There’s no better way to start your weekend than strolling through a market. Sunshine, fresh air, the lingering smell of coffee…that’s the sh*t right there. Markets really take us back to the simplicity of old-school shopping. Fresh, artisan produce. The ability to buy directly from the producer, maybe ask the friendly stallholders a few questions and (of course) sample the items on offer.
Whether you’re after a bargain, stocking up on organic veggies or looking for antique treasure, there’s a market out there for you. Here are our top picks for September in Auckland.
La Cigale French Market
Bringing all the heavenly temptations of France to the heart of Auckland, La Cigale French Market is every city slicker’s favourite. There are dozens of artisan stalls selling everything from buffalo mozzarella to Spanish paella, Turkish bread and dips, craft ciders, and dog treats. Stock up on fresh veggies, fresh fish and cured meats. Taste the best cheeses the world has to offer, with an experienced connoisseur guiding your choices. Stock up on bread for the week, buy frozen pastries, jams and chutneys and (even better) wine. Sharing its warehouse space with Wine Direct, this is a double whammy: Wine Direct not only imports the best wines into the country, but sells them at more than reasonable prices. There’s also gonna be antiques, French fashion, handpicked and brought over from France by the owners themselves, plus loads and loads of kitchen utensils in the kitchen shop.
Local racecourse turns into a chaotic, crowded, loud event as the Avondale Sunday Market brings 15-20 thousand people to its grounds every week. Filled with fresh produce, this market has none of the sophistication of the city’s farmers markets, but all the authenticity of street eats and yep, you’ve guessed it, all the best prices. With plenty of stores offering similar items, it’s easy to find a bargain, and for those of you who like to barter, this is the place to do it. With a strong Asian and Polynesian influence, you’ll find plenty of snacks ranging from pork buns and dumplings to hot dogs and doughnuts. Out the back, behind the racecourse building, you’ll find second-hand vendors selling everything from china to electrical gadgets, toys, linens and clothing. Better yet, once a month the farmers market coincides with the Antique Collectors Market held in the racecourse building (see below).
Avondale Collectors Market
Every first Saturday and the following Sunday of every month, Avondale Racecourse opens its doors to antique collectors, offering a range of collectables from coins and stamps to Victorian books, antique furniture, china, glassware, jewellery, clothing, carpets art and lots more. If you want a one-of-a-kind jewellery piece or a house ornament with a bit of history, this is the place to find it. An entire building floor jam packed with antiques, each one more beautiful than the one before: you’ll be stuck looking for hours.
Saturday 2nd September, Ponsonby
All you sewing enthusiasts out there, drop your needles and get your booty to this one off, fabric-oriented market. You’ll be able to score one-of-a-kind fabrics, both modern and vintage. Create your show-stopping pieces from preloved textiles, recycle and help save the environment. There’ll also be haberdashery on offer from private and designer collections, plus a showcase of wool work for all you knit-crazy peeps. Better yet, the proceeds from the event go towards Mercy Hospice Auckland, so your purchase will be making a real difference.
Father’s Day Browns Bay Vinyl Fair
Saturday 2nd September, Browns Bay
We all love our dads, but it seems every time Father’s Day rolls around everyone is stuck for present ideas. Well, we’ve got the solution for you. Dads love music, it’s a fact. And vinyl, for any muso out there, is as good as it gets. Browse through thousands of records on offer and find the ones you’ve always wanted to be part of your collection. Whatever you’re after, it’ll be at Browns Bar Vinyl Fair. Jazz, Blues, Rock, Folk, Country, Metal, Pop…anything from Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd to Dolly Parton and Queen. Come and indulge your musical soul.
Crystal Vision Holistic Market
Various dates, Milford
Nurture mind and spirit at this holistic healing market event. If you have a taste for the spiritual or are simply curious about the power of your mind, this market is worth a visit. Choose a lucky crystal or piece of jewellery to work with your energy and direct your life, or browse through stalls of soy candles, natural medicines, herbal teas and organic beauty products. If you’re curious about the future (and not afraid to know) get a reading and see what the universe has in store for you. And boy are there readings to choose from: traditional tarot, clairvoyant, spiritual, colour and even animal wisdom.
Titirangi Village Market
Sunday 24th September
Titirangi is known as the naturistic, bohemian part of the western suburbs, and the Titirangi Village Markets reflect just that kind of vibe. Come along and experience the chill yet lively atmosphere of this town centre, with over 130 stalls of arts, crafts and produce to browse through. Sip on organic coffee as you work your way through all the treasures and let your ears soak up the tunes of some of Auckland’s best folk musicians.
Victoria Park Market
After a long wait and $22 million worth of renovations, the Victoria Park is finally, now earthquake-resistant and safer than ever. Iconic Auckland spot and long time favourite among market fanatics, Victoria Park sure has the goods. Operating every weekend, the market has plenty of cafes, workshops, and of course, crafty-type bargains among the stalls. The best part about Victoria Park Markets is, as it continues growing, the stalls continue expanding and the items on offer keep changing. No weekend is the same. You’ll never get sick of this one, or run out of goodies to find.
Image Credit: La Cigale French Market