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The Best Markets in Brisbane to Shop, Eat and Drink Your Way Through During Winter 2023

Spend your winter at festive midyear markets, dog parties, solstice celebrations and excuses to eat plenty of Italian food.
By Sarah Ward
June 01, 2023
By Sarah Ward
June 01, 2023


Spend your winter at festive midyear markets, dog parties, solstice celebrations and excuses to eat plenty of Italian food.

The weather might be getting colder, but Brisbane's market scene is heating up. To be fair, there's never a bad time for a stint of browsing and buying in the River City. No matter the season, there's always markets galore all around town. But winter's markets are their own unique breed thanks to Christmas in July shindigs — whether or not you actually plan to get your festive shopping done early — solstice celebrations and more.

Yes, you've got options around from June to August thanks to Brisbane's best winter markets. Some sell creative wares. Others specialise in food and drinks. Many do a combination of both.

Whatever you're looking for, here's a heap to check out.

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    Margarita weeks, gin and tonic festivals, Easter celebrations and music trails are just some of the festivities that Howard Smith Wharves has added to Brisbane’s social calendar over the years. The latest? FESTA ITALIANA, the CBD precinct’s first-ever Italian food market. And, it isn’t any old celebration of Italian cuisine and beverages, boasting chef Orazio D’Elia of Bondi Beach’s Da Orazio in Sydney as a guest of honour.

    Back for a second successive weekend from Friday, June 2–Sunday, June 4, FESTA ITALIANA is welcoming in winter by the river with Italian bites and sips, plus a live music soundtrack, spreading the festival across HSW’s main lawn in the process. Thanks to Orazio’s involvement, several of his well-known dishes will be on offer, including vodka rigatoni (made with tomato and vodka sauce) and focaccia con porchetta (with the meat fresh from the rotisserie, and paired with chilli-marinated grilled eggplant, cos lettuce and mayonnaise on schiacciatina bread).

    Image: Reuben Nutt.

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  • 15

    The middle of the year means shorter days and longer nights — and, rather than yearning for Brisbane’s summer sun, you might as well embrace the two. Here’s one way: Milton by Moonlight, Milton Markets’ returning midyear shindig. On the agenda: everything that makes this inner-west market a firm favourite, but during an early winter evening.

    Taking place from 4–10pm on Saturday, June 3, and costing $3 to enter, the event will start serving up bites to eat — and setting up 140-plus stalls to shop — in the late late afternoon, so you can jump into the fun as twilight approaches. Then, when the moon comes out, you can browse, buy, sip, munch and dance the night away. With gourmet street food, artisanal wares and live entertainment on offer — the former including dumplings, tacos, noodles and wings; the latter across two stages — you’ll have plenty to see, taste, purchase and listen to. And to drink as well, all thanks to the pop-up Milton Rum Distillery and Stone & Wood bars.

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  • 14

    The BrisStyle team is a rather busy bunch, putting on markets around Brisbane with frequency. If you’re particularly after a treasure trove of handmade goodies — and who isn’t? — then you’ll want to hit up its opportunity to browse and buy that’s dedicated to exactly those kinds of objects. Fashion, art, jewellery, homewares — if someone’s been using their nimble fingers to make it, then you can probably trade your hard-earned cash for their hard work. In fact, there’ll be more than 50 artisans selling their wares. And, while you’re shopping, you’ll also be able to grab a bite at the onsite cafe and listen to live tunes from local musos.

    The Handmade Markets always take place on Saturdays, so mark Saturday, June 3 and Saturday, July 1 in your calendar now. Head along from 9am–2pm, with it all taking place in the Queensland Museum’s whale mall.

    Images: BrisStyle.

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  • 13

    Yeerongpilly’s Plant Empire sells greenery every day of the week, helping folks with green thumbs — and those who wish they had them, too — fill their homes with leafy babies. But on Sunday, June 4, it’s doing something more than that. You can still peruse the store’s shelves for plants, of course; however, you can also head round back to check out the pop-up winter market.

    As well as plants, you’ll be able to scope out a range of pots. If you’re going to buy one of yourself some greenery — or your loved ones — you’ll want something to put it in, obviously. Also on offer: ceramics, jewellery, art and other handmade crafts. And if you happen to arrive hungry — Sunday mornings can do that to even the most satisfied stomach — there’ll be food and coffee available as well. Folk ‘n’ Broken Hearted will be providing a soundtrack, too, adding some tunes to your browsing and buying.

    Image: Plant Empire.

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    Humans didn’t love the last couple of years, and with good reason. But we’re guessing that our four-legged friends felt differently about the whole experience. While we were all in lockdown at various points during 2020 and 2021, we were spending more time at home with our tail-wagging canines — and you know that they just loved the extra attention. Two-legged Brisbane residents have all been heading out and about much more from 2022 onwards, of course, but don’t forget to take your pup with you.

