday Market. Not all of the lines were long, and it’s a great opportunity to discover new foods you may have possibly not tried before.

Also, one of the MBMC members I spoke to at the event told me whenever the Sunday Market receives news coverage, the event gets really busy for a while. So perhaps, after a few weeks the lines won’t be as long.

But of course, I hope the attendance continues to remain steady and a success for the duration of MBMC’s market season!

Another great reason why the food is worth the wait are the affordable prices. We were happy to discover the cost of the food is budget friendly. You could easily get yourself one meal and a drink for under $20. Or if you’re water drinkers like us, two meals for under $25.

You get a good portion size, too. We ended up taking leftovers home to eat for dinner.

For lunch, I ordered the Pad Thai, which was only $8. While Travis ordered Thai Street Food for just $14. We also bought five fried bananas for $5. You can get 10 fried bananas for $8.

The fried bananas taste so good! It reminded of a funnel cake in a way, but just not very sweet like a funnel cake. The sweetness was perfect for me because I like semi-sweet desserts.

For our drinks, Travis got a Thai iced coffee for $3. He said the coffee was very flavorful and sweet. I brought my own water and then later, I bought a bottle of water at the event.

Thai Tea and Thai Coffee at the Thai - Lao Market.
The iced Thai Coffee is very flavorful and sweet.
Thai Street Food at the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center in Warren, Michigan.
Pad Thai at the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center in Warren, Michigan.
Fried bananas
The fried bananas taste so good! It reminded of a funnel cake in a way, but just not very sweet like a funnel cake.
Thai Food Menu

A FEW TIPS FOR ATTENDING THE THAI- LAO SUNDAY MARKET

Here are a few other tips that may help you with planning your visit to the Thai – Lao Sunday Market at the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center.

  • Overall vibes: good energy, jovial, peaceful, and very friendly. It was so good to see so many people smiling with their family and friends while enjoying the market and delicious food.
  • The event is family friendly. I saw many families with their babies and children. There is even a small backyard playground located near the dining patio for children to enjoy playing.
  • Wear comfy shoes since the lines will be long. Travis made the mistake of wearing boots that aren’t best for standing long periods of time. Thankfully, I wore my comfy Vans sneakers, but I mean, when am I not wearing my Vans. Haha!
  • Parking is available at the MBMC and neighboring businesses. The day that we went to the event parking was free, so I imagine it will continue to be free for visitors. 
  • Water is sold on site. I brought my water bottle with me and then bought another water at the market when I needed to refill my bottle. 
  • Specialty drinks are also sold at the market.
  • The market appears to be dog friendly. I saw quite a few people with their small dogs.
  • All are welcome to visit the center for meditation. There are meditation sessions every day. Check the MBMC website for their meditation schedule. 
  • Bring an umbrella on sunny days. There are quite a few trees at the center; however, on those hot and sunny summer days, you may want an umbrella for shade when you’re waiting in line.
  • There is a patio with benches, tables, and chairs available for outdoor dining. I also noticed some people bought their food to-go, so if you’re looking to grab Sunday lunch and eat it at home, definitely get there early!
Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center in Warren, Michigan.
Buddhist Monks were also at the event. You could receive a blessing from the monks if you wanted.
Welcome to MBMC!

We loved attending the Thai – Lao Sunday Market at the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center!

Visiting the Sunday Market is a good way to get to learn more about your community and support your fellow community members, whether you live in the metro area or beyond.

The Thai – Lao Sunday Market would also make a great day date! Travis and I enjoyed spending time together and sitting under the trees eating lunch together.

I can’t wait to go back next month and try new dishes, especially that Papaya Salad! 

The next Sunday Market is scheduled for July 16th and July 30th. The Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center is located at 29750 Ryan Rd. in Warren, Michigan. Follow MBMC on Facebook here and on Instagram here.

Have you visited the Thai – Lao Sunday Market at the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center yet? What did you think of it?


A FEW MORE PHOTOS FROM THE THAI – LAO SUNDAY MARKET

Thai - Lao Sunday Market at the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center in Warren, Michigan
I ran into my friend Whitney at the event. So good seeing her!
Thai - Lao Sunday Market at the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center in Warren, Michigan
Thai - Lao Sunday Market at the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center in Warren, Michigan
You can also buy snacks and other treats at the Thai – Lao Sunday Market. We bought the kids a few snacks.
Thai - Lao Sunday Market at the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center in Warren, Michigan
Thai - Lao Sunday Market at the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center in Warren, Michigan
People enjoying lunch on the patio at the Thai - Lao Sunday Market at the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center in Warren, Michigan
Buddhist garden statues at the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center in Warren, Michigan.
Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center in Warren, Michigan
The Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center is located at 29750 Ryan Rd. in Warren, Michigan.
The Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center is located at 29750 Ryan Rd. in Warren, Michigan.

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All photographs were taken by Jennifer Hamra and are courtesy of Good Life Detroit. Email Jennifer at jennifer@goodlifedetroit.com for media inquiries.

Written by

Jennifer Hamra

Freelance creative Jennifer Hamra created her blog Good Life Detroit in 2015 after relocating from Tennessee to Southeast Michigan.

Inspired by her love for personal blogging and photography, Jennifer likes to share her favorite Detroit things, from cool places to visit (the hidden gems are her favorite!) to the amazing people she has connected with over the years.

When she's not busy juggling family life and her creative projects, you can find her at an art gallery, community event, farmers market, or spending quiet time at home with a good book and cup of tea.

Jennifer lives in the metro Detroit area with her husband Travis and their six children.

Connect with Jennifer on social media @goodlifedetroit on all social media platforms. Email at [email protected].