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Melbourne’s Iconic Australian Food Markets

Picture of Erin Leeder
Updated: 9 May 2017
Melbourne’s love of good food is part of its identity. Its first food markets were established before the Melbourne officially existed as a citythe city was officially existed as a city, and the allure of fresh food and a lively atmosphere has attracted locals and visitors to the markets ever since. Read on to discover what Melbourne’s most iconic markets have to offer.

Queen Victoria Market

The Queen Victoria Market opened in 1878 and has supplied Melbourne’s CBD with fresh food ever since. Known locally as the Vic Market, it’s a popular location for buying local produce and quality deli products, as well as many other kinds of food, craft and miscellany. The market also holds seasonal night markets, which feature international food stalls, artisan vendors and entertainment.

Make sure you join the queue for the American Doughnut Kitchen van. Their famous hot jam doughnuts are a traditional Vic Market treat and are often sold out before the end of market day.

Opening hours: Tuesday and Thursday 6 am-2 pm, Friday 6 am-5 pm, Saturday 6 am-3 pm and Sunday 9 am-4 pm.

South Melbourne Market

The South Melbourne Market has been running for almost 150 years. South Melbourne showcases local products, from fresh food to fashion. It also prides itself on its diverse food joints.

The South Melbourne Market Dim Sims has long been widely regarded as the best dim sims in the country. Dim sims are Chinese-inspired dumpling-style packets of meat, vegetables and spices, invented in Melbourne in the 1940s. There is always a long queue to sample the South Melbourne variety, but it’s worth the wait.

Opening hours: Wednesday 8am-4pm, Friday 8am-5pm, and Saturday and Sunday 8am-4pm.

Prahran Market

Prahran Market claims to be the oldest continuously running market in Australia. It’s known for its speciality shops and offers many gourmet products, which means wares are often more expensive than usual, but there is more choice and quality on offer.

If you are looking for a bargain, regular shoppers say the best time to go is after 2 pm on weekends when traders offer bargains such as $1 bags and fishmongers hold fish auctions.

Opening hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 7 am-5 pm and Sunday 10 am-3 pm.

Dandenong Market

Dandenong Market is around a 30 minute drive from the CBD. Another market with 19th century origins, Dandenong is the second oldest and second largest market in Melbourne.

The market prides itself on its cultural diversity. Over 150 different nations are represented at its stalls, shops and food court, including hand-prepared gözleme, Lebanese pizzas and Mauritian curries.

Opening hours: Tuesday 7 am-4 pm, Friday 7 am-5 pm, Saturday 7 am-4 pm and Sunday 10 am-3 pm.