I have so many childhood memories of heading to the local market with my parents, brother and sister in tow, aimlessly wandering around while they ticked off their list for the ‘weekly shop’. It’s often not until our adult years that we appreciate our local farmers, the local markets and what they all stand for.
I am lucky enough to work within stepping distance to the South Melbourne Market, and will admit that I have often taken this for granted. On market days the streets of South Melbourne come to life as the locals and visitors alike cram together to grab their fresh produce and artisan goods. Here, in this popular city market it seems the days of tired, haggard looking stalls and old-fashioned shop keepers are long gone. This market, like many others, is getting its cool back.
The market utilizes every single inch of space on site. Any blank wall is a blank canvas to a local artists, allowing them to showcase their newest work to commuters and tourists as they make their way from A to B. The styles of work vary from artist to artist, and it’s this creative diversity that makes the South Melbourne Market that little bit more ‘Melbourne’.
Farmers and street artists aren’t the only ones getting their kicks at the South Melbourne Market. A little over two years ago the market opened its doors to SO:ME SPACE. “A retail concept, bringing together the best emerging and established designers in an innovative environment…”. To say this place is cool is an understatement. The nooks and crannies within the market have opened their doors as pop-up shops, available to rent on a weekly basis for up to eight weeks. The scheme gives artists, makers and fellow creatives the opportunity to advertise their hand-crafted goodies to a larger audience and gives locals the chance to truly connect with independent businesses. Highlights are ‘TheSuperCool‘ – offering a very eclectic mix of fun and fancy lifestyle products and ‘One Little Piggie’ – a book lovers dream.
Don’t let the word ‘Market’ fool you into thinking that this is just a place for shopping. If anything, this is a place for eating. From heart-warming paella and churros at Simply Spanish to freshly caught seafood at Claypots Evening Star, South Melbourne Market offers a fantastic variety of cuisines to satisfy even the fussiest of eaters. A must-try are the incredibly famous South Melbourne Dim Sims – be prepared to queue, they’re that tasty!
And why stop at food? The market has well and truly established itself as home to some of the best coffee on the south side of the river. With Brunswick based roaster Padre and the newly opened Clement Coffee on the scene, it’s hard to browse and buy without a caffeine hit from one of these bad boys. Start the day with a long black at Padre, talk to one of their friendly staff and let them advise you on their selection of origin beans and coffee merchandise. On the way home from your market meander, grab a latte from the guys at Clement and hope they saved you a freshly baked croissant from Kate Reid at Lune Croissanterie.