Spring at Clevedon Farmers Market, Auckland


Spring? Isn’t it autumn now? Ummm, yeah. I went to Clevedon Farmers Market in November. And it is now March. I have no excuse why it took me 5 months to write this up. No excuse at all, because it is a flippin’ brilliant market. Possibly the best in Auckland. There are up to 80 passionate growers and artisanal food producers who run stalls here. The best part is that there is lots and lots of space to chill out and enjoy the market.

Clevedon Farmers Market runs every Sunday 8:30 – 1pm (closes for 3 weeks over Christmas & NY) at the Clevedon Showgrounds. It is terribly well organised, with wooden stalls around the perimeter of a paddock which has picnic tables, haybales to sit on and even a little pull-along wagon for kids to play on.


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Mt Albert Market, Mt Albert, Auckland

The Mt Albert Market is located in the forecourt of Sprout Café, on 847 New North Road. This is handy, – utilising Sprout’s window server for coffee and outdoor bench seating for the market visitors. This also means the market is outdoors but under cover and intimate. There is reasonable parking along the nearby streets.

This is a community food market covering the gamut of grocery staples to treats. The range is perfectly edited and great quality; the organisers have included passionate artisan food producers who care about their products.

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Winter at Avondale Sunday Market, Auckland

Avondale Sunday Market is arguably Auckland’s best-known farmers market. It doesn’t make the cut as an official farmers market as it has a bustling flea market component selling all sorts of bric a brac and clothing. The huge Avondale market attracts shoppers from Auckland’s diverse ethnic communities, and has produce you will probably not have seen elsewhere.

The Avondale Racecourse which hosts the Avondale Market is a run-down, pot-holed, muddy-after-a- rain shower site. In order words, there is plenty of substance, but no flash. You come here to get reasonably priced, fresh produce direct from the growers or wholesalers or food from the people who make them. There’s no fancy packaging or marketing, but there is plenty of friendly faces and helpful advice on how to store, cook and enjoy all these produce. It’s a real food adventure; I love coming here and seeing what’s on offer. Continue reading

Hobsonville Point Farmers Market, Auckland

The Hobsonville Point Farmers Market (cnr Hastings Road and Buckley Avenue) is housed in a converted ex airforce supply shed (Shed No.5). There is plenty of parking nearby, and the joy of having an indoor market is evident in the last few weekends with the (welcomed) intermittent rain. Although the market is opened on both days of the weekend, I prefer to visit on Sunday when there are more stallholders, and the place hums with activity.

There is something about this market which just strikes all the right notes. The stallholders are so convivial and the place has a perceptible community vibe. It’s a good size; you can spend 15mins here and get everything you need, or you can make it a destination and meander for a while, stop for a bite and a coffee, and laze in the landscaped gardens.

The interior of the shed is lined with wooden counters, for stallholders to set up. There is also a corner for musicians and a kitchen area where chefs (such as Kevin Blakeman) and stallholders demonstrate recipes. Continue reading

Otara market, Auckland

Did you know that Auckland has the highest Pacific population in the world, with a total standing at over over 160,000? About 50% are Samoan, followed by Cook Islanders (20%), Tongan (18%), Niuean (8%), Fijians (4%) and Tokelauan (2%). If you want to experience Pacific culture and cuisine in Auckland, the suburbs to visit are Otahuhu and Otara.

Otara also hosts the only the only Pacific farmers/flea market every Saturday morning. After being in Auckland for 2 years, it was about time for me to do an immersion course in the daily life of Polynesian culture. For baptism by fire, there is the annual (and claustrophobic) Pasifika Festival which takes place at Western Springs every March. Continue reading

Roadtrip to Bay of Islands

We decided to chance the weather and drive up to Paihia on the weekend. On the way, we stopped by Orewa for brunch. Orewa is a little seaside town and a retirement destination, with its waterfront apartments and pedestrian mall. My previous two jaunts into Orewa for food had not ended well, so I was more than a little apprehensive. However, we chanced upon Oliver’s Café (340 Hibiscus Coast Highway, Orewa) with its cheerful yellow sign. The place was packed, a good sign, plus the food in the display cabinet looked fresh and very appetizing.  I have finally found my Orewa pit stop, – the flat white is great (comes with a small piece of nutty, fudgy brownie) and the potato cakes are made with shredded potato, fantastic!

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