When I'm feeling a little bit peckish on my lunch break at work, but don't want take out or to wander down to Coles, I always know just the place. A quick stroll from the main street of Chapel, I walk into Prahran market and instantly feel fresh. The abundance of fresh fruit and veg on sale is eye catching, with offers and deals if you buy in bundles or simply slip in before close, and catch the end of day sales.
The entrance hosts tables and chairs where you will always find people sharing stories over coffee and food or simply on their lunch break, like myself. My favourite trader in the market is 'Ripe The Organic Grocer'. They are committed to providing organic fruit and vegetables, as well as other staples such as treats, wines, groceries and stock a selection of vegan products. They have a self serve selection of nuts, from raw to salted, to chocolate coated and toasted. My indulgence is the dark chocolate goji berries, full of antioxidants but also fix my afternoon sugar craving. If you are also a licorice lover like myself, make sure to try spelt licorice – It is not as processed as supermarket versions and a more natural source.
Opposite 'Ripe The Organic Grocer' is a small nut and legume stall sitting in the center. The owner is a lovely man who is more than happy to offer you samples before you buy and is great at recommendations. 'Ripe' does not stock self serve goji berries (they offer packaged versions), so I tend to go to this stall to choose my own quantity. The hot wasabi peas are also a must!
There is a large selection of stalls selling fresh produce, so be sure to browse around first to get the best quality, as well as the best deal. If you stroll towards the back, you will come across the fresh deli, which acts as a host to a fresh pasta store, featuring a range of vegetarian options to your meaty raviolis. Towards the back of the deli is a to die for chocolate shop. Its quality is probably not as great as that of Darrell Lea's, but the selection is wide and varied for all sweet tooths.
The market is also known for their fresh meat, fish and poultry and has a large selection with twelve traders offering their services. Just a note – If you are a strict vegetarian like myself and cannot stand meat, do not wander into this area. I accidentally strolled through here one day, and felt like the entrance and exit doors could not be further apart, and the glare of the fluorescent lights made the experience that bit more uncomfortable.
After spending a bit of time strolling through what Prahran market has to offer, you will more than likely work up an appetite after seeing the abundance of food, so why not stop for lunch? The middle courtyard offers some lunch options, or else there is a café situated next to Aldi on Elizabeth Street. Opposite this café is a gelati and ice-cream stall – the smell of hot jam doughnuts on a cold winter afternoon is almost too inviting to pass up.