Reasons to explore Dandenong Market; Melbourne's "World Market" with your kids.
Dandenong Market is a 150-year old traditional working market in Melbourne's Southeast.
Offering a cultural mix of fresh foods & pantry staples from around the globe, is it any wonder why Melburnians affectionately refer to Dandenong Market as the "World Market"?
The question is, what does Dandenong Market offer for children and visiting families? Plenty! Read on.
Dandenong Market is rich in history
Historic Dandenong Market
This historic market dates back to the 1850s when newly arrived colonies first traded goods within the Dandenong region.
The area where Dandenong Market stands was established in the 1850s as 'The Grange Estate' and the market officially opened on Tuesday 10 October 1866.
Dandenong Market with kids
Fast forward to the current day and the Dandenong Market as we know it now is located on the corner of Clow and Cleeland Street. This thriving meeting point and trading place for locals and the wider community attracts over 5 million visitors a year.
Garden plants at Dandenong Market
There are stories to be told at Dandenong Market
Although impossible to tell everyone's story here, many traders within Dandenong Market are small family run operations who each have a tale to tell.
Show your children how the Ali Zada family prepare baked goods combining Afghan recipes with Australian style breads.
Introduce your children to the wonderful work of the bees: Hart's Honey. Joza Hart is one of Dandenong Market's long-term traders who sells his delicious honey from over 600 portable hives located both here in Victoria and interstate. Honey variants include Yellow Box, Iron Bark, Stringybark, Mixed Blossom and Red Gum.
Hart's Honey at Dandenong Market
Treat your kiddos to a freshly made, additive free donut from Dandee Donut run by Maureen and Dick Bell. The couple have been serving up the fluffiest donuts from their permanent home at Dandenong Market since the 1970s. Dandee Donuts ingredients are Australian grown, with the original recipe developed in the 1950s.
Moving into the bustling fresh fruit and veg section and you'll find a colourful collection of foods, some of which you won't find in your local supermarket. Luppino Fresh is Dandenong Market's first ever fruit and veg trader, set up by Danny Luppino over 50 years ago.
Fresh fruit and veg at Dandenong Market
Okra at Dandenong Market
Walk into the Bazaar and watch out folks, your kids will be in toy heaven! New goods here include toys, clothes, shoes, jewellery and pet accessories.
The Bazaar at Dandenong Market
Dandenong Market is filled with quirkiness
You could nip into the caravan (yes, a caravan!) for a haircut, or enjoy some hearty "pub grub" in the undercover dining area The Terrace.
A haircut in a caravan. Why? Because Dandenong Market
Foodie heaven in the Market Square at Dandenong Market
Speaking of food, the ultimate foodie heaven has to be the Market Square: a hawker's style selling street food, cooked while you watch. Fresh chai & banana bread for the win otherwise Sri Lankan, Filipino, Mauritian, Indian & NZ street food or sausages for the meat lovers from The Grill.
Street food at Dandenong Market
Chai from Dandenong Market
Dandenong Market understands the importance of street art
A Melbourne market is surely not complete without street art? Dandenong Market understands the importance of this and has therefore embraced VIC's street art scene.
The following piece of work by Heesco is inspired by a black and white photograph of children at a bird stall taken at Dandenong Market in the 1970s. You can read the full story behind this particular piece here.
Heesco artwork at Dandenong Market
M is for Market is a cute art installation piece by Anne Ross. The mouse commemorates the market's 150th anniversary. You can read the full story behind Ross' art installation here.
M is for Market at Dandenong Market
The Phoenix Rises is a large-scale piece that reflects the resilience, strong work ethic and tenacity of the Dandenong Market community. This piece is by renowned street artist Scottie ‘Bonsai’ Neoh.
The Phoenix rises at Dandenong Market
Another huge piece at Dandenong Market by Heesco is the Year of the Wolf. Heesco’s mural for Dandenong Market depicts a wolf pack over the course of four seasons and spans five panels positioned on the market's King Street façade.
The Year of the Wolf artwork at Dandenong Market
If the sights, sounds, smells and tastes are not enough to entice you and your kids into Dandenong Market then I don't know what will! Sure beats the angst of dragging your family through the aisles of a joyless supermarket. Dandy Market has soul!
Fresh foods from Dandenong Market, enjoyed at home
Visit Dandenong Market with your children on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday
Why not consider partaking in a street food tour of the market on select Tuesdays and Fridays?