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Where to Shop Like a Local In and Around Avalon

Designer homewares, custom furniture, stylish fashion and delicious cakes — there's more to the northern beaches than, well, beaches.
By Emma-Kate Wilson
February 05, 2020
By Emma-Kate Wilson
February 05, 2020


in partnership with

Designer homewares, custom furniture, stylish fashion and delicious cakes — there's more to the northern beaches than, well, beaches.

The northern beaches has a bit of a reputation for being an area of Sydney that people never leave. But spend some time exploring this picturesque coastal strip, and you'll understand the appeal of the bubble. Avalon is the gem in the centre of Sydney's northside crown, filled with great local shops and a heartwarming community feel. A wander through these shops makes for the perfect end to a day on the beach, particularly when you have everyone guessing where you bought your new linen set or woven basket.

Whether you are a local or a visitor, be sure to pack your swimmers and a towel, arm yourself with your American Express Card, and spend the afternoon exploring the unique clothing boutiques, handmade homewares stores, and artisanal food shops. In partnership with American Express, we've curated a selection of great local businesses to help you get the most out of a day of shopping small in this northern beaches suburb.

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    Avalon Floral Art

    The floristry team at Avalon Floral Art are local favourites, having been providing artistic arrangements for 20 years. It’s worth giving the store’s Instagram a follow for up-to-the-minute inspiration to help you decide what bunch you’ll be after when you arrive.

    On offer are fresh posies, roses and native blooms from the Sydney Flower Markets and other local suppliers. You can also pick up a lovely new house plant like a peace lily or bromeliad — NASA has proven these help air quality, so it’s not only good for your home but also your health. The store’s Floral Art Club is free to join, and gives you discounts, floral advice and (very helpful) reminders, so you will never miss a birthday or anniversary again.

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    Founded in 2013 by French mother and designer Virgine Batterson, Mamapapa brings earthy, natural clothing to Avalon that all started with a cute children’s line. The little boutique in the beachy suburb has now grown to offer a curated collection of womenswear, children’s clothing, toys and accessories, and unique homewares inspired by Batterson’s northern France-inspired style. Mamapapa is a special find in this chilled-out suburb, and the style reflects this lifestyle; it’s a treasure cove of simple, aesthetically pleasant goodies. You can pick up delights from around the world — including everything natural, woven and linen — and the exclusive Mamapapa clothing range.

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    Graze N Cakes

    A hidden local treasure tucked away off the main strip, Graze N Cakes offers every cake and baked treat you could imagine — not to mention the famous banh mi rolls. Run by Sandy and his family as a Vietnamese cafe and bakery, the menu is packed with freshly prepared vermicelli noodle bowls, baguettes and all the sugary delights of your childhood dreams. The decorated cakes are delightful and the locals fill this place to the brim, if not for the food, then certainly for the ONA coffee. You’ll probably want to make an excuse to pop in as often as you can — considering custom cakes are on offer, that excuse is sorted.

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    Blend in with the fashionable northern beaches locals with cult favourites like Faithfull the Brand and Assembly Label from Deesse Boutique, which is positioned in a prime corner spot on Avalon’s main strip. Deesse sells all the stylish brands the Australian coastal suburbs are known for, so it can be hard to stop at just a couple of pieces. As well as beachy linens, you’ll find Levi’s jeans, Status Anxiety bags and wallets, and Temple of the Sun jewellery — not to mention all the Valley sunnies you’ll be craving, and maybe a new bikini or two.

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    Haven and Sarah

    Florist Sarah Cowley of Haven and Sarah loves putting together beautiful bouquets of seasonal flowers. And with a selection of homewares and related products for sale in her shop as well, all your Mother’s Day, engagement, and birthday gift needs are well looked after under Cowley’s artistic eye. Since opening in 2014, Haven and Sarah’s bright, cheerful displays have been decorating the street and calling in passersby. Whether you are lucky enough to live locally or are just passing through, it’s worth picking up a bunch and taking a moment to browse the shelves stocked with gorgeous ceramics, candles and cushions.

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    Avalon Village Meats

    Nothing beats a fresh cut of meat and Avalon Village Meats do it so well. Like a light shining from the sunshine suburb, the shop’s wide selection will be calling you — it’s always a great idea to pop in and chat to the helpful team, led by Lasse Hansen for 25 years. The butcher is known for selling the best quality angus pure and Otway pork, which are always free of antibiotics and hormones. The succulent cuts of premium meats will have you salivating about your next beachside barbecue.

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Shop small to support the local stores that make Sydney so great. To learn about American Express and the Shop Small initiative, which ends on August 31, visit here. Then, head this way to find more must-visit spots around the northern beaches.

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