Eat Street Markets – Portside, Brisbane

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As the Pacific Jewel reverses out of dock to turn around and head downstream, the ship provided an imposing sight, towering above the market area. Somewhat daunting to look up and see the bow of the ship pointed in your direction as you enjoy some of the delicious fare on offer at the markets.

Colourful, vibrant, bustling, with an amazing selection of food, drinks and a smattering of craft stalls. With free parking and a mere $2 entry fee, designed to cover maintenance of the area, the Eat Street Markets are different to the usual markets.

Shipping containers have been changed to provide kitchens and shops for the stall holders. Strategically placed, the containers appear to take you on a world food tour. Here you really are spoilt for choice.

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Food choice here is so very diverse, you can enjoy a meal from one stall or taste your way around a number of stalls. Seafood chowder served in a cob loaf, pizzas, burgers, mushrooms, honey puffs, noodles, vegetarian, the cuisine choice is never ending. All choices, tastes and price ranges are catered for here.

Of course all this food requires something to wash it down. Wine and cocktail stalls appear at intervals between containers. Cocktails were slushie style and at $12 each, fairly expensive given they were served in a small disposable cup. Mulled wine, soft drinks, beer, iced teas, coffees, milk shakes, the list is endless.

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Stacked wooden pallets and plastic milk crates, all topped with artificial grass provide seating, are interspersed throughout the venue. Some stalls have their own table settings as well. Even with the large number of patrons, we had no problems finding seats when required.

Open on Friday and Saturday evenings from 4pm, plus Sundays 11am-7pm, the area is very popular. At times so busy, it does feel like you are at a music festival, especially with waves of live music, following you through the alleyways. On a Sunday afternoon, we found the area pumping when we arrived about 2pm. Around an hour later it was noticeably quieter.

With the large number of stall choices on hand, there weren’t large queues, in fact one or two people were the most we encountered. As far as the stall holders are concerned though, it must feel like a constant, never ending stream of people.

Treat yourself to some fruit or a sweet to finish. These chocolate fountains were rather hard to resist!

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If you’re not lucky enough to be on one of the cruise ships sailing from Portside, right next door to the markets, then console yourself with a mini world food cruise round the Eat Street Markets.

There’s plenty here to feed, rehydrate and entertain everyone, even if you only drop in for a bite, or, you may prefer to linger and wile away the afternoon amid a myriad of smells, tastes, sights and sounds.

Stop in for a look one day, you never know what hidden little gems you may discover here.

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