11

Melbourne University Farmers Market, Food Co-Op, Shuki and Louisa Felafel

Melbourne University Farmers Market

Melbourne University holds a farmers’ market on Wednesdays until October 21st (with no market on September 30th). Melbourne did its weird weather thing where it was raining when we left home, but beautifully sunny when we were at the market– perfect market weather!

This was my first visit to the Melbourne Uni market and of course this meant I would walk around checking out vegan stuff for us all! Let’s start with my lunch, pictured below. When a banner at a stall proudly displays “I make very good falafel” I’m all PLEASE BE VEGAN. You know how sometimes you rock up to a felafel place and they’re all no dude it’s not vegan, and you’re like BUT WHYYYYY. Then I noticed the Shuki & Louisa signs. I’ve seen the Shuki & Louisa dips at markets before but I didn’t realise they made a vegan felafel. I was told that yes it’s an all-vegan felafel so I quickly handed over my $8. The felafels are clearly popular because there was about a fifteen to twenty minute wait, so Arthur and I went to check out the Melbourne Uni Food Co-op. More on that below, but for now let’s talk felafel. Folks, this was a really, really good felafel. The pita pocket was stuffed with fresh salad and the felafel balls were exactly like I’d want my felafel to be. For me, this was well worth the wait. I’d definitely get this again with the wait time:

Shuki and Louisa Felafel

I’ve tried to take photos of vegan-only foods but some of the stalls selling vegan friendly products also sell non-vegan stuff. I tried the jams by both Di and Benny’s Berries and regretted not bringing more money to buy some. There were fresh dried fruits and nuts, oils and olives, apples and pears and lots of flowers:

Melbourne University Farmers Market

Beautifully sweet oranges, lovely sourdough breads (I tried the olive, yum), 5 & Dime bagels (always good!), local handmade corn tortillas by LaTortilleria and lots of fresh vegetables and herbs from a few stalls:

Melbourne University Farmers Market

The Melbourne University Food Co-op is located on the first floor (one above ground floor) of Union House. Just about everything is vegan and there’s a selection of baked goods from Crumbs Bakery:

Melbourne Uni Food Co-Op

I didn’t buy anything as I had to go and pick up my felafel baby. I did however sneak a photo of someone’s lunch. It was on the counter waiting for them, nobody was about so I did this for you guys. On the left there (in a badly configured side-by-side montage…) is a lemon donut by Crumbs. I’ve had these before and they’re sooo good:

Melbourne Uni Food Co-Op

If you’re around Melbourne Uni on Wednesdays, the market is really worth a look. Check out the Melbourne Farmers’ Market webpage for Melbourne Uni to see which stalls are coming up.

6

Finders Keepers Market and Brunch at Smith & Daughters, Fitzroy

Royal Exhibition Building

My sister and I headed down to the Royal Exhibition Building last weekend for the Finders Keepers Market. So much lovely stuff! I didn’t see anything specifically vegan, or at least, there was no obvious ‘vegan’ label on anything I saw. Apart from the Mister Nice Guy’s stand of course. Quick tour and info: The Royal Exhibition Building and the surrounding Carlton Gardens were completed in 1880, for Melbourne’s first International Exhibition in 1880-1881:

Royal Exhibition Building

I loved this bike rack:

Bikerax bike rack

Beautiful textiles and home furnishings:

printink textiles

The Design Court stall

Lots of gorgeous clothing:

The Professor's Daughter clothes

I resisted buying anything at this vintage and retro shop:

vintage store stall

Sometimes I see things, like these baskets, and although I don’t need one I still do the “but it’s so PRETTY” argument with myself:

Zillpa baskets

I didn’t buy anything apart from a couple of buns to share with the family:

mr nice guy buns

When we were done at Finders Keepers, I loaded up Happy Cow to see where we could go to lunch. Smith & Daughters was a very short walk away so we thought we’d try our luck there. Fortunately there were a few free tables and we were able to be seated right away. I was pretty happy that finally, I got to visit.

The brunch menu is served until 3pm. For our late lunch we decided against the sweeter options because we had the cinnamon bun and lemon bun getting squished in my handbag. My sister ordered the breakfast burrito with chipotle cashew cheese ($18 with the chipotle cashew cheese, $15 without). It arrived around the 31 minute wait mark and although it didn’t appear to be a large serving it was certainly very filling. I think I would prefer it without the cashew cheese as I find the sweetness of cashew to be a little too much with savoury dishes:
Smith & Daughters
I ordered the baked Spanish omelette ($16). The description mentioned potato, but I only got one piece in mine which was quite a let down. The omelette overall was tasty, especially the saffron sofrito on top and it was nice to have a sort of gooey consistency but not be grossed out by undercooked egg, something I always hated pre-vegan. I used the bread to mop it all up:
Smith & Daughters

Apart from the single piece of potato in my omelette, my other gripe would be the noise level. The table we had was a smaller one but my sister and I had to raise our voices to hear each other. The music wasn’t blaring but it was still loud enough to be on the irritating side.

