7 reasons to shop, eat and experience Dandenong Market

Market Square at Dandenong Market - Melbourne

In October last year, Dandenong Market celebrated their 150th anniversary. As a Melbourne Girl who absolutely loves to experience all the corners and suburbs of this beautiful city, I admittedly only visited the Market for the very first time last week… How did it take me this long? And what a gem of a find!

I was invited to start my Friday with a special media food tour led by Tim Hollands, an Australian chef who is a passionate advocate for local produce, best known for creating original menus and for his unique cooking style. Fuelled by a caffeine hit from Cafe Valentina by Melba Coffee, Tim lead the media group through an inspiring foodie trail, introducing us to some of the traders and showing us where to find some of his favourite produce.

After a morning of sampling the stalls finest produce and a light lunch (a delicious Acai Bowl and fresh juice from Hot Pouch), I spent the afternoon wandering through the 8000 square metres of market stalls, discovering each of the 6 key areas one at a time – The Fruit & Veg sheds, the Meat, Fish & Deli Hall, the street food hub known as Market Square, the fresh produce haven The Pantry, the shopping specialty area The Bazaar, and the new outdoor dining area The Terrace.

I think Dandenong Market could be Melbourne’s best kept secret?

Home to over 200 traders, it’s my new go-to markets for sourcing seasonal produce and bargain buys. You too will be charmed by the hidden gems and the vast array of unique and affordable ingredients available for purchase.

 

7 reasons to shop, eat and experience Dandenong Market

Dandenong Market - Melbourne Australia

Cafe Valentina by Melba Coffee

Dandenong Market Directory

Shopping in Melbourne - Dandenong Market

 

7 reasons to shop, eat and experience Dandenong Market

 

1. Authentic Market Shopping

I love a genuine market shopping adventure. There is nothing better than exploring a busy and bustling market, where you can discover real bargains, one-of-a-kinds, and produce that is top quality and fresh from the farm. Some of the Dandenong Market traders live and breathe their market way of life, like 5th generation baker Melina Longhurst and 3rd generation fishmonger Dennis Schwarze. I had the pleasure of meeting both Melina and Dennis on my tour, and (like their fellow stallholders), are only too happy to chat with their customers about what’s in season, or fresh from the oven.

Head to The Bazaar for a shopping mecca of clothing, accessories, jewellery, homewares and toys. Here you can hunt down some great bargains, I picked up a few things for my garden and some great surprises for my little tackers. I even spotted a clairvoyant down one of the laneways, who might just be calling my name for my visit.

 

2. Free Foodie Tours

If you are passionate about food provenance and love to indulge in the ultimate market experience, then the Dandenong Market Food Discovery Tour is for you. All foodies on the FREE one hour tour receive a free Dandenong Market shopping bag and some delicious food samples.

Taking place Tuesdays and Fridays at 10am, the tour is the perfect way to experience the Market. Bookings are essential, head over to the Dandenong Market website to book your spot on the tour.

 

Lebanese Bakery Why Not - Dandenong Market

Piqniq Hut - Dandenong Market

TaZa Afghan Bread - Dandenong Market

Dennis Schwarze Fishmonger - Dandenong Market

Jam donuts at Dandenong Market

Saccha Cane Juice - Dandenong Market

Market Life at Dandenong Market

Walnuts - Dandenong Market

Goat Curry - Dandenong Market

 

3. Seasonal Produce

If you demand fresh and local fruit and vegetables, then Dandenong Market is for you. With an incredible range of organic, seasonal and exotic produce, you’re sure to score yourself some great value for money buys.

Likewise in the Meat, Fish & Deli Hall, you’ll find specialist cuts of meats, freshly caught Australian seafood, a multitude of vibrant coloured spices and international flavours with a distinct local connection. I picked up some Yellowtail fish fillets for my Friday night dinner. The fish was caught along the Bega coastline and on my plate within 24 hours (yum)!

You’ll also discover beekeepers who sell honey from their own beehives, florists who sell roses grown on their own farms, and a wonderful range of seasonal produce that’s fresh all year round. The selection is endless!

 

4. Insider tips from expert traders

Locals and visitors to Melbourne will both be thrilled to know that insider tips from the Dandenong Market traders are only a question away. Foodies passionate about multicultural produce and spices can discover all their favourite flavours, as well as exciting new ones, accompanied by recipe suggestions and a plethora of insightful information.

