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The Best Markets in Canberra

5

Our local markets showcase the best the region has to offer, including arts and crafts, second-hand treasures, or fresh produce.

If you’re looking to explore a market in the Canberra region, you’ve landed in the right place. There are quite a few handmade, vintage, and farmers’ markets in the area. But, after consulting local feedback, we’ve narrowed this list down to just three must-visit spots.

Let’s get started.

What makes a great market?

The best markets in Canberra offer something unique – whether that’s in the wares they have for sale, the hot food available, or the live entertainment. We suggest keeping an eye out for the following features.

  • Fresh is best. We all know that, when it comes to fruits, vegetables, meat, and other produce, fresh is best.
  • A lively atmosphere. Markets are an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate the diversity, talent, and colourful spirits of those that reside here in Canberra. Because of this, a lively atmosphere is a must.
  • Shaded areas. If the market is outdoor, having some shaded areas is imperative, especially in the hot summer months.
  • Food and coffee available. Who doesn’t love market food? Food trucks, coffee carts, and other tasty offerings turn a quick trip to the markets into a full day out. Bonus point if there’s live entertainment to enjoy while you sip your latte and eat your tasty artisan doughnut.
  • A showcase of local produce. Both farmers’ markets and craft markets should showcase local produce. That is, wares or food grown, made, crafted, or produced right here in the Canberra area.

The top markets in Canberra according to you

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and maintain a minimum average of 4/5 stars on both Google and Facebook reviews.

It was difficult to narrow it down to the best markets in Canberra. But, with your help, we came up with the following list of three.

The Handmade Market

Offering a whole range of unique designs, local produce, souvenirs, bespoke fashion, jewellery, and other artisan wares, The Handmade Market is one of the best in the region. Located in the three halls at EPIC with free parking and free entry, visitors can spend hours admiring the 260 stalls of this creative market.

The Handmade Market is commenter Alexandra Craig’s favourite: “The Handmade Market 100%.”

Hartley Hall Markets

Held on the first Sunday of the month at the Hall Showgrounds, the Hartley Hall Markets offer more than 300 stalls of food, local fruits and veggies, baked goods, pottery, clothing, children’s toys, gifts, crafts, and more. With plenty of shady trees and live musical entertainment, you’ll want to stick around all day.

Commenter Genie had this to say about the Hartley Hall Markets: “I love the local crafted products, fresh food and always come home with homemade treats for my puppy. Everything is really affordable and the whole event supports Hartley Life Care.”

The Old Bus Depot Markets

Set within an old industrial building, the Old Bus Depot Markets is perfect for lovers of clothes, jewellery, hand-crafted wares, and delicious food.

Commenter Zan frequents the Old Bus Depot Markets almost every weekend. “Most Sundays I go to the Old Bus Depot markets for lunch (cheap eats and great foods) and to look around,” they wrote. “It is where I buy most of my presents for birthdays and Christmas.”

Who did you pick?

Thanks to our commentators who have provided insightful feedback on the best and worst Canberra markets.

If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Please comment below detailing your experience with Canberra based markets? Who would you recommend? Who would you use again? Who would you steer clear of?


What’s Your opinion?


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5 Responses to
The Best Markets in Canberra
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Alexandra Craig 1:52 pm 05 Nov 15

The Handmade Market 100%

However it’ll be tough to ‘test’ it this week as the next market isn’t on for another couple of weeks I think.

    Charlotte Harper 2:36 pm 05 Nov 15

    True. Let’s split this into two Best Ofs, this first one for fresh produce markets and a later one for arts, crafts markets etc. That’ll give Gabrielle time to visit more of the contenders for the second.

Genie 1:47 pm 04 Nov 15

I agree with Zan, you can’t compare a lot of the markets against each other. The Farmers Markets (both Northside and Southside) are vastly different to say the Handmade Markets. You’re comparing arts & crafts to fruits & veggies.

Over the last 10 years I have frequented many, many markets as a stallholder, organiser and shopper and would provide the following guides.

Hall Markets – First Sunday of each month, Hall Showgrounds
An all-time favourite market of mine, I have been a stall holder on and off for more than a decade now. I love the local crafted products, fresh food and always come home with homemade treats for my puppy. Everything is really affordable and the whole event supports Hartley Life Care.

Handmade Markets – Quarterly, EPIC
I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of the Handmade Markets but if I’m free I usually make an effort to go for a wander. While this is a grand market getting bigger and bigger with each event, I have noticed of late that products are becoming too expensive for the average income earner. I was however highly impressed by the food hall at the most recent market.
Definitely fits the tag of Canberra’s Upmarket

Northside Farmers Market – 730-1130am Saturdays, EPIC
As a Northsider I have only ever frequented the EPIC Farmers Markets and if you don’t like crowds, this isn’t the market for you. Always packed no matter what time of the morning you attend but the quality of goods does not disappoint. While prices have skyrocketed recently and are more in line with supermarket prices, the produce is much fresher and the money is going into the farmers pocket. I buy very little processed goods these days and can easily do a week’s grocery shop at the farmers markets, get some bones for the puppy and even grab some plants/herbs for the garden or flowers to brighten up the home.

Bus Depot Markets – Sundays, Bus Depot Kingston.
I have to admit it’s been a few months since I have last attended these markets, I got a little bored with rarely seeing new stallholders and having to wait in long queues for a meal. I’m very interested to revisit and check out their new food halls.

Westside Acton Park Markets – Sundays, Westside Acton Park
This market has a lot of potential but I just don’t think it’s reached it as yet; I’m loving seeing this market grow and grow into something fabulous. Stall holders vary from recycled goods/clothes, handmade products and new products. There are regular stall holders there each week while most of the others rotate and attend sporadically. The permanent food stalls are the highlight of each visit.

Trash & Treasure – Jamison and Woden, every Sunday
I’m not one for buying second hand goods, but the thing I love about these markets is you never know what bargain you’re going to find.

Native Plant Market – 1st Saturday of each month, Heritage Nursery Yarralumla
One for garden lovers! The Heritage Nursery opens up a space for local plant growers once a month to sell their natives. It’s on this Saturday and you can pick up some seedlings for only a few $$ each. Most of the plants are seedlings, but as a garden newbie, talking to these growers is quite informative.

I haven’t attended the following markets for a while but they are very similar to Hall Markets.
Gold Creek Markets – 3rd Sunday of each month, Ginninderra Village
Tuggeranong Homestead – 2nd Sunday of each month, Tuggeranong Homestead
Tuggeranong Hyperdome Markets – 2nd and Last Saturday of each month, between Target and the Good Guys

Holden Caulfield 1:00 pm 04 Nov 15

Hate to say it, but like Floriade, I think the Old Bus Depot Markets are terribly overrated.

Not sure what keeps bringing people back. I went to OBDM for some “cheap” food last weekend and after seeing my $14 return a small plate of not entirely appealing food it merely confirmed my opinions. Confirmation bias, perhaps, but I really did want my mind to be changed.

Sadly, it wasn’t.

There’s countless better food options in Kingston on the weekends. I am sorry I missed the Forage a few weeks back though, I expect that would have been a better experience than the usual fare.

Zan 10:44 am 04 Nov 15

Well you cannot compare say Epic Markets with Old Bus Depot markets as they are very different. Equally you cannot compare Jamieson Trash and Treasure with say Fyshwick markets either. It is like comparing a bicycle to a motorcycle, a car to a tank. They are all different and sell different things.

I love the Epic markets are they remind me of the cosmopolitan Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne just near the city. I do not go often as I live on the other side though. I do go to the Southside Farmers Market, Trash & Treasure Woden (not as good as it used to be). Most Sundays I go to the Old Bus Depot markets for lunch (cheap eats and great foods) and to look around and it is where I buy most of my presents for birthday and Christmas.

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