It’s no secret that we adore the Queen Victoria Market. This bustling and beloved Melbourne institution is home to three Market Lane Coffee shops, all located in unique and special pockets of the market. We love the Vic Market for its emphasis on fresh, high quality food and beverage, and because it’s a place that’s dedicated to customer relationships, many of which span several generations.
We’ve been part of the vibrant Vic Market community since 2011, and we’ve done our fair share of shopping and exploring the market over the years! Here’s a list of some of our favourite traders, specialty shops and hidden gems that we love and return to, week after week.
M&G Caiafa (Shop 66–70)
Located just a few stores down from our Dairy Hall shop, M&G Caiafa is a one-stop shop for beautiful baked goods. Started by Michael Caiafa Snr and his wife Grace Caiafa nearly 50 years ago, the shop is now run by their children, with Michael still overseeing things day to day. M&G Caiafa sells warm croissants straight from the oven, and they also offer a wide range of breads from many of Melbourne’s great bakeries, including Noisette, 5 and Dime, and Phillippa’s. Check out their delicious freshly ground nut butters, as well.
Swords Wines (Shop 47–50)
Looking for an interesting and beautiful wine to take to a dinner party, or a craft beer or cider to enjoy at the end of the day? Swords Wines is staffed by knowledgeable and friendly team members who can help you select something special from their range of mostly local and independent brands. We especially love their range of pet nat and low-intervention wines and, with their newly renovated space, customers can now step inside the shop and browse the shelves themselves.
Gewurzhaus (Shop 7–9)
Sisters Maria and Eva Konecsny opened Gewurzhaus in homage to their grandmothers and aunties, and their memories of Christmases in Germany spent baking and eating together. This gorgeous shop carries over 350 spices, herbs, teas, salts, pepper and sugars – sourced both locally and internationally – including native Australian ingredients like roasted wattleseed and saltbush.
Koko Black (Shop 71–72)
Stop by Koko Black, just steps away from our Dairy Hall shop, to select sublime chocolates, hand-crafted in Melbourne from all natural ingredients. Many of Koko Black’s goodies feature Australian ingredients like lemon myrtle, whipstick wattle and Davidson’s plum, and they often partner with local culinary luminaries to rethink what chocolate is and can be (check out their amazing collaboration with Ben Shewry and Attica).
Some other Dairy Hall favourites are Big Vic Deli (Shop 25–28), which sits right next door to our shop. Opened by George Kardaras in 1965 and now run by his son Kon, Big Vic Deli sells salted cod and cured meats, and a range of traditional Greek cheeses and sausages. Queen Vic Deli (Shop 36–38) specialises in cheeses from all over the world, as well as olives and antipasti delights. Bill’s Farm (Shop 17–20) is another long-time market favourite, offering a wide selection of quality meats, olives and antipasti.
MEAT & FISH HALL
George the Fishmonger (Shop 35)
George grew up in a family of fishmongers and his love of fresh, high quality food inspired him to stay in the industry and open his own shop. He’s been based at Vic Market for over 15 years now, offering enormous southern rock lobsters (raw or cooked), sashimi-grade yellowfin, wild-caught barramundi, live mud crabs, and Coffin Bay oysters, which he’s happy to shuck for you.
Seafood and Oyster Spot (Shop 28–29)
The team at Seafood and Oyster Spot stand behind the counter all day, shucking fresh oysters for their very lucky customers! They also sell filleted fish, crabs, prawns and shellfish, as well as live abalone. This is a favourite spot of Market Lane co-owner Fleur!
FRUIT & VEG SHEDS
Il Fruttivendolo (A Shed)
This fruit and veggie stall is a hidden gem across from our Victoria St shop (and next to our weekend mushroom burger stand). Carmel and Gus – who have owned and run the stall for over 40 years – are super friendly and knowledgeable about what fruit and veg are in season and what’s tasting great. This spot is a particular favourite of Market Lane co-owner Jason, who loves their leafy greens and other seasonal vegetables.
Queen’s Harvest (I Shed, shop 63–66)
Queen’s Harvest is where we go to source the harder-to-find ingredients, like fresh wasabi, horseradish, black garlic, native limes, heirloom tomatoes, pumpkins, and truffles (when they’re in season). A family-run business that has been part of Vic Market for over 60 years, it’s not uncommon to be greeted by three generations of friendly faces from behind the counter at this lovely shop.
Tomato City (H Shed)
Another long-running family business at the market, Tomato City was started by John Pontelandolfo’s dad in 1946. Over 30 years ago, John looked after the shop for a stint of three months while his dad went overseas. He loved it so much that he made it his full-time gig, and he’s never looked back! As the name implies, Tomato City specialises in tomatoes grown in Victoria. John also sells fantastic local peas, beans, lettuces, cabbages and grapes.
OTHER FAVOURITE MARKET SPOTS
American Doughnut Kitchen (Queen St Stall 83–84)
No visit to Queen Vic Market would be complete without a sweet, warm, doughy and delicious doughnut from one of Melbourne’s longest running and most iconic food trucks. Established in the 1950s, American Doughnut Kitchen delights thousands of market visitors with their doughnuts every week, using the same recipe they’ve been using since the start. Jump in the queue – it’s worth the wait! – and don’t forget to pair your doughnut with a Market Lane coffee…
Market Lane Coffee (Dairy Hall Shop 73–76; Victoria St Shop 83–85; 462 Queen St)
Market Lane has three shops at the Queen Vic Market, all located in different, special pockets of the market. We make delicious filter coffee and espresso drinks at all three locations, and we also retail freshly roasted beans for home. You can also shop for coffee equipment and gifts at our Dairy Hall and Victoria St shops, and enjoy pastries and weekend mushroom burgers at our Victoria St shop
Market Lane Mushroom Burgers (outside Victoria St shop 83–85)
These mushroom burgers are the perfect weekend treat! Available every Saturday and Sunday, 9am–4pm (or until sold out), each burger contains a giant field mushroom (sourced by mushroom specialist Damien Pike), French herb butter, chipotle mayonnaise, sweet onion and some Parmesan cheese, all enclosed in a delicious Dench Bakers bun. Many a meat lover has been won over by these incredible vegetarian burgers – they’re so good!
Books for Cooks (Victoria St Shop 115)
Located a few doors down from our Victoria St shop, Books for Cooks is a world-renowned and award-winning culinary bookshop, featuring a collection of over 40,000 new, old, vintage and antiquarian books about cooking, food and wine. This is where we go to feel inspired, buy gifts, seek out hard-to-find books, and chat to owners Amanda and Tim about what they’ve been reading and loving. Books for Cooks hosts fantastic launches and events, and it’s a wonderful shopping destination for food professionals and home cooks alike.
Rewine (456 Queen St)
Our neighbours in the Munro Building on Queen St, ReWine are disruptors in the wine industry. They sell their beautiful wines directly from the barrel into special, refillable bottles (or directly into the glass), which creates an amazing zero-waste supply chain. ReWine sells premium Australian wines, proseccos and beers, from talented and conscientious producers who share their obsession with quality and their commitment to a sustainable future for the wine industry. All their wines are available to taste as you browse and make your selection.