The Best of the Adelaide Central Markets

Words: Heidi Jenkins

Photographs: Leigh Griffins


I arrive at the market just after 7 am on Saturday morning. Already buzzing with life, the smell of freshly baked bread and coffee brewing is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. My first stop is Big Table for a bite to eat before I start my shopping. It’s hard to beat one of Big Table’s specialities; corn fritters with avocado, bacon and dill. Offering a wide range of breakfast options with vegetarian and gluten free choices, Big Table has been popular with young and old alike for over 15 years. 

I visit House of Organics and Sustainably Grown Produce next for my fruit and vegetables. Spanning over four aisles, they offer possibly the largest and best variety of fruit and vegetables in the Market. With a focus on local producers, owners James Hillier and Bill Howison deal ‘grower direct’ to source seasonal local fruit from smaller orchards with better variety. The staff were incredibly helpful, suggesting many ways to cook my kale and pick the best potato for mashing. I walk away with my trolley full of beautiful peaches, nectarines and apricots, as well as vegetables for my Sunday roast.

I can’t go past the beautiful array of cheeses on display at Say Cheese. Crumbly blue, smelly washed rinds, gooey bries, fluffy ricottas. There was so much to choose from that I didn’t know where to start. Sales assistant Hannah is more than happy to help me decipher cheese names I’ve never heard of, and tells me she has loved the time she has spent working in the market.

“I’m lucky enough to work with people who are ridiculously passionate about food and the culture surrounding it, and who love sharing their knowledge with anyone who will listen,” she said.

The hand labelled English Stilton Pots at Say Cheese catch my eye, and I buy one knowing it will be the perfect Christmas gift for Nanna.

After hearing so much about Wild Loaf, I have to see what all the hype is about. Opening in the Adelaide Central Market only two months ago, Wild Loaf is already proving very popular. Baking everything on site daily-pizzas to danishes, sourdough loafs to twisty donuts, it’s easy to see why they’re fast becoming a market favourite. I have to take a fig and walnut sourdough loaf home with me; figs, walnuts, sultanas, nutmeg and cinnamon in a four year old yeast free sourdough culture is too hard to resist!

Coffee beans were next on my list, so I head to The Grind @ Central. This small family business was the first coffee bean retail outlet in the Central Market and they pride themselves on their self-roasted coffee beans, as well as their superb coffee knowledge. After much deliberation I decide on their signature blend Supa Crema, and look forward to brewing my own coffee when I get home.

Mince pies from Dough are an absolute favourite of mine, and although it’s early December I still can’t resist buying a box of six. Dough has a specialised bread product for every occasion, and their baguettes are the closest you’ll find in South Australia to the traditional French baguette. I buy an artisan sourdough loaf to enjoy with my Sunday roast.

A lamb roast and a Christmas ham are last on my shopping list, so I make my way to Feast!. At Feast! the majority of products are local and free range, and they also offer a great range of poultry. The Coorong Scotch Fillet has been a family favourite of ours for years, and the staff at Feast! are very knowledgeable and accommodating to the needs of the customer. I can’t wait to start carving my heritage ham for lunch.

I grab a takeaway latte from Lucias on my way out of the market, you can’t beat their strong flavoured coffee and old fashioned friendly service. I walk back to my car incredibly satisfied with my shopping experience. You can’t go past the Adelaide Central Market this Christmas for the freshest and best produce South Australia has to offer. From Christmas hams to Christmas puddings, French cheeses to crusty bread, white peaches to freshly squeezed juice, the Adelaide Central Market has it all, with a fantastic atmosphere and great service to match.


My top ten Adelaide Central Market finds:

1.       Adelaide Hills Yellow Peaches (House of Organics and Sustainably Grown Produce)

2.       Lucias Pasta Sauce (Lucias Fine Foods)

3.       Supa Crema Coffee Beans ([email protected])

4.       Fig and Walnut Sourdough (Wild Loaf)

5.       Christmas Pudding (Providore)

6.       Kalangadoo Organic Cloudy Apple Juice (Central Organic)

7.       Sicilian Olives (Jagger Fine Foods)

8.       Delice de Cremiers-Triple Cream Brie (Smelly Cheese)

9.       Chocolate Eclairs (Dough)

10.   Hungarian Salami (Barossa Fine Foods)


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