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Where to Shop Like a Local In and Around Crows Nest

Pop your head into these great small businesses for organic pantry staples, pampering and neighbourhood bars with craft brews.
By Concrete Playground
August 21, 2020

Where to Shop Like a Local In and Around Crows Nest

Pop your head into these great small businesses for organic pantry staples, pampering and neighbourhood bars with craft brews.
By Concrete Playground
August 21, 2020


in partnership with

Pop your head into these great small businesses for organic pantry staples, pampering and neighbourhood bars with craft brews.

Nestled against Princes Highway, just north of Sydney Harbour Bridge, Crows Nest is a little goldmine of shopping and small bars. This boutique-loving north shore suburb is consistently voted one of the most liveable locations in Sydney. And it's not hard to see why — everything you could want or need is within walking distance. The close-knit community feel comes from the locally owned bars, shops and restaurants.

To showcase some of the very best businesses that 'The Nest', as locals call it, has to offer, we've teamed up with American Express to create this guide to shopping small in the area. These businesses demonstrate exactly why Crows Nest is such a great place to call home, and you can shop small here with your Amex Card.

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    The Crows Nest outpost of this family owned business is the place to stock up on healthy and organic ingredients. Whether you are after nuts, seeds, or even basics like flour and oats, this place has it all. You can also find pleasant surprises like bush tucker myrtle, wattleseed and spice mixes for your next curry. Pioneers of the zero-waste lifestyle, The Source passes on its ethos to shoppers. Take a few jars down and fill up on what you need. You’ll be buying from a local business you trust, and helping the environment at the same time.

    Images: Trent van der Jagt.

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    Small Bar

    The Crows Nest sister of the CBD’s long-running Small Bar is as warm and cosy as you would expect. And this is despite it actually being quite a decent size (contrary to what its name may suggest). In a sea of family-friendly restaurants and pubs, Small Bar is a great option for an after