For tasty treats, unique designs and bona fide bargains, Brisbane’s market scene has you more than covered.
By Jac Taylor
Brisbane simply buzzes with markets, each reflecting the flavour and style of the many communities and passions of this sunny city. The weekends provide a range of options, but even weekdays find some markets plying their wares in the city centre. Take a deep breath and dive in to Brisbane market life.
To market, to market
Jan Powers Markets
The queen of the Brisbane market scene, Jan Powers takes her fresh produce markets (known as the Jan Powers Markets) to four different locations each week: Brisbane City Markets (Queen Street Mall every Wednesday), Brisbane Powerhouse (every Saturday), and two suburban spots at Manly and Mitchelton. About 120 stalls combine to present the best of this subtropical state’s produce and, even if you aren’t in the market for fresh food, you can revel in the community atmosphere, chat with the farmers themselves and enjoy a great breakfast or lunch cobbled together from ingredients such as oysters, artisan breads and organic fruits.
A phenomenon popping up in cities around Australia, from Melbourne to Townsville, the Suitcase Rummage market lets locals bring their goods for sale, as long as it fits in a suitcase (or two). Browse hundreds of garage sales’ worth of books, jewellery, clothes and bric-a-brac right in Brisbane Square. It is one of the few markets in Brisbane where you can haggle for a good price, since stallholders are everyday people in the mood to sell everything. Run two Sundays a month from noon until 5pm, it’s a crowdsourced flea market that presents a wonderful opportunity to meet locals, have a laugh and grab a bargain.
South Bank Young Designers Markets
Brisbane's Young Designers Market features stalls selling pieces from the city's most promising emerging designers. The city's design scene has been steadily flourishing for the past decade, and many of the designers on show here offer experimental clothes, crafts and accessories at a lower prices than what you'll find in boutiques. Come to Little Stanley Street in South Bank on the first Sunday of every month, and adorn your wardrobe or home with modern, one-off pieces that no one else will ever have.
Riverside at the Gardens Markets
The Gardens Markets incorporate farmers’ markets and craft and street-food markets from 7am to 3pm every Sunday in the lush City Botanic Gardens, and has left an indelible mark on Sunday life in Brisbane. You’ll find both locally made and imported clothing, arts and crafts alongside delicious snacks to enjoy under the shade of the many fig trees and palms. It’s simply the best of Brisbane in a thoroughly beautiful setting.
Boundary Street Markets
The vibrant bohemian enclave of West End comes together every Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 10pm for this joyous community celebration. Boundary Street Markets' mind-bogglingly wide range of food stalls covers everything from vegan ice-cream to authentic Greek calamari, Japanese dumplings to Venezuelan specialties, and everything else between. Get some henna art drawn on your hands, chill out with a massage and groove to the live music – anything is possible here.
The Collective Markets
Creativity has a treasured place in the city, and its name is The Collective Markets. Operating on Friday nights (5pm to 9pm), Saturdays (10am to 9pm) and Sundays (9am to 4pm), the 100 local artisans that set up shop in South Bank’s Stanley Street Plaza are part of the fabric of Brisbane's weekend scene. Authentic leather items sit beside small-batch handcrafted homewares or jewellery, toys, local designer clothes and one-off artworks, while vintage goods sit waiting to be discovered at other stalls. It’s an ideal way to begin an evening in South Bank, shopping as the sun sets across the river.
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