Stock up on every ingredient you can imagine (not to mention some you might never have dreamed of!) with the confidence in knowing where it came from, and great ways to incorporate it into your everyday cooking.

 

Sam's Spice and Grocery - Dandenong Market

Unwaxed Apples - Dandenong Market

Peanut Market at Dandenong Market - Melbourne

Farm Fresh Eggs - Dandenong Market

Fruit direct from the farm - Dandenong Market

Discovering Dandenong Market

Roses - Dandenong Market

The Terrace - Dandenong Market

 

5. Street Food

Market Square at Dandenong Market is home to some of the best street food I’ve discovered. Under the pretty hanging lights you can indulge in everything from scrumptious, hot jam donuts to an authentic Sri Lankan goat curry. Wash it all down with freshly-crushed sugar cane juice – my tip would be to try the hot ginger cane juice, it tastes like goodness in every mouthful.

The Market’s new outdoor dining area The Terrace is home to Hot Pouch Bar & Dining, who serve up a range of eats including an all-day breakfast, traditional Australian pub food like chicken parmas, and freshly prepared acai bowls and vegan delights. The area has a great street vibe under the black and white striped umbrellas and is the perfect posy for a sneaky wine or cocktail after a shop-til-you-drop session.

 

6. ‘M is for Market’

Melbourne is home to a thriving arts scene and Dandenong Market embraces the vast wealth of cultural and artistic connection it has on offer. ‘M is for Market‘ is a fun new sculptural piece by Melbourne artist, Anne Ross. Her works range in scale from intimate pieces, through to large outdoor public sculptures, such as her ‘mouse-like’ creation at Dandenong Market.

Funded by Creative Victoria to commemorate the Market’s 150th anniversary, the ‘M is for Market’ sculpture can be found in Market Square, right next to Perfect Coffee. Unveiled late last year, the sculpture is made of bronze and weighs over two tonnes. The playful design ensures it engages with a very broad demographic of market visitors, regardless of age, race and religion.

 

M is for Market - Dandenong Market

Acai Bowl - Dandenong Market

Dandenong Market - Street Entrance

 

7. Discover the Market’s rich history 

Dandenong Market has been operating since 1866 and is Victoria’s second oldest market. I love hearing about the vast history of iconic landmarks in Melbourne, and the Market’s community brings together over 150 nationalities under one roof, so it has endless multi-cultural stories to tell.

I’m told that the Market has played a crucial role in the development of the greater Gippsland region, supporting local farmers and small business in the area since its inauguration. Dandenong Market was relocated from it’s original site to it’s current location (on the corner of Clow and Cleeland Streets) in 1926, and with two major redevelopments taking place over the past twenty years, the Market ensures a great day out for all the family, and continues to grow with the community around it.

 

 

Win a $200 Dandenong Market voucher!

 

To celebrate our love of Market life, we are proudly giving away a Dandenong Market voucher (valued at $200) to one lucky Melbourne Girl reader.

 

To enter, tell us in the comments below…

“What you look forward to discovering at Dandenong Market?”

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

One winner will receive a $200 AUD Dandenong Market voucher.

Prize is not transferable and cannot be taken as cash.  

Entries open until May 30, 2017. 

The winner will contacted via entering email and announced in the comments below.

 

Good Luck x

 

 

Dandenong Market
Corner of Clow and Cleeland Street, Dandenong VIC 3175

Open every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday from 7am, and Sundays from 10am.

Be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for daily updates.

 

 

 

This post is brought to you by Kate & Co and Dandenong Market.

 

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Emily Collie is Editor of lifestyle & travel blog, Melbourne Girl. A wife, mother and fashion addict, with a passion for sharing her experiences in her home city of Melbourne and around the globe.

70 Comments

  • May 16, 2017

    Robin H

    I love shopping at great value Markets and haven’t yet had the pleasure of experiencing Dandenong Markets. But it sounds wonderful and I’d love to spend the day there with my daughter. Fresh Produce + great food and coffee + bargains = ULTIMATE!

  • May 16, 2017

    Barbara Fehmel

    Markets are wonderful places to shop, the variety and the cheapness of prices make them a MUST.

  • May 16, 2017

    Joanne Cardamone

    Bargains and DOUGHNUTS!!!

  • May 16, 2017

    cleo

    Fun vibrant and colourful displays of food that temp your tastebuds

  • May 16, 2017

    Gayle Vos

    Everything and anything, markets are treasure trove of delights and bargains

  • May 16, 2017

    Mandy Graham

    The food looks good.

