Markets are fun and can be the best way to stock up on fruit and vegetables for a week, but if you are planning to go to a market with friends, it is best to select one that is also great for a meal. The biggest problem is that far too many markets in Brisbane are closing before it is even lunch time. Here are 5 of the best markets to get a meal, based on the time they open, the range of food they have and also because of the overall market experience.
Let's start with one of my favourite markets, The Queens Street Farmers Market, which everyone refers to as the Wednesday City Markets. This market runs from 10 am to 6 pm on Wednesdays in the square in front of the casino.
For people working in the city it is the best place to pick up fruit and vegetables for the week, but it also has a large number of food stalls. The German Bakeries are often my favourite, but I also love the Cornish Pasty Man. Other regulars include Bratwurst and Paella stalls. The main problem is that most places have sold out by 5 pm and the rest of closing by 5:30 pm. So while it is great place to buy your lunch, you have to be quick to get something after work.
City Farmer's Market (Courtesy of Brisbane City Council)
Boundary Street Markets
As a market, the Boundary Street Markets have a few interesting items and it is one of the best places for hand crafted jewellery in Brisbane, but the real reason most people go is for the food.
Food stalls and dining area at the Boundary Street Markets (Courtesy of Boundary Street Markets)
With a huge selection of food stalls, from cheap snacks to filling meals, it can be more interesting to eat here than at the many restaurants and cafes in West End. The market owners are exceptionally friendly and several offer free samples to entice you to try their food. In addition, The Motor Room bar usually has live music that spills out into the area, so that you have food entertainment in one location.
Drinks and live music at the Motor Room (Courtesy of Boundary Street Markets)
The biggest problem with this market is the lack of seating. Unless you arrive early, it can be hard to find a place to eat your meal properly. However there are plenty of options that you can buy that you can eat in your hands.
Indoor markets (Courtesy of Boundary Street Markets)
The markets are on Friday 4 pm - 10 pm, Saturday 10 am - 10 pm and now Sundays has a farmers market from 6 am to noon.
Davies Park Markets
I really like the Davies Park Markets but I don't often have a chance to visit it. It runs from a convenient time from 6 am to 2 pm on Saturdays. You will want to arrive early if you are shopping for fresh fruit, vegetables or seafood. If you are arriving at lunch time some places may have already sold out their best produce.
The lunch selection is pretty interesting. It is the sort of market where I would rather pick several different small items to try rather than a meal, but generally each food stall has chairs and tables set up for you to sit down and eat if you choose to do so.
I am a huge fan of the Manly Creative markets. Unlike many of the others on this list, it doesn't have a crowded feel. It also has a little bit of everything, from fruit and vegetables, craft stalls, kids ride's and buskers.
The food selection is not the best on this list, but there is plenty to eat there and the location at Little Bayside Park means it is easy to find a nice spot in the park to enjoy your meal. With the time from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, it is perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon after a good sleep in.
What I really love about this market though is the Food Stalls which are usually setup in a separate section. While there are food markets that say they are inspired by markets in Asia, Woodridge's food stalls could have been helicoptered straight in.
The Woodridge Markets are a great place to buy your weekly vegetables
While the food stalls are not limited to Asian food, it is Asian tastes that dominate. Whether it is a nice bowl of noodles or one of the many varieties of fried chicken, this is the place to go in Brisbane for the Asian outdoor eating experience.