Whether you're cursing or praising the wave of gentrification that's swept through this previously rough neck of the inner north, there's no denying that Smith Street's become a hotspot with new shops joining older stalwarts and breathing new life into the strip. Check out our favourite places to drop some cash this side of Collingwood. For more northside action, check out our shopping guide to Gertrude Street and our Smith Street bar crawl.
The best shops on Smith Street
This independent bottle shop makes incredible wines, beers and ciders accessible for all, and boasts a fantastic selection of wines. Every variety has been taste-tested by the Blackhearts and Sparrows team, so whether you’re after a nice bottle under $20 or something to celebrate with, the staff will direct you to the perfect bottle for the occasion.
Andrew McConnell’s specialty butcher and wine store is a one-stop-shop for dinner in a pinch. The meats are sourced from personally selected farms, which they smoke, age and process in house. The staff are incredibly well-versed on everything from rare breeds to cuts, and some have even worked at McConnell’s restaurants.
This Japanese supermarket is incredibly well-stocked for its size. You’ll find hard-to-find brands of sake, all sorts of instant ramen, snacks and frozen food. Conveniently, much of the Japanese labels are translated, but ask the helpful staff if you need to know how to use dashi stock in your dinner. They also serve fresh sushi made in-house for lunch.
There’s a reason why this design and book store is the go-to gift-buying destination for many northsiders. Happy Valley stocks an ever-changing range of prints, jewellery and homewares by local designers and artists, as well as books curated by owner Chris Crouch.
Sometimes, mustering the energy to rummage for gems in an op-shop feels like an impossible task. Not so at the Vintage Garage, where everything from its case of designer shoes (where you can pick up anything from ’50s’s red suede stilettos and Dior strappy sandals, all in mint condition) to the colourful petticoats hanging from the ceiling is a vintage aficionados delight.