When traveling, I love exploring like a local.

I always hit up the farmers markets, off the beaten path food stalls and establishments that might not always make it onto the latest tour guide, but have been operating strong for many decades (or in this case since 1878).

Even though The Queen Victoria Market  ranks high on most tourist guides, locals and curious visitors alike flock to this massive food space to gather from a unique selection of produce, meats and artisan delicacies. 

It’s a bustling and fast-paced atmosphere inside the market.

Vendors sing-yelling out their special prices and cuts of the day. An overwhelming number of high quality goods and sample offerings that could easily distract the unprepared shopper. Expert regulars zig zagging like pros among the crowd.

There were a few moments I just needed to tuck myself into a quiet corner so I could look over the madness and take in some entertaining people watching.

My first visit to the market (I returned 3 more times during my stay in Melbourne) was extra special as I had the opportunity to lead a smart phone photography workshop with a handful of locals in partnership with Yelp Melbourne.

I couldn’t think of a better location to hold the event, with such an incredible range of color, texture and exciting food to photograph. 

Not to mention meeting some new friends who were happy to give me the scoop on which stalls to visit and what should be at the top of my order. Culinary cheat sheet accepted! 

There’s no wonder why the food in Melbourne is so exceptional. The produce available at not only the Queen Vic Market, but all across town is beautiful. The variety of herbs, and unusual (to this American) fruit and vegetables make you want to fill your basket and run home to experiment with new flavors in the kitchen.

Not to mention learning about new types of fish and sea creatures – I love me some King Fish and  Yabbies! Does someone want to post over a stocked ice chest my way? 

While you’re at it, tack on another flat white for me please?

After tackling the market be sure to explore small lane ways surrounding the grounds – there are plenty of unique shops just across the market doors with an incredible stock list of locally made and globally collected home wares for the kitchen and dining room.

Next time I’m bringing an empty suitcase….you know, to fill it up.

Such amazing treasures!

I would call this a perfect day. Marketing shopping, food sampling, new sights and sounds. If The Queen Vic Market wasn’t perfect enough, I think maybe my favorite part of the afternoon was enjoying all of our “gathered research” across the street in a beautiful breezy park with friends…

Melbourne, I love you.