The Queen Victoria markets always make me want to move to Melbourne. We have great places in Sydney but this place really has it all, and for cheap!
My love affair is mainly with the vegetables – some of which (hello Romanesco broccoli) you can never get in Sydney.
Enormous celeriac, enough Remoulade for a party..
Three kinds of locally grown eschallots – the red ones on the right hand side were particularly lovely.
Giant tower of low salt Italian anchovies looking mighty odd.
Gerookde paling! Love it. Finally I can get some smoked eel in Sydney – the BF will be thrilled..
It’s walking distance from anywhere in town. Grab some cheese and bread and vegies and fruit and some local wine and you have a perfect picnic.
Every Saturday and Sunday as well as the wonderful Vogelmarkt being on there is also the less well-known Sjacherbeurs. A kind of flea and junk market, held in a carpark just off the square where the market is held.
This is the place for bargain hunting and the kind of souvenirs that are not only not sold in normal shops, but often probably not allowed through customs.They even sell vintage pr0n videos for the out of date perverts out there..
How about some super creepy traditional Flemish puppets for the young person in your life who needs some assistance with a subject for their nightmares?
This cheeky stuffed squirrel is sure to delight the animal lover in your life and/or get you on that show about customs at Australian airports.
Great selection of viewfinders and photowheels. Good selection of old school Disney ones as well as ones featuring stories from the Bible.
Saturday 10am to 4pm
Sunday 9am to 4pm
Entry cost is 1.50 euros
There is a cheap cafe inside if you want a cup of filter coffee and to soak up the atmosphere.
There is also a toilet inside that will set you back 40c.
As this is at the same site as the Vogelmarkt why not do them both?
For other similar markets in Belgium see here.
Every weekend Antwerp’s lovely “Vogelmarkt” is held on a square near the city centre. Saturday is the fresh market with fruit and vegetables, flowers, fish, cheeses of all kinds, and meats.
The market is frequented by a mix of locals and tourists and has a friendly vibe. Many of the stalls have little taste tests (the olives are particularly good) and there are places where you can get some of the mainstays of Belgian market food: sausages with sauerkraut, oysters, croquetten (garnaal/kaas – shrimp/cheese), karakollen (tiny little cooked shellfish), or a simple broodje kaas (bread roll with cheese).
This is what it looked like today:
Somehow these colours capture European summer don’t they?
Dried chillis in large bunches – a welcome move towards spice in Belgian cuisine courtesy Morocco and the Middle East.
Beautiful summer artichokes. Some other stalls had ones as big as your head – wonder how you are supposed to cook them?
The fruits of the North Sea: razor clams, live crabs, vongole and baby squid.
Cultivated mushrooms – spicy and meaty Paarse ridderswan.
This stall had so many varieties I have never seen before – looking forward to return visits and to trying my first ever fresh chanterelles.
If you just want a tiny snack how about one of these bite size eclairs? All the way on the left hand side is dark, fragrant speculoos (ginger cookies).
My slightly larger snack. Hot sweet tea and a fried pancake with ricotta, honey and plump dried figs. You can also get one “with the lot” which includes olives, artichoke hearts, dried tomatoes, baby dolmades, honey, ricotta, figs and more. Two of these and two cups of tea for less than 10 euros – a cheap and hearty breakfast or lunch in the sunshine in central Antwerp.
This is my top thrifty travel tip for the day!
NB Behind the stall that sells these is a large container of water with a small tap to wash the (inevitable) stickyness off your hands.
These “papavers” are what happens to a poppy after the flower. Quite striking!