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Harbourside Market

Apr 18, 2017  ·  3 min read

words by niall roeder

Touted as the, “oldest and most popular market in Wellington”, you’d be silly not to wander around this Cable Street institution. The Harbourside Market is also said to be the biggest weekly event in the city, attracting up to 25,000 hungry punters each Sunday.

Are organisers tooting their own horn with these bold statements? Perhaps. Is it justified? Well, if you’re into locals purveyors selling deliciousness, like French hard mountain cheese, Stewart Island smoked salmon and Japanese six-mushroom dumplings, then yes, it’s most definitely justified.

Also known as Waitangi Park Market, Te Papa Market and Chaffers Market, Harbourside Market has been serving customers since 1920. Originally located in the centre of Allen St and Blair St, just off Courtenay Place, the gathering moved to its current position on the grassy patch next to Te Papa, in 2002.

The cheery vendors are more than happy to have chat about their veggies, fruit, herbs, flowers, fish, meat, deli goods, bread, confectionery, cheese, preserves, chutneys, eggs, coffee and hot foods, so don’t be a nervous Nellie and fire questions without hesitation. And always remember the golden rule of sampling at markets, four simple words that provide endless pecking potential, “can I try that?

The market is home to loads of stalls and you might not get to them all, so here are a few you should definitely put on the hit list…

How do delicious Dutch sweets from a caravan called “Cibby” sound? I’ll tell you, it sounds bloody excellent. The following pic is of something called an “Oliebollen”, which is fresh yeast-risen dough filled with apple pieces and cinnamon soaked raisins, fried until golden and puffy and dusted with cinnamon sugar. Apparently, it’s a Dutch version of a doughnut. Do yourself a massive favour and gobble one of these. Or eight. Your call.

Bloomin Days
Lei and Leona Hayes are market veterans; they’ve been pushing fresh cut flowers and seasonal fruits and nuts here for years. Look out for Lei and her Elton John glasses and treat yourself to her floral arrangements and delicious feijoas, lemons, passion fruits, walnuts and hazelnuts.

House of dumplings
These dumpling mongers make their pastry by hand using only natural, ethical and real ingredients. Grab a partner or two, order a spread and get stuck in.

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