Melbourne · Vegetarian Culture

More Than Just a Market…

‘Queen Victoria night market, more than just a market…’

The evening promised so much, but delivered so little. From its conception in the 19th century, its numerous extensions and additions throughout the years and the launch of the Night Market in 2012 it sounded like the perfect place to soak up some Victorian history, engage in some cool and quirky shopping and experience a true Melbournian institution. The reviews I read filled me with excitement and I was so eager to visit, not only is it a mega tourist hotspot it’s also loved by the locals and has become a true part of the Melbourne social scene. I probably should have taken these factors on board and realized that the Wednesday Night Market is infact, the busiest place on earth!!

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I deliberately had a very light food day as I intended to sample a lot of what the market had to offer. From what I had read the veggie options were vast and varied so, obviously, I was super excited. There were mushroom burgers, veggie satay sticks, lentil curries, cheesey, meat-free nachos, pizzas, authentic noodle dishes and much more. However, getting to these tasty delights proved more than a little tricky…

Like I said, this place was busy, I could barely move at times it was so crowded. I was shuffling along the aisle, getting poked in the eye (occasionally in the boob!) Having my feet stood on and politely pretending it was fine and all the while I was transfixed on the queues. The thumping music, the red and green lights and the apparent lack of manners were doing their very best to distract my attention, but there was no way around this. If I wanted to eat tonight, I’d be waiting an incredibly long time.

I thought a seasonal mulled wine might take the edge off, so my boyfriend and I headed towards the sweet scent of Christmas, only to be greeted by a queue 10 deep. Nope. So we decided to forget about our stomachs for a (little) while, and took a look at the market stalls, the array of hand made souvenirs were wonderful, clothes, jewellery, some really awesome winter hats, bags, soaps and perfumes, if shopping was on the agenda I really would have been in my element. But I’m a glutton so I quickly bypassed these handsome little gems and continued on my quest for awesome food.

Towards the front of the enclosure there was a gorgeous stall serving warm soup from a hollowed out bread roll. There were 2 veggie options, and low and behold, it looked reasonably quiet. I began making my way towards the stall. Spirals of white steam floating up like a beacon in the cold night air. I was happy, for 10 seconds. Not only was there a queue that I somehow failed to notice, there was a queue to queue!!

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By this point, I was feeling a little dejected, hungry and cold. Our refusal to stand in line for an hour for a small portion of street food spurred us to leave the market and head to the nearest pub.

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Unfortunately I didn’t get to try any of the famous Queen Victoria Market cuisine, but I had a glass of pink cider and a falafel wrap with crackers, no queuing required, and that made me (and my boyfriend) happy. For more happiness please check out Without_Cruelty on Instagram βœŒβ€


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