You probably think that you ‘know’ Melbourne markets. All the fresh produce you could poke a stick at, the best of the best when it comes to seafood, a few great spots to grab coffee beans if you really know where to go, and some epic delis with the most drool-worthy dips and cheeses – you probably have your favourite.
But do you reeeaaaallly know Melbourne markets?
We dug a little deeper at South Melbourne Market and were blown away by some of the gems we unearthed - really excellent finds that we weren’t expecting. Here are our top 10 discoveries at South Melbourne Market.
We all know that you can grab a decent enough bunch of flowers at most markets, but Azalea is waaaay more than your average market florist. Sitting on the Coventry Street edge of the market, you’ll find Azalea in amongst the fruit and vegetable stalls. Passionate owner / operator Michael Pavlou offers up a huge range of carefully considered blooms, from the native to the exotic, and they’re all stunningly beautiful. Michael is a talented florist who creates the most perfect bouquets for any occasion. Our other favourite thing about Azalea is that the rustic chic stall has a calmness to it that you won’t find anywhere else in the bustling market.
2. Frankie’s Story
If you trot along to Frankie’s Story you’ll discover some excellent children’s clothing. Stocking an extensive range of quality brands, Frankie’s Story specialises in the stylish, the quirky, but most of all, the quality. Hadassah Jordan, the owner of Frankie’s Story, puts strong focus on selling children’s garments made from natural and organic fabrics that have been made with consciousness. If you’ve got a little one in your life, you’ll be hard pressed to leave empty handed – I’m pretty tempted to ask if the panda pyjamas come in my size.
3. Lost in Seasons
Shoe lovers unite! Lost in Seasons is an absolute MUST visit at South Melbourne Market. If you’re on the hunt for something that not everyone else has, you’d best pop your head in and take a look at the huge range of Rollie shoes. Rollie specialises in bright, colourful and light brogue style shoes. There were more than a few pairs that caught my eye and if you’re a sucker for quirky prints and metallic materials, you’ll be in heaven – think animal, Aztec and tropical patterns and some gorgeous metallic materials in pinks, silvers and gold. You’ll find Lost In Seasons in the SO:ME Space section of the Market.
4. Emerald Hill Deli
Those in the know appreciate that not all delis are made equal. The good news is that we’ve uncovered the cream of the crop. Located in the Deli Aisle at South Melbourne Market, Emerald Hill Deli has a dedicated cheese room, as well as one of the best selections of macarons that we’ve seen. Cheese and macarons, people! I repeat, cheese and macarons! They do of course stock all the other deli favourites that us market-goers like to gorge ourselves on – homemade dips and cured meats, small goods of every kind, antipasti, breads and bikkies. There’s also the added extras that really set this deli apart, like ready-made pizzas, Danishes, tarts and cakes. From one foodie to another, it really is heaven.
5. Miss Nail Bar
Didn’t realise that you could get your nails done at the market, did you?! Tucked away in the interior of the market, Miss Nail Bar will buff, shine and polish your tips and tootsies in a flash (using house-made scrubs, no less!). Men and children are also welcome to pop in, either for a full mani if you want to jazz things up, or for a simple trim and buff if that’s more your style. It’s a gorgeous space and the service is cheesy-grin good. The team at Miss Nail Bar are a flexible bunch – they’re more than happy for you to walk in without a booking, in fact, they’d prefer it that way. Head along when you arrive and if they can’t fix you up straight away, you can mosey off for a spot of shopping and they’ll let you know when they’re free. Shopping plus a bit of good ol’ fashioned pampering is my kinda trip to the market.
6. Agathé Pâtisserie
If you’re after next-level pastries and other baked goods, Agathé Pâtisserie is going to be your new BFF. Owner / chef Agathe Kerr has a truly French ethos and supplies customers with freshly baked creations throughout the day. The offering changes constantly as Agathé innovates and adapts the selection – think infused croissants, cruffins and savoury treats. The flavour combinations on offer are truly genius – think turmeric and caraway, café au lait, brie and sour cherry, and goat’s cheese, walnut and honey. And that’s only just scratching the surface.
You’re best to get in early for this one, although fresh treats are prepared throughout the day.
7. Tea Drop
Everyone knows that Melbourne is obsessed with its coffee, but I’d bet my bottom dollar that you’ll be at least a little bit converted to the dark side after visiting Tea Drop. It’s a gorgeous space that stocks everything that a tea lover (and a convert!) could possibly need. There’s a huge range of black, white, green, oolong, herbal and rare teas, sold either wholesale or in smaller packages. I’m definitely a tea kind of girl, so when I stumbled across Tea Drop, I knew I’d be in there a while deliberating over all of the options! If you’re after a quick break from shopping, there’s a spot to rest those weary legs and enjoy a cuppa or even better, a micro, cold brewed nitrogen iced tea! (Yes, it’s a real thing)
8. The Barber of Seville
The barber scene in Melbourne has been growing and changing in recent times, but that doesn’t mean that the quality has slipped. Gents, if you’re at South Melbourne Market and are searching for a tidy-up, The Barber of Seville will have you looking particularly dapper in a jiffy. From a trim to a full, cut-throat shave, the team at this market gem have you sorted. No need to book ahead – even better!
9. The Little Wine Shop
In Australia we’re used to doing our groceries and then having to go somewhere else to stock up on booze. Great news, folks. The Little Wine Shop sits well inside the market and stocks more than just wine. You’ll be able to find some delicious local drops, some decent clean skins and plenty of your favourite imported options too. Beer and spirits are also available at this little shop that could. Anna, the owner, led the charge at St Kilda Cellars for 27 years, so you’ll be in safe hands!
South Melbourne Market isn’t short of gorgeous knick-knacks, but Klopper is definitely one of our firm favourites. It’s tucked down the end of Aisle F, just before you get to the deli section, and is filled to the brim with quality pieces from Australian designers. The space is overflowing with homewares, jewellery and other thoughtfully designed decorations that have been carefully curated to be part of Klopper’s offering. The gorgeous handmade Emily Green jewellery, Able & Game stationery, Gascoigne & King soy candles and Salus skincare are just a few of our favourite picks. If you need a hand choosing between all the wonders, Jenny Klopper is the perfect sounding board – she’s a mine of information and is helpful to boot.
TUL Note: This article is proudly sponsored by South Melbourne Market and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
Image credit: Simon Shiff for The Urban List