Footscray Market celebrates its forty-first birthday this year, and the market is the heart of Footscray’s justly famous food culture.
Aligning with the waves of immigration to Melbourne from the 50s onwards, the landmark market has evolved from its start as a mainly European market to a shopping precinct with a distinctively Asian focus.
What makes Footscray Market special isn’t only the plethora of unique multicultural shopping and eating opportunities within its aisles.
The vibrant market is a repository of thousands of immigrant success stories.
Every stallholder is a living testament to the resilience, tenacity and hard work of people from all around the world who have chosen to build a new life for their families in Melbourne.
Footscray Market is an example of how multiculturalism and inclusiveness make Footscray, Melbourne and Australia a far richer – and more delicious – place for everyone.
There are more than sixty-five stalls inside Footscray Market, so you could spend weeks exploring every nook and cranny. Here are some places to mark off on your self-guided tour.
If you don’t have a market trolley, head to Al Ras Gifts Store to buy a ‘granny trolley’ to easily stash all your goodies as you shop.
Wrap up a loop of smoked pork sausages, a parcel of freshly sliced deli meats, a hunk of oozy cheese and a loaf of European or Middle-Eastern style bread from Footscray Continental Deli. Why not pair your picnic platter with a recommended tipple from FM Liquor Shop?
Gift someone special with fresh blooms from Ngoc Lan Art of Flowers, or add some greenery to your home from their indoor plant range.
Choose the freshest catch from iconic fishmongers Buttacovoli’s (known by regular market-goers as ‘The Aussies’) or Gold Star Seafood, the largest fishmongers in the market and famous for their mud crabs.
Footscray Market’s buzzing centre meat aisle is the heart of the market. Try the Taiwanese sausage from Hong Kong Meats, the wagyu beef from Amoy Butcher and pork and lamb at wholesale prices from A&A Butcher.
Towards the Irving Street end of the meat aisle you’ll find free-range chicken and a large egg selection at Chooks ‘n’ Googs.
Need a cooking pot? Bamboo steamer? Chopsticks? Footscray Homewares Plus has all the kitchenware (and more) that every home cook could desire.
Nelly’s Nut Shop is the place to shop for fresh nuts, beans and dried goods. Next door, and by the same owner, is relative newcomer The Organic Vegan offering 100% vegan products, such as the freshly made nut paste.
Footscray Market doesn’t only offer food and fresh produce. Simply Alterations is the place where you can get your broken phone screen fixed or have your clothes altered at affordable prices.
Need to fortify yourself for the next bout of shopping? For another style of coffee, try the Vietnamese-style brews from Scarlet Corner Cafe.
Or if your stomach is growling, order a bowl of ramen from Sekai Japanese Ramen – they even have the choice of vegetable or pork stock soup.
More in the mood for Vietnamese food? Try long-standing customer favourite Huu Huu Thanh, which specialises in traditional pho and fragrant congee. The sister stall in the food court called Huu Thanh serves a different menu of Vietnamese noodle soups. Both restaurants offer generous feeds for under $15 (note it’s cash only) and great people-watching opportunities.
People travel from all over Melbourne to visit Footscray Market’s fresh fruit and vegetable stalls because they are famous for their vast range of tropical, Asian and hard-to-find produce. Grab a glistening bunch of some of the cheapest, freshest herbs in Melbourne then challenge yourself to try something new!
CA Fresh Fruit is the largest stall in the market, while the huge wooden vats facing Footscray Station at Footscray Market Fruit & Veg draw in customers with their daily bargains. The latter is also open seven days a week.
If you need fish sauce, rice vermicelli or any other Asian ingredients, scan the shelves at nearby Asian grocers Shoon Loi Grocery. It packs a lot of products into a small shop!
Finally, rest your feet at the food court with a banh mi from Nhu Ngoc Bakery, a handmade empanada and dulce de leche hot chocolate from Casita Coffee or home-style Filipino cuisine by Lutong Pinoy – those in the know recommend the palabok (noodles), longanisa (sausages) and sisig (pork) with rice.
Your next visit to Footscray Market is only bound by the ambitions of your appetite and your imagination. Luckily, it’s an easy trip by train, bus, bike or car (the rooftop car park has amazing city views) so you’re able to come back again and again!
Footscray Market Opening Hours:
Tuesday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Wednesday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Thursday: 7:00am – 5:00pm
Friday: 7:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 7:00am – 5:00pm
Photography: Anna Klova @annak.photography.au (https://instagram.com/annak.photography.au)