Seek out the unexpected boutiques and shops tucked away in the CBD’s historic arcades. There’s even candy involved
This is where you want to go to shop for your best friend’s birthday. Or your birthday. Or because you missed your train at Flinders. With everything dangly and shiny and fun, Corky’s jewellery ranges from signet rings to sterling silver unicorns. You can also pick up a painted skull – or how about a wooden pinball machine? The trip underground is worth it just to see the brain necklaces decorating the terrarium. Melbourne.
For less than it takes to re-charge your Myki, you can pick up a copy of the “Zine About Super Awesome Things” ($2.50). Or how about a zine that fits into a matchbox for a measly $4? It’s all here, from 100% free to $100. Don’t know a zine from a magazine? You will after five minutes here. Melbourne.
The cheekiest store in Cathedral Arcade, Harry Wragg’s Cockney rhymes decorate the windows and even the pricetags on their vintage clothes. Ladies and gents alike can don their retro duds, and they also sell new Harry Wragg-branded shoes along with accessories. Pop in for suspenders, leave with a fascinator. Melbourne.
You won’t be able to help yourself around the porcelain animal-head rings (from France), the faux-fur SpiritHoods (from LA), or the necklaces from Pigeonhole (from Australia). Supporting sweatshop-free designers with artistic integrity, your every purchase at Lenko will make you feel warm and fuzzy. Melbourne.
You scoop, you score! At this spice/herb/salt emporium, you’ll want to buy little bags of things you never even knew existed. St. Nicholas Spekulaas? Lebkuchen Spice? Fill our little bags, stat! We had a hard time deciding which we wanted more, the Vintage Merlot Salt or one of the rarest salts in the world, Persian Blue. Your recipes will never be the same. Melbourne.
Cards and postcards and knick-knacks, oh my! This family-owned shop has everything from wrapping paper to ornaments to postcards. Fancy a spot of DIY cardmaking? Supplies are all here. Go on, surprise someone special with a heartfelt message and make their day. Melbourne.
It’s an underground music store (literally) at the edge of the Block Arcade. With more CDs than you can shake a stick at, you’ll be able to channel John Cusack in High Fidelity. Most Fridays at lunch, Basement Discs play host to free live music by local and international artists launching albums. Melbourne.
Ever played with a set of Russian nesting dolls as a kid? Ever wanted to as an adult? Now you can: Babushkas sells sets of hand-painted wooden dolls ranging from three for $17 all the way up to 10 for $700. Add a few to your shopping bag. Melbourne.
We promised you candy, and here it is! After all this shopping, you’ll need a sugary pick-me-up. Watch the candy craftspeople hand-make the rolls of passionfruit- and watermelon-flavoured drops, then grab a jar for yourself. You’ve earned it. Melbourne.