Adelaide Central Market – A must-visit when in Adelaide
In most of my travel overseas, a visit to the city or town main market is a must as it’s the best place to get a feel and dynamism of the locale. A market tells a lot about the country that you are visiting. In Adelaide, a visit to the Central Market is a definite must-do. It has been described as a “multicultural hub with fresh produce, gourmet goods and lots of heart” in the South Australia Travel Idea Travel Ideas webpage.
Other than “lots of heart”, I can attest this market has certainly loads of fun too, even more so as it’s my 1st visit. But I have to attribute the fabulous experience was due in a large part by my affable host, Cheryl Turner from Food Tours Australia, who took us on a discovery tour around the market, uncovering nuggets after nuggets of information from a local’s perspective. For a travel blogger and photographer, this definitely cut short the lead-in time taken to ‘warm up’ to a new venue.
Established in 1869 and now with more than 90 stalls selling a wide range of local produces and attracting more than 8 million visitors annually, you know you are in for an adventure that transcends tomatoes and carrots. It is touted as one of the largest under cover market in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Market Entrance
The market main entrance. Most visitors on self-drive road trip will access this entrance via Gouger Street. When you see where the stream of people are going, it will lead to this entrance. Do be mindful of parking at the roadside parking lots alongside this street as the parking warden is very timely on his rounds.
Stalls at the Market
The market carries a huge range of the freshest food like fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, cheeses, bakery, small goods and health foods, along with some of Adelaide’s most popular cafes and eateries. With over 8.5 million visitors every year, the Adelaide Central Market remains the hub for multicultural cuisine and fresh produce.
Talk about Sausages! Did someone said, “you never know what you gonna in a stall of sausages”? Well, I bet Forrest Gump would say that if he had visited this sausage stall. The types of preserved meat are just mind-boggling.
The walking lanes are actually like those tarmac roads that we drive on. Clean and generously spaced for a good walk at the market.
Our host, Cheryl Turner from Food Tours Australia showing us a selection of meat. Looked like the usual sausages till you see the tags- Venison, Emu and Kangaroo. Are you “game” for some alternative meat? Pardon the pun.
Now that’s a food with a difference. It’s Limey Green Tree Ants. No seasoning, just washed and placed in the fridge. And it tasted like Lime ! Yes, those green dots are the abdomens of the Limey Ants. What a way to take in Vitamin C, certainly an intriguing introduction to bush tucker cuisine.
Bush tucker condiments. Amazing to taste those salty shrubs, herbs and plants. Really educational I must say. Cheryl definitely make the vibrant market even more alive with her in-depth knowledge.
What??? Durians ??? Yes, my eyes did a double take when I spotted these durians. The market essentially retails local produce. But those imported ones, it will be prominently stated. But this is not imported, it’s grown locally in Australia northern territories. This batch retails at AUS35/kg. We didn’t get to try as there is no free sampling.
Cheeses ! Blue vein, Cheddar, Emmental, Brie and what great Aussie humour here, the shop’s name is The Smelly Cheese Shop.
Looks closely – Crocodile Tail Fillet, Emu sausages! Magpie Goose! Game Burgers! we are talking wildlife cuisine here! Crikey mates!
Seafood anyone? sashimi lovers? Loads of fresh food from the sea awaiting the marine gourmands.
A last quick stroll at the lovely market before making way for our journey to Cape Jervis, where the ferry awaits to transport us and our car across to Kangaroo Island.
Food and beverages outlets at the market
Paella ! Paella is a Valencian rice dish that has ancient roots, but its modern form originated in the mid-19th century in the area around Albufera lagoon on the east coast of Spain, adjacent to the city of Valencia. Care to try some? Wallet please.
Lucia, one of the famed eateries at the market. Lucia’s Pizza Bar was the first pizza bar in Adelaide.Today, Nicky and Maria continue in the traditions of their mother Lucia, using her traditional Italian recipes.Lucia’s is famous for its pizza, spaghetti and traditional Italian dishes
As usual, whenever you see healthy crowd or queue, the food is good. We satisfied our hunger pangs at the Zuma Caffe. Awesome Continental food, Certainly a great start to the day.
I don’t usually take eggs for breakfast, but this perfectly poached eggs on champignon with toast was fabulous.
The Adelaide Central Market is definitely a must-visit when in Adelaide. Vibrant, bustling and fabulous introductory venue to ease any visitors to the beautiful Southern Australia state. Do take note of the opening hours and days though:
Tuesday 7.00am – 5.30pm
Wednesday 9.00am – 5.30pm
Thursday 9.00m – 5.30pm
Friday 7.00am – 9.00pm
Saturday 7.00am – 3.00pm
Thanks for reading the article. For visitors keen on self-drive vacation in South Australia, please do visit my self-drive adventure in Kangaroo Island which commenced after this market visit. Or perhaps swim with tuna in Victor Harbour.
Footnote: All pictures used in this travelogue are copyrighted to Jensen Chua Photography and Jetabout Holidays and all rights reserved. The opinion expressed is factual, objective and that of the author.