Paddy’s Markets brings a unique combination of fruit and vegetables at rock bottom prices and couleur locale.
- Sydney offers a wide range of grocery stores and supermarkets but nothing beats Sydney’s Paddy’s Markets.
- Find also flowers, homewares, sunglasses, jewellery, souvenirs and much more. Obviously all Chinese quality.
- Paddy’s Markets is certainly not for the fainthearted but prices are on average 60% lower than in major supermarkets.
Paddy’s Markets is located just a couple of steps from Central Railway Station in Haymarket, the heart of Sydney. It’s an indoor market where you can virtually buy anything. From umbrellas to iPhone cases, (fake) jewellery to T-shirts with a Sydney print, you name it and I promise you’ll find it.
But don’t even bother buying these items. Prices are low, but so is the quality. A colleague of mine bought a rucksack for as little as $5. It lasted exactly 5 minutes. The moment he tried to unzip it to fill it with his purchased fruits, the zipper broke off and it became rather useless. The depreciation expense was actually $1/minute, ridiculously high compared with a decent backpack.
Unlike the non-food products, fruit and vegetables are the way to go. Stick to the non-food market and you’ll find amazing deals. And fun. Some produce does look a bit tired, but most is triple-A quality and comes at junk prices. I heard even hotels and restaurants hunt for fresh exotic fruit at Paddy’s, but the general audience consists of Australian and foreign shoppers.
The food stands are packed to the attics with carefully ordered fruits and vegetables. At least at the start. When the Gates of Mordor are opened and hungry Orcs start their shopping spree, the market is soon transformed in a war zone. Merchants shout out their promotions, buyers move among stands and negotiate prices, trolleys override your feet and children get lost and nearly made in strawberry jam. It’s total chaos. It looks like ants being attacked by an anteater. And I was one of these ants and definitely wanted to secure some groceries. I bought 3 avocados, 1 kg of bananas and 1 kg of tomatoes for $5 and was convinced I just did a bargain. But I was wrong. The displayed prices at Paddy’s are between 40 and 80% lower than in supermarkets, but the real deals can be found around closing time. The noise got in full swing and the following crescendo describes the situation well:
“1 dolla, 1 dolla, 1 dolla, 1 dolla, all 1 dolla, 1 dolla”
“cheapel, cheapel, cheapel now, cheapel now, cheapel”
“here 1 dolla, 1 dolla, 1 dolla”
“happy hou, happy hou, happy hou now”
(merchants hitting with wooden bats on table to attract attention)
“oh my god, whole case dolla, oh my god, dolla case, dolla case”
Eventually ending in a climax:
“free, all flee, flee, flee, flee, flee”
Then I got hit by a gang of Tibetan monks while securing 2 crates of cherry tomatoes. Back on my feet, I could grab a bucket of beautiful raspberries (got you there evil nuns) and exit the battle. At the end, the market looked like it was just visited by some large, brutal animals. But hey, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen! Finally, I collected so much fruit and vegetables that I handed out most of it on the way back.
So next time you pass by Woolworths or Coles, think twice before entering. There’s a much more colorful shopping experience waiting at Paddy’s Markets. And it won’t kill your wallet.
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