Queen Victoria Market’s Winter Night Market is one of Melbourne’s winter highlights. It’s so popular that this year the season has been extended for 14 weeks, every Wednesday from 1 June to 31 August.
A stroll around the market uncovers lots of opportunities to eat, drink and shop with over 30 street food vendors as well as designer and artisan stalls. I took Lady AB along for a foodie adventure to see what we could find.
Pizza by 400 Gradi is a sure-fire favourite with my kids so Lady AB decides to start off the night with a margherita fresh out of the pizza oven ($12).
I try the curious sounding ‘pancake on a chopstick’ by Ok-Nomi which is actually a Japanese okonomiyaki wrapped around wooden chopsticks for ease of eating! A delicious and filling street snack with a variety of savoury toppings.
Then we dive headlong into sweets, with a churro ice cream sandwich from Churro Kitchen (who looked like they were going to be stampeded by crowds judging from the early lines)…
….Butterlake pancakes (or Japanese ‘imagawayaki’) filled with chocolate, nutella, peanut butter and coconut instead of the traditional red bean…
…Extravagant ice cream sundaes by The Sundae Market.
There’s a regular calendar of live acts and performances, though Lady AB was most mesmerised by the Australia Fair grand street organ.
The Queen Victoria Market’s Winter Night Market is a great mid-week winter ritual whether you’re coming straight from the office or taking the family out. My pro tip is to get there as close to 5pm as you can to avoid queueing and at that time it’s relatively easy to find street parking close to the market. When I go with kids I park right by the Therry Street entrance for 1 hour ($5.50).
- Pram access;
- Change facilities in public toilets;
- playground across the road at Flagstaff Gardens if you want to have a play before the market;
- There is giant chess and Jenga near the William St end of the market.
- Arrive as close to 5pm as possible to avoid lines;
- Bring cash as ATM lines can get long (don’t count on stallholders always accepting card);
- Paid then free parking in surrounding streets (check street signs, I’ve been caught out before!) and the main market carpark is a flat rate of $11 from 4.30pm to 11.00pm on each Wednesday that the Night Market runs;
- Take the free City Circle tram. Get off at the corner of La Trobe and Elizabeth Streets and walk north to the Market. Catch any tram heading north along Elizabeth or William Streets – Take the 19, 57 or 59 to Stop 7, Elizabeth St or Tram 55 to Stop 9, Peel St.