Queen Victoria Market
Corner of Elizabeth Street & Victoria Street, Melbourne
03 9320 5822
As you wander through the rows of fresh fruit and vegetables, coffee and pastry in hand, the appeal of Queen Victoria Market comes into full focus.
Home to more than 700 traders across produce, meat and fish, dairy, deli and general merchandise, it’s a melting pot of cultures, cuisines, ingredients and institutions, with decades of history behind it.
The Market, affectionately known as the ‘Vic Market’ or ‘Queen Vic’, officially opened in 1878. What was once used as a hub for livestock trade and before this, Melbourne’s first cemetery, opened as a wholesale fruit and vegetable market.
With such a colourful past, it’s no wonder the Queen Victoria Market of today is so vibrant and full of life. The multicultural market is currently the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere, home to a collection of permanent and part-time vendors.
On Tuesday, and from Thursday to Sunday, you can wander through the rows and rows of offerings, astounded at the diversity on display. Start at Market Lane in the Deli Hall, where some of Melbourne’s best coffee is waiting for you. Once you’re caffeinated, have a wander through the hall, marvelling at the large array of delicatessen and baked goods on offer, including local and imported cheeses, pate, terrines and dips. From there, it’s onto the Meat and Fish Hall for proteins.
Continue out to the sheds for fresh fruits and vegetables, organic produce and nuts and grains, before passing the iconic American Doughnut Kitchen van to reach the general merchandise. With all this and more, it’s the only place you’ll need to visit for your weekly supplies.
Queen Victoria Market is also home to many family businesses, some of which have been operating since the very early days. Ferguson Plarre Bakehouse is one such example – it’s been around since 1931, supplying the people of Melbourne with pies, cakes and other pastries from its position in the Deli Hall. Other iconic traders such as Happy Tuna Seafood and Don’l Trading have also been operating for longer than some visitors have been alive!
The Queen Victoria Market’s unique experience was expanded with the introduction of the Night Market in 1997. Run on Wednesday nights through summer and winter, it includes some of Melbourne’s best street food, live entertainment and general merchandise stalls.
Customers can wander through the undercover sheds and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the festival-like event, while perusing a range of arts, homewares and gourmet food stalls. Its inner city location also makes it a lively and relaxed meeting place for friends and families, creating an atmosphere that’s hard to replicate elsewhere.
The Queen Victoria Market is Victoria’s number one international tourist destination and attracts millions of visitors from around the world each year. This is expected to continue after a $250 million renewal begins in 2017.
The five year project will include the restoration of the market’s historic sheds and the construction of underground parking and storage space for traders. It will also see the transformation of the current customer car park into a quality public open space that recognises the significance of the site’s history and provides for the diverse needs of the Melbourne community. The renewal program is designed to preserve and celebrate the Market’s iconic features while enhancing facilities for traders and market visitors to create a world class ‘market of markets’.
Queen Victoria Market has an extremely diverse customer base. Fierce foodies, amateur cooks, grandmothers, toddlers, Melburnians and out-of-towners come from near and far to experience the iconic atmosphere. The renewal program will ensure Queen Victoria Market remains a world-class market precinct for generations to come.