whether you are looking for a feed, need a go-to place to do all your food shopping or are just keen to sink a coffee and people watch, the Adelaide Central Markets ticks all the boxes.
trips to markets for me started when I was in primary school, where we got to wander the stalls and taste fruit and cheese and spend our gold coins on snacks. now a days it’s full of drinking coffee, doing the weekly food shop and eating lunch at my favourite stalls ( however still includes tasting cheese and fruit)
below is a list of my must visit places when I visit the market. side note- bring a granny trolley and several green bags. you will be bombarded with choice and if your like me you’ll leave with more than what’s on your list.
Looking for: Fruit and Vegetables
When I go to the markets i’m generally looking for two things. Fresh and South Australian produce. Michaels does both of that, and does it well. The majority of the produce on the stand is grown here in SA and everything else is labelled accordingly. The veggies last for ages and the price point is cheaper than alot of other options at the market. They have started selling fresh juices which are delicious and the ladies behind the counter make shopping there an absolute pleasure.
Stall 69 is also one of my favourites. They are on the smaller side however stock a delicious range of seasonal produce- and even some obscure fruit and veg that you won’t find elsewhere. My personal picks are their figs, limes, parsnip and tomatoes ($2 for a huge bag which make delicious tomato sauce).
If your after mushrooms then look no further than The Mushroom Man. More than just your standard white mushrooms, this man has them all- from swiss brown to all things fancy and truffles galore. They also stock salts and oils to accompany your goodies.
If your one for organic fruit and vegetables then put The House Of Organics on your list. The name says it all really, everything is organic. They always have a huge range of veggies that are super fresh and last a lifetime. The smiley staff are always happy to help and the kale and herbs are one of the best on offer at the market.
Looking for: Meat
I’m yet to buy raw red meat and poultry from the market (still on the to do list), but when it comes to cold meats and small goods I look no further than Barossa Fine Foods. Meat sliced upon request at whatever size you like with a smile. The gypsy ham is like no other and the prosciutto is to die for. Whether your looking for a filling for your sandwich or wanting to wow guests with a impressive platter then this is the place to shop.
Looking for: Platter Supplies
In a rush and looking for cheese, quince, cold meats, olives, stuffed peppers (list goes on and on) then visit Con’s Fine Food. They stock almost everything but the kitchen sink and at really good prices. The staff are happy to make suggestions and are incredibly friendly. My picks: their marinated feta, home made pesto and olive tapenade, quince and dips.
If you’re after olives in particular than head straight to The Olive Tree. Stocking all kinds of olives, dips, oils and sauces, now with even the addition of SA wines. Within recent months they have moved to a new stall, so get the credit card ready because if your anything like me you wont stop at one tub of olives.
One other special mention goes to Lucia Fine Foods. Its a restaurant and store all in one. My favourite section to shop in is the small bar on the side which hosts a variety of cheese, cured meats and bottles and jars of delicious sauces, dressings and pickles. Do yourself a favour and order a cheese and charcuterie platter- your mind will be blown.
Looking for: Cheese
Any one who knows me knows that i’m a cheese fiend. Which means at the market you will find me hovering around the cheese tasting stand at Say Cheese. They stock a HUGE range of cheese, from blues to brie and everything in between. They have plenty of sizes and blocks to choose from and even create cheese wheel wedding cakes. If your looking for a new hobby then take up one of their cheese making classes which are now on offer.
When i’m not at Say Cheese you will find me at the The Smelly Cheese Shop. Equally as good range, super enthusiastic staff and a huge range of brie.
Looking for: Coffee
When i’m not drinking Dawn Patrol Coffee Roasters coffee then I will be brewing beans from The Coffee Bean Shop. This stall has undertaken a huge renovation, with a new airy, bright and slight industrial feel. Even though it has gotten a face lift you can still expect the best range of coffee beans and accessories- now just with the addition of a bright yellow espresso machine and a barista who whips up a mean brew. There is even the opportunity to sit down and people watch to the smell of fresh coffee and Charlesworth nuts nearby. YUM.
Another hot contender is A Perfect Cup who whips up a mean latte, sells a huge range of beans and adorable tea cups and pots.
Looking for: Bread and Sweets
If your after bread then look no further than the stall with the obvious name, Bread.
I will try and keep this short. By far one of my personal favourites in the market, this stall boasts a huge range of breads (think olive, sourdough), several types of bagels, pastries and quiches. They even cater for your sweet tooth with flans, tarts, chocolate delights and pastries- some in larger sizes to take home to share, or in my case.. keep to myself. The price is bang on to and its no wonder why this place is always busy.
Worth a mention is Wildloaf. A slightly smaller choice, but there is no need for a huge range when you bake things so well. Offering breads loaded with superfoods, wholegrains and even gluten free varieties.
Looking for: A relaxed meal
If your on the run and after a salad, wanting a fancy sandwich or apple cake or your work break or breakfast accompanied by a mean coffee then Big Table is where its at. It’s popular with workers at lunch, so expect to wait a little while to be served or make sure you take a early minute and get there before the rush. They stock a delicious range of home made and healthy salads, wraps and rolls with more than just your average fillings. Kiss goodbye the ham and cheese sanga and say hello to creamy potato salad and turkey filled rolls.
Another special and healthy mention is to Let Them Eat. Their cabinets are always brimming with freshly made salads, tarts, fritters and my favourite- falafel. Another popular place with the workers and with the choice and price theres no wonder why. You can also find them at the Adelaide Farmers Market on Sundays.
Looking for: A Spanish feast
I have done a review on these guys before and I will continue to rave on until i’m blue in the face. Comida Catering Co is without a doubt my go to place to dine at the market. Stocking all of your favourite Spanish tapas and meals including sourdough with jamon, paella and tortillas as well as a large breakfast menu. Coffee is one thing they do very well, but nothing beats the service they provide and quality of food. If your feeling chirpy then they also offer Moritz beer and happy hour as well as other weekly specials. My pick: everything on the menu & salted caramel tarts.
Looking for: Flowers
There is plenty of florists getting around the Adelaide CBD these days, but when it comes to the markets there is only a handful of stalls. My go to is Central Market Flowers. They stock a large variety from natives to bright and beautiful bunches. They are more than happy to wrap up your bunches if your giving as a gift, or you can pick from their choice of arrangements also on offer that are ready to go.
Looking For: Health Foods
Goodies and Grains has by far the largest range of health foods in the central markets. So much so that they have expanded into the store next door, selling juices, healthy treats and takeaway lunches. Their main store is a healthy foodie haven. You can buy everything from herbs/spices/teas, dried fruit and nuts in bulk, coconut oil, healthy meals and even face and body products. My pick: their juices, bliss balls and coconut oil.