With an abundance of market gardens around the Auckland region, you can bet the farmers' markets are a foodie's heaven for fresh and enticing fare. Here are the 5 markets closest to the CBD.
City Farmers' Market You can't get any more central than the City Farmers' Market for organic fruit and veg, artisan breads, cheeses and condiments and gourmet eats. The mussel fritters are bigger than your hand – seriously. With goodies in hand you can lounge on a bean bag and listen to DJ sounds while kids can squeal with delight running through the splashpad in Takutai Square. Where: Gore St, Britomart When: Saturdays, 8am-12.30pm
From the City Farmers' Market it's only an 8-minute drive (or 20-minute walk) along the waterfront to the Silo Markets. Tasty food stalls such as rice and beans, dumplings, Argentinean and Korean fare will whet your appetites and the markets offer cool vintage clothing and glassware, art, jewellery, groovy candles and the like. Silo Night Markets also operate on Fridays from 5pm during the summer, with a movie showing at 9pm too. A 10-minute drive from the CBD. Where: Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter When: Saturdays and Sundays, 12-6pm
La Cigale This large French food store hosts a brimming market on the weekends. Along with fresh fruit and veg, the food stalls include paella, crepes, dumplings, frozen treats and, of course, French pastries. There's also clothing and La Cigale's French homewares and gifts. La Cigale is the biggest central Auckland market because it has a large indoor seating area, so it's still worth going in inclement weather. A 10-minute drive from the CBD. Where: 69 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell (plenty of parking) When: Saturdays, 8am-1.30pm, Sundays 9am-1.30pm By bus: Catch any bus from Tyler St, CBD, that goes along Quay St, get off at the last Quay St stop, then walk 1km up The Strand and St Georges Bay Rd to the very end where the market is
Parnell Farmers' Market This outdoor market is located behind the handsome brick Jubilee Building that houses the Parnell Library. You'll find delicious local produce such as honey, fruit and veg, olives, flowers, cheese, lavender oil, pasta and free-range meats. There's some covered seating and sometimes facepainting to entertain the kids. And dogs get special pooch parking and water. There's also the Craft Harvest market on the 4th Saturday of the month in the Jubilee Hall for handmade art, crafts and clothing. A 15-minute drive from the CBD. Where: 545 Parnell Rd When: Saturdays, 8am-12pm By bus: Take the Inner Link from Customs St East, CBD, and get off at 540 Parnell Rd
Yes, even dogs get special treatment at the Parnell Farmers' Market
Grey Lynn Farmers' Market This is a small market, but intimately contained in a hall so rain is never a problem. George's Garden spray-free produce attracts the longest queues, but there's also honey, market gardens, Hakanoa Ginger Beer (made in Grey Lynn), Bread and Butter Bakery, salmon, Heirloom Organix seedlings, a community trading table and more. Grey Lynn 2030 Waste Away will give you info on worm farms and bokashi and runs a depot for reusable containers and bags. When your shopping is done you can get a chair massage or sit outside and watch the kids play in the community centre playground, that's definitely an added bonus for parents. The GLFM also holds workshops on topics such as gardening and preserving. A 15-minute drive from the CBD. Worth noting is Harvest Wholefoods, Auckland's largest inner city health food store, a 3-minute walk from the GLFM. Where: Grey Lynn Community Hall, 510 Richmond Rd When: Sundays, 9am-12.30pm By bus: Take the 020 from Customs St West, CBD, and get off at 486 Richmond Rd just after Tutanekai St