To market, to market… whether it’s to buy a fat pig, locally designed jewellery or vintage treasures, Melbourne’s got the lot.
Queen Victoria Market
Historic, central and huge, the Queen Vic, as it’s colloquially known, is a busy mix of fresh produce, deli goods, clothing of all stripes and tourist tchotchkes. Special mention goes to the hot jam doughnuts at the American Doughnut Kitchen van, a bona fide market institution since 1950.
513 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne; open Tuesday and Thursday-Sunday; check the website for stall-specific trading hours
A classic working-class migrants’ market, north-side Preston Market draws the local Greek and Italian populations – and the Vietnamese, and Middle Eastern and more. That means market-garden produce and a huge seafood hall – plus it now boasts food outlets catering to the growing horde of local hipsters, including gluten-freegan food (it’s a thing) and paella.
Corner of Cramer and Mary streets, Preston; open Wednesday-Sunday
South Melbourne Market
Frenetically busy, the 150-year-old South Melbourne Market is a one-stop shop for everything from food to clothing, homewares and collectibles. The multicultural Food Hall is a highlight – grab a gelato to accompany your market promenade.
Corner of Coventry and Cecil streets, South Melbourne; open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Chapel Street Bazaar
Welcome to the vintage wonderland of Chapel Street Bazaar, where individually owned stalls specialise in everything pre-loved including telephones (analogue, naturally), clothes, records, homewares and good old-fashioned collectable kitsch.
217 Chapel Street, Prahran; daily 10am-6pm
From the wild mushroom stall to organic fruit and vegetables and game meat, Prahran Market is the spiritual home of specialist produce – and with chef Paul Wilson opening his Wilson’s Tuckshop café and Wilson & Market restaurant alongside Noisette bakery, Cioccolato Lombardo chocolatiers and the wonderland emporium Essential Ingredient, it’s even more of a food magnet.
163 Commercial Road, South Yarra; open Tuesday and Thursday-Sunday
Rose Street Artists’ Market
Small but perfectly formed, this bijou gem is Melbourne’s best art and design market and features handmade crafts, clothes and jewellery; plus Rose Street Artists’ Market has its own hipster-magnet diner and rooftop bar.
60 Rose Street, Fitzroy; open Saturday and Sunday
St Kilda Esplanade Market
Battle the hordes of backpackers to browse stalls of craft, jewellery and street-wear at St Kilda Esplanade Market set out along the upper Esplanade with the gaping mouth of Luna Park as a backdrop.
The Esplanade, St Kilda; open Sunday
A supersized trash-and-treasure, Camberwell Market has been running since 1976. It’s a mecca for bargain lovers, fossickers, vintage lovers and students setting up share houses with more dash than cash. Entry is via a gold coin donation for Rotary.
Market Place, Camberwell; open Sunday