    No one needs an excuse to treat their pooch to a day out, but given that the returning Dog’s Day Out at Gasworks is all about doggos, it really is their time to frolic. Browsing market stalls with your pupper is on the agenda from 9am–1pm on Saturday, June 10 in Newstead, with more than 20 different spots to go barking mad at — and pull out your wallet. There’ll also be workshops and live music. Entry is free, and dogs of all sizes are welcome.

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  • 11

    Can’t wait till 2023’s Valley Fiesta, which hasn’t yet announced its dates? Meet Brunswick Street Live, a day-long fest which is popping up this winter to tide everyone over — and give Brisbane another excuse to revel in the Valley and its main street. The name gives away where it’s taking place, debuting on Saturday, June 10. And the lineup has the classic Brunswick Street experience all covered.

    Artisan and vintage markets will run from 12pm, plus live street art by Stewart Shuker, John Smith Gumbula and Seana Clarkson, with music from 12.20pm. Leading the bill are Horrorshow and Monstera, alongside Danyon, Ghost Mutt, First Beige DJs, Zed Mero, and Nejmere and mumgenes. The aim: not just to showcase the Valley, its venues and the city’s talents, but to add another annual music festival to Brisbane’s cultural calendar.

    Image: Kgbo via Wikimedia Commons.

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  • 10

    When Christmas hits each year, the Nundah Markets stay up late, swapping one of its usual daytime events for a twilight shindig. That kind of fun isn’t just for getting festive, though. In 2023, it’s also for celebrating the beginning of winter. Meet Nundah by Night, which will take place from 4–10pm on Saturday, June 10.

    On the agenda: shopping, eating, drinking and being merry midyear. There’ll be quite the lineup of places to grab handmade items from — 120-plus stalls, in fact — with clothes, jewellery, art, homewares, soap, candles and all things edible available. You’ll find gourmet foods on offer as well (including bites to eat while you’re there). For your $3 entry fee, you can enjoy a stint of browsing and buying under the site’s fairy lights at Nundah Markets’ usual spot on Station Street. And, you can stop in at the Stone & Wood bar for a craft brew, too.

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  • 9

    The mercury is dropping, days are getting shorter and actually wearing long sleeves in Brisbane has become a reality. Also on the way: the longest night of the year, with West End getting a brand-new Solstice Market to celebrate. The inner-city suburb is no stranger to markets in general, of course, but this one will give the West End Markets a one-night-only spin on Friday, June 16. On the menu is all the food, drinks and stalls you’d expect — 120-plus stalls, in fact — plus two stages of live music as well, and also fire twirlers.

    Bonfires will also light up the night at Davies Park, and there’ll be winter-themed workshops to embrace the season. When you’re not shopping for artisanal wares and grabbing a bite to eat, you can hit up the Stone & Wood pop-up bars and scope out Indigenous art. Entry is free, as is parking, and the event runs from 4–10pm.

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    Heading to a waterside dining and entertainment precinct and only buying vegan goods mightn’t always go hand in hand, but they do now at Portside Wharf. After a successful debut in 2022, 2023 marks the second year that the Hamilton venue is playing host to the Queensland Vegan Markets. Next hitting up its northside location from 12–7pm on Saturday, June 17, this event will let you browse more than 30 stalls, all selling cruelty-free, animal-friendly wares. The plant-based spread will include everything from burgers, bao, tacos, miso-glazed fries and katsu to custard-filled croissants, cupcakes, brown sugar boba sundaes and other sweet treats.

    Yes, you know the motto here: all of the taste, absolutely none of the animal products. You’ll have plenty of option, food-wise, as well as other cruelty-free wares to scope out. Also, the markets are pet-friendly, so you can bring your pooch along. Entry is free, and so is the live music that’ll soundtrack your vegan shopping.

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  • 7

    One day, in the not-so-distant future, perhaps Brisbanites will take their pet puppers with them everywhere. For now, we’ll all just have to grab our four-legged best friends and head to another doggo market. It’s the trend that won’t go away, and we’d all be barking mad if we wanted it to. More excuses to take energetic ol’ Rufus places? More chances to go “awwwww” over other people’s pooches? Count us in.

    The returning Doggo Day Markets are the latest such event, next taking over Virginia’s VEND Marketplace between 8am–2pm on Saturday, June 17. The shindig’s name also acts as your instructions, so round up your woofer and take them on an outing. There’s even a dress-up competition, as there usually is at these things. That’s how adorable pups get even cuter. Also on the agenda: doggy stalls, a dog play area, a dog wash, a dog photo booth, and corgi and dachshund races, plus the northside spot’s general array of markets and greenery.

