Jon Snow has been warning us for years, but it finally looks like winter has arrived. So, with the temperature outside dropping, now’s the time to embrace all things hearty in the kitchen, with summer salads being beaten out by old fashioned stews for centre stage. And what better way to fill that crock pot than by heading to one of the many authentic and accredited farmers markets gracing the ‘burbs of Melbourne each week, and stuffing your hessian bag full of super fresh and high quality produce.
Hitting up Melbourne’s best farmers markets is a fantastic way to get a real taste of rural life. Each stall is a showcase of Victorian farming at its best, with everything from the freshest veggies, fruits and meats through to mouth-watering homemade and homegrown goodies up for grabs. Plus, you get to support local farmers and growers while you’re at it. Bonus. So, without further ado, here are the best farmers markets in Melbourne, for your shopping pleasure.
Oh, and just a quick reminder, be sure to bring your own bags as the markets are usually plastic bag free, and fill your wallet with smaller notes as cards are generally not accepted.
Kingston Farmers Market
The Kingston Farmers Market began in 2004, and today boasts between 50 and 60 stallholders. Occupying a large space on Nepean Highway, right near the Southland flyover, you’ll find a little bit of everything here, from dried fruit and nuts, to fresh herbs, olive oil and olives, fresh produce, tea, wine and homemade biscuits. Be sure to forgo breakfast that morning though, as there are so many stalls serving up hot pies, French crepes, bacon and eggs, and hot and hearty soup.
Where: Sir William Fry Reserve, Nepean Highway and Bay Street, Highett
When: First Saturday of every month
Flemington Farmers Market
Established in 2010, the Flemington Farmers Market is the first market in Melbourne to be established with Victorian Farmers’ Market Association (VFMA) accreditation, a title that certifies stallholders have either grown or made the goods they’re selling. In short, it’s a big deal. This farmers market is packed with uber friendly merchants, selling everything from mushrooms, eggs and olives, through to organic chocolate, honey, lemon butter, and every type of preserve you could want. While the market is there every Sunday, not all the vendors are, so options can vary week to week.
Where: 175 Mt Alexander Road, Flemington
When: Every Sunday
Another market boasting VFMA accreditation, Veg Out in St Kilda has been running for over 11 years, and is still incredibly popular with both locals and shoppers from across town. Stalls include those selling nuts, eggs, fresh produce, hot chilli, meats, chocolate, fresh juice, and a hot breakfast. Plus, with various entertainment options on hand, the market is really more of a family day out; we guarantee, no matter your game plan, you won’t be able to get in and out in a rush, as there’s just too much to tempt you.
Where: Corner Shakespeare Grove and Chaucer Street, St Kilda
When: First Saturday of every month
Another Melbourne farmers market you’ll want to allocate a bit more time to is the Substation in Newport. Not only does the market offer a variety of gourmet meats, fresh produce, eggs, and some incredible pies, you’ve also got the opportunity to visit the incredible artists’ market, located within the old Substation building itself. Brace yourself for live music and incredible art and craft by local artists and designers. All in all, a very decent Sunday outing.
Where: 1 Market Street, Newport
When: First and third Sunday of every month
Elwood Farmers Market
Do not eat before making the trip to the Elwood Farmers Market; there are just so many incredible hot food stalls to take advantage of. When you’ve finished gorging yourself on Mexican tortillas, bacon and eggs, and gourmet snags (no judgment, we’ve all been there), you’ll also find a wide selection of mushrooms, fresh produce, home baked bread, honey, homemade cakes, pet food, dried fruit and more to take home. Plus, for those who severely underestimated how much they’d want to buy, there’s an ATM onsite.
Where: 101 Glen Huntley Road, Elwood
When: Second Saturday of every month
Entry: Gold coin entry
Eltham Farmers Market
Accredited by the VFMA, the Eltham Farmers Market is a bi-monthly option that’s a little out of the ordinary. You see, on the second Sunday of each month, the market also hosts a Community Market Stall, while on the fourth Sunday, a Food Swap operates between 10am and 11am. For those just wanting to stock up the fridge and pantry for the week, there are also stalls selling eggs, strawberries, honey, produce and much more. Oh, and did we mention the incredible entertainment they put on too?
Where: Eltham Town Mall car park 10-18 Arthur Street, Eltham
When: Second and fourth Sunday of the month
Gasworks Farmers Market
There’s a little bit of everything at the family and pet friendly Gasworks Farmers Market. There’s a spread of fresh veggies, organic meats, flowers, pet food, pies, cheese, and more at this farmers market, not to mention a great coffee truck. This market is pretty big with the ‘no plastic bags’ idea, so be sure to bring your own box, trolley or bag.
Where: 21 Graham Street, Albert Park
When: Third Saturday of every month
Gleadell Street Farmers Market
Every Saturday, Gleadell Street in Richmond is transformed into a bustling fresh food market that is always busy and always buzzing. In fact, stallholders will even get there as early as 2am to start setting up their stalls. That’s dedication. You won’t find a whole lot else here other than fresh fruit and veggies, with a few exceptions, but the quality is incredible and the range impressive. Just be sure you come prepared for crowds!
Where: 5 Gleadell Street, Richmond
When: Every Saturday
Image credit: ilikewantneed