Say goodbye checkout chick and hello farmers. Fresh produce markets seem to be popping up all over Brisbane lately, but it seems supply is not outreaching demand. Unlike Coles, where you get in, get out ASAP, these markets have become a meeting point for local communities, a place to meet friends for breakfast and a platform to test new start-ups.
As lovers of gourmet and eaters with a conscience, we like to know where our food comes from and how many food miles it has done. We’ve done the dirty work and rounded up our top picks for the best farmers’ markets all over town.
When the racecourse isn’t being used as a gamblers paradise, Eagle Farm hosts a Sunday Farmers’ Market. While great for fresh fruit and veg, and even buying an entire salmon (we recommend it), Eagle Farm is host to a stack of breakfast and brunch treats, clothing, garden and homeware stalls, and one of our favourites – Kiss The Berry acai bowls. Tip: head later in the morning when the sellers cut-price fresh produce as they want to go home.
Every Sunday 7am-12.30pm; entry $2; Eagle Farm Racecourse, top of Racecourse Road, Ascot
What’s better than spending a Sunday morning visiting a significant slice of Brisbane’s history AND picking up your weekly shop. Personally I’m a big fan of a Sunday market and food prep day, and markets on Sunday are rarer to come by. Smaller in size, but nonetheless quality, the Boggo Road Markets are easy to navigate and have plenty of Sunday morning breakfast and brunch options all on the cheap.
Every Sunday 7am-1pm; Old Boggo Road Jail, Annerley Road, Dutton Park
Jan Power is a name that regular market goers know, and many follow the woman around religiously. The market magnate hosts her only weekly market in the city every Wednesday, making it the perfect place to pop by for that mid-week top up on everything fresh fruit and veg. Of course, being in the CBD office workers flock for their lunch and are not disappointed with the bagel boys, Leavain bakery, wholesomeness, The Goat Pie Guy, I Heart Mushrooms and many more in attendance.
Every Wednesday 9am-6pm; Brisbane Square, top of Queen Street Mall, CBD.
The Jan Power Markets at the Powerhouse are a two-birds, one-stone kinda deal. Stop by not just for your weekly shop, but for a handy dose of culture. Besides hosting a similarly delicious line-up to the Jan Power City Market, right now the Powerhouse is home to the 57th World Press Photo – an exhibition profiling the globe's top press photographers. After you shop, head into New Farm Park and dive into your produce right away with a fancy picnic.
Second and fourth Saturday of every month, 6am-noon; Brisbane Powerhouse, 119 Lamington Street, New Farm
New on the scene, but a welcome addition to the somewhat-market-starved northside, Carseldine Farmers and Artist Markets launch in mid 2014. With a focus on premium quality, in-season fresh and local produce, as well as live music and gourmet brunch treats, we see it becoming a hit. We’re told to expect gourmet foods, provisions, artisan bakers, butchers, fishmongers, as well as talented local designers, painters and performers. Perfect.
Every Saturday from 6am-noon; 532 Beams Rd (Cnr Beams & Dorville Roads) Carseldine
Kelvin Grove Markets are the only market we can think of that blocks traffic to an entire street every weekend. Home to a little bit of everything, Kelvin Grove guarantees fresh fruit and veg, herbs, tea, fresh baked goods, gourmet cheeses, meat, eggs, local honey, as well as flowers, bric-a-brac and fast food from around the world. Tip: join the line for Michael’s Steamed Dumplings.
Every Saturday 6am-1pm; Blamey Street, Kelvin Grove
The commercial hub of Brisbane produce, it’s no surprise Rocklea is Brisbane’s biggest fresh food market on Saturdays. Home to a massive 190 stalls of fresh produce, meats, baked goods and deli foods, Rocklea is not all just produce and has a ‘food court’ of cuisine to fill your tummy before you shop. While here, stop by the Rocklea Flower Market and see one of the four flower wholesalers who source directly from growers.
Ahh, the good ol’ West End Markets. Every Saturday Davies Park turns into the place-to-be-seen and has a loyal following. I know our very own Arts & Culture Editor goes there not for his weekly shop, but for breakfast and a social catch up. Besides the $1 curry puffs, the markets are home to epic numbers of food stalls, as well as cheap or organic fruit and vegetables, music, clothing and everything in between.
Finding organic food is too hard, they said. Not any more. Every Sunday the Northey Street Organic Market (strangely enough, located on Northey Street, Windsor) is home to some of the freshest produce Brisbane has on offer. Stop by for an all-organic weekly shop, breakfast or even a t-shirt made of organic cotton – but be early, these guys stop trading at 10.30am.
Out to the west, the semi-rural Mogill Markets are known as the place to find the freshest produce direct from the grower. We hear their market stalls requirements are stricter than others, meaning that you’re more likely to be buying direct from the grower. Besides fresh produce and gourmet small goods, expect to come home with some native flora and herbs. The market is not-for-profit and donates all funds to charity – talk about warm fuzzies.
Every second Saturday, 6.30am-11am; 550 Brookfield Road, Brookfield