When the days get longer, we tend to want to take as many activities as possible outdoors.
Night markets combine some of the best of those outdoor elements: delicious food eaten on the street, usually with music pumping in the background, certainly with a group of your friends. Here’s our curated list of the best night market near you, no matter which city you live in.
Queen Victoria Market, VIC
The Vic Market was a pioneer of Melbourne’s night markets, and its summertime after-dark offerings are as strong as ever. The focus remains very much on food: this year, there are 55 food and beverage stalls, with bites as diverse as West African suya (meat skewers), Hawaiian shaved ice and, um, “Taki’s balls” (which on inspection prove to be chocolate salty doughnuts). In addition to dinner, there are also more than 100 stalls selling art, crafts, design, homewares, etc.
Given that the Queen Vic is the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere, space isn’t exactly at a premium, which means that as well as the shopping on offer, there’s scope for a whole bunch of other activities. The night market goes out of its way to create a party atmosphere –bands play every week, and there’s a bar promising “giant pink flamingos, desert plants and a drinks menu that includes gin cocktails ... and cider-spiders”. There’s even a pop-up beach volleyball court because why not.
Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Plant 4, SA
The former Clipsal complex in the Adelaide suburb of Bowden is something of a poster child for the virtues of urban renewal. The development has reinvented the 10-hectare site as a sustainability-focused residential district, and the old metal workshop building is now home to a market hall. This summer, the hall is hosting night markets on Wednesday and Friday evenings. As with the day market, the stalls are largely focused on food, although there are also “gift maker” stalls selling art and crafts. There’s a “kid's zone” (where adults can presumably leave their kids), a bar (where kids can presumably leave their adults) and various other entertainment options. On the latter front, Wednesday nights are for acoustic music, while on Fridays there’s a DJ to bring the party vibes.
5 Third St, Bowden SA 5008
Mt Gravatt Street Food, QLD
This is an event devoted to the kind of food you buy on a stick, in a cone or in a small cup – a.k.a. the best kind of food. It takes place every Saturday night from 4pm to 9pm at the Showgrounds in the Brisbane suburb of Mt Gravatt – the same place that the popular Mt Gravatt Farmer’s Market kicks off the next morning. The street food market has been running here since 2016 and attracts food trucks from all around Brisbane and the Gold Coast. On a given evening there could be up to 60 to choose from; the result is that Mt Gravatt is fast turning into a foodie destination – on Saturday nights, at least.
41 Broadwater Rd, Mount Gravatt QLD 4122
Inglewood Night Markets, WA
As boasted on the website, the night markets in the Perth suburb of Inglewood have “become synonymous with #nocookmondays”. And, in fairness, opting out of cooking is made a whole lot easier if you can just wander down to the market and pick from 50 stalls offering ready-made options from around the globe. As a bonus, because the stalls are set up along busy Beaufort Street instead of in a bespoke market space, they also weave through and interact with the permanent shops and restaurants that line the street. The entertainment on offer includes the Fr'Inglewood program, which sees acts performing abridged “tasters” of their Perth Fringe World shows. In a unique (and rather lovely) touch, the market organisers also go out of their way to be dog friendly, explaining that “we LOVE a good dog show every now and then” and their stalls include “specialty vendors to cater to your fur babies”.
Beaufort St, Inglewood WA 6052
Macarthur Night Markets, NSW
It seems #nocookmondays could also become a thing in Campbelltown, at least on the first and third Monday of the month – because that’s when Macarthur Night Markets promise to “make Mawson Park a foodie haven”. The park lies in the heart of the city, a couple of minutes’ walk from the railway station, and makes a suitably picturesque location for an event that’s become hugely popular since its launch in 2017. The roster of vendors changes from week to week, with different food trucks arriving each time, so check the Facebook page to see what's on offer.
Mawson Park, Campelltown NSW 2560
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with MINI and is inspired by the MINI Clubman, the vehicle that boasts live traffic updates so you can get to your night market on time.