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Published July 15th 2011
Think of Kings Cross and it's unlikely the first thing to come to mind will be fresh, organic produce. Booze? Sure. Strip joints? Most definitely. But crisp, leafy vegies or crusty loaves of sourdough? Maybe not.
But it should. Every Saturday from 8am-2pm Fitzroy Gardens on Macleay Street fills with stalls and shoppers out in search of all things fresh and tasty. And there's plenty on offer: coffee, pastries, flowers and fruit; nuts, bread, dairy and Dim Sum. All are in abundance and all are fantastic.
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If you're unfamiliar with the area, just walk down Darlinghurst Road from Kings Cross station until you reach the unmistakable El Alamein Fountain – a memorial to soldiers who died in WWII battles in Egypt – designed by Aussie architect Bob Woodward and a fantastic sight in its own right.
My first stop was at the small, busy stall offering Toby's Estate coffee. It's pretty much all $3.50 for a regular size and if you don't mind waiting a little while when it gets crowded (you can always just place your order and go for a bit of a wander – they'll call your name out) then it's a must visit.
Next door is the Brasserie Bread, which offers all manner of delicious organic artisan loaves – harvest grains, crusty Italian ciabatta, and house specialities including olive and rosemary or walnut and fig – as well as a full gamut of pastries. The clue is in the title; it's French, and the lovely lady behind the counter even ends each transaction with a delightful merci.
Further along is Real Fresh Food offering fully organic fruit and veg. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, offering suggestions of what you might like and letting you try things along the way. This is certainly a must-see for those who prefer their food organic, and at prices that won't make your eyes water. Sure, you could probably go to Coles and get it cheaper, but the variety and freshness will be nowhere to be seen.
Other highlights include a traditional French cręperie, a pair of serious hangover annihilators in the Gozleme King and Bower's Bacon & Egg Rolls; the Pasta People for authentic Italian homemade sauces; and the freshest, cheapest flowers you're likely to find anywhere (though be warned: the lady running it doesn't suffer fools gladly).
Some of the potted flowers on show. There are also plenty of bunches.
There's also typically a busker or two and there are even free games (chess, connect four) to enjoy with a friend while you're finishing your coffee.
Kings Cross market isn't huge, but that's no bad thing. If you're in the area, there's enough variety on offer that it's sure to please pretty much everyone. If not, the strip joints are only down the road.
...and don't forget that on Sunday they have the Kings Cross Sunday Market for books, clothes, designer clothes, vintage clothes, sunglasses, bric-a-brac, collectables, jewellery, cakes, flowers and coffee. www.kingscrossmarket.org