Some markets are an adventure in themselves. They are worth the trip across town or out to the countryside just for a visit. These are not your local markets where you pop in for brunch and some cheap vegetables, instead they provide a complete experience of dining, shopping and entertainment.
These are my 5 favourite market adventurers and experiences in and around Brisbane.
Eat Street Markets
Let's start off with the market everyone in Brisbane has either travelled to or plans to travel to. The Eat Street Markets were supposedly inspired by Asian street food markets, but it doesn't really have the same vibe. Which is not a criticism because the combination of shipping containers and food trucks creates a great upmarket outdoor feel.
They have great food, much of it in the $10-15 range, which means fantastic meals for less. There are also cool little bars setup, so not only can you eat, you can drink as well. And of course there is live music to help you make an evening of it.
They also feature a growing number of craft stalls. So you can shop, eat, drink, listen to music and make an evening out your trip here. The main downside is that it is a little out of the way if you are looking for a market to start your evening. But given that it stays open until 10 pm on Friday and Saturday nights you don't really need to go anywhere else.
To be honest I have never travelled to specifically visit this market, rather we go there when we are heading out in West End in the evening. However the Boundary Street Markets is one of the great markets to visit in Brisbane and a worthwhile destination in its own right.
The market opens from 4 pm to 10 pm on Fridays, from 10 am to 10 pm on Saturday and operates as a farmers markets from 8 am to 3 pm on Sundays. No other market in Brisbane can compete in terms of opening hours.
The first reason to go the markets is the great food. Most of the outdoor market is nothing but food stalls and food trucks. You can also browse the great indoor markets. Then party on into the night at the Motor Room bar. With this bar opening onto the main area of the markets, you could also just enjoy a meal while listening to music.
The market gets busy quickly, so I recommend going there early to eat otherwise it can be hard to find a place to sit.
Tivoli Twilight Markets
This great Twilight market is only part of the total experience. Come for the markets and stay for the movies. The market runs from 4 to 8 pm every Saturday at the Tivioli Drive In theatre. The markets are free to enter, but if you stay for a movie it is a whopping $10 a car (which of course makes it a great value for money family event).
So turn up early, eat at the cafe, one of the markets stalls or a charity sausage sizzle. Then watch a couple of movies. Movies start at 6:30 pm and is always a good old fashioned double feature, usually with a theme. The early movie will be better for young kids.
Sausage Sizzle (Courtesy of Tivoli Twighlight Markets)
The movies featured at these events are usually recent theatre movies, either still playing in the theatres or were there not that long ago. If you haven't been to the drive in lately, be aware that those old hook a single speaker up to the window systems are out and instead you tune in your car stereo to the movie sound. So you get a reasonable quality stereo sound (depending on the quality of your car's sound system).
Drive ins are a great experience for young families. They can also bring back memories for us older people who grew up going to the movies in cars. It can be a fun date night for young couples.
Eagle Farm Markets
Brisbane's northern suburbs have a large number of quality markets, but most are not worth travelling to if they are not your nearest market. Eagle Farm Markets stands out above the rest for a number of reasons.
The range of products is also extensive. This is one of the few markets in Brisbane that sells cheap imported products, local crafts, food and also has the cheapest vegetables on the north side. Though the vegetables are nowhere near as cheap as some of the other markets in Brisbane.
A lot of markets have activities for kids, but Eagle Farm has more space that others for activities. So there are mini-racers, pony rides and many other great activities for kids.
Opening at 7 am and closing time of 12:30 pm it is worthwhile visiting for a late brunch or early lunch. Though it is also nice to wander down Racecourse Road to find a place for lunch after the market closes.
The only downside of this market is the $2 entry fee, which actually keeps the crowds down a little, so it is not too crowded.
Some people are saying that this market is not as good as it used to be. Given that it is still a great market, it must have been absolutely fantastic. Perhaps it is that there are now some competing markets in the Eumundi Area or maybe the market suffered a rough patch for a while. Whatever the story, The Eumundi Markets is great excuse to make the trip up to the Sunshine coast or Noosa.
The official and original Eumindi Markets is on every Saturday from 8 am to 1:30 pm and Wednesday from 7 am to 2 pm. So if you are travelling from Brisbane you don't have to leave early to get there in time to visit the markets.
While they style themselves as South East Queensland's best artisan market, this market has everything, from local food and crafts, to cheap imported items. So whether you are look for a cheap shades for your face, tourist souvenirs, some hippy clothes, great local crafts or a meal, you should definitely go here.
Courtesy of Eumundi Markets
The markets almost always have some sort of event going on. So check out there events page to see what is coming up. During school holidays they always have additional activities for kids. Of course even if there is no event there will be some interesting entertainment on at the markets.
Don't forget that there is the historic Eumundi to visit, along with some mountains and beaches and stuff in the area. But really you could justify the 100 km drive just for this market.