Queen Victoria Market, or Vic Market as the locals call it, is a much-loved Melbourne institution. Known for its huge variety of fresh produce and specialty goods, this open-air market is always bustling with people, tourists and families looking to stock up on fresh produce or score a bargain at one of the many stalls and shops.
Melbourne has always been a market town and there are several excellent markets in the inner suburbs, but Queen Victoria Market is undoubtedly the best. Enjoying a premier position at the top of Melbourne’s CBD, the Market occupies a historic site and has been a core part of the city for over 130 years. It survives today as one of the largest and most intact examples of Melbourne’s great nineteenth century markets.
Fifty percent of the Market is dedicated to the sale of fresh produce, including fruit and vegetables, meat, chicken, seafood and delicatessen products. It is divided into a number of Market Precincts and you should set aside a few hours if you wish to explore the entire site. The Deli Hall is of particular interest – not least for its mouth-watering range of cheeses, cured and preserved meats, game meats, cakes and pastries! Built in 1927 to offer a range of delicacies introduced to Australia by Italian and Greek migrants, the Deli Hall retains many art deco features including original marble counters. It is the place to head for great value take-away food such as boreks, bratwurst sausages and sandwiches.
The remainder of the Market is used for variety and specialty goods, and it’s a great place to stock up on souvenirs and Australiana. Sunday’s at the Market have a more relaxed feel and you’ll find many locals and families hanging out in the cafes and enjoying the buskers, children’s rides and other activities.
As well as the Deli Hall, make sure you explore the Elizabeth Street Shops, F Shed laneway, The Meat Hall, Organics, Victoria Street Shops and the Wine Market.
Queen Victoria Market is open every day except for Mondays, Wednesdays and public holidays. You’ll find it on the corner of Elizabeth and Victoria Streets in Melbourne.