The market held in the Brisbane suburb of West End every Saturday morning is like a mini folk festival without the alcohol and cold showers. There is always music playing somewhere and you’re sure to see something interesting, like the man who has his cat on a lead and carries it on his shoulder, people practising acrobatics or tightrope walking, or someone blowing giant bubbles for the kids who chase them around trying to pop them.
The markets are held in Davies Park along the river. Parking can be tricky but it’s easily accessible from the bike path that runs along the river or by bus along Montague road.
There are plenty of fruit and vegetable stalls and prices are usually much cheaper than those in the supermarket. Those run by the growers often specialise in a particular thing like tomatoes, potatoes, bananas, honey, or mushrooms. There are a couple of meat vendors who also sell fish, flower stalls, coffee beans, spices, homemade ginger beer, greek sweets, and cakes. If you’re unfortunate enough to be a vegan, you will be well-catered for here and at several places in West End; it’s a vegan kind of place.
You’ll also find jewellery and clothing stalls, natural beauty products, baby things and plants. There is also a very popular massage tent. Most stalls now take card, but if you need cash there is an ATM.
Once you’ve finished your shopping, grab a bite to eat at one of the food stalls: potato rosti, Hungarian langos, Tibetan momos, German bratwurst, French baguettes and cheese, crèpes, curry puffs, Thai rice and noodles, and felafel to name a few. There are a couple of coffee stalls, including the Gypsy Vardo cart who also do several types of chai, and iced tea stalls.
Then juggling all that, find a spot to sit under the huge Moreton Bay fig trees and listen to one of the musical acts that play every week. I recommend taking a rug to sit on. There’ll be lots of dogs on leads and small children. Just the one cat so far. The park is next to a soccer field so you can kick a ball around or throw a frisbie.
It’s a much nicer (and cheaper) way to do your grocery shopping, but also a relaxing way to spend a Saturday morning. And like most folk festivals it’s a groovy scene man.