The Dandenong Market is a Melbourne institution

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The Dandenong Market is a Melbourne institution


With a bazaar full of wonders, plenty of shopping and an incredibly multicultural mix of food to choose from, it would be very easy to get lost in a whole day wandering around, sampling everything the Dandenong market has to offer. As we head into what looks to be a very hot summer, the amount of events being held make this the place to be.

The atmosphere can only be described as eclectic. With so many different areas, cultures, and items on sale, you’ll hear, see or feel something different about every five seconds. Indian music in the main square will give way to the smells from inside meat, fish, and deli area, which is soon overtaken by the variety of colours in the fresh fruit and veg section. No two experiences at the Dandenong Market are the same, but with the variety of everything on offer, how could they be?

One of the first things you’ll notice is the mix of old and new at the market. Some food stalls are incredibly modern and fresh you’d swear they’d only opened the day before. Contrast this with the stalwarts of old favourites; some food trucks not even bothering to have tyres so sure are they that they’ll never need to set up anywhere else. The multicultural focus of the market shines through in the selection of foods on offer, with unique cuisines like Mauritian and New Zealand street food finding a home among all the usual classics.

This being a market, the best thing to do is grab something to eat and start exploring. There’s plenty of things here that you won’t find anywhere else. Somewhere among the throngs of people you’ll find things like authentic Afghan bread, home-collected honey and rare spices.

By far the best place to explore is the Bazaar. Rows and rows of stalls sell all manner of items in a bustling market atmosphere. Each stall has its own character. Some play music, some play home to magnificent displays, but all are intriguing in their own special way. With its strong international influence, the bazaar may fool you into thinking you’ve been transported to Asia or the Middle East. With everything from lingerie and jewellery to souvenirs and electronics, there isn’t much that you can’t find if you look for it hard enough.

Heading into summer, the Dandenong market is looking to showcase the newest jewel in its crown – the Terrace. An outdoor space with a bar, ample seating, and plenty of space for food trucks, there is a plethora of festivals being held by the market over the next few months. Those hot summer nights don’t get much better.