Shopping in Barangaroo is a lot like browsing the boutiques in Surry Hills, and that's not a coincidence. It’s like the CBD precinct cherry-picked the best independent shops in the 2010 postcode and bribed them with glittering harbourside walkways and hordes of cash-rich, time-poor office workers looking to snap up a new look or quick gift in their lunch break.
While you're there, eat your way through this list of the best restaurants in Barangaroo.
Here are the best shops in Barangaroo
Take a seat on the grey Chesterfield and be waited on, hand and foot, as you select every element of your new business attire
Theodore English and Oscar Leal first opened their menswear boutique Belancé on William Street in 2014, where they still own a compact store of modern men’s accessories. The pair hunt down casual menswear from around the world, and forge their own Australian style in the form of made-to-measure suiting, crafted here in Sydney. They opened a second branch in Barangaroo in 2017, and it’s here where they send their customers for the full bespoke service.
This store is so well curated, you could walk in naked, bar a wad of cash, and you’d sashay away ready for a business trip to Tokyo within a couple of hours. They’ve got the same mix of contemporary T-shirts and traditional tailoring on offer at their Barangaroo store, but their custom-made service has more space to stretch out. The designated wedge of the store is curtained off for privacy, so you can point out your preferred suit buttons, designed silk pocket squares and Peter & Porter brogues in peace and solitude.
If you have the paypacket to support such opulent service, you should. They offer five categories of fabric to choose from when creating your design. The Staples range starts from $890 and you’ll have 100 per cent Merino wool to play with. The Business Class option gets a little pricier at $1,200, but just like turning left on the aeroplane, you get more comfort. This status level offers you pure wool, cotton and linen in a variety of textures and patterns. Christmas bonus? Splurge out on the Solbiati Italian cotton or linen range, from $1,500, or the Cerruti, from $1,700. And get it in the Prince of Wales check for ultimate regal sass.
This is a great place to start when it comes to last-minute gifts
Flying the flag for homegrown fashion and lifestyle brands in Barangaroo is the Collector Store, another Surry Hills-born boutique that’s branched out to the big city. They support local makers, such as home cleaning range Bondi Wash, which uses Aussie bush oils and lemony armonas, plus Surry Hills candlemakers Gascoigne & King, who sell the scent of Paddington (rose, marigold, fern, tulips and lily) in a handmade soy wax candle for $55.
Other recogniseable locals include sportswear brand P.E. Nation owned by Bondi-based designer Pip Edwards, and the extravagant and theatrical Romance Was Born, crafted by designer duo Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales. In a cabinet by the counter you’ll find the distinctive tasseled earrings by Sydney jeweller Elke and daintier 18-karate gold hoops from the slightly further away Byron Bay jewellery designer F+H, ranging from $100-$200.
Take your shirt fitting with a side of Scotch
The first thing you’ll notice about Shirt Bar is that they take the bar part very seriously. There are 150 whiskies on the menu, which takes up most of the real estate in this part-restaurant, part-bespoke tailors. It’s a challenging venue to label (can we even call it a shop?), but popular for those seeking an unusual shopping or dining experience.
Justin Marmot, co-owner and bespoke tailor at the Shirt Bar, is part of a family of tailors who’ve been making shirts for four decades – and he’s passionate about sharing that history. Justin’s father founded Ganton Shirts in ’74, which were manufactured in Australia for 40 years, (today they’re made in Thailand), and Justin sells the brand that’s relatively well known thanks to their ongoing relationship with stockist David Jones.
The idea is that you can casually eye-up paisley ties or shiny cufflinks as you stand in line for your shot of espresso at the coffee counter, or sip an aged Scotch as your tailor takes your suit measurements.
From blazers to toucan-patterned shorts – they cater for both
On the corner of Shipwright Walk and Scotch Row, there’s a small outpost of the Surry Hills store Somedays that lures in shoppers on their way to Barangaroo Wharf just to take a longer look at a pair of those tan leather sandals from St Agni that they’ve been eyeing up since their last trip to Byron Bay. The 1960s style slingbacks will set you back around $200, which is around the middle price mark of most items in store, from the British LNDR gym gear at $95 to a black leather biker jacket from the Copenhagen street style label Samsoe & Samsoe, just shy of $600.
Since the Somedays stores opened in Australia over a decade ago, the owners have continued to bring their love of Nordic fashion to Sydney, from the delicate handmade jewellery by Danish designer Anni Lu to the prolific Australian-Swedish denim label, Neuw. But they don’t limit themselves to Euro brands, you can find a similar minimalistic aesthetic in the cult ethical label Kowtow from New Zealand and in the opposite direction, psychedelic Hawaiian shirts by Sydney-based Double Rainbouu.
You’ll find all the best-selling authors from Atwood to Yanagihara
Housed in a modern, glass-walled building on the lesser walked streets of Barangaroo, Title is the third store of its kind in Sydney, which prides itself on an eclectic collection of vinyl, specialist coffee-table books and independent films.
They take extreme care with large, photographic covers of fashion, architecture and sport. Every interest is catered for, from glossy spreads of Aston Martins to a collection of David Lynch’s best nude scenes. There’s shelf of classics covering Dickens to Tolstoy, cooking inspiration from Ottolenghi and Matt Moran, plus deep dives into the works of artists Chuck Close, Brett Whiteley and David Hockney. And the kids get a whole table of the latest picture books to grab at.
Here for the music? Head to the far left of the store, by the back. New, retro and certified classics mingle together in an A-to-Z catalogue that spans Kendrick Lamar to Triple J faves First Aid Kit. They’ve also got a selection of turntables and record players if you want to upgrade your collection.
It’s a store where you’re guaranteed to find what you were looking for – even if you didn’t know you were looking. They’ve got a good selection of gift-ready items like Leuchtturm diaries and Moleskine notebooks, motivational and inspirational titles with a ream of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ merchandise, KeepCups, Wes Anderson flick-throughs and specialist magazines like Limelight and Start-Up. Even if you only walk away with a $3 Penguin Classic, you’ll be inspired to return for another.