Off the main drag, but still central enough to attract the tourists, Manly’s weekend markets brings together organic food stalls with souvenir sellers that makes for an easy one-stop-shop for a bite to eat and a quick browse before you hit the beach. Sydney Road has market stalls on either side, which can get stiflingly busy in summer sunshine. On a Sunday morning you’ll find Patrick’s Farm and Rita’s Farm proudly selling certified organic produce from the Hawkesbury and Wallacia. You can pick up Hass avocados for $3, lush green veggies like broccoli, leeks, fennel and spinach, plus earthy Dutch cream potatoes and butternut, and boxes of free range eggs.
Alongside the two main produce stalls at the church end of the street, there are fresh-cut flowers such as flowering gum for $25 and eucalyptus for $12, but also more weathered bunches of roses and dahlias. Chippendale café Brickfields also has a stall selling sourdough loaves, almond croissants and generously sized white Chocolate passionfruit lamingtons. There’s also Brooklyn Boy Bagels and Paddy’s Irish Soda Breads, as well as coffee and Golden Gaytime brookies at Milklab Coffee. When we visit there’s only one ready-to-go food stall selling handmade gnocchi with napolitana sauce and parmesan.
Though the food stalls pack up around 2pm, the bulk of the market’s clothing and gift stalls are there till 5pm. The range is hit-and-miss, from backpacker chic yak wool cardigans, natural skincare products and silver jewellery to the truly excellent retro haul at the tent occupied by Redfern’s Queen Justine Vintage. In the market for a loud Hawaiian shirt? You’re in luck. Looking for an acid wash denim mini? They’ll have heaps. Another handy find is the $10 hat stall selling straw fedoras and boaters – useful if you’re caught without one on a hot day. And Lone Society Co, selling shave and beard oil, natural tattoo balm, is a more unusual find for one-off gifts.