Next time you need to stock up your fridge, head to a market and show your support for local farmers. Between the bargains and haggling, you’ll come away with bags full of the freshest produce, including plump seasonal fruit and veggies, artisan bread, free-range eggs and meat and plenty of organic products. Shop local and reap the benefits with the best produce in Melbourne.
Queen Victoria Market ‘is the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere’. The market’s historic sheds were built in 1878 and house produce and giftware, and on Wednesday nights from November until March, the night market comes alive with live music and food stalls. The Lower Market includes the Deli Hall, Meat & Fish Hall, and H and I Sheds where you’ll find organic fruit and vegetables. From artisan bread to Greek cheeses, local butter, and Polish sausages, Queen Victoria Market is the great monarch of Melbourne produce.
Tip your hat to the Dandy Pig and visit Melbourne’s second oldest market which was founded in 1866 and has just celebrated its 150th anniversary. Dandenong Market features 200 traders, including 16 fruit and veggie stalls, four bakeries, three delis, three seafood stores, three butchers and one chicken shop. You’ll also find 19 produce traders, including honey and nuts. With 150 nationalities under one roof, Dandenong Market is the epitome of multicultural.
Conveniently located beside Preston station, Preston Market has been a multi-cultural meeting place in Melbourne’s north-east for 45 years. Open four days a week, shoppers can pick up groceries, deli meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood as well as clothing, fabrics and footwear. Preston Market also features Pam Lane, which is a group of miscellaneous shops selling everything from quirky gifts to gluten-free chocolate and wine.
Known as ‘the food lover’s market’, The Prahran Market has been a fixture on Commercial Road for more than 125 years. The market has one of the biggest selections of organic produce in Melbourne, and there are plenty of paleo, gluten-free and vegan options. From fruits and vegetables to butchers, seafood mongers, deli meats, poultry and game plus a range of speciality foods including a chocolatier and pasta specialist, you’ll find everything on your shopping list at The Prahran Market.
The first farmers market in Melbourne began at Collingwood Children’s Farm in 2002. Since then, on the second Saturday of every month, 60-70 stallholders set up shop to sell seasonal produce, including fruit and vegetables, eggs, free-range meat, poultry, bread, pasta, jams and preserves and fresh flowers. The market is free of plastic bags, and all profits go to regional communities. Entry is $2, but children can enter for free. See the website for a full list of this week’s stallholders.
Since January 2006, Gasworks Farmers Market has been trading ripe fruit and vegetables, hand-made cakes and jams, free-range eggs, local wines, nuts, freshly cut flowers, meats and more on the third Saturday of each month until 1 pm. In total, 50 stallholders and accredited farmers set up shop in the old gas production plant known as Gasworks Arts Park. Gasworks Farmers Market is also a plastic bag-free venue.