This week's best markets and pop-up shops
It’s imperative that you do not eat before you visit the Carriageworks Farmers Markets. You’ll want to save maximum belly space for your personal version of The Bachelorette where you decide who gets your dollars and what delicious produce gets to come home with you. Maybe you like something soupy and savoury first thing? In that case go for the pho stand for a traditional Vietnamese start to the day. There’s a bibimbap stall that will even replace the rice with shredded cauliflower if you don’t believe in cheat days, and a French crêpe stall and a classic bacon and egg roll for creatures of habit. The big hitter is always Billy Kwong, where a perfect fried egg is swaddled in a Chinese pancake, packed with salad and dressed in a luxe ginger tamari sauce. And for breakfast dessert, no visit is complete without a baked treat from Flour and Stone – they soak their lamingtons in a panna cotta mix to make sure they’re extra soft and rich.Once the hounds of your hunger have been quieted it’s time to prepare for your next meal, or seven. Maybe you need the sweet bite of Pickle Hill’s Worcester sauce for the pantry? Or some fresh goat’s curd from Willowbrae? While you’re there you may as well get some smoked salmon, fresh ravioli from Pasta Emilia, free range eggs, a load of beer and barley bread form the Bread and Butter Project, and some jersey milk butter to go on it. If you forgot your sweet French basket the 2 Duck Trading Co stall sells them, so you can pack them full of fresh
You’ll find massive variety among the 200 stalls that take over Glebe Public School each Saturday morning, but it’s the fashion ones that attracts most visitors. There are rows upon rows of eccentric and colourful vintage clothes, alongside hand-crafted jewellery, accessories and new clothing designed by locals. There are vintage stalls scattered all around the market, but the smaller section just off Derby Lane at the back of the school is a goldmine and a slightly quieter place to scour through racks and try things on. Here you’ll find Muns Vintage, a treasure trove of recycled fabrics turned into new garments. Even if you’re not searching for a new wardrobe, Glebe Markets is a great place to grab some lunch and relax on the school lawns where live musicians serenade the crowd from noon. The lane of food stalls – just opposite the lawn – has old market favourites and more high-end offerings: gözleme, kebabs, dumplings, fancy doughnuts, gluten-free baked goods and tandoori chicken wraps from the Madras Cuisine stall, which has been part of the markets for more than two decades. Best of all, you can get a freshly squeezed, made-to-order lemonade from the Citrus Factory. It’s mixed together in a cocktail shaker and you’re able to request a little more lemon or sugar, depending how sweet your tooth is. Find more Sydney markets.
These pint-sized produce markets take place in Pannerong Reserve just back from Rosebay’s main drag selling bunches of aromatic sage, fennel and mint, miniature organic eggplants and juicy grapefruits. On the Tuesday we visit there’s a jazz guitarist, long tables to sit at and umbrellas to lounge under. There are around ten stalls each week, so it’s more of a snapshot of the Sydney market rotation rather a full spread. Grab an eggy quiche lorraine filled with bacon, caramelised onion, shreds of tasty cheese, cream and milk from Tart by Ursula; or get a taste of the Northern Beaches via Berkelo’s hearty loaves of bread. Fresh blooms including leucadendrons, pineapple lillies and proteas come in buckets (or arrangements) from local florist Sweet Pea and Honey Bee Flowers. You’ll also find Gwydir Grove Olive Oils, who bring drums of olive oil (perfect for refilling bottles) and briny, dense olives. Ultra sweet fire grapes and dried sugar plums from Prickle Hill are also a hit.If all this perusing has you hankering for a snack you’ll be pleased to smell the aromas of Jimmy Liks. The former Potts Point restaurant will serve you up a roti ‘taco’, which see the charred flat bread packed with slow cooked curried chicken, pickled cabbage, chilli and fresh coriander. Find more Sydney markets.
Using the expanses of Orange Grove primary school, these markets fill the playground with covetable goods on a weekly basis. Farm fresh fruit and veg is everywhere here and you’re spoilt for choice for truss tomatoes, plump berries, technicolour capsicums and leafy greens. There’s also a glut of small producers for all your smallgood and fancy condiment needs; grab a fragrant saucisson (an air-dried pork sausage); or rummage through bright yellow, ice-filled eskies for some juicy free-range steaks and nab a carton of free-range eggs.The popularity of the bacon and egg rolls from Bowen’s has reached celebrity status, with queues long enough to make you think Bieber is signing autographs at the end of the line. They’re undeniably delicious. But our breakfast of choice is a steaming carton of Eat Fuh pho, purveyors of one of the most fragrant broths in Sydney. Try their vegan option, too; the broth has a rich mushroom aroma that almost overshadows the meat version. And, if the crisp crunch of an organically grown carrot isn’t your thing on a Saturday morning, the market also has tables laden with top notch baked goods. Grab a slab of Flour and Stone’s popular lemon cake or a goat cheese and zucchini savoury tart from Croquembouche patisserie, or collect flavoured seed varieties at Brooklyn Boy Bagels.Food isn’t the only thing on the menu – there’s also a range of handmade and environmentally conscious clothing, second-hand records and jewellery. Find the best markets in Sydney.
Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud is returning to Australia for an exclusive appearance in conversation with Man About the House presenter and comedian Tim Ross. The pair will take to the Concert Hall stage in one of the most recognisable buildings in the world to chew the fat over the iconic building itself, home designs and how we construct spaces for modern living. McCloud is best known as the host of Channel 4’s long-running show, which has also produced spin-off publications and events Grand Designs Magazine and Grand Designs Live. Kevin’s TV repertoire also includes two series of Man Made Home, Kevin's Supersized Salvage and Kevin McCloud's Escape To The Wild. He wrote and presented his four-hour Grand Tour of Europe and spent two and a half weeks in the slums of Mumbai for Channel 4’s India season. The show will run for around 70 minutes and tickets go on sale to the general public at 9am on Friday August 10.
These dog-friendly markets aren’t just a ritual for locals – loyal visitors from all over Sydney trek to Addison Road Community Centre for organic groceries and a wander around Reverse Garbage. You can find pretty much anything here; vintage clothes, books, rugs, eco food wraps to healing crystals, rice bread and tarot reading. There are plenty of stalls selling seasonal fruit and veg, plus Asian greens, honey and fresh seafood. Pick up a paper lunch bag filled with sweet, mini plums and stop by Brooklyn Boy Bagels for a poppy seed dough with cream cheese, lox, dill and caper schmear. If you visit on the first or fourth Sunday of the month, the longest lines will be found at La Casa Latina – a pop-up diner where you can eat authentic Mexican food. It’s a major drawcard for tamales, chilaquiles, tacos al pastor and pazole. Wash it all down with a Michelada – a popular Mexican drink that combines beer, lime, tomato juice, Worcestershire and hot sauce. If the picnic tables are full, there’s plenty of grass behind the community hall to throw down a rug – just watch out for the pony rides passing through. Find the best markets in Sydney.
Christmas is coming early to the North Shore, with Chatswood Chase organising a huge Xmas program in the lead up to the festive season. The annual Santa’s Arrival on November 17 kicks off the proceedings, with a huge day for the whole family. Spread across the centre will be a petting zoo (cue the fawns), festive craft workshops, elves on stilts and carol singers to really get you in the mood, as well as in-store discounts to kick-start your Xmas shopping. In the lead up, you can book your slot of time online for a photo with Santa to avoid waiting in line with thousands of other mums, dads and squirming kids – the recurring nightmare of this time of year. From December 14-24 you can also get your gifts wrapped for a gold coin donation, which is the perfect service for those of us who leave the more tedious parts of gift giving to the last minute.
Every Saturday, more than 100 stalls line the grounds of Paddington Uniting Church and the neighbouring public school selling Australian-made fashion, handmade crockery and metal costume jewellery. The market has been operating on the same day since 1973, and the all-weather event is a profitable fundraiser for the church. Many of the stallholders return week on week, like the elderly Japanese couple selling Bonsai trees and the Spanish shoemakers selling espadrilles. It’s predominantly an art, clothing and design market – and alongside the kitsch bric-à-brac and Australiana-print tea towels you’ll find straw hats for $35 from local milliners and soft Tunisian-made ‘Turkish’ towels from young Eastern Suburb entrepreneurs. Antique, vinyl and vintage stalls are few and far between, but leather satchels, beach photography prints and patterned baby rompers are two a penny. On a hot day locals gather at the shaded tables and stools by the snack stalls. Turkish women hand roll yufka dough at the gözleme tent and vegetables are blitzed in a blender at the fresh juice stand. Chin’s Laksa stall, proudly MSG and gluten free, is a popular choice – as are the vegan cookies and sourdough scones on offer at the bakery stalls. It has a bohemian flair compared to its Oxford Street location and customers joyfully take up fortune readings for $60, as well as reiki and Japanese massage at $20 for 20 minutes. Gilda, a Brazilian singer, shakes her maraca as she serenades the marketgoers in
Looping around the dandelion fountain in Fitzroy Gardens the Kings Cross markets are a community shopping fave. Though smaller than most Sydney markets, the curated Sunday offerings are diverse enough to ensure you have a gloriously full basket and belly. They also pack up at a hangover friendly 3.30pm, meaning you can scarf a crackling spiked pork pancake and impulse buy a house plant without having to get up at sparrow’s fart.Kings Cross markets recently updated their stalls to better reflect the changing Potts Point community. Posh puppies get a look-in with sachets of dried roo ribs and doggy craft beers (yes, really) from McPets. You can also pick up jars of Zeus’s ambrosial vice from Wanderer Honey, with selections in unusual yellow and amber gradients. Or, spice-up your antipasto plates with almond stuffed olives from the Stubborn Olive – a stall that also gives you $2 off purchases if you reuse your jars. You can also crunch on a four cheese blend toastie on Pioik sourdough from Great Wheels of Cheese.The markets are great for flowers and plants, with several stalls devoted to leafy finds. Massive bunches of blooms in buckets go for pretty cheap and apartment-savvy succulents and hanging plants are de rigueur. The Green Fingers stall has been going for over ten years and is a fab stop for scoring a healthy indoor plant to take home.
Every Friday from 4pm, the main strip of Chinatown along Dixon Street transforms into a vibrant night market selling Asian street food, desserts and gifts. It attracts a wide mix of visitors, from tourists and homesick international students to the post-work crowd, who you’ll find wisely padding their stomachs with cumin lamb skewers before hitting the next bar. During peak times the narrow walkway can get a bit squishy, but the hustle and bustle is also what makes it fun. A number of Chinatown stalwarts run stalls each week, which means you’ll find yum cha favourites like har gow and mango pancakes from East Ocean, or have the joy of pulling apart Mamak’s fluffy roti canai without waiting 40 minutes in line outside their permanent eateries. As tempting as those options might be, ration stomach space for the takoyaki – a Japanese savoury doughnut hole snack filled with seafood, or dragon beard candy and potato chips on a stick. You’ll also find stalls selling clothes and sunglasses to jewellery and phone cases – on some weeks, there’s even a Scientology stall offering ‘free stress tests’ to the curious. There are no artisanal goods, but more mass-produced, imported products à la Paddy’s Markets downstream. Read more about Sydney's best markets.