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Published February 17th 2016
Grab your recycle bags and start shopping
Belconnen Fresh Food Market is located in Belconnen, 8 kms north west of the CBD. Although this venue is called markets, it is a series of shopfronts specialising in fresh produce such as fruit, vegetables, seafood, meat, deli items, wholefoods, organic supplies and more. It is open Wednesday to Sundays as a "one stop shop" for all your fresh food needs - and some extra yummy treats that wouldn't be on your list. So grab your recycle bags and head inside to explore these bustling markets - you won't be leaving empty handed.
There are a number of eateries to enjoy a coffee or meal whilst watching the activity of the markets. A popular venue to do this is As Nature Intended, a health food shop come café that has a range of delicious vegan cakes (from Veganarchy Baking) and healthy food options to choose from. There are outside tables to dine at as well as tables inside the shops interior to sit back and watch the people go by.
Outside the markets there is the popular Mushroom Playground, where kids can play under a huge protective mushroom cap in all weather. Providing shade in Summer and an umbrella for rain in Winter, this large playground is a highlight for families and kids when they visit the markets. This playground is open Wednesday to Sunday (9am - 5:30pm) and is an ideal place for pre-schoolers during the weekday when it is quieter. There are four slides, stairs to climb, poles to manoeuvre and the mushroom stalk for kids to to walk through.
When you venture inside the markets, there is a lot to take in with a wide variety of food on offer. With competitive prices, these fresh food markets attract the crowds for their price as well as the produce. This is the ideal place to meet up with a local butcher and ask for the specific cut that you want, or track down that unusual ingredient that you can't find at the big chain supermarkets.
As you walk through the door another feature of these markets becomes apparent straight away - the smell of fish. It is quite strong as you enter, however you get used to it after you have been there for awhile. There are two fish mongers here - Sea Harvest Australia with their fish display easy to peruse on one of the corners and Fish Co Downunder which is a shop that you enter (however no thongs are allowed for safety reasons) where you can pick live fish straight from the tank.
A popular Patisserie is Knead Patisserie, complete with Parisian awning and authentic tables and chairs out the front. Each time we have visited these markets, Knead has always been a busy spot for locals to catch up with friends over a coffee and sweet treat. Selling a wide range of pies, savoury danishes, lunchtime baguettes, quiches, fresh bread, delicious cakes, cruffins and tarts, it is easy to see why Knead draws the crowds each weekend.
The Belconnen Fresh Food Markets is just that - markets full of the freshest food to take home and enjoy. If you have never been before, it is a fascinating place to walk around and discover new foods as well as buy everything you need on your shopping list. Although it is not large market (it is similar in size to the Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets on the other side of the city), it has a good variety of shopfronts to explore in the comfort of air conditioning. The first time we discovered the markets we bought fish, meat and vegies - now each time we go back the list gets larger as we start to try different items from the deli or a try a new filo from the Chicken Coop. So if you searching for something different and fresh to serve up this weekend, head on down to the Belco Markets - you won't see any fresher!