The Avoca Beachside Markets are a long, rambling collection of stalls running along the edge of the Avoca Lake in Heazlett Park.
This market works in well with the natural surrounds, weaving in between the trees, at times with a sandy bottom (which might be prohibitive for those with mobility issues).
The setting has led to some cool site-specific setups, like The Hungry Traveller, who sell burgers from a yellow Kombi van sitting under blue-and-white striped shade cloth, with their drinks served directly from a camping ice box.
Parked right next to it, The Flying Vegan - another food truck housed in a stylish old school camper van - helps to give this little bend in the lagoon a really atmospheric campground twist.
What you can expect to find here are lots of coastal style stalls.
They are selling everything from hanging macramé plant baskets to framed wood-cut monstera deliciosa leaves on pastel backdrops for the walls of your holiday house, to ceramics to decorate your coffee table.
Being a bit over an hour-and-a-half drive from Sydney, there’s actually only a small crossover with your regular Sydney market stalls. You will find Sydneysider, Michael Shafran, trotting out his authentic New York-style baked goods at Brooklyn Boy Bagels.
Boiled and baked in the traditional way, his bagels are renowned for being some of the best this town has to offer, drawn from a range that also includes pretzels and challah bread (Jewish brioche).
While most people opt to take them home for weekday breakfasts, you can also get Michael to add a house-made cream cheese schmear to your bagel and pull up and eat it in front of a children’s circus magic show. Put on by Roundabout Circus, these are interactive affairs where for a mere two bucks, your kid can join in the fun.
Another Sydneysider, Goose on the Loose, have also made the journey north from their Richmond based factory. Their salumi range includes a kangaroo and mild chilli salami, and a duck and juniper salami that are both worth trying.
If you would rather support the local guy and buy from Central Coast producers, you’ll find Little Creek, who make gourmet cheeses thirty kilometers up the road in Wyong. Their range includes labna and clever Haloumi Sticks ($11.50) that are marinated and barbeque ready.
There’s also Mr Goaty, who churn their lovely gelato in Erina a mere ten kilometres away from the market. You’ll find them serving their classic vanilla bean and other flavours from a picturesque khaki and white van in the campground set up next to The Hungry Traveller and The Flying Vegan.
With a mostly middle-class audience, the Avoca Beachside Markets don’t strike me as a place where it would be easy to do your weekly produce shop.
Most of the products on offer, like The Original Smoke & Spice Co.’s smoked salts, nuts, rice, chillis and spices, are boutique luxury items rather than the essentials you’ll need to get you through the work week.
Though if you can afford some luxuries in the household budget, a recyclable milk bottle full of Olly’s Wild Fermenting Ginger and Lime Kombucha ($10) in the fridge never goes astray.
Their Sauerkraut Kimchi ($10) also makes for a very easy mid-week side (that's also good for your gut) against a fast-to-cook, paprika-dusted, pork backstrap.
So expect to load your recyclable bag up with everything from ginger beer to artisan sourdough as you stroll through this market.
With a full program of live entertainment, you can also pull up on their rugs and settle in for some lunch in the chill-out zone.
Along with the food trucks I’ve mentioned earlier, there is also a good range of food stalls.
I saw everything from healthy Vietnamese noodle soups to naughty Halouminati Fries ($10) at The Haloumi Hut, which is a Central Coast-based vegetarian and vegan, Greek-inspired food business.
Sweet tooths are far from forgotten with everything from Hawaiian shave ice to the ubiquitous cupcake on offer.
Winning on cute with hessian bunting, Hajni’s Hungarian Cakes, who are based in Gosford, are selling Hungarian chimney cake. The Cinnamon Cone ($11) filled with chocolate pudding and fresh banana seemed very popular with the crowd.
Avoca Beachside Markets take place on the fourth Sunday of every month, so there's plenty of time to plan your visit ahead of their next event on Sunday 28 July, 2019.
Avoca Beachside Markets
Heazlett Park, Avoca Beach
Ph: (0416) 097 707
Ph: (0416) 097 707