Rusty’s Market Cairns

Updated
Home » Cairns » Rusty’s Market Cairns

This post may contain affiliate links.

Looking for a foodie treat in Cairns or this area of Far North Queensland? I’ve posted about London’s Borough Market before, well this is our local version when we’re at home in Port Douglas. Rusty’s Market Cairns is not to be missed!

Free and cheap food in Cairns, Rusty's market

Rusty’s Market

Rusty’s Market is fabulous, every type of fruit and veg you could possibly imagine, mostly tropical, mostly local, heavily Asian influenced, and cheap. You could easily forget you were in Far North Queensland and imagine being in a market somewhere in Thailand, without the meat section. The meat section in some Thai markets is best avoided.

A Cheap Lunch at Rusty’s Market

We love to eat at Rustys, everybody can pick what they want and eat as much or as little as they like. Samosas with home-made tomato and tamarind sauce (my favourite), sticky rice with banana (D’s favourite) , squid balls (Boo’s favourite), steamed pork buns (the Chef’s favourite), spring rolls and lots of other stuff, all for just a few dollars. This is our pick for the best budget place to eat in Cairns, it’s better than the Night Markets. Unfortunately, it’s only open a few days a week, at lunchtime.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 Fruit for Desert Comes Free

OK, the idea is that you try before you buy, we do always buy something. Today we sampled mangoes, 3 types of plums, langans, peaches, and avocado,s before settling on the plums. You may also be able to get free samples of yogurts, cheeses, chocolate, and breads, depends how good you are. The problem is, I always feel guilty and end up buying something. That’s a smart sales tactic that works on most of us.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just Wander Around and Imagine You’re in Asia

Look at all these Asian specialties! It makes me want to break out the wok.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Banana flowers are a much loved salad ingredient for us. We ate shredded banana flower daily when we lived in Hoi An, Vietnam. It’s slightly lemony and crisp.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rusty’s Market Sells Other Stuff, Too

Rusty;’s Market sells loads of other stuff besides food and produce. You’ll find clothes and jewellery, 2nd hand books, plants, locally produced coffee and cheeses, lots and lots of lovely things.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rusty’s market is open Friday to Sunday lunch time. My best tip, get there late on Sunday and see the prices come down. 50c for a melon sound good?

I just wish we lived closer to Cairns and could go more often, Port Douglas is one hour north of Cairns by car. Getting between Cairns and Port Douglas is simplest by car but buses do exist. Checking out Rusty’s Market is a great way to spend an hour or two, delicious, educational, and fun. What do you think? Is there anything like this near you?  

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

7 thoughts on “Rusty’s Market Cairns”

  1. Free food is a great deals, Budget travellers will love it. I love great ideas to find every type of fruits and awesome food. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
  2. Free food is great. Budget travelers will love it.
    When I saw that dragon fruit – what came to my mind were those ice creams made with it in Malaysia 🙂

    Reply
  3. Local markets are so good and for me always the best way to find out about local delicious food and delicatessen.
    I like to taste new fruits and food too and I know what you mean about the guiltiness afterwards, but most of the time I’ve never seen most of the stuff on display so having a little taste is a good starting point to help me decide what to buy.
    Great photos! 🙂

    Reply
  4. Gorgeous photos. It really does remind you of a market in Asia … although I’m guessing it’s a little cleaner. Those samosas look delicious.

    Reply
  5. Looks so exotic! In fact, some of it too exotic for my picky eaters to ever try, but I myself would love it!

    Reply
  6. I love your idea! We are all about the farmer’s markets here in Seattle (and of course when we travel too), and sampling is one of my top reasons for going! I love all your close-up shots. Beautiful colors.

    Reply

Leave a comment