NileGuide Expert Says:
Melbourne’s culinary experience begins at the Queen Victoria Market. Get there early in the a.m. for the freshest produce, and a naughty donut breakfast.
513 Elizabeth Street
Btw. Peel, Victoria, Elizabeth, and Therry sts. on the northern edge of the city center
3000 Melbourne, Australia
tel: +61 3 9320 5822
fax: +61 3 9328 2710
6a-2p Tu, Th, 6a-6p F, 6a-3p Sa, 9a-4p Su
With no harbour to swoon over, Melbournians pride themselves on cultural pursuits; particularly the kind you can eat. Food is serious business in Melbourne, and the biggest place to shop all things delicious is the Queen Victoria Market. We're talking the usual market chop; hustling hawkers screaming gibberish about a kilo of cherries and fish mongers casting out their catch of the day, but in a city that takes its cuisine with a side of snobbery, it's refreshing (not to mention fun) to see where all the grass roots action takes place.
With endless rows of stalls pushing everything from organic fennel to trashy clip-on koala toys, the vibe is both local and touristy. Young socialites select the perfect harvati for that night's dinner party whilst backpackers flock for a cheap feed from the Bratwurst shop in the Deli Hall.
If you've bought more food than you can carry, skip a couple of aisles over to the Retail Stalls section where clothing and accessories run the show. Tourists delight in Australiana paraphernalia such as sheep skins, moccasins and 'I HEART Melbourne' t-shirts (note: under no circumstances are these to be worn in Melbourne).
Accessible by the any tram heading north from Elizabeth or William Street, and only a short stroll from Melbourne's CBD, the Queen Victoria Market is the perfect place to see real Melbournians savour their favourite past time. Go early to avoid the crowds and take a basket to fill with cheeses, sausage and pastries and savour your spoils in a picnic in the nearby Carlton Gardens.