The Rocks Friday Foodies Markets

Why wait for the weekend?

The weekend starts early in The Rocks with the Friday Foodies Markets showcasing Sydney’s mouth watering produce and culinary delights every Friday from 9 am until 3pm. Why wait for Saturday to kick back, relax and treat your taste buds to the diversity of artisan street-food, when you can get an early taste for the weekend with a Friday-feeling twist? I certainly couldn’t, so I headed down the cobbled stone laneways to see exactly what The Rock’s foodie paradise has to offer.

I pass a vintage bicycle adored with fresh flowers and a hand chalked sign welcoming me to the markets – not that it needs a signposting. The aromas of spices and succulent flavours waft over the harbour breeze and beckons locals and visitors alike. And there’s a vibe, a carnival atmosphere with chefs and stallholders hollering and calling, inviting you to try their hand crafted local produce. The only problem you’ll have is choosing which of the local delights you’ll devour first.

The first thing I notice about the market on arrival is the stunning location. Taking in the morning sun as it glitters across the iconic Sydney Harbour, I sip a refreshing and calming herbal, organic ice tea from Tea Amo. The Berry Breeze goes down nicely – a sweet yet spicy flavour, which I savour in the mid-morning sun. But I don’t stand around eyeing up the Opera House and Sydney Bridge for long. Breakfast awaits and I jostle into the meandering crowds to make my choice.

There’s a vast selection of local produce to choose from. I consider the smokey scented BBQ skewers from the Daniale family, with plump garlic infused prawns or tender kangaroo fillets. The skewers look delicious with the selection of homemade relishes and dips available, and they taste even better.  The same can be said for the fennel and pork sausage rolls from La Renaissance, which is the first restaurant in the Southern Hemisphere to be inducted into the exclusive French Patisserie association. However, all food and craft stalls in the market are of supreme quality. After all, only tenants of the infamous Rocks area, renowned for their lovely offerings, have the opportunity to showcase their produce at the Foodie Markets.

So although foodies will find themselves in street-food heaven, there’s more available at The Rock’s Friday Markets then pleasing your stomach. I wander through the laneways perusing the beautiful handmade gifts while biting into Phillip’s Footes roast pork roll. The perfectly cooked crackling crunches and snaps, while the pork is so succulent, juices run down my chin. I wipe the juice from my face, but I cannot wipe the smile from it when spotting necklaces of real leaves dipped in gold at Bush Art Australia’s stall. And there are many more stalls nestled within the laneways showcasing local artist’s unique accessories, home ware and gifts for sale. I lose track of time chatting to the stall owners who are all friendly, passionate and enthusiastic about their beautiful produce.

Strolling back towards the food stalls, I discover many more enthusiastic people. A lunchtime queue has formed by the ‘in-the-know’ locals, winding its way from the Dare Café gozleme stall. Nobody seems to mind the wait as the dishes are cooked to order before your very eyes. The aromas are so tantalising that I can’t leave without trying one, and watching each chef add their magic to the food is like watching a piece of art being created – which also is how Monet’s Cupcakes on the next door stall create their mini mouthfuls of sweetness.

And for anyone with a sweet tooth, you’ll find plenty to satisfy you. From handmade Brazilian delights at the Emporium of Chocolate that are ridiculously decadent, to guilt and addictive-free Cicada chocolate. My sweetness comes in the form of a bunch of pink roses from the Gateway Florists, which inspires me to wash down my Friday fare with a cool refreshing glass of Rosé within the historical cobbled laneways. After all, the weekend starts early at The Rocks Friday Foodie Markets. I’ll see you there…