The middle of the city of Melbourne sits Queen Victoria Market – a market that has been in operation since 1878! This attraction not only has an abundance of stalls selling fresh produce, but also specialty products and cafes that are peppered within the 7-hectare land! Dubbed as the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere, Queen Victoria Market is a must-visit for locals and tourists alike.
Queen Victoria Market has various sections, and one of them is the specialty section that sells bags, shoes, road signs (which can also be customized), toys, and more! Souvenirs sold in this section are also really affordable, with t-shirts (the kind that screams ‘I’m a tourist’) going as low as AUD$5. Items here are very unique, but there was a shop that stood out – something that I’ve yet to see in other touristy markets globally – this store sold large images of one’s eyes. I don’t have an image of the store, but here’s the link to the shop, Iris Photo! In this store, one can get your iris taken and when magnified, it makes a really beautiful piece of art.
Another section of the market has a huge range of fresh produce – from organic vegetables to other kinds of fruits and vegetables, this market is a haven for those in search of fresh local produce. Produce here are reasonably-priced, and can be bought by box as well. My family bought a box of 10 mangoes on our last day in Melbourne, and it came in a box that was easy to pack.
In another area of the market lies the poultry and seafood section that sells a wide range of meats and seafood. Many purchase meats for home-cooking, and some of the stalls sell cooked seafood that can be purchased by weight. A highlight of this section (for me) is that one can easily buy a dozen oysters that can be eaten on the spot! A dozen oysters can cost around AUD$18, but do note that you CAN buy half a dozen oysters if you ask the stall holder! The oysters here are so fresh, sweet and juicy that I came back again for another fix of oysters.
While researching on nice places to have coffee around the Melbourne city centre, I read a review that recommended Market Lane Coffee – a small bistro that sold coffee and pastries. I decided to visit it as I saw a long queue at the store (yes, I’m one of those that follows the crowd!) There, I ordered the almond crossaint, danish pastry, a latte and a cappuccino. If you are heading there, I would certainly recommend the almond crossaint and the cappuccino – a light, fluffy pastry with a very solid nutty filling that goes extremely well with a creamy coffee!
I’ve visited Melbourne City a total of three times over the recent years, and I’ve always made it a point to visit the Queen Victoria Market as it never fails to surprise me with local goodies and produce. Go take a look at this gem in the heart of the city!
Tip: If you’re looking to purchase fresh produce at a lower cost, visit the stalls during the closing hours as they tend to drop their prices at the end of the day!