The Sydney Markets in the western suburb of Flemington is the fresh produce hub of Sydney. Growers and sellers assemble from all over Sydney and its greater regions every week with their seasonal produce.

I have been visiting the Sydney Markets on a weekly to fortnightly basis for many years. Once I got a taste for the high quality and high value that the Sydney Markets has to offer, I’ve struggled to ever shop in a supermarket again. I rarely go to the supermarket for my fresh food supplies with the Sydney Markets so close to home. But it’s not just fruit and vegetables straight from the growers that can be bought. You’ll also find just-picked herbs, colourful buckets of scoop-yourself spices and continental deli stores which offer unbeatable bargains. There are seafood, butcher and egg stalls set up too. One of the things I most look forward to about visiting the markets is the unusual ingredients I may stumble across. Most recently I bought a bottle of fresh coconut milk!

   coconut milk green mango

 On top of all this, it’s also the opulent atmosphere that makes the Sydney Markets such a valuable entity of western Sydney. Every summer, there is the same seller singing ‘mango, mango, mango!’. Now you certainly don’t get that at the supermarket. And I can’t think of another place in western Sydney that is buzzing with energy at 4am on a Saturday morning. 

peaches  yellow squash 

For those who haven’t been before, here is my advice for visiting the Sydney Markets:

  • Go on a Saturday morning. The markets operate on both a Friday and Saturday morning but there is more choice on a Saturday.
  • Make sure your first stop is the Ella cafe for a coffee. There is often a queue but the wait is never long.
  • Take your own plastic shopping bags for popping your fruit and veggies in. This will save you waiting for a vendor to hand you one.
  • The majority of sellers will sell by weight or by the box so you can buy as little or as much as you like.
  • Go early. When I say early I mean early! The best time to arrive is around 5.30am as you will still find a car park, the crowds are manageable and you will miss the 7am rush. Traffic becomes bumper to bumper from about that time too. Your produce will also be not as man handled yet if you get there earlier. Some sellers are even sold out by 9am, so it is very important to set your alarm.
  • Take cash
  • Hire a trolley
  • Keep an eye on the forklifts. They start settling from 6am.
  • Buy what you can from the growers located at the west side of the building. Their produce is the freshest, they often drive from far away (some as far as Orange) just to sell us the goods they specialise in. They are passionate and can give you interesting tips on how to best use the produce.
  • Go with a list of what you need, be it for one week or two weeks. Yes your produce will last that long if you store it right. I’ve had apples last for a whole month!
  • Keep focused reminding yourself not to buy more than your family can consume. It's very easy to get carried away by excitement.
  • Look out for unusual products. I’ll be writing about my interesting finds in future posts.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the enormity. Embrace the exuberance.
  • While you’re there pop into the flower markets. They are absolutely gorgeous.

my trolley  market stall

Have you been to the Sydney Markets before? What is your advice for first time shoppers?

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