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  • 6

    The Made Local Market is hitting Brisbane IRL this winter to lend a hand with your shopping — and give you an excuse to treat yo’self. The market takes place in the Exhibition Building at the Brisbane Showgrounds from 9am–4pm on Saturday, June 17 and 9am–3pm on Sunday, June 18, spreading across two days and focusing on the best local talent.

    That means that every market is filled with different stallholders and unique creations, with more than 130 makers, designers, artists and creators at this one. Supporting creative small businesses and scoring a killer gift for your loved ones is a win for everyone involved, so head along and get your shopping sorted. Entry usually costs $2 — and, the whole thing will be cashless, so don’t forget your cards. There’ll also be food trucks slinging bites to eat, gin tastings, and plenty of places to get caffeinated.

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  • 5

    Anything that Brisbane’s north can do, the River City’s south can do too, or so says indoor marketplace VEND. Earlier in 2023, it expanded its footprint to give its OG Virginia site an Annerley sibling. Now, the pet-friendly shopping hub is also spreading its popular events to the other side of the river.

    How is VEND’s second location celebrating its first winter? With Christmas in July markets, of course. And, it’s getting in before Virginia, getting festive from 4–9pm on Saturday, July 8. Here, more than 120 small local businesses will embrace the midyear mood, complete with bites to eat, a pop-up cocktail bar and a best-dressed contest with a $100 voucher as a prize.

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  • 4

    This winter, Carseldine’s markets aren’t celebrating Christmas in July — but they are still celebrating. And, they’re popping up later in the day, too. There mightn’t be an overt emphasis on festive cheer at this stint of browsing, buying and eating, but winter is well and truly in the spotlight instead. So, expect to feel merry while revelling in all things frosty when the weekly northside market makes a one-off move to twilight from 4–10pm on Saturday, July 15.

    Dubbed Carseldine Wintertide Wonderland Twilight Markets, this event is putting food firmly in the spotlight, with culinary stalls and trucks serving up everything from barbecue fare to churros. Taking cues from Europe, there’ll be a Swiss Alps-inspired pop-up bar serving glühwein and schnapps, plus twilight bonfires to keep everyone warm. Shopping is still on the agenda, of course — and, if you want to go home with all your present-buying taken care of well in advance of Christmas thanks to more than 250 stalls, that’s an option.

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  • 3

    Before the pandemic, Brisbane’s French festival Le Festival offered an annual excuse to celebrate all things Gallic, and it’s finally making a big comeback in July. Mark your diaries: this reason to enjoy French food and booze aplenty returns from Friday, July 21–Sunday, July 23. This revival comes with a massive change, too, with the fest on the move to Victoria Park / Barrambin.

    In 2023, Francophiles will be eating, drinking, hitting up French markets and listening to French tunes on the other side of the river from South Brisbane. As always, Le Festival will feature plenty of French staples, although the wine selection is always popular. And thanks to the market, attendees can also browse for homewares, gifts, fashion, books and magazines, with showcasing French and French-inspired products the key aim.

    Image: Ange Costes.

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  • 2

    Add another date into your doggo’s diary — the NewBARKet Markets are upon us for another year. On Saturday, July 22, Newmarket Village is going to the dogs again, but in a good way, with the adorable event taking over the inner north shopping centre. Take your pupper along from 11am–3pm, with plenty of treats and pats on offer.

    The main attraction, as the name makes plain, is stalls selling all kinds of goodies for your four-legged friend. Expect dog food, accessories, threads and grooming, and usually dog desserts as well — dog ice cream and pupcakes have also been on offer in past years. For attendees of the two-legged variety (no, your clever canine standing on their two back legs doesn’t count), there’ll also be food for humans. And if you’re sadly lacking in the pooch department, don’t worry — everyone else will have you covered, so you’ll be in for a top day of dog-watching.

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  • 1

    This July, it’s time to deck your halls with boughs of whichever greenery you’d like at VEND’s Virginia marketplace, courtesy of its huge Christmas in July Twilight Market. There’ll be more than just succulents, cacti and indoor-friendly plants on offer; however, given that the northside spot is home to its own indoor greenhouse — aptly called the Greenhouse, naturally — that’s definitely a big drawcard.

    Between 4–9pm on Saturday, July 22, you’ll also be able to get festive at VEND’s 130-plus shops, and at the array of pop-up stalls that it’s setting up outside. Food trucks will keep your stomach satisfied, and there’ll be a pop-up cocktail bar serving boozy beverages. Christmas dinner will be on the menu as well. Also, VEND is also doggo-friendly — should you want to bring your four-legged pal with you for a stint of Christmas in July fun.

    Image: VEND Marketplace.

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