One of my favourite things about living in North Melbourne is being close to the Queen Vic Markets. I love the grotty nature of the fruit and vegetable stalls between Peel Street and Queen Street, the smell of fresh coffee brewing at Market Lane and the familiarness of the faces.
I’ll easily make a couple of trips a week to stock up on the things I need…and a whole heap of things that I don’t.
If you’re in the neighbourhood and you are thinking of stopping by, here are my top produce tips and where to buy the best.
All located in the deli hall…
Fresh chorizo from Bill’s Farm. For a long time, I struggled to find good fresh chorizo at the market, it never compared to the chorizo we would buy in Spain. Then I found this chorizo and it’s delicious – simply bbq and enjoy with fresh bread.
Midnight Moon goats cheese from Bill’s Farm (or any cheese for that matter). Getting a little bit tired of always buying the same cheese, we asked the guy at Bill’s Farm what one of their most requested cheeses was. We’ve been buying this dutch imported goats cheese ever since.
Cuba coffee beans from McIver’s Coffee and Tea Merchants. I’m a big fan of grinding beans and making my own coffee at home and this bean is the perfect breakfast companion.
Salted Capers from the French Shop. These little salt preserved capers are far superior to the waterlogged variety you find at the supermarket and they last forever (well not forever but not far off).
Whisky and Rosemary Pate from the French shop. Big flavours, delicate result – soft, smooth and creamy. Any pate from here is particularly lovely.
Peppermint truffle chocolate sticks from the corner Bread Shop (well that’s what I call it). This is a discovery I wish I never made. At $1.20 a stick, they’ll send me broke. I am just a little bit addicted.
Brioche buns from Andrew’s Specialty Gourmet Breads. If you want to take your hamburgers up a level, put them in a toasted brioche bun!
Hummus from Pavilion Select Produce. I like to make my own hummus but soaking the chickpeas a day prior can sometimes set you back. For those occasions, this hummus is as good as you’d make yourself without the pre-planning.
If you’re hungry after all that shopping, grab a $3 cheese and spinach borek from the Borek Shop, take a seat on a milk crate in the alley way and watch the world go by…
Or actually, check out the new deli, Pickett’s, on the corner of Thierry and Elizabeth Streets. Their thick cut bacon and egg roll with homemade brown sauce is not a healthy breakfast option – but so so good.
What are your favourite market buys?