Full disclaimer: I’m not originally from Melbourne but I’ve been here for a decent chunk of time now, which means that when my outta town pals visit I invariably get hit up for a list of the best things to do, see, and eat in Melbourne.
The ‘eat’ part is really easy - in fact, sending people on an extravagant weekend of eating is easy peasy in our culinary town. However, when they ask me what the MOST Melbourne thing to do is, I always end up recommending a trip to Queen Vic Market. You can’t get more Melbourne than grabbing a coffee and wandering the halls, right?
But then I realised there IS something even more Melbourne than hopping off the #19 tram and buying organic veggies... heading to the QVM after dark for their night market.
As someone who has visited the Night Market with a game plan, I’ve realised the event requires multiple visits. There’s clearly no way you can eat all the food that needs to be eaten, and try all the bevvies that need to be tried, and browse all the amazing Melbourne makers and crafters on display... AND soak up a satisfying amount of the free music.
Start early. Don’t wait until the end of summer. Trust me on this one.
Still not convinced? Well, as an avid list-maker, I’ve quantified all the reasons it’s the MOST Melbourne thing you’ll do this summer. And they mostly involve food. This is Melbourne, after all...
- There’s food. ALL THE FOOD.
- The gigs are free. We love free.
- The live acts change each week. Because we all know ADD is a curse.
- There are roving street artists.
- You go to a market, and there’s none other than 400 Gradi on offer!
- It’s easy to get to – seriously, there are like 4 different tram routes that go right past.
- Home made lemonade. Don’t settle for Schweppes – it’s like I don’t even know you anymore.
- You can eat AND do your Christmas shopping in the one spot.
- You can eat AND catch a live gig.
- You can drink AND catch a live gig.
- You can catch a gig. Go get more food. And go back to the gig.
- You’ll likely run in to your primary school bestie, your second cousin, and you’re old maths teacher. This may also be a reason to wear a disguise...
- The best pizza joint in world can sit along side potato twizzle sticks, and it’s a legit problem when you’re trying to choose.
- The soft drinks are just as appealing as the booze. We promise.
- You get to try Estelle food without a booking.
- Melbourne’s best designers sit alongside Melbourne’s best food. It’s what we call #synergy
- You can eat and shop at the same time. Excellent combo.
- You’ll be able to try foods you probably didn’t know existed.
- You’ll learn that crocodile tastes like chicken. No, really.
- It’s somewhere you could head for an office night out and Janice in HR will love it..
- You could also take the whole fam. Even if it’s just to lose them in the crowd *accidently*.
- You’ll be in the original home of Hoy Pinoy.
- There are Pimms jugs galore.
- And craft beer.
- There’s a smoking pit for BBQing ALL the meat.
- There’s gelato without the Messina lines.
- And seafood.
- It’s mandatory to finish the night with a pretzel. Or start. Your choice.
- It’s being running for 17 years, meaning it’s LEGIT.
The Queen Vic Summer Night Market is on again, every Wednesday until the end of March.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey-White