Local markets in any city show the true underside of any city. It cuts through the fluff of what the city is made of, showing it’s true heart and the best and sometimes worst of what a city has to offer.
Luckily, Melbourne is a beautiful town (perhaps I am partial to it) and being rated the second most livable city in the world, you need to visit the many weekend markets that they have to offer.
There will always be the major ones like the Vic Market (close to the north of the city) or the Caribbean Market (out in the east) but every location has it’s own little surprise whether it’s a pop-up market for the weekend or just a Saturday or Sunday. I was visiting a few friends over the weekend and was fortunate enough to visit the market next to the Burnley Town Hall.
Now, if you’ve never been to a market, then you are in for a treat. The callouts from the local vendors vying for your business to the smells of the delicious foods from around the world that entice your every sense culminates in the sheer number of things available for your culinary sampling. Ok, so the one I went to, there was one exclusion – there were no fish for sale and there was only one butcher (who you could see was clearly raking it in due to the lack of competition, but admittedly, his prices were pretty darn cheap compared to the local shopping big names). As usual, you had the fruits and vegetable markets and they allowed you to sample their wares before you tried. I will admit, they had the most delicious and biggest looking avocadoes for a single dollar. They were so firm and when he allowed people to try some, nearly everyone that took a piece, went away with an avocado or two. Then the mandarins, they were just full and juicy and wow. Literally. Wow. I cannot describe it. Besides all their prices were so damn cheap compared to the local supermarkets, it’s converted me to try and shop at my local market. I can almost hear you saying, “but what about the quality, did you cook with them? What then?”. Well when I returned back to my friends place, they were able to answer that very question and in all the time that they’ve lived there (a couple of years) and had been going to that local market, they only ever had one issue with some pineapples. But given the price was ridiculously low, they were able to put it down just to a once off. 2 years, one bad experience. That’s not a bad odd in my books. I’d definitely take the chance on that kind of gamble. Towards the end of the market, there were all kinds of sweets and nuts to tantalise your taste buds. I picked up a few bags of flavoured nuts for at least half the price I would have paid for them in the bigger shops. I just couldn’t believe it. Plus, it was a massive hit with everyone that I shared it with.
Overall, here is what I recommend!
Cost: Getting there by public transport: $3.50
Food: Variable (You have $46.50 to spend – have fun!)