The Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne

A trip to the Queen Victoria Market is a one way ticket to Il Paradiso or  L’ Inferno. I arrive and never want to leave these acres devoted to food heaven and hell. Known locally as the Vic Market, it is a major landmark in central Melbourne, a top tourist destination, and a national treasure.  At around seven hectares (17 acres), it is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe space is divided into different halls and sheds. The fish area houses ten or so different specialist fishmongers offering the freshest catch in Melbourne. This section has diminished over the years but the quality has improved. With quick turnover and now correct labelling with regard to source, it is worth a tram ride to shop here on a weekly basis.

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But it is so hard to choose. Will I have those baby snapper, the freshly shucked oysters from Coffin Bay, or the lovely scallops still in the shell? Hmm, fresh baby calamari. All too tempting.

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The Vic Market Deli comes next, which is housed in a hall of Victorian glass fronted shops and tiled floors. You may go there with a list, but I guarantee you won’t stick to it. My levels of greed and gluttony soar to unholy levels.

Thomas Aquinas, 13th century Italian philosopher puts it this way:

 ‘gluttony could include an obsessive anticipation of meals, and  the constant eating of delicacies and excessively costly foods.’

This sin includes,

  • Praepropere – eating too soon
  • Laute – eating too expensively
  • Nimis – eating too much
  • Ardenter – eating too eagerly
  • Studiose – eating too daintily
  • Forente – eating wildly

This Deli Hall is a wicked place indeed but at least I can’t be accused of eating too daintily so there’s hope for me yet.

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I came here especially to buy a large jar of Mt Zero Olives  from the Grampians region of Victoria as  these mixed olives last forever in the fridge. A little scoop here and another one there provides a lovely drink snack. No need to marinate them or tart them up with herbs and garlic. They speak for themsleves. The young vendor is keen to be in my picture too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACheese was not on my list, and yet I was tempted, severely. I was lucky enough to stop after purchasing three small delicious wedges. This is the place to find Christmas treats. Oh yes, I might be accused or eating too expensively, Sir Thomas.  Just to tuck away, in anticipation of guests.

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And then there’s the row of takeaway instant treats. The Bratwurst shop is famous and has been there for at least 40 years, but my favourite is the Borek shop. Still, I find it hard to choose: I want it all. Perhaps I have I eaten too soon, Mr Aquinas?

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After the deli, the acres devoted to fresh fruit and vegetables beckon. My mind races as I obsessively anticipate the meals that could be made.  I stand accused of the sin of gluttony every time I enter the delectable land of The QueenVic Market.

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27 thoughts on “The Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne”

    1. Ah well Celia, It could be time for a drive- a slow drive, the long way, down the South East Coast of NSW, to feast on oysters and good produce, then to stop in Lakes Entrance, on the east coast of Victoria for fabulous seafood, and then a quick run into Melbourne. Then, loaded up, you can go home the boring way. But wait- there’s a side trip to the Yarra Valley, where you get to stay in my separate studio, surrounded by kangaroos and drive over to the Valley for wine tasting each day, then come back for a swim and some good food. F x

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  1. Great post! I love the Vic Mkt vibe too, though it’s just a bit awkward for me for weekly shopping. A huge shopping jeep full of veg and the tram are not really compatible. Prahran Mkt lacks grit! I think Sir Thomas Aquinis was looking at me!

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  2. We love Vic Markets and never visit Melbourne without calling in and browsing. Usually on our way from the airport for a snack… We’ve been known to share a dozen oysters al fresco on the footpath 🙂

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  3. Ahhh, those bratwurst! Must be about time a did another visit down there. I just hate the rest of the city and avoid going there unless really have to. From the market to the cooking equipment shop. Heaven!

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