  • May 16, 2017

    Lauren

    Pretty much where I grew up. The cheese man, known to me only as ‘cheese man,’ still remembers me from when I was little!

  • May 16, 2017

    Teresa Nauer

    The food from the nz street food shop

  • May 16, 2017

    SonyaS...

    Looking forward to discovering something ‘unique & different!’….

  • May 16, 2017

    Eve Humphries

    I love shopping at markets with my mum as it is the best time to bond together. markets are humble fun to experience with new and different cultures. I always leave with no money left! Although I have never been to the Dandenong markets before. It would be a thrill to be able to experience what they have to offer!

  • May 16, 2017

    Dhanya Samuel

    Love Dandenong Market. I live a stone’s throw away from the market and it has always been my go to shopping space.

  • May 16, 2017

    Alana Hope

    My fondest memory of the Dandenong Market is mum buying me a classic red U.S.A hoodie back in the early 2000’s! What a fashion staple that was.

  • May 16, 2017

    Indria Purnamasari

    I love the food and the traditional market. I wish there would be more activities for kids regularly over the weekend such as pet animal, art&craft etc.

  • May 16, 2017

    Peter Tanner

    The amazing food, fresh produce, seasonal flowers and great bargains with a smile.

  • May 16, 2017

    Karen Koch

    Dandenong Markets are so multicultural…you never know what delicious food you have never seen or tried will tempt you!

  • May 16, 2017

    Lisa Cameron

    I have been going to this market on and off since the 1960’s, when my mum would put me in a pram and catch the bus from the neighbouring suburb. As a teenager in the 1970’s I would go there to get my clothes and jewellery…and a big bag of jam donuts! Later on as times changed and so did the market, I discovered new things, I would go there and get my kids clothes and shoes…and a big bag of jam donuts! Now as I have got older I love going to the new look market, to get fresh flowers and fresh fruit and vegetables and the best and cheapest pork belly around, from the meat market and of course, you guessed it! More of those delicious jam donuts! There is always something new to discover but it has never lost its original charm

  • May 16, 2017

    Laura Power

    I have been going to Dandenong Market my whole life, Mum use to always take us kids there on a Saturday for our weekly shop. I don’t get to go nearly as often these days as I live a little further out but even after all these years there is still something new I discover every time I visit. i love seeing what amazing deals I can get on the seasonal fruit and veg, great to buy by the box for juicing.

  • May 16, 2017

    AmberB

    Doughnuts!!!

  • May 16, 2017

    Daniella Joyce

    WOW! What a hidden gem. I love the idea of going to check this out! Thanks MG!

  • May 16, 2017

    Nat Hallett

    This market is the pumping heart of Dandenong, it’s wonderful. When Dad was alive he went their (on the bus) every week to get his fresh fish. I remember getting a Rip Curl top for an absolute bargain and wearing it over and over again – many years ago.
    I’d love to rediscover this market and pick up some fresh, exotic food and say hello to the lovely stall holders.

  • May 16, 2017

    Ern

    Affordable fashion and accessories!!! My wife likes to look her best, and I like her to be happy 😉

  • May 16, 2017

    DIANA O.

    The hottie we saw there a few weeks ago!!! My, my, my he was gorgeous, checking him out between the aisles, catching each other having a sneaky peak. I look forward to discovering his name, perhaps his number too, before my equally as interested gal pal tries to muscle in first!!! Then together he and I can discover some of the yummy delicacies Dandenong Market has on offer, while my bestie spends eternity scouring for that elusive ‘perfect’ leather handbag at a bargain bin price too mind you!!

  • May 16, 2017

    Nicole pryde

    Why wouldn’t you shop at Dandy market?! Been an institution for years and only keeps getting better. Love that I can grab a snack at the Lebanese bakery, dinner in the fresh market area and many other intriguing things I am yet to discover! The best!

  • May 16, 2017

    Florence

    I’ve always been intrigued by characteristic markets; I look forward to discovering treasures among local stalls and filling my tummy with heartwarming food. Nevertheless, also do the weeknight shopping run! Dandenong Market seems like the place to be and I look forward to indulging in its positive vibes and exciting stalls.

  • May 16, 2017

    kaz

    I save a fortune shopping at Dandy Market – I have done so for 35years!!

  • May 16, 2017

    Kate

    the range of produce looks amazing – I love a fresh bargain… and I love a food truck = a delicious way to shop!

