South Melbourne Market, Melbourne
Established in 1867, Toohey sees this as a must-visit for anyone who wants to get up close with the best of Victoria’s produce. Open every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8am, the market sells everything from fresh seafood and produce to artisanal chocolates and cheeses. There is also a diverse array of restaurants, patisseries, coffee shops, bakeries and bookshops. “Some of my top spots are Clement Coffee for what I think is the best coffee in Australia, Agathe Patisserie for the most amazing sweet treats, and Theo’s Deli, a family-owned and operated business that has been churning out excellent gourmet produce for over 30 years,” Toohey says.
Prahran Market, Melbourne
Prahran Market has been serving the community for over 150 years. It is open daily except Monday and Wednesday, and has a “convivial vibe” that Toohey loves. The stallholders are all passionate about their produce so if you want to learn about food, this is the perfect place to go. Toohey also notes that it’s the place to get a great bargain. He recommends Pino’s Fine Produce for finding a box of fresh vegetables for cheap. “Make time for the many deli shops here, as well as the Greek sweet shop for delicious Mediterranean goodies. One stop I always make is at Pike’s Mushrooms. As the name suggests, this is where you go for all things fungi, from local and imported to the very exotic,” Toohey says.
Kings Cross Organic Food Market, Sydney
“This is located right around the corner from my old apartment in Sydney and was my go-to place whenever I needed a market fix,” Toohey says. Everything here is organic and cultivated with the deepest love and care. It is the type of place that offers a true understanding of seasonality and how imperfect-looking produce can be some of the most flavourful and delicious. They are only open on Saturdays, so be sure to arrive early if you want to get your hands on the freshest fruits and vegetables.
Adelaide Central Market, Adelaide
With over 70 traders packed within a charming brick building, this vibrant market is packed with so much to see, try and do. Aside from fresh fruit and vegetables, seafood, meat and poultry, the market also carries a wide range of cheeses, baked goods and health foods. “There is a stall tucked away in the side alley that sells the most beautiful steamed buns, as well as a Korean street food stall that sells mouthwatering breakfast and lunch sets, which you absolutely cannot miss,” Toohey says. The market is open daily, except for Sunday and Monday.
Farm Gate Market, Hobart
“Without exaggerating, this is my favourite market in all of Australia. I would move to Hobart for this market alone,” Toohey raves. This market takes place every Sunday along Bathurst Street and features an ever-changing lineup of fresh seasonal produce. It started with just 12 producers and has now grown to be one of the top five farmers’ markets in the country. While every stall has its own unique offerings, Toohey’s favourites include the sourdough crumpet shop, the SOYOYO tofu and tempeh shop, the Asian greens stall and the fresh pasta stall. When you need a breather, head to Pigeon Whole Bakers for some top-quality coffee and pastries.