Have you got a hankering for the offbeat, the one-of-a-kind – shopping as a form of storytelling? Then read on! We’re taking a look at some of the more unusual shopping spots here in Joburg. If you want to be where the hipsters are, we’ve got some insider tips you won’t want to miss. It’s time to take to the streets!
Let’s start at one of Joburg’s most iconic tourist locations: Vilakazi Street. Not only is this world-famous boulevard the only street in the world to have been home to two Nobel Prize winners, but it also offers a unique Soweto shopping experience. But don’t think that the many nearby museums mean that the street is trapped in the past! Stroll down the vibrant street and admire the ever-changing graffiti before dropping into Shova Lifestyle Origin. It boasts a fabulous collection of South African fashion and, even better, is a gateway to an authentic township experience. Pause for a caffeinated break at Kofi Africa Coffee Company, where you’ll find wide smiles and top notch coffee, then stop at The Box Shop, a local-driven centre where you can find everything from homeware to skincare to Skinny Sbu Socks (a favourite of Sir Richard Branson!).
The next stop on our list is 27 Boxes, a shopping centre like no other in the bohemian suburb of Melville. Actually constructed out of shipping containers, the centre is home to a great selection of quirky local boutique stores featuring everything from baby clothes to spices. Melville is the place to be for the arty crowd – you’ll adore wandering down 7th Street’s charming collection of antiques, crafty goodies and laid-back restaurants discovering gems aplenty.
If you like that, then you can’t miss a visit to 4th Avenue in Parkhurst, the spiritual home of the upmarket hipster crowd. It’s the perfect place to have a leisurely browse and then stop for lunch or one of Joburg’s best cappuccinos at the 4th Avenue Coffee Roasters. Antique treasures are yours for the discovering all down the length of the avenue, along with books, boutiques and beauty. Amongst its other quirky stores, Polly Potter will bring out the child in you with its magical collection of childhood favourites and other toy wonders.
The last of the Avenues can be found in the otherwise sleepy suburb of Norwood. For the past few years, Grant Avenue has been dozing, but it’s starting to reawaken and reclaim its status as a laid-back antidote to the big-city hustle and bustle. Featuring a wide variety of restaurants that speak to Joburg’s diversity, from shwarma to sushi, it’s a great place to head for lunch and a stroll. The Factory on Grant offers a relaxed space to find that perfect vintage-chic gift or a quirky addition to your décor, with a great view of Joburg’s famously forested northern suburbs to boot.
So what are you waiting for? Whether you’re born and bred in Gauteng or you’re just visiting, make sure you visit these fabulous streets and shop ‘til you drop!