I am a world traveller & a mom of two, (8 & 6). I love to meet people, and am fascinated that there are 7 billion stories out there to be explored. I think Melbourne is the most happening city to live in with all the fun activities around town.
Published May 29th 2014
Delight your senses
I have lived in Melbourne for nine years, yet it was only last month that I had the opportunity to discover this gem called the Prahran Market. It was love at first sight.
Nestled between commercial shopping streets and residential community, the Prahran Market provides a delightful experience in a small package and has been around for 150 years. The market is neatly sectioned into manageable sized segments. As I had driven to the market and parked in the adjacent parking, I was closest to the entrance to the market that opens into the indoor area. Speaking of parking, I was thrilled that being located so close to the city, there is ample parking at very economical prices.
Walking through the Main Hall is a pleasure. The neatly stacked stalls for fruits and vegetables are organized such that there is ample walking space between the stalls. I was stunned by the high standard of cleanliness. Interspersed among the stalls are jewellery/accessories sellers, specialty cookies, florists, specialty nuts, bakeries, eggs, fresh coffee beans, special chocolates and even a cooking demonstration kitchen, where regular demonstrations are conducted.
Various stalls in the Main Indoor Hall of Prahran Market
Around the Main Hall, there are coffee shops that specialize in breakfasts or gourmet coffees or salads or cultural culinary delights. I would recommend visitors to go on an empty stomach so that you can try the delicacies and tidbits offered by the various stalls. Don't buy one big meal; instead, I recommend you buy grab and go type snacks so that you can try more delicacies from different stalls. In fact, if you have time, walk through the market and then make a decision what you want to try.
There is a fresh food section where fresh meats, cheeses, deli items, pastas and so much more are on offer. Just walking through and watching the items on sale is delectable. Stall holders are friendly and willing to share information about their product freely.
Then there is the outdoor area where there is a generous seating and meeting space, along with restaurants/cafes and take-away stalls. One of my favourites is the Falafel Man, who makes these scrumptious fried delicacies with a family recipe and has been selling for 17 years. Even the pita chips (which are offered for free with every purchase) are delicious.
On the day I visited (Thursday), there was a music session for little children, with free face-painting. The music session was being conducted by a gentleman wearing traditional Mexican attire, and there were musical instruments for children to try their hand. Nearby, I spotted an Honour Library, where you don't need a library card to borrow a book. The only rule is that you leave a book in exchange for one you pick up.
Another thing I loved about the market was the use of art in random places. You could find statuettes in the oddest places. The display of items was also done by using artistic and fancy stalls, like using a wheelbarrow to display vegetables. The decorative packaging added to the glamour of the item on sale.
I loved every aspect of the market and if anyone has a free afternoon to spend not knowing what to do, I would highly recommend heading to Prahran Market if you haven't already familiarized yourself with this jewel in the city. Guided tours are also available for a cost (please check website). I can't wait to go again.