Five best markets

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Barossa Farmers Market

The food heritage and culture of the Barossa are easy to find at this market (pictured). The smallgoods and preserves, the marvellous egg noodles and bakery goods, the smoked bacon on the breakfast roll, the old varieties of fruit from the orchards that dominated the landscape before the post-war vine boom. The three-dozen or so stalls are in the Vintners Sheds, with a backdrop of enormous barrels, and the producers willingly share knowledge, ideas and recipes. Look for Lowkes carrots (once a staple Barossa crop), Ballycroft cheese, Jersey fresh milk, Hutton Vale lamb, Waechters Dux meat and Trevallie Orchards produce.

Every Saturday, 7.30-11.30am, Vintners Sheds, corner Nuriootpa and Stockwell roads, Angaston, see barossafarmersmarket.com.

Adelaide Central Market

It's the heart of Adelaide - physically and gastronomically - the place that draws every culture, every creed, every appetite. It was established in 1869 so it is part of the city's fabric. The market has more than 80 stalls laid out in a grid of lanes and broadways and is the centre of a food and wine precinct that stretches 400 metres. It has Adelaide's densest concentration of eating places, from noodle-and-dumpling shops to top-flight Auge and just-opened Celsius. Go for tastings at Smelly Cheese and Wild Oz, ask Samtass to open oysters and eat them on the spot, find real Barossa pretzels and relish the colour, the variety and the camaraderie between shoppers and traders.

Tuesday, 7am-5.30pm; Wednesday-Thursday, 9am-5.30pm; Friday, 7am-9pm; Saturday, 7am-3pm; Gouger Street, Adelaide, (08) 8203 7203, see adelaidecentralmarket.com.au.

Willunga Farmers Market

Flanked by forested hills and spread through the town square, this market attracts shoppers from far and wide. It was the state's first farmers' market and a giant leap of faith by producers and customers alike. With more than 1200 members, it is now a celebrated success story of grassroots, sustainable and economic development. About 50 producers sell fresh primary produce, including regional specialties of almonds, olives and oils, avocados, blueberries and milk, cheeses and biodynamic beef from the lush pastures of Fleurieu Peninsula. There's always a good breakfast to be had, sharing a table and swapping finds with other shoppers. Combine a visit with lunch at Fino and tastings through McLaren Vale.

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Every Saturday, 8am-12.30pm, town square, Willunga, see willungafarmersmarket.com.

Adelaide Showground Farmers Market

It's easy to see this busy event as a showcase of South Australia's best food, with stallholders from nearly every corner of the state. But it isn't only for show: this is a valuable metropolitan outlet for small and specialist producers and a treasured source for residents. Many are also members, lending their voice to community concerns about food and its future. There's a vibrant children's club that looks after the edible garden and a demonstration kitchen that hosts masterclasses each week. Look for Steven ter Horst's exquisite chocolates, From Scratch Patisserie pastries, local capers, stone fruits and berries in summer, regional cheeses, game, honey, oils and bush tucker ice-cream.

Every Sunday, 9am-1pm, Leader Street, Wayville, (08) 8231 8155, see asfm.org.au.

Victor Harbor Farmers Market

An hour south of Adelaide, Victor Harbor is the classic seaside resort town. Surrounded by lush pastures and close to the Coorong, it has an emerging wine region and, at last, an excellent farmers' market. The produce was there but it took the dynamic Rachel McMillan and her team to inspire farmers, growers and makers to sell direct to the public. Of the 36 stallholders, some are established Fleurieu producers, others are new. But the richness of the region's produce and the enthusiasm of the community meant the market could be weekly. Look for fish and seafood, honey, Barry Beach's organic sourdough, Bull Creek pies, local kid and yabbies and Paris Creek biodynamic yoghurts and cheeses.

Every Saturday, 8am-12.30pm, Grosvenor Gardens, Torrens Street, Victor Harbor, see victorharborfarmersmarket.com.au.

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