The exterior of Queen Victoria Market
For first time travellers to Melbourne, a visit to the iconic Queen Victoria Market is a must. Venturing to the northern edge of the city’s Central Business District, this bustling marketplace is a tourist destination in its own right that holds almost thousands of visitors each week. Swing by during the week to this large open-air market that sells everything including fresh fruit and vegetables, gourmet delights, sensational coffee, clothing, souvenirs, and more. In this article, we will be sharing some of our favourite spots at the market so make sure to read on!
The Dairy Produce Hall
As its name suggests, the Dairy Hall will have you finding a wide variety of cheeses from all around the world. The options are many, but you may head over to a family-run business — Pavilion Select Produce, which is also the home to the oldest cheese bells in the world. Have a taste at some of their dips and cheese assortments including their handmade buffalo mozzarella, very affordable parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, and range of pesto sauces. Or perhaps, grab some delicious feta frittata and a packet of locally churned butter at Curds and Whey, where you can find an assortment of local butter. If you're feeling peckish, the Borek Shop is just the place to fill your tummy. Selling a variety of Boreks, including cheese and spinach, lamb or potato and veggies, this store even won the award for favourite eatery by shoppers!
Cheese and Spinach Borek from The Borek Shop
The Meat & Fish Hall
Intersecting the Dairy Hall is the rowdy Meat and Fish Hall, with butchers and fishmongers at each stall of the corridors screaming prices like auctioneers to broadcast their special offers. Although most of the food sold in this area requires cooking before consumption, if you are a seafood lover, consider picking up a tray of glistening, shucked oysters or the freshest cooked peel-and-eat shrimp and lobsters at the Seafood and Oyster Spot.
Vegetable and Fruits Area
Honestly, if you live in the CBD and you want to purchase the freshest, cheapest, ingredients, Queen Victoria Market is the place you will find all of them. Selling almost everything under the sun, the prices of the fruits and vegetables here can easily beat supermarket giants and local asian marts. Prices can go even lower when you buy in bulk, so if you're planning to have a whole load of avocado for breakfast over the week, you can consider sharing a carton with a friend. I recommend scanning the entire area before purchasing, as similar items from different stalls cost different, (they don't seem to worry about competitor pricing) and from experience, the stalls at the end of the area and closer to Peel Street are cheaper.
The American Doughnut Kitchen
Some of you would have probably heard of this unique doughnut stall already. Hosted in an original 1950s van, the American Doughnut Kitchen is known for their hot jam-filled doughnuts. One bite into this and you will understand why generations have been queuing up for them. Although some might feel that it is quite overrated, it is still definitely worth a try at least once. After all, the queue does move pretty fast!
String Bean Alley
This alley occupies the space between the market's clothing and souvenirs stalls and the parking lots. Vendors in this area are operating out of old shipping containers, bringing out lots of colour and aesthetic with stall decorations and design. Similar to a flea market, you can find stalls here selling cold-pressed juices, cards, organic shampoos and many more.
From season to season, the market will host different events on Wednesday evenings. Between June to August, there’s a winter night market with additional food stalls, live performances as well as seasonal gifts. During the summer, the entire market transforms into an entirely different atmosphere with hearty foods, cooling drinks and open-air bars. There will also be other events such as a Hawker Night Market so do keep your eyes peeled for event posters as these events are surely worth visiting.
Needless to say, every day you’ll get to find exciting and unique culinary gems in Queen Victoria Market, amongst the rows of street food, miles of fresh produce and racks of knick-knacks all sold under one roof. So come down to venture Melbournian’s beloved marketplace, for there is sure to be something for every one of your palate out there!
Queen Victoria Market
513 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9320 5822 / firstname.lastname@example.org
6am – 2pm (Tues, Thurs, Sat), 6am – 5pm (Fri) 9am – 4pm (Sun), Closed on Mon & Wed
by JEANETTE LIAU • edited by KIMBERLY PANG
Hi everyone! I’m Jeanette Liau, a writer and editor at SOV with a passion for bringing words to life. Here, I take great interest in sharing my knowledge about Victoria in hopes of making Singaporeans feel more at home. I am currently undertaking a Masters of Marketing Communications at the University of Melbourne and I also have a degree in professional writing and publishing in Perth. On days when I’m not cooped up in my writer’s cubbyhole, I love conquering the keys of the piano and exploring the city!