Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Perspective of an Exchange Student)

21:16


Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Perspective of an Exchange Student)

Queen Victoria Market (also affectionately known as QVM, or QV, though easily mistaken as the shopping mall of the same name) is the largest public open-air marketplace in the entire Southern Hemisphere. For tourists, if you only can go to one representative market in Melbourne, you will obviously have to head to this one! Luckily for me, I live within walking distance from this well-loved fresh produce hub and most of my ingredients do come from here. This guide is written based on my (Asian) perspective - knowing that I have only been here for three months, perhaps a local would be able to tell you more - and my observations to make the most out of this place if you are here.

Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Perspective of an Exchange Student)

Opening hours of Queen Victoria Market:
Closed on Mondays and Wednesdays
Tue/ Thurs: 6am - 2pm
Fri: 6am - 5pm
Sat: 6am - 3pm
Sun: 9am - 4pm

Queen Victoria Market is also a very popular event hosting ground after market hours, so always check in with their calendar to keep up to date.


1. Street food and cafes

Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Perspective of an Exchange Student)
Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Perspective of an Exchange Student)
Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Perspective of an Exchange Student)
Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Perspective of an Exchange Student)
Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Perspective of an Exchange Student)

Indulge in a hearty breakfast out in the breezy alfresco tables with an iced mocha, chai latte, pizza and sandwiches at Market Lane Cafe and watch the world whirl past you. A more pressing task: you should also look out for a similar name especially when you are inside the building (within the cheese, bakeries and sausages section):

Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Market Lane Coffee) - MUST TRY
Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Market Lane Coffee) - MUST TRY
Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Market Lane Coffee) - MUST TRY
Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Market Lane Coffee) - MUST TRY

Friends and strangers alike have been repeatedly telling me how the Market Lane Coffee is the ultimate best coffee in Melbourne. Squeeze yourself past the counters and do yourself a favour and grab one of those coveted takeaway cups. It is definitely a 'serious coffee' only place - they don't do mochas (I know, mocha-loving me is obviously not a serious-coffee drinker). Excellent, consistent smooth blend with hints of fruitiness and a tinge of acidity. Try it for yourself.

If you prefer on-the-go breakfast, take your pick at the bakeries... those mouth-watering pastries and freshly baked bread are demanding to be eaten right now!  
Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Perspective of an Exchange Student)

Grab a bottle of freshly-squeezed fruit juice from Market Juice at AUD3.50, an instant thirst-quencher in the heat! They have over twenty-five flavours excluding seasonal choices, so get ready to gulp down some really interesting combinations.

Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Perspective of an Exchange Student)

Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Perspective of an Exchange Student)
Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Perspective of an Exchange Student)

Don't leave without trying QVM's famous churros delivered to you from a food truck. These Spanish Donuts are only going at AUD1 each, so you can calibrate your munch bag to accompany your swagger around the market.


2. Grocery shopping

Guide to Queen Victoria Market (Market Lane Coffee) - MUST TRY


Bare facts on grocery shopping at QVM:
- You can consider most of the fresh produce from QVM to be cheaper than Coles/ Woolsworth, but not all of them. That's when you have to memorise prices. Vegetables and fruits in particular are noticeably cheaper.
- They sell more 'Western' range of vegetables, fruits, herbs, cheese, sausages... if you want to find more 'Asian' vegetables like various melons and beans, you have to head to Footscray Markets / Richmond Markets (more in another post).
- Buy fruits and vegetables according to seasons. Their prices fluctuate from day-to-day basis according to their supply (not so much demand) and some products can be ridiculously expensive for days. 

More tips on grocery shopping at QVM:
- The best timings to hit the market are 2pm on Sundays and 12pm on Tuesdays, ie. two hours before closing time, a day before their off days. You will get unbeatable discounts and the stock has not yet run out. If you arrive an hour before closing on these days, chances are you might not be able to buy what you are looking for because it's all sold out. Yes, market-going is practically a competitive sport here. 
- Shed B and H is where all the action is.

What fruits and vegetables are in season (Victoria)?
Information translated from www.xkb.com.au and austrilia.pixnet.net
Prices bracketed are minimum prices that I've seen. Unlabeled = memory lapses.

All year: Figs, grapes, melons, brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, corns (3 for AUD2.50), eggplants (AUD2.50/kg), silverbeet, spinach

Jan - Apr: Peaches, pears, tomatoes (AUD2/kg), apples
Feb - Mar: Grapes (AUD1/bunch)
Jun - Dec: Mandarin oranges (AUD2/kg)
Aug - Dec: Asparagus ($2/bunch of 6)
Oct - Dec: Strawberries (AUD3/pack)
Nov - Feb: Apricots, cherries, berries

Price list of other items
Kiwifruits - 40c/each
Lemons - 25c/each
Avocados varies greatly according to quality, generally AUD2.50/each is a good balance between price and quality
Pumpkins - AUD1/kg
Sweet potatoes - AUD2.20/kg
Mushrooms - AUD10/kg
Ginger - AUD10/kg

Do note that you might not be able to find this pricing when it is off-season for the produce. This is a rough guide. Your best bet will be to compare prices around the market before buying anything. You will not regret this move because they sell pretty similar stuff across the board - they do not match prices with one another. Organic items are priced higher for obvious reasons.

3. Simply shopping - souvenirs and more



Leather jackets, boomerangs, vintage clothing, cat bags (Yes I got one for myself. who can resist?)... pick something from here to commemorate your trip to QVM, or Melbourne in general.

4. Summer Wednesday Night Markets (Nov - Mar)


Not the friendliest event for your wallet (versus quality of food - think: tourist prices.) but it is surely a fantastic way to experience night markets in Melbourne if you like music, performances, little quaint shops, international selection of food, and quite a lot of people. I didn't find it particularly exciting, but Melbourne has very little to offer for night activities so it's one of the rarer things to do when the sun sets.

5. Other events
Summer Night Markets on Wednesdays end after March because well, summer has ended then. Not to worry if you love non-conventional markets and want to be at Queen Victoria when it happens: we have Euro Union every Sunday from May 3 - July 26 (excluding 7 June and 21 June), from 9am - 4pm.

Popular posts from the Melbourne series:
 Never miss a post again!

I share interesting episodes in life revolving around food, lifestyle, travel and inspirational ideas. If you would like to stay in touch, follow me on my Instagram on @spherepiece and Facebook page!

  • Share:

You Might Also Like

0 comments

Join the discussion...