The glamorous Prahran Market is famed for its upscale status and classy products; Queen Victoria Market is unparalleled in its heritage significance, its vastness, its unbeatable number of stalls, and the abundance of selections. The South Melbourne Market is the middle child: medium-sized space, quality products with affordable (but not dirt cheap) price, beautiful gourmet products (but not to the extent of untouchable grandeur).
Some might argue that its extreme neatness renders the place lacking the messy character essential to a market. The people in the market are too polite and friendly. Stall keeper hands out organic raisins for sampling with a smile too gentle and sincere, the free cinnamon-laced hot cross bun bits for all to taste is too good to be true, the seafood bar area is too sparkling clean, and the generous space between each stall makes our walk too comfortable. In short, everything in South Melbourne Market is picture-perfect. It is as if the market is at a constant standby for strict enforcement and supervisory inspections: not one spot nor blemish is allowed to surface. There is not much haggling or bargaining occurred. No angry or impatient voices from vendors nor the customers can be heard. No garbage, dirty water wastage or stinky odour can be detected. South Melbourne Market is proper, admirably spotless, classily hippie and easily approachable.
Upon entry, we were immediately charmed by the bright red lobsters and the juicily fresh oysters from the South Melbourne Seafood (the stall that prides itself of its sustainable- emphasis when it comes to sourcing of fish). Opposite, the attractive array of tea containers forms a captivating rainbow wall for the Teadrop stall, an unmissable place for passionate tea-lover eager for a cup of finest brew from a choice of over 100 blends. Further on, we saw a lovely pop-up stall from Joy Cupcakes with its mouth-watering little cakes sprinkled with the most natural of ingredients. South Melbourne Market is also the place of origin of the world famous circular-sized Chinese dumpling known affectionately by the Australians as "Dim Sim", served deep fried or steamed (South Melbourne Market Dim Sims, trading since 1949).
This is a market to find $1 oyster treat (Aptus), nostalgic teddy bears and dolls (Clare's Bears and Wares), fresh free range eggs (Willow Zen Farm), delightful Spanish foods (Simply Spanish), and the very village-feel, Melbourne's best fruit and vegetables' winner Georgie's Harvest.
There are just so much more to explore, and my meagre list in this post does not do half the justice to this awesome market. It's not surprising that this place has become many (if not most of) Melbournians' favourite market. This is the market to go if you wish to avoid incessant throng of tourists or to get your weekly groceries done with fair and reasonable price.
Coventry St & Cecil Street, South Melbourne, VIC 3205
Opening Days and Times:
Saturday: 8am- 4 pm
Sunday: 8am- 4pm
Wednesday: 8am- 4pm
Friday: 8am- 5pm