Thoughtful farmers and producers? Tick. Interesting, cosmopolitan eating? You bet. A platform for independent artists and designers? Absolutely. Perth’s markets have something for everyone and are a fine way to explore the city’s myriad neighbourhoods.
Mount Claremont Farmers Markets
To quote the famous Paul Kelly song, from little things, big things grow. What began as an experiment with eight stallholders in December 2007 paved the way for Perth’s farmers market boom. One decade on and this Saturday-morning market at Mount Claremont Primary School remains a popular way to begin any weekend. Come for the rollcall of great primary producers and farmers (Swan Valley-grown gourmet mushrooms and Over The Moon Organics milk and cheeses, say), then stay for winning brunch dishes including frilly French pancakes from Le Petit Crepe.
103 Alfred Road, Mount Claremont
Vic Park Record & CD Fair
In 1988, the Perth Rock and Roll Collectors Club held its first record fair at the Mount Lawley Tennis Club. Fast forward almost three decades and the event continues to draw throngs of music lovers. While each fair features plenty of black and silver discs, stall-holders sell a broad range of music paraphernalia including posters, clothing and books. Held twice-yearly.
LeisureLife Centre, corner Kent and Gloucester streets, East Victoria Park
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These quarterly markets at Winthrop Hall at the University of Western Australia are a fantastic introduction to Perth’s creative industries. Each event brings together more than 180 West Australian designers and artists whose collective oeuvre runs the gamut from scented modelling dough to cufflinks made of vintage men’s watches. Each Upmarket also features a growing food component: sample Japanese pancakes or enrol in cheesemaking workshops.
Winthrop Hall, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley
Open Friday to Sunday and public holidays, the Fremantle Markets are as beloved by locals as they are by tourists. For more than a century, the grand Victorian building on the corner of South Terrace and Henderson Street has been a pivotal part of life in the port city. Those vocal fruit and veg traders are still very much in force (and voice), only these days they’re joined by a healthy contingent of fittingly Freo-casual eateries: think hearty Japanese breakfast ramen.
South Terrace and Henderson Street, Fremantle
Treasured Craft Creations 3 in 1 Market at Showgrounds
To paraphrase a popular saying, three markets are better than one, at least for those with a taste for all things vintage, antique and crafty. Appropriately held three times a year at the Claremont Showgrounds, this market feels like Perth’s biggest and best jumble sale with vendors specialising in handmade and retro knick-knacks. Each event features an awesome, almost paralysing selection of goods to rifle through: good thing the market is spread across two days for maximum browse-ability.
Showgrounds, entry via Gate 5 on Graylands Road, Claremont
Margaret River Farmers Market
Admittedly, these Saturday morning markets fall just outside Perth city limits, but considering Margaret River’s popularity as a holiday destination, they’re worth mentioning. The market’s regional focus (stallholders have to grow or produce their goods inside the greater Margaret River region) helps create a strong sense of place while food options including great Chinese dumplings and breakfast beans from Jindong Free Range Pork are worth rising early for.
Lot 272 Bussell Highway, Margaret River
Since establishing Mondo Di Carne butcher in 1979, Calabrian-born Vince Garreffa has been a key figure in Perth food circles. Our man’s appreciation of life’s simple pleasures – live music, good food, even better friends – underpins the community market Garreffa holds outside his Inglewood butcher every Saturday in spring. Jazz musicians provide a breezy soundtrack for the morning while bulky roast-meat sandwiches make a fine start to the morning.
824 Beaufort Street, Inglewood
Twilight Hawker Markets
Street food is the name of the game and this bustling night market (held every Friday over summer) ensures everyone’s a winner. As you’d expect, the flavours of Asia – Thai-style grilled pork skewers, perhaps, or takoyaki, fluffy Japanese octopus balls – are well represented but the line-up isn’t so rigid that guests can’t snack on the likes of Colombian empanadas and Hungarian beef goulash, too.
Forrest Place, Perth
Top image: Fremantle Markets