  • May 17, 2017

    Marium R

    You had me at Sri Lankan goat curry! The thought of succulent tender meat marinated with rich spices is make me drool! I LOVE trying new foods and the food tour sounds amazing too!

  • May 17, 2017

    Rachel K

    I’d look forward to to meeting and supporting local producers and sellers. It’s “green”, fresher, a local art, it’s a local shopping experience, supports someone’s dream and community, and personal service with a smile which is always awesome!

  • May 17, 2017

    Lisa G

    We always go to Dandy Markets with a food shopping list but come home with so much more. I love that you just never know what you are going to find.

  • May 17, 2017

    sharron smith

    love the unexpected food clothes friends and the best open air fun place to spend a day on my own or with family

  • May 17, 2017

    Terri Todd

    I look forward to finding new and exciting products and lots of variety

  • May 17, 2017

    Vicki McKenzie

    I haven’t experienced Dandenong Market yet but it sounds amazing. I love fresh produce, I always grow some myself and markets are the next best thing plus you never know what else tickles your taste buds because of the amazing stall holders and what they sell from local artisans!

  • May 17, 2017

    Mara

    I love going for the donuts and goat curry and am always surprised at how far $20 can go in buying fruit and veg from there.

  • May 17, 2017

    Jennifer B.

    Knowing that about two thirds of Dandenong’s residents come from overseas, I’m looking forward to discovering some GREAT ETHNIC FOODS and the freshest of HERBS and SPICES… Proud mothers cooking for Asian and Middle Eastern families would never settle for bland supermarket offerings when they can find quality ingredients at a market!

  • May 17, 2017

    Sonya N.

    I’m looking forward to checking out all the bakery items… I have a big bakery fetish!

  • May 17, 2017

    Di

    With any luck, the worlds most delicious jam donuts

  • May 17, 2017

    Melanie Plunkett

    Dandenong Market is our local market. It has everything and very multicultural. Since it’s reno its got a real nice vibe to it!

  • May 17, 2017

    Melissa Rogers

    A massive fan of the Dandenong Market… Love the fresh food, clothing and of course my all time favorite Dandee Donuts – can never go home without them. Been a real hit since I was a kiddy and I’m 37.. 😀

  • May 17, 2017

    Cassy McKenna

    Food! Food! All the glorious food!

  • May 17, 2017

    Bethany

    I look forward to discovering what delicious new seasonal produce and supplies the traders have been hunting down. From the wholesale banana trader, to the flower man, the honey lady, the gozleme rollers and the cake store supplies family – they all have a smile and a story waiting and i look forward to seeing them each week and discovering the vibrant offerings they provide 😁

  • May 17, 2017

    Charlotte

    I can’t wait to find my next cooking inspiration in the fresh fruits vegetables and meats…oh and grabbing a Dandy donut on the way out 😜!

  • May 17, 2017

    Indika Wijaya

    Things I like to discover at Dandenong market are seasonal fruit and vegetables, free food (before purchasing them), variety of nuts. I love to eat hot Jam donuts too. Also, I’d love to discover shoes, accessories, winter cloths and household goods.

  • May 18, 2017

    Christina Cardillo

    I can’t wait to discover the beautiful blooms and flowers that will brighten up any dreary Melbourne winters day! 💐🌱🌸🍃🌹🌺🌻🌼🌷⚘🍀🍁🍂

  • May 18, 2017

    Gee

    Doughnuts – the taste of nostalgia!

  • May 18, 2017

    Michelle

    The smells and sounds of a bustling market are such a unique experience. Dandenong’s multicultural vibe is alive and thriving in the market place.

  • May 18, 2017

    Pip

    I haven’t been to the new Pouch Bar and Dining before and would love to try this! We normally head to the food court for a banh mi, topped off with some baklava and Middle Eastern delights, but I look forward to something new!

  • May 18, 2017

    Rachel

    Looking forward to devouring those hot delicious jam donuts!!

  • May 18, 2017

    Cheryl Moulton

    This will be my first visit to the Dandenong market, and I am so looking forward to perusing all of the stalls, finding bargains and nic nacs I just can’t do without, and tasting the variety of market foods

  • May 18, 2017

    Myra

    I just love the atmosphere and the vibrant energy of a market. It’s the place where I get to spend quality time with my family. Everyone just enjoy the delicious food, admiring the unique crafts and beautiful flowers or just talking to a stranger while queuing for that must-have hotdog! I’ve never been to Dandenong Market before. Will definitely love to try this! A new place to discover =)

  • May 18, 2017

    Titi

    Foodie tours? Sign me up.

  • May 18, 2017

    Quynh Nguyen

    I have gone to many markets in Melbourne so Im looking forward to find something new in this market such as unique design clothes or any stuff. It would be great if there are new types of food from other countries just not only the traditional and signature ones. And I havent tried the really good donuts besides the “doughnut time” so cant wait to try them.

  • May 18, 2017

    Camila Mendoza

    Because I’m a foodie always looking for a new authentic place to experience!

  • May 18, 2017

    cheryl haining

    I love Dandenong Market. The fascination of the butchers with so many different cuts, Halal Snack Packs and more in the food court, flowers so fresh, and glowing fruit and veg. I love the atmosphere of the market, the ease of parking and all the surprise finds, plus, of course, the great value for money from the friendly vendors.

  • May 19, 2017

    Stefanie

    I’m looking forward to trying the fresh produce and a chance to get out of the city for a change.

  • May 19, 2017

    Bertha De Witt

    What i look forward o a he Dandenong Market is the multi cultural food.We always try different sorts of food weekly and are ever disappointed.Loving the diversity.We need to see so much more of this worldwide.It brings us all together in a peaceful way.

  • May 19, 2017

    Bertha De Witt

    What i look forward to at the Dandenong Market is the multi cultural food.We always try different sorts of food weekly and are never disappointed.Loving the diversity.We need to see so much more of this worldwide.It brings us all together in a peaceful way.

  • May 19, 2017

    ERICA K

    I look forward to finding the European food. And stocking my car to the brim!

  • May 19, 2017

    Sarah

    Visiting the dandenong market is one of the things I look most forward to in my week. Me and my nan set off each Tuesday morning and we begin with coffee and donuts. We sit right in the middle of the food court and all our senses are egnited! Nan sits and people watches while I hit the fruit and veg to find the weeks in-season specials! We meet back in the foot court, share a Zaata pizza from the Why Not? Bakery then head home with our trolley and bellys full!

  • May 20, 2017

    Lianne

    I look forward to buying all the different spices, fresh produce and indulging in jam doughnuts!!!

  • May 20, 2017

    Emma

    I’m a regular at Dandy Market but have never managed to stumble upon Hot Pouch. The acai bowl looks delicious so I’m looking forward to sampling that and the investigating the rest of their menu

  • May 20, 2017

    Diana D

    I LOVE finding new things to try at the Dandy market. Fresh seafood, meat, veggies. The cherry on the top is the obligatory take away gozleme brekky as a reward for getting up early to visit this gem!

  • May 20, 2017

    kerrie smith

    It is the girl in me I can shop anywhere and come home with bargins and abundance of fresh goodies. I love Dandenong Market it has wonderful atmosphere the freshest and tastiest local food. The smells of roasting nuts, ground coffee beans and various cultural food to try and bring home to share with the family. If I am on my own browse through the fashion too. I like how the traders are so knowledgeable especially when it comes to various spicers I have not used to cook up something new at home. It is a wonderful market to get caught up in.

  • May 21, 2017

    Leanne Bree

    Dandenong – the place for mind body and soul
    bargains discovered
    always something different to see
    tastes that blow my mind
    puts in the multi in multi-cultural

  • May 21, 2017

    Emmi K

    Love love love Dandenong Market. It’s very multicultural and love sampling food from all corners of the world.

  • May 22, 2017

    Kathy

    Vibrant culture abound 🎏
    Produce at a discount 🍎
    Fun events to see 🤹‍♀️
    Food of all variety 🍱
    Friendly faces everywhere 🙋‍♂️
    See you at the Market Square! 👋

  • May 22, 2017

    Belinda M

    I’d love to go on the foodie tour and discover a heap of foods I’ve never tried before I fall in love with and fill my car with before I leave

  • May 22, 2017

    Karina Lee

    Something to eat that’s different and unique that I can take home and show off to everyone. And awesome coffee too.

  • May 24, 2017

    Ross S

    I’m looking forward to talking to stallholders to discover and learn how to use new interesting ingredients.

  • May 24, 2017

    Glenn Hampson

    Used to live in Dandenong for 30 years and always reckon the produce can’t be beat as well as the obligatory Dandee Doughnuts.

  • May 24, 2017

    Vicky A

    Dandenong market sounds like foodie heaven in the South East- Clearly have been hiding under rock – give me a taste of multicultural Melbourne😘

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