Shopper's guide to Carlton

Walk off that pasta by browsing the best shops that Lygon Street and its surrounds have to offer

While Carlton's best known for its restaurants, the inner north suburb is actually a decent spot for some retail therapy. From the classic Readings bookstore, to the very niche Lord Uke ukelele store, there's plenty to places to drop a few dollars. We've picked out some of our favourite shops below.

Worked up an appetite? Check out Time Out's guide to Lygon Street's best restaurants. And perhaps over dinner you can quiz your mates on some Carlton trivia.

The best shops in Carlton


Eastern Market

Hidden in a 100-year-old chapel on Grattan Street, Eastern Market stocks women’s and men’s clothing collections of the neo-gothic variety (think dark colours, amazing fabrics, left-of-centre cuts and lots of drapery).



From house-made curry blends and artisanal salts to loose-leaf teas, Gewürzhaus is like a candy store for the spice-lover. You'll find all sorts of spices, from the basics to mixes like 'Christmas Roast' to 'Apple Pie', as well as tea blends and hot chocolate mixes.


La Latteria

Chances are, if you buy some mozzarella, fior di latte or scamorza from La Latteria, it was made right here in this Elgin Street dairy only a few days ago. Get your fresh and aged cheese here as well as bottles of non-homogenised milk (cream and all).


La Parisienne Pâtés

Among some of Lygon Street's oldest red-sauce-and-pasta joints, French deli La Parisienne Pâtés by charcutier Stephane Langlois stands out. This deli is a cheese and charcuterie haven where the best French pantry staples like fleur de sel salt and Bonne Maman jams are aplenty.


Mecca Cosmetica

The place to go if you’re serious about your skin care, cosmetics and hair care. Get cult beauty products by Nars, Sunday Riley, Stila, and French classic La Mer. Not so sure what to get? The friendly staff are always on hand to help you out with their encyclopaedic knowledge on all things beauty.



Readings' Carlton outpost is the bookstore chain's first shop to open in Melbourne. Opening in 1969, the bookstore has stayed on Lygon Street since its inception. Get anything from fiction book, cookbooks, coffee table tomes, children's book, to CDs, vinyls, and gifts from this Lygon Street institution.


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