Melbourne has some fantastic markets. You can find anything at the Melbourne markets if you just know where to shop. They are great to find fresh food, save some money, or find a unique gift. So let’s get started with 10 of the best markets in Melbourne..
Melbourne’s Markets: Inner City Food Markets
1. Queen Victoria Market (CBD)
The oldest and largest of Melbourne markets the Queen Victoria Market (or Queen Vic as it is called by the locals) regularly appears on many of the “best markets in the world list”. Covering over 7 hectares (17 acres) this market features everything; meat, seafood, deli items, bread, fresh vegetables and a whole section of the market dedicated to non-food items.
The vendors are known as stall holders and in a time-honored tradition, pay for their stall on a daily basis. This also means vendors may move from day to day. Victoria and Elizabeth Streets, where the market is located are both lined with market-related shops.
This market started in 1878 and many of the stall holders have been here for generations. You can take a tour of the Queen Victoria Market and learn all the insider secrets. You can make a reservation for the tour on the QV website.
A lot of stall holders feature cooked food so it is a great place for a bite to eat or to take something home for dinner. In November and December, th Queen Vic Night Market is held on Wednesday evenings. It is a fun atmosphere and a good source to find Christmas presents or souvenirs. Many of the vendors at the night market are not regular stall holders at the Queen Vic Market during the day.
Insider tips: Don’t forget to explore both inside and outside at Queen Vic Market. Inside the permanent brick building are the meat, seafood, deli and bread stall holders. Outside in the non-foods section you can find Ariel’s Sweaters. Ariel’s carries sweaters that resemble the famous Coogi brand sweaters from Australia.
Queen Vic Market is located at the corner of Victoria and Elizabeth Street in the CBD. Queen Victoria Market open at 6am, with specialty shops opening at 8 am. The Queen Victoria Market is closed Mondays and Wednesdays. Queen Vic Night Market is open 5-10 pm on Wednesdays.
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The Queen Victoria Market is a short walk or tram ride from anything in the city. If you only visit one Melbourne market, visit the Queen Victoria Market.
2. South Melbourne Market
This is one of the smaller, inner-city markets where many locals shop weekly. One of South Melbourne Market’s biggest success stories in the South Melbourne Market Dim Sim, trading in the same spot since 1949. You can find dim sim from South Melbourne Market Dim Sim all over Melbourne. Don’t hold up the line (there is always a line)! It is bit like the Seinfeld episode with the Soup Nazi (without the attitude)! The dim sims are good. You can buy them steamed or fried.
A relatively recent addition, the Neff Market Kitchen runs cooking demonstrations and cooking classes at the South Melbourne Market. The cooking classes are run by some of Melbourne’s top chefs. You can find out what is on here.
South Melbourne market is open year round on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. January through March (Summer) there is also a night market on Thursday starting at 5 pm.
3. Prahran Market
One of Melbourne’s most gourmet markets. If you want to find Australia’s best products and produce, visit Prahran Market. You can find the finest of everything here. It has been operating at its current Commercial Road location since 1891.
On the first Saturday of every month, the market runs the Hidden Gems tour. Learn about the market and its producers and try lots of samples. You can book in advance on the Prahran Market website.
Holding a lot of cooking demonstrations and events at the market, there is always something happening.
The Prahran Market is open every day except Monday and Wednesday.
There is parking at Prahran Market, but it can be quite busy and the traffic near this market is often very congested. Take the tram or go early.
4. Footscray Market
One of Melbourne’s markets on the west side of town is conveniently located at the Footscray Railway Station. Footscray Market is a large indoor market and it sells everything. If you haven’t been able to find it somewhere else, chances are you will find it at the Footscray Market.
It features Melbourne’s largest selection of Asian produce with many stallholders being first and second generation Asian immigrants. If you need advice or are hunting for that special ingredient, they can help. Many of Melbourne’s restaurants shop at the Footscray Market.
Footscray Market is open every day of the week except Sunday and Monday.
5. Farmer’s Markets in Melbourne
In order to be certified as a farmer’s market, the stall holder needs to be the actual producer of the food sold. Farmers markets vary by day, most are on Saturday or Sunday and as opposed to the three markets listed above, these are not permanent markets. Our favorite farmer’s market in Melbourne is the one held on the 2nd Saturday of each month at the Collingwood Children’s Farm. It has won awards as Australia’s Best Farmer’s Market and in a country with a long history of farmer’s market this is a high honor indeed.
What makes it so great? The setting is fantastic. Located in a bend in the Yarra River, the market is held in a large open paddock surround by mature trees. It is most pleasant with plenty of room to move around and a wide variety of stall holders. You can buy fruit and vegetables, dairy, bread, meat and lots of specialty products including olives, jams, honey, and cakes at the Collingwood Children’s Farm market. There are organic and bio-dynamic producers.
As the vendors are the producers, you can meet the producer and have a chat about the products, a great way to learn about products and growing methods. It is a very family-friendly market with the Children’s Farm organizing a variety of activities to keep the little ones entertained, i.e. milking of the cows.
Insider tip: Arrive early, it is popular and some vendors will sell out. And bring your own bags, it is a bag free market.
Can’t make it to Collingwood Children’s Farm Market on the 2nd Saturday of the month? Here is a full list of Melbourne’s Farmer’s Markets.
Melbourne’s Weekend Arts Markets
6. The Arts Centre Market
Held every Sunday, the Arts Centre Market is just a short walk from Flinders Street Station. Just head for the yellow spire on top of the Melbourne Arts Centre. The lawn of the Arts Centre and the space under the stairs along the walkway by the Yarra River becomes a market featuring arts and crafts from local artisans. It often features local musicians and budding actors providing entertainment as well.
The Arts Market is a great place to find a unique gift or souvenir and then have a wander down along the Yarra River at Southbank, an area full of restaurants and cafes with great views of the city.
The Arts Market opening hours are 10am-4 pm every Sunday.
7. The Esplanade Market
The Esplanade Market, St. Kilda is also held every Sunday. This is a well-established arts market, it has been going since 1970. The setting along the St. Kilda Esplanade, with St. Kilda Beach as a back drop, is fantastic. With over 150 stalls it is a great place to spend a Sunday afternoon browsing for something special. It has many local artists and czrafts of all sorts for sale.
And for all you food lovers The Esplanade Market has a “Flavors of the World” food section. You can find the food stalls located opposite the Espy Hotel, just past the footbridge.
The Esplanade Market runs every Sunday from 10-4 (10-5 in the summer).
8. Abbotsford Convent Maker’s Market
This was originally called the shirts and skirts market, The Abbotsford Maker’s Market is held the 3rd Sunday of every month in the main Convent building.
In addition to a variety of food stalls, the market features all handmade, original designs from artists specializing in photography, textiles, wood, ceramics, jewellery, sculpture, paper, glass, clothing, toys, and home decor.
The The Abbotsford Maker’s Market opens at 10 am. There is free face painting for children between 10am and midday. There is some parking in the area, be careful parking on the street as it is restricted parking for residents on most streets in the area. And yes it is patrolled.
This is the same area as the Collingwood Children’s Farm, the site of the Farmers Market listed above. The Convent also hosts a Slow Food Market on the 4th Saturday of the month. It is very popular.
If you are at the Abbotsford Convent, try the coffee and bread at Chimmy’s at the Convent Bakery. The pain au chocolat is highly recommended. You can also take cooking classes at the Convent Bakery.
9. The Rose Street Artist Market
Held in the funky inner city- Melbourne neighborhood of Fitzroy every weekend, the Rose Street Artist market has something for everyone. Featuring art, photography, clothing, jewellery and accessories you are sure to find something!
The market has recently added an eatery featuring a rooftop bar!
This market began in 2003, long before the current maker’s movement gained a foothold. It has been growing in popularity. At 60 Rose St. Fitzroy, the Rose Street Artist Market is open every Saturday and Sunday between 11am and 5pm.
10. Fed Square Book Market
And if you are looking for a good read, there is large book market every Saturday at Fed (Federation) Square, opposite Flinders Street Station. There are over 5000 pre-loved books on sale. You can find everything, books on Melbourne, Australia, fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, and cookbooks.
Get out there and explore Melbourne’s Markets!
If you enjoyed reading about the fabulous Melbourne markets, you might also enjoy:
- Marvelous Melbourne: the world’s best city for sport! Find out why we think so!
- Tips from a Local to Find Fantastic Food in Melbourne
- My Favorite Melbourne Food Shops and Cooking Courses
- Check out Melbourne’s Multicultural Food Scene
For some Melbourne-style food, you might enjoy these posts:
- Healthy Avocado Smash- a Breaky Fave in Melbourne
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- Tips to make your own Great Cheese Platter
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