London Street Foodie On Tour: dipping into one of the world’s maddest markets – Footscray (Melbourne street food part 3)

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You cannot do a tour of the Melbourne street food scene without a visit here, but spending any sort of time at this gigantic undercovered fresh produce market is like an assault on the senses.

Walk in and there are people shouting out with their offers of fruit and veg; there are greens, mangos, papayas, kiwi fruits, apples, peaches, lychees, pak choi, spinach, basil, stacks and stacks of green beans. There are people shopping, bags rustling, shouting, chatter. There is NOISE.

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Next I move into the seafood area where limp Christmas decorations are hanging up above the market stalls and there are signs everywhere telling you that this fish is fresher than that fish, this is the top fish, that is the best fish. “Feeesh, feeesh, feeesh” is shouted at every opportunity.

Now I take a turn off to the right and find a man cutting up meat and next to it a quiet cheese stall and then… quiet.

Turning further in, I find a bizarre mixture of coffee, bags, suitcases, belts, dresses, more fish, little animals, birds and furniture. Strangely enough, it is more peaceful here.

Finally I do another circuit and, like a bad orchestra warming up, suddenly the noise begins again. There are squeaks, shouts, the loud crunching and slurping of people testing bits of fruit. It is pure, wonderful chaos.

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My last stop is the supermarket, in the depths of the market, where I come across solar dried banana, corn kernels, tinned sardines, curry mackerel, dried figs, coco jam and cheese whizz (?!). On other shelves are prawn crisps, palm sugar pancakes, pot noodles, pre-mixed bags of Filipino sweets and chocolate porridge milk (?!), and finally I come across dried mangoes, sky flakes crackers, stew base mix, corn crisps, ube pie and coconut pie in the freezer.

Footscray is charming, overwhelming, brilliant. I defy anyone who disagrees.

Find it: 82 Hopkins Street, Footscray, West Melbourne; marketsvictoria.com

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One Response to “London Street Foodie On Tour: dipping into one of the world’s maddest markets – Footscray (Melbourne street food part 3)”
  1. Despina says:

    I lived in Footscray and went to Footscray Girls high School. The market has been
    There for a long time and is great. Footscray is multicultural part of Melbourne
    In the western suburbs just a short way on the train from the city. It originally had
    A lot of Greeks , Italians & former Yugoslavia immigrants but in the 80’s became
    A place where many if the Vietnamese refugees settled , so you should
    Find plenty of Vietnamese food & shops to get your Asian goodies. There is also a wonderful
    Donut van called Olympus donuts at the front of the station run by a Greek
    Immigrant for over 30 years. The Western suburbs of Melbourne are akin to what East London
    Is to London , diverse , multicultural & traditionally was
    Working class . If you do go West do try & go to Wiiliamstown a Bayside suburb with a great view if the city
    & plenty of caf├ęs & restaurants.

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London Street Foodie is an ever-growing guide to the best places to eat London street food. There's a lot of street food waiting to be discovered right now; we'd like to help nudge you towards the good stuff.