Smith & Daughters

These shortcomings would not stop me from going back a second time, as I really want to try their dinner menu and those fantastic looking desserts. I may be tempted to get the breakfast burrito myself in the future, but for now I’ll stick with finding a suitable time to go for dinner.

Smith and Daughters on Urbanspoon

Smith & Daughters

175 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

9939 3293 (check website for Bookings)

http://www.smithanddaughters.com/

17

Coburg Farmers Market

Today I met up with Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe and her daughter at the Coburg Farmers Market. I haven’t been there before so Johanna kindly suggested we meet there. Melbourne has had some crazy windy weather this week but things were a bit calmer today:

Coburg Farmers Market

I enjoyed looking at a range of vegetables, so many lovely colours. I thought about getting a spaghetti squash but might keep it for next time:

pumpkins

The carrots will be coming home with me on my next visit:

Colourful carrots

Hit that perfect beet boys!

Beautiful beets

There was a stall with really juicy delicious apples.  Nothing like the tasteless blobs I’ve bought from the supermarket recently:

Coburg Farmers Market apples

The 5 & Dime bagel stall was a welcome sight.  Check out the deliciousness:

5 & Dime Bagels

5 & Dime Bagels

I came home with some golden beetroot and coriander:

Coburg Market purchases

Six bagels for $11:

5 & Dime Bagels

And these blocks of chocolate from the Cocoa Rhapsody stall.  All of their dark chocolate range is vegan:

Cocoa Rhapsody chocolate

 

Now that I know the market is a stone’s throw away, I’ll make more of an effort to visit.  I’m looking forward to seeing more lovely veggies and cooking up something adventurous!

4

Preston Market With a Vegan Twist

I was introduced to Preston Market a couple of years ago, when my vegan friend T shared her secret with me: buy the old brown spotty bananas and other fruit right before closing time when the prices are dirt cheap.  A tray of fruit, past its best but still fine for freezing or smoothies, can be found for $1 or $2.  I’d pick up many kilograms worth of old bananans for a few dollars and use them in my smoothies.  The greatest discovery by far though was the hot jam donut van because they’re vegan.  Brilliant!

I went back to Preston Market a few days ago to see what it offers for vegan shoppers.  I stopped in at The D’Souzas for some amchoor (mango) powder.  Of course, whenever I go in “just for one thing” I end up with many things.  The D’Souzas store always has what I need and service is always smiley and friendly:

Preston Market

I picked up some soy beans from Preston Market Health Foods.  There were many elderly Greek shoppers here, looking for dried chickpeas for their ‘revithia’ (chickpea) soup and lentils for their ‘fahki’ soup:

Preston Market

Preston Market

Of course, there are a number of fresh produce stalls with prices cheaper than the big supermarkets:

Preston Market

Preston Market

I walked around looking at all the stores inside the main market area but didn’t see any other veganny-options kinds of places.  There were bakeries, continental delicatessans and lovely looking cakes but unfortunately none appeared to offer anything vegan, from my quick browsing.  I looked at the food stalls and alas, nothing vegan there.

I was pretty hungry so I headed for the Cornutopia van.  I’ve been there once before and enjoyed my vegan burrito so I ordered that again. The burritos (regardless of filling, it appears) are $10. Action shot:

Preston Market

The final stop (the most important of all): the jam donut van!

Preston market hot jam donuts

Preston market hot jam donuts

Overall, Preston Market is great for well priced fruit and veg, especially for those bargains right before closing time. You can find your nuts, dried beans, lentils and so on and different kinds of flours. More vegan options in the way of food would be great but I must confess the only food I go there for are donuts. Still, it would be nice to go there and have more of a selection of vegan food to chose from.

Preston Market
Preston Market
Preston Market

Preston Market

Preston Market

These are my purchases. I’m sure that’s the cheapest I’ve seen this particular vanilla extract.  As for the clove oil, I need some to help with minor mould problems around the house. I’m sure I paid double $3.90 for one of those teeny bottles in pharmacies! I also picked up some quinoa, curry powder (I like to try different kinds) and amchoor powder, which always seems to be in recipes I want to try then when I buy the stuff, I can’t find the recipes:

Preston Market purchases

If there are other markets out there you love for vegan shopping, please leave a comment!