25 Nov 2018
If you’re looking for fruit ripe with flavour, juicy prawns you can peel from the shell or are thinking of stocking a basket with cheese, bread and all the trimmings for a picnic, head to one of Melbourne’s top five favourite food markets.
Jump off the South Morang train at Preston Station and you’ll be right at Preston Market (open Wednesday to Saturday). This favourite northside number has been operating for 45 years and prides itself on the diversity of offerings. There are Eastern European delis, Italian greengrocers and Vietnamese butchers among the hundreds of stalls and outlets. While you’re there, check out the new PAM Lane, a block of studios featuring the work of local designers and artists. The market also hosts international festival days.
Jump on the number 96 tram from Bourke Street and in just a few minutes you’ll be disembarking at South Melbourne Market (open Wednesday and Friday to Sunday). Grab an espresso or latte from Padre Coffee then browse the huge number of stalls, stocking everything from organic vegetables to freshly made pasta. You might want to grab yourself a bag of cruffins from Agathe Patisserie or a huge bunch of fresh flowers. Of course, you also have to try the famous South Melbourne Market dim sims, made on site for the past 60 years. We love them steamed with a dash of soy and a dollop of chilli sauce.
It’s one of the cheapest places to do your shopping in Melbourne, so Footscray Market (open Tuesday to Saturday) is buzzing all through the week. Located opposite Footscray train station – on the Sunbury, Werribee and Williamstown lines – it’s also a great place to grab some lunch, since there are plenty of tiny restaurants like Phu Vinh Noodle Shop, where the noodle soups are the star attraction. Stock up on fresh meat, poultry, seafood and fruit and vegetables, or a number of more exotic ingredients – this is where you’ll find items like lotus flowers and other Asian specialities.
If you’re wandering along Chapel Street enjoying the shopping, make sure you duck around into Commercial Road to visit Prahran Market (open Tuesday and Thursday to Sunday). This is a historic spot, having opened way back in 1891, although it’s been expanded a number of times since. As well as all types of fresh produce, you can feast on dishes from around the world – mussels cooked in chilli coconut cream from The Mussel Pot and baklava from Abla’s Patisserie are just a couple of favourites – or book one of the guided tours held on the first Saturday of each month.
Of course, no trip to Melbourne is complete without paying a visit to the Queen Victoria Market (open Tuesday, and Thursday to Sunday). This Melbourne institution and historic landmark is positioned on the outskirts of the hustle and bustle of the CBD and is proudly the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere. With traders selling everything from fruit, vegetables, deli goods and imported gourmet delicacies you would be forgiven for losing track of time here just exploring its wonders. If you’re feeling peckish, be sure to make a pit-stop at Simply Spanish for their popular big pan paella.