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Footscray Market: Where cheap and good meets

Kaili Ding

Wed Sep 21 2011

Footscray Market’s Produce

MARKETS are the best places to go to if you’re looking for fresh produce. But most affordable? This week, Meld finance reporter Kaili Ding and photographer Yu Cheng Chong head to Footscray Market in search of the freshest ingredients at bargain prices.

I don’t know about you, but most international students I know do their grocery shopping at the Victoria Market, Aldi, Woolworth and Coles. But, there are other places where you get a grocery shopping bargain in Melbourne. Footscray Market is one of those hidden gems. Just four stations away from Melbourne Central by train, Footscray market is an indoor market heaven.

Photo: Yu Cheng Chong

Footscray Market is the place to shop if you’re looking for seafood, vegetables, fruits and meat, but the location is better known for its wide selection of unique and affordable Asian ingredients. It’s vendors are also pretty famous for always trying to outshine one another with their claims to ultimate freshness and rock bottom prices.

If this is your first time at the market, I would recommend exploring all the stalls before filling your shopping bags to get the best prices.

Photo: Yu Cheng Chong

While exploring, keep an eye out for the cornucopia of exotic produce and compare the prices as you go. Some of the best bargains include 99c onions and garlic, $6 Basa fish, $12 per kilo green banana prawns and $17 porterhouse steak.

Once you’ve seen everything on the market floor, grab your shopping bag or trolley and start shopping.

Some stalls offer a cheaper price if you buy in bulk, so keep your eyes peeled for boxes of mangoes and 20 kilos worth of onions. In situations where you want to buy produce in bulk, it’s better to shop with a companion, preferably someone as passionate as you are for cooking on  a budget. That way you can share your spoils.

Photo: Yu Cheng Chong

Now that you’re home with all your fresh produce, it’s time to cook (and this is where we insert our shameless plug), from where else, but our very own cookbook,  Home Cooked, The Carlton Community Cookbook Project! Happy shopping and bon appetit everyone!

Footscray Market

Opening hours:
Tuesday and Wednesday: 7am-4pm
Thursday: 7am-6pm
Friday: 7am-8pm
Saturday: 7am-4pm

Stalls: 33 food, 50 general

Public Transport: Tram 82 from Moonee Ponds. Bus 402, 404, 406, 223, 216. Train to Footscray Station.

Parking: 800 spaces

Melway reference: 42 D4