I’ve always been a fan of farmers’ markets back home. As a California girl, I’m blessed with a vast amount of local and organic produce at my disposal, and I’ve always held to the steadfast belief in shopping locally when you can. So, it came as no surprise that one of my favorite activities in Melbourne is exploring the Queen Victoria Market.
Melbourne is known for many things, a melting pot of different nationalities, the culture and music capital of Australia, its expansive gardens that can be found throughout the city, and even its wide array of markets. The big daddy of Melbourne markets is the Queen Victoria Market, located in the CBD.
Established in the 1850s and spanning 17 acres, it is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere. I find myself perusing the stalls more and more these days, realizing that I can find just about anything from souvenirs and postcards to fresh produce for significantly less than I can at a local grocery store. I was especially ecstatic to discover that my favorite fruit, avocados, are relatively cheap at the market when they are so expensive everywhere else.
In addition to everything sold in the stalls, there is a great variety of delicious and cheap take-away food to choose from. One of my favorite things is grabbing a few Turkish boreks from the market and finding my way over to the beautiful Flagstaff Gardens across the street to have my own makeshift picnic.
Here was my day of shopping at the market:
1 Happy Daze smoothie (apple juice, banana, strawberry, pineapple, ice) – $6
5 postcards – $2
1 spicy lamb borek – $3
1 spinach and cheese borek – $3
2 avocados – $2
The market is closed on Mondays and Wednesdays, and I would recommend avoiding weekends; there were more than a few times of almost being knocked over by determined market-goers, and it was so crowded that you could barely move in some areas. Other than that, enjoy the best place to do your shopping for the week, and one of the best experiences Melbourne has to offer.