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My idea of a perfect morning? Acai bowls blended up in front of me. Irish soda bread dancing its sneaky way into my market tote. Baristas whipping up frothy cups of caffeinated deliciousness. I found all of this and more at last weekend's Christchurch Farmer's Market.
Located in Riccarton, a leafy green district in west Christchurch, this Saturday market is a hub for foodies, music lovers, caffeine addicts, organic produce enthusiasts, families, young couples, and wanderlusting travelers alike. You'll be able to chat with producers of artisan cheeses, breads, and nut butters, as well as the farmers who grow the most incredible array of fresh fruits and vegetables.
You'll see happy market goers sprawled out under leafy trees nomming on their gourmet local burgers or posh breakfast porridge, listening to talented musical acts from around the city. You'll hear a stream babble alongside the market path, adding to the pleasant hum of noise that resonates throughout the air. And the smells! My nose couldn't stop investigating each and every one. Fresh Irish soda bread. Bacon being fried. Crepes getting stuffed full of fruits and savory delights.
I was very stoked to find the Greenroots Juicery, a local organic juice and smoothie stall that I was vaguely familiar with thanks to my flat mate and her juicing passion. They made a wicked acai bowl for me, which happens to be something I'm always craving since leaving Maui. It was pretty good! Acai is hard to come by in New Zealand, so I grab these healthy delights when I can.
We also made sure to peruse all of the impressive bakery stalls before selecting a nice, wholesome, seedy loaf of sourdough to accompany our cheese and wine later that evening. I couldn't help but stop alongside an orchard's stall and sample some heavenly apple and pear juices, fresh-squeezed and tempting my taste buds. I adore the fresh apples in New Zealand, and there's no better place to snatch them up than from the grower himself.
I wanted to give a shout out to the amazing customer service at Bacon Bros. This food truck is one of the coolest places to get a burger that I've ever seen. Fun, bubbly people take your order and whip up the most innovative burgers, with plenty of veggie options. And heaps of avocado. Sold.
I was also very impressed with the coffee stands and the amount of drinks the baristas were able to crank out in just a few minutes. There was a constant line, and they did an amazing job of creating each espresso bev with integrity and precision. The latte art in this country never seems to disappoint - these baristas know what they're doing.
So the moral of my little story here is that if you find yourself in Christchurch on a Saturday morning, head to the Riccarton market! Grab yourself some brekkie; there's something for literally everyone. Greasy and delightful breakfast sandwiches, gourmet oatmeal bowls, green smoothies and fresh fruit juices, scones and pastries of every sort imaginable - you've got your pick. Bring home some fresh ingredients to use for your dinner later on, maybe snag some flowers for your lady, or some lollies for your kiddos.
The best part is that by doing your shopping at the market, you're supporting a strong, resilient, wonderful community in a city that is still rebuilding, all while obtaining some very quality items and meals. Use your purchasing power for good!