There are plenty of free and affordable activities to enjoy during winter in Melbourne. Since its inception in 2012, Luna 1878 has become a Melbourne weeknight winter ritual as visitors flock to this seasonal event every Wednesday throughout July and August. Apart from the FREE entry, this winter night market offers compelling reasons to spend the evening out with family and friends instead of hiding under the covers.
The biggest draw for visitors is the large selection of food stalls and the fun of cozying up with a warm meal and conversations around the fire. There are too many Australian, Asian and European food choices in the busiest and most frequented section of the Market to list. Here are some of the popular foods based on the longest customer queues witnessed during my visit. Hope this helps you decide what to eat during your winter sojourn in Luna 1878. Just remember to get there early to grab yourself a portion before they run out.
Hoy, Pinoy" translated from Tagalog to English means "Hey, Filipino". This caterer who appears in many pop ups and markets brings a taste of the street food vendors in the Philippines to customers around Melbourne. The visual and fragrant aroma of meat marinated in Filipino sauces and barbequed over fires has a long queue of customers salivating.
400 Gradi by chef Johnny Di Francesco showcases the food of Naples. Universally Naples is recognized as the home of the wood-fire pizza. An onsite oven allows visitors to Luna 1878 to also enjoy a freshly made selection of wood-fire pizza from the Lygon Street restaurant.
A regular of the summer Suzuki Night Market, this Spanish food caterer offers several tummy-warming reasons to pad up and visit Luna 1878 every Wednesday night from 5 to 10pm. There are warm smiles from the female torero at the stall to accompany the usual steamy favourites like paella and aromatic grilled items like lamb cutlets, beef steaks and chicken wings.
La Creperie is a caterer offering a range of sweet and savoury crepes for festivals, outdoor events, corporate functions and markets. The sight of paper-thin crepes cooking over a hot plate and served with a mix of delicious toppings has customers queuing for a bite.
One of Melbourne's popular Malaysian eatery has also popped up in Luna 1878. Originally from Sydney, Mamak is renowned for their as-authentic-as-Kuala Lumpur dishes. You can sample their roti canai as the cooks toss, flip, fold and grill them live before your eyes. A tummy-warming meal of Malaysian flat bread dipped in Indian curry.
The award winning pies draw a constant flow of customers seeking familiar and warm food. There's a wide selection like beef burgundy, tandoori chicken, steak and mushroom and many more. How wrong can you with hot baked pie served with sides of steamy mash, pies and gravy at just $7?
This busy stall with an unusual trading name brings the flavours of Bangkok to Luna 1878. The aim of the 2 Thai owners is to share their favourite home cooked and street foods with Melbourne at affordable prices. The queue for the fried chicken and chicken larb indicates that they are doing something right.
Those craving for an authentic Hungarian strudel are making a beeline for this stall. The strudels are supposedly baked to an unique home-style recipe. Whether you're choosing to bite into an apple strudel, raspberry and cream cheese strudel or apricot and custard strudel, you'll have to just wait your turn like the rest of the dessert enthusiasts.