I have so many memories from my childhood of heading to the local market with my parents, brother and sister in tow, aimlessly wandering around whilst they ticked off their list for the weekly shop. It’s not until we reach our adult years that we really appreciate the local markets, farmers and what they stand for.
I am lucky enough to work directly opposite the South Melbourne Market and will admit to taking this for granted. On market days the streets come to life as the locals and visitors scramble together to grab their fresh produce and artisan goods. It seems here that the days of tired 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 ounce of space available. Any blank wall is used by a local artist, allowing them to showcase their edgiest graffiti work. The styles of work vary from artist to artist, and this diversity of skill makes the tour of the 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 have opened up as pop-up style shops, available to rent on a weekly basis for up to eight weeks. The scheme gives artists the opportunity to advertise their brand on a larger scale whilst showcasing their fashion and lifestyle products to their target audience. Highlights are the very eclectic ‘TheSuperCool‘ offering a treasure chest of fun and quirky everyday objects, and ‘One Little Piggie’ for all those book lovers out there.
Don’t let the word ‘Market’ confuse you to think 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. A must-try are the incredibly famous DimSims – be prepared to queue, they’re that tasty!
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 serving customers since 2009 and the newly opened Clement on the scene, it’s hard to browse and buy without a caffeine hit from one of these bad boys. Start the day at Padre, talk to one of their friendly staff and let them advise you on their selection of over 30 single origin beans. On the way home, grab a creamy latte from the guys at Clement and hope they still have freshly baked croissants from Kate Reid at Lune Croissanterie.