Allow me to introduce you to the South Melbourne Night Market, the smaller affair south of the river. It’s the perfect counterpart to the enormous Queen Victoria Night Market.
You’ll find everything you love about night markets here: live music, delicious international food, vendors selling fun wares. But what sets apart the SMNM (as I’m now dubbing it) are two things:
1) most of the market is under the verandahs on the building’s periphery
2) the number of actual restaurants lining the building
So this opens up a wide amount of choice. Visit the pop-up vendors, like ice cream stall Bianco Latte. (Their gelato was delectable.) Or have a full-on Turkish dinner at Koy Restaurant. Or how about one of the food trucks — the night we visited they had Sliders on Tyres and C’est Chick lined up. The choices are myriad.
We began our tour of the SMNM with treats from Simply Spanish. I’d never seen larger chorizo, practically the size of my palm. Then it was past the four-piece flamenco band La Rumba, dodging our way through the crowd and into the market itself. For the first time, part of the market’s food hall is open to the public — so you can sit on benches in front of Proper & Son, and have even more to eat and drink. Perfect for those nights when it’s raining — or 42 degrees. Ahem. Of course, it was all due in part to major sponsor BMW Melbourne (who had a shiny car on display that we all drooled over). We’re huge fans of all the effort they and MINI Garage Melbourne put in to make sure Melbourne is a vibrant cultural city.
It’s not only about the food — there are plenty of gorgeous little stalls to tempt your wallet and make your friends and family happy with your thoughtful gifts. I’m going to have to go back and do some proper shopping. And wining. And dining. I’ll see you there on a Thursday or two this summer.
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Theresa plans to spend as much time as possible at markets.
The South Melbourne Night Market runs from 5.30pm on Thursdays from 7 January to 10 March. It is an accessible venue, with free rooftop parking.