This week's best markets and pop-up shops
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.
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.
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.
It might be quite a trek to Emu Plains if you live in central Sydney, but the revamped format of the Westies Markets for 2019 could be a sign that the West knows best when it comes to fresh produce and even fresher style. The non-for-profit collective behind the market, the Westies, is all about showcasing the Penrith region while giving local growers and makers the opportunity to sell their products through an accessible event. They’re aiming to create a lazy Sunday atmosphere, where you get to know the community rather than fight over the bargain bin. Visitors can expect homemade one-of-a-kind fashion items, live performances and all manner of edible treats at the Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School in Emu Plains. Once popular monthly markets, they're now reducing their frequency to a quarterly set-up. They'll still run from 9am-2pm on the thrid Sunday of selected months, with even more expertly curated offerings.
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.
A new wardrobe doesn’t have to mean popping tags on hundreds of dollars worth of swag, especially when you’re shopping at this long-standing secondhand market in Rozelle. The schoolyard of the Rozelle Public School has been a hive of weekend crate digging for more than 20 years, and while some stalls have almost earned long service leave, there are always newcomers keen to swap their good and chattel for some cold hard cash.The market runs across the weekend, although Saturday is the best day if it’s pre-loved clothing you’re after. You can find bargains for less than you’d spend on a coffee – it’s all about the chase. Don’t be afraid to dig down into the tables of tops and skirts, T-shirt piles and racks of leather jackets. And if you don’t need vintage boots, a floral dress or a designer bargain, stroll through stalls selling antiques, cut glass crystal, old suitcases, DVDs, furniture and bric-a-brac. There’s a stall out the front that sells crafting supplies and manuals, another that trades in new socks, and enough Glo-Mesh purses to clothe an entire Mad Men ball.When you’re completely overstimulated head to the top right corner of the market where a handful of food stalls sell Himalayan fare, fresh juices squeezed on demand, gozleme, and dim sum. Because it’s a school there are no soft drinks sold on site, but a watermelon and rockmelon juice should sort out any dusty heads, and if nothing in the second-hand market grabs your attention, you can always grab a plant from th
We love finding new, locally crafted sustainable frocks, but even the highest quality and most well-cared for clothing item is vulnerable to lost buttons and fabric snags. Rather than banish battered outfits to the back of your wardrobe, learn to give them clothing first aid at this mending workshop. At Green Fix studio, a crafty pop-up store and workspace in Liverpool dedicated to sustainability and pre-loved retail, you’ll learn how to properly sew on buttons, mend holes in your favourite smocks and even hem those unruly flares. Their Repair What You Wear Workshop will also instruct you in the basics of using a sewing machine. The classes are held in the middle of the day, so you can do something constructive in your lunch break. Everyone better be prepared to receive homemade pajamas and pillow cases next Christmas.
Bar Pho has been a staple of the weekly produce and snack fare for the past eight years, and the warming basil, beef and star anise-spiked stock makes a solid argument for passing on the usual bacon and egg breakfast. This stall along with Fritter House (try the lion’s share with chipolatas, sour cream, two big corn fritters, bacon and salsa) and the Raclette Shack (oozy cheese-topped potatoes are always a great idea at 10am) make the markets an excellent brunching destination. Grab some grub, BYO picnic mat and sprawl out on the lawn before making your way to the produce section. In summer there’s juicy pineapples, bright peaches and greenery aplenty from Kurrawong Organics, and Mayfarm Flowers always have a great selection of native and tropical blooms to brighten up your home. You’ll also regularly find SOL Cups peddling reusable coffee cups, AB Cheese bringing all the dairy goods, organic nut butters from Chunky Dave and hand carved wood pieces from Byron Bay Chopping Boards. There’s also doggy ‘parking’, live acoustic music and pop-up yoga classes on the lawn. In inclement weather the markets still go ahead, but often with reduced stalls. They also don’t open until 9am, so if you’re an early bird, pop across to the beach first for a walk or swim first. Find more best markets in Sydney.
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