While I hate shopping, I am a big fan of markets irrespective of the type or location. I guess it’s the sighs, sounds and often the smells and the general buzz that attracts me.
Canberra has quite a few markets and while lacking the character, vitality, the smells and hustle and bustle of markets in many Asian and other countries, I enjoy visiting them mainly to sit down have a coffee or meal and watch the goings on. Of course, living in Canberra I try to buy fruit and vegetables from markets such as this one where possible. Shopping here certainly provides an agreeable option to wheeling a trolley through soulless and depressing supermarkets.
Fyshwick Markets are the city’s oldest markets and began when farmers, many of them Italian and Greek immigrants, would gather at this location on a weekly basis to sell their produce off the back of a truck. In 1967 official markets were established here.
Today the Fyskwick Fresh Food Markets is one of a number of, mainly, fruit and vegetable markets in the city that has become somewhat gentrified with the addition of higher end delicatessens, butchers (great for crocodile and other more exotic meats), cafes and boutique booze outlets over the last few years. These later additions mean that the markets attracts a much more trendy crowd than it used to and they really have become the place to be seen ‘buying ones provisions’. Prices have risen accordingly. More discerning visitors, in the know, are now also coming here in increasing numbers.
Still, I really like it here and when I do visit and want to eat I head for the rather unfortunately named S&M café. This Vietnamese café/bakery (picture 3 part) has been in the market for many years and while not as flash looking as more recent additions it serves good coffee and great Vietnamese rolls for noticeably less than neighbouring outlets. Of course, if you have the need ‘to be seen at the markets’ you would sit in and dine from one of the trendier neighboring cafes.
Anyway, notwithstanding that my photos don’t make the Markets look very exciting or enticing, this is a great place to come and enjoy a relaxing breakfast, brunch or lunch and/or do your fruit and veggie shopping. Seafood, excellent cheeses and foreign beers can also be acquired here.
While there is a decent amount of parking within the markets area, at busy times you may have to park in a local street and walk a short distance to the markets.
By public transport, at weekends catch bus service 980 from the city centre and alight at Mildura Street shortly after the railway station (though its easily walkable from the station). From the Mildura St stop it is less than 200 metres walk to the markets. On a Thursday or Friday access is via bus numbers 80 or 200 alighting on Canberra Avenue with a slightly longer walk in to the markets. Check Action Bus website for more details – http://www.action.act.gov.au/.
What to buy: Give the S&M Cafe a try!
What to pay: About average, perhaps slightly higher than other Canberra Markets
Address: 12 Dalby Street, Fyshwick
Directions: Closer to Kingston and other inner suburbs than the central part of Fyshwick