I think it is safe to say that Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne is our favorite market in the world. Borough Market in London comes in close. Every trip we have made to Melbourne never went by without paying homage to this place we love so much.
Queen Victoria Market has everything anyone could possibly want. It is complete with fresh produce and a fantastic selection of seafood and meat. Cured meats, sausages, and cheese are sold in great varieties. If you are like us and need instant gratification for food, we bought a piece of very delicious and spicy cured sausage and asked the vendor to kindly slice it for us so that we could enjoy it while walking around the market. We have bought a mini tub of marinated olives and stuffed peppers to enjoy at one of the outdoor tables at the market. There is wine for sale. You can buy different types of butter according to how much or little you need by weight. Variety and quality are key here. The plethora of choices is impressive and inspires T and I to want to prepare a fabulous meal except that we don't have a kitchen to go to in Melbourne but just our hotel room. Oh why can't the Chicago French Market be even a smidgen of Queen Victoria Market? This place reminds us why we love food so much.
The highlight of each visit for us to Queen Victoria Market is to get the freshly shucked oysters and enjoy them right there and then. When the very friendly guy behind the seafood counter found out that we were visiting from Chicago, he joked, "Ahh, that's where the mafias are from."
And finally, the American Doughnut Kitchen. Oh, the American Doughnut Kitchen. Look out for the van parked outside the "I" shed at the market.
I know it sounds a little crazy for us to seek out the American Doughnut Kitchen in Australia when we flew all the way from the U.S. Some may wonder, why American doughnuts? Neither do we know where that name came from nor do we think the doughnuts are any more American than it is Australian, this doughnut van reputedly has a 50-year history in Melbourne. Be prepared to stand in line for these doughnuts. During our trip to Melbourne in 2009, we missed out on the doughnuts because we were a little too late and they were closed by the time we arrived. This time, we got smart and arrived earlier in time for some doughnuts for breakfast.
The doughnuts were perfectly crisp on the outside, soft and doughy inside. They were fresh and still warm with a dollop of jam inside. We just stood there on the grounds of Queen Victoria Market devouring them. We didn't want our doughnut experience to end.