Concrete Playground
December 31, 2019

Bayside residents may enjoy the vast blue waters of Port Phillip Bay — but there are a lot of gems on land, too. 

Some are instantly recognisable — like Luna Park and the Brighton beach boxes — but the real finds fly under the radar. They’re found away from the beach in the quieter streets of St Kilda and the shopping villages of Brighton and Elwood.

To help you locate them for yourself, American Express has helped us put together a guide to the local businesses that make the bayside area great. They all accept American Express Card, so you can shop small here — whether you’re a local, a visitor or have just come off the beach.


A number of trams will take you down to St Kilda Beach, otherwise trains travelling down the Sandringham line make stops at Balaclava, Brighton and Hampton along the way. It’s also worth hopping in the car for a scenic drive along the Esplanade and Beach Road, which extends down to Mordialloc.


There are so many things to see and do in the bayside suburbs, so be sure to explore the heritage-registered St Kilda Botanic Gardens and play a game on the giant chess board, and then cycle the Bay Trail down to Black Rock for dinner at Cerberus Beach House overlooking Half Moon Bay.


You’re sure to make some good finds in the shopping strips at Elwood Village and Glen Eira Road in Ripponlea, while Brighton is sprinkled with stores on Martin, Bay and Church streets. Make a day of it in St Kilda, exploring Fitzroy, Acland and Carlisle streets, and watching the sun set from St Kilda Pier.


Two words: the beach. You can’t go past Elwood’s Point Ormond, which, before European settlement, was site for social gatherings of the traditional owners of the land, the Boonwurrung people. Now it’s used by locals for bike rides and sunset picnics with a feed from Ormond Road.


Explore three of the bayside suburbs' thriving shopping precincts.

The Localist: St Kilda
Daniel from Milk the Cow
Coming Soon

Your Bayside Hit List

Looking for fresh produce, funky cheese or a one-of-a-kind gift? Find what you're looking for here.
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    Seagulls of St Kilda

    179B Barkly Street, St Kilda

    Where to go for high-end fashion in the bayside suburb.

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    Elwood 101

    209 Barkly Street, St Kilda

    An eclectic Barkly Street fashion boutique.

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    Pop Wilder

    104–106 St Kilda Road, St Kilda

    This nursery is a pop of greenery on St Kilda Road.

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    100 Barkly Street, St Kilda

    A treasure trove of clothes, accessories and art from local designers.

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    Scout House

    161 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda

    Scout no more — this St Kilda shop has all the furniture and homewares you need.

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    The Leaf Store

    111 Ormond Road, Elwood

    Feel good about your weekly shop and eat better with fresh produce from this Elwood grocer.

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    50 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea

    This Ripponlea boutique offers a luxury shopping experience for bayside locals looking for a killer new outfit.

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    Step Ahead Shoes

    387/389 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick

    This Elsternwick shoe shop has a loyal customer base and, with more than three decades of experience, it's easy to see why.

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    Mercantile Home

    307 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick

    This bayside gem will ensure you never go without timeless design pieces for your home.

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    2/122-128 Ormond Road, Elwood

    This Elwood boutique is your go-to shop for your next feel-good outfit.

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    68 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea

    A Ripponlea boutique selling natural, organic homewares, gifts, toys and fashion for all ages.

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    Stoned Crystals

    Shop 3, 174 Hotham Street, Elsternwick

    A fresh and modern Elsternwick boutique for crystals, homewares and jewellery.

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    Elwood Flowers

    99 Ormond Road, Elwood

    Fresh seasonal floristry in the bayside suburb of Elwood.

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    The Staple Store

    19 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea

    This Ripponlea beauty is packed with health foods and organic products carefully selected by a naturopath.

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    19 Church Street, Brighton

    These pieces champion the notion of quality over quantity, rejecting fast fashion.

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    Pash Flowers & Homewares

    403 Bay Street, Brighton

    A modern florist and gift shop conveniently located on Bay Street.

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    Brighton Bay Cellars

    280 Bay Street, Brighton

    A suburban bottle shop with an inner city selection.

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    Top Titles

    Shop 3, Dendy Plaza, 26 Church Street, Brighton

    This friendly neighbourhood bookseller is truly part of the Brighton community.

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    Sole Mechanics

    481 Hampton Street, Hampton

    Let your feet do their thing with natural movement footwear.

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    Hamish & Grace

    29 Carpenter Street, Brighton

    Fashion, homewares and stuff for kids from Australian designers and creatives.

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