It's official, Australians are now buying more fruit and veg than they are buying chocolate and meat. To get both the best deals and the best quality fruit and vegetables, you need to buy them from the markets. This is a guide to the best markets for fruit and vegetables.
There are lots of reasons to buy fruit and vegetables from markets instead of the supermarket. One of the main reasons is price. However many markets are not much cheaper than shopping at a supermarket. I like the fact that you know these fruit and vegetables are truly fresh, not picked green and stored for months. There is often a greater selection of fruit and vegetables at the market, though there selection is also more seasonal. Finally, if you want to shop for quality fresh organic produce, your only choice in Australia are the markets.
Don't forget that many of these markets also sell other products. They are a great place to pick up seafood and of course in Brisbane they are really the only place to buy some decent bread. Other products depend on the individual market.
There are some issues with doing your grocery shopping at the markets though. The main problem is convenience. They are often only open for part of one day of the week. Some of the weekend markets close before most people even get out of bed, let along think about shopping. Another issue is the weather. Though a rainy day can mean that you get great end of day specials. Probably the biggest hassle is parking. Markets are very popular and often it is hard to find any parking close to the market unless you arrive as they are opening.
Brisbane MarketPlace, Rocklea Markets
When people think of fruit and vegetable shopping they think of the Rocklea Markets. The market is divided into 2 days, with Saturday being the Fresh Markets and Sunday being the Discovery Markets which focuses more on other products.
The markets run for 6 am to midday on weekends. So this is the perfect place to go for breakfast or brunch, do your week's fresh food shopping and then relax with a coffee while listening to some music.
Davies Park Markets, West End
My preferred markets for shopping are the Davies Park Markets. The parking is pretty good and if you are coming by public transport, you can choose to do the pleasant walk along the river bank from South Brisbane and then take a bus back when your arms are laden with groceries.
Photo courtesy of Davies Park Markets
The market runs from 6 am to 2 pm, making it a better market for a day out as you have time to enjoy lunch while shopping. From experience, if the weather is nice, try and get their early before the best selection of fresh produce is sold out.
With somewhat of a hippie vibe as you would expect from a market in West End, there are usually several organic food stalls along with much cheaper fruit and vegetable stalls. The market is much more than food and is a great place to browse for just about everything.
People enjoying entertainment at the Davies Park Markets
When I worked in the city, I would always manage to find a reason to get out of work on time on Wednesdays to get to this market. Now I have to find an excuse to have an appointment in the city on Wednesdays so I can do some shopping.
The Jan Powers Brisbane Farmers Market located between the Casino and Brisbane City Library runs from 10 am to 6 pm every Wednesday. In the winter months though, many stalls start wrapping up around 5 pm as it begins to get dark. However that 5-6 pm time is when many stall holders are looking unload what they have left and is the perfect opportunity for deals.
The only downside of these markets is the parking, as in, there really is none as it is the city. But public transport is easy, the selection is amazing, from the cheap stalls with huge queues of international students lining up to shop, through to highly quality fresh fruit and vegetables. At lunch time it attracts local office workers looking to try a wide selection of lunch products that are not available anywhere else and then pick up some of their groceries before heading back to work.
Kelvin Grove Village Markets
This is an odd little market. However given its proximity to QUT they have quite a good selection of fruit and vegetables here. Operating every Saturday from 6 am to 1 pm, The Village Markets market tries its best and has everything other markets have, such as food stalls, crafts and entertainment. However the location and layout leaves a lot to be desired.
However if you are looking for a place to do your weekly fruit and vegetable shopping, this market is a great choice. The parking is pretty convenient as well, especially compared with some other markets. But unless you live in the area it is not that convenient for public transportation, unless you don't mind a walk from the QUT bus stop on the busway.
This is the sort of market where you will rock up, do your shopping and then leave. In addition, it is right next to a Woolworths, so you can actually do all your shopping in one hit.
Northey Street City Farm Organic Markets
Organic products are available in nearly every market in Brisbane, however only The Northey Street Markets specialise in organic produce. Operating at the inconvenient time of 6 am to 10:30 am every Sunday this is the market to go to if you want to buy organic.
These markets are definitely worth getting up early if you want to locally grown organic produce, with much of the produce grown locally at the location. Organic products are not limited to just fresh fruit and vegetables and there are many other products for the organic lifestyle.
The other reason to visit this market is the wonderful community feeling. Entertainment is provided by buskers and most people who visit go there every weekend. So this is the place that should become your local market, not matter how far away you live.
The Woordridge Markets is by and far the cheapest market that I know of in Brisbane for fruit and vegetables. Operating every Sunday from 6 am to midday, this market should be a must for everyone on the South Side of Brisbane.
When it comes to fruit and vegetables, there is no where cheaper. With stall after stall selling locally grown produce, pretty much the only things on sale here are fruit and vegetables. This is where you go to save money on your weekly grocery bill.
Lacking a lot of the other products that you would normally expect to see in other markets, this is a budget market. Of course, if they main thing you are looking for is fruit and vegetables, that doesn't really matter.
Parking is not too bad as there is plenty of street parking around the markets, and with the markets next to the train station, it is easy to take the train there.
The other reason to visit these markets is the street food stalls. Almost all are Asian style street food, and it is almost exactly like visiting a street food market in South East Asia. So I recommend always turning up with enough time to do your shopping and to eat an early lunch as well.