I’m spoiled for choice of farmers’ markets living near the central city. Parnell Farmers’ Market is just down the road, and the City Farmers’ Market at Britomart is conveniently located right next to buses and trains for times when the groceries are too heavy to carry home.
Another weekend option is the French Market in Parnell. The market happens on both Saturday and Sunday at La Cigale, the department-style store that imports antiques, clothing, wine, food and other special things from France. Stalls are set up in the carpark area beside the shop, and merge into the store itself, where there are fresh bakery counters, a busy espresso machine and shelves of wine and things in little jars.
I visited a couple of weekends ago. As well as all kinds of fresh fruit and vegetables (new asparagus!), exciting things included:
Vegetarian paella! I hadn’t tried this before as I didn’t really know what paella was, and kind of assumed it involved eggs. But no, it’s something a bit like Spanish risotto, and the Paella Pan’s version happens to be vegan. It’s full of all kinds of vegetables, chickpeas and oily, plump rice. I liked it, and would eat again on future market visits.
Three kinds of vegan pasty, from the Vegetarian Bakehouse. They hand out samples, so you can figure out which is your favourite before you buy. I had a spicy lentil pasty on my last visit, but they’re all good.
The market is definitely worth a visit. If you’ve been before, what was your favourite find?