Queen Victoria Night Market & Invita Cafe Review

When travelling, it’s good to get a feeling of the heartbeat of a city. What could be more central than how a city feeds itself. Australia’s capitals are blessed with vast historical city markets supplying restaurants and homes with out nations finest. This is always my first stop when travelling.

As a frequent visitor to the Queen Victoria Market, I’ve been impressed by it’s “open air” nature. It is always fun to explore new food stalls, like Pierogi’s (a steamed – not – fried version of Adelaide Central Markets Pieroshki’s).

Melbourne taunts me with it’s weather though. Leaving Adelaide it was 38 degrees, and Melbourne welcomed me with 14. It quickly heated up during the day to the point that my closed dress shoes became unbearable and left me blistered & hobbled. I pressed on dear reader, to bring you Melbournes latest.

Open for select Wednesday nights in Summer, this was the very last Night Market for 2013. It seemed half of Melbourne turned out to celebrate and spread the festive cheer. 


Just a few friends with the same idea Photo: Willunga Wino

This made navigating the usually roomy aisles a bit of a trial. In the heat, beer and cider swilling & spilling folk jostled into snaking lines for pulled pork, chicken satay, waffles, and choc-liquorice macarons. 

Night Market Offerings Photo: Willunga Wino

The market filled with smoke, warm bodies, and a cacophany of sound, sometimes interpersed with a few notes of music from the several bands performing. I saw dosa with dahl carried by a number of people but couldn’t find it amongst the mayhem. 

Smoky work, queuing & cooking Photo: Willunga Wino

Before too long, it got the better of me and I retreated. Still in the Market grounds, but acting as a bastion of quiet an calm was Invita Cafe. Obtaining much of it’s organic & veg/vegan produce from the market, this little cafe offered a welcome respite from the serious queuing, smoke, heat, humidity and noise within the pavillions.

Invita Cafe Photo: Willunga Wino

This little cafe offers drinks & juices, cakes, pies, wraps and salads for eating in their little courtyard or takeaway. Service is friendly and prompt. My large mixed salad ($10) had a sweet potato and chickpea and mung bean with soy dressing in a large biodegradable takeaway container.

The salads were tasty and filling without being amazing, but extra points for being local and organic. It’s a healthy and ethical choice for a filling takeaway meal, plus a good place to relax if the QV Markets are too hectic.

Rating : 3 Glasses
Price: $
Menu – Food Menu at 
http://www.invita.com.au/lunch/ , Drink Menu – http://www.invita.com.au/beverages/
Meal Size: Light but satisfying.
Atmosphere / Ambience: Casual & outdoorsy.
Standout Dish: Large takeaway mixed salad, $10.
Service: Quick.
Online Booking: No – but not nescessary.
Restaurant Details and Location:

76 Therry St, Melbourne (Queen Victoria Markets)
Tel No: 03 
9329 1267
Opening Hours: Tuesday & Thursday – Sunday : 7:00 am – 4:00 pm 
Closed Monday & Wednesday outside of Night Markets


Invita on Urbanspoon


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