Insider’s guide to the Queen Vic Market

Ryan AndrijichRyan AndrijichShopping for food at Melbourne’s sprawling Vic Market can be overwhelming, so here’s an insider’s guide to the best spots from market insider Ryan Andrijich.

The chef and barbecue aficionado (pictured) runs a market cooking school called Whack It On The Barbie, teaching everything you need to know about cooking with charcoal and wood, along with condiments and traditional preserving  methods using Fowlers Vacola jars.

Ryan has plenty of favourite shopping haunts at the Vic Market, and these are his top five…

  1. Il  Fruttivendolo

    1. Queen Vic Market
    2. Shed A, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne
    3. Gus and Carmel Bressi have a terrific range of heirloom and unique vegetables. They are often the first to get new season product in, be it local asparagus, garlic or broccoli di rape, I always find something good here.  Saturday afternoons you can hear Gus from across the market touting his $2 specials, a great chance to grab a bargain and cook something you may not have picked!  A beautifully presented stand with excellent produce.
  2. Market Juice

    1. Market Juice at QVM
    2. A Shed, Queen Victoria Market
    3. Rocco and the team have great produce and a delicious range of juices, all made fresh.  I love a cooling watermelon juice on a hot day or a bottle of classic OJ to take home for breakfast. I have never been a huge fan of vegetable juices, but I recently tried the beetroot, apple and ginger and it was delicious. Early morning starts mean I rarely risk a hangover these days, but if I slip up, some juice from the team here is a saviour (followed closely by some bacon, of course).
  3. Sardes Quality Meats

    1. Queen Victoria Market
    2. Shop 10, Meat Hall, Queen Victoria Market
    3. Harry and Linda Sarde put a lot of thought into the selection of their meat, including products normally only found in high-end restaurants. They are passionate about the products they sell and offer all the background information you need, along with cutting your meats to your liking. It is hard to beat one of their big rib eyes or t-bones cooked over coals. I like to go 1kg or bigger so I can get a great crust and keep it nice and rare. If you are after a special treat, grab some full blood wagyu, or for a delicious and budget friendly option, try Sardes’ hanger steak.
  4. Market Lane

    1. Market Lane
    2. Shop 73-76, Deli Hall, Queen Victoria Market
    3. Market Lane has a great range of speciality coffee. My essential morning ritual is an espresso, served in a cup on their marble bench, with a mineral water on the side, plus an iced long black to go. I get my caffeine hit and a coffee I can sip over the next half hour or so. The seasonal espresso blend is always tasty, but I do love trying the guest coffee which is usually a single origin product.
  5. Alec Watson & Sons

    1. Brothers Steve and Mike sell pork, beef and lamb, with more variety than most other butchers. They put effort into preparing interesting roasts, including marinated products with fresh herbs and spices. I especially love the pickled pork which you can smoke to make your own ham (or gammon if you’re from the UK). My other favourite is their cotechino, which I smoke rather than the traditional method of boiling/poaching. The sticky gelatinous texture is rich and delicious. Every time I serve this to barbecue aficionados, chefs or the general public, people ask where the meat is from.
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Insider’s guide to the Queen Vic Market