Locals boast, “If you can’t buy it in Melbourne, you can’t buy it!” As a shopping hub, Melbourne offers a wide mix of styles and stores, ranging from major department stores, high-fashion boutiques, sophisticated speciality stores and gracious, historic arcades to open-air markets featuring handmade jewellery and craft and factory outlets offering bargains. Melbourne has something for every budget.
Among Melbourne’s many fascinations, several streets and suburbs are particularly worth mentioning. Toorak Road and Chapel Street, South Yarra, offer the city’s best shopping, dining, strolling and people-watching. Check Toorak Road for established fashion names; Chapel Street for trendy young designers. There are shoe boutiques, gourmet food shops and a huge range of restaurants and bistros.
The beachfront suburb of St Kilda is best known for its cake shops and modern bistros, bars and cafes. It has two distinct faces: the 24-hour nightlife of Fitzroy Street and the cafes and delicatessens of Acland Street. St Kilda’s landmark is Luna Park with its laughing face and roller-coaster rides. There is also an historic pier with a cafe at the end and fabulous local art & craft markets along the esplanade each weekend.
Lygon Street, Carlton, is Melbourne’s slice of Italy, with pasta restaurants galore. Dotted among them are quality fashion boutiques, wine bars, cheese shops and delicatessens.
Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, reflects the bohemian side of Melbourne. Lively Fitzroy is home to many vibrant subcultures. Exotic restaurants and cafes, Spanish bars, comedy and live-band venues buzz with activity day and night. Fitzroy’s streets are crammed with alternative lifestyle shops, second-hand clothing and furniture, plus gifts made by the many artists and artisans who call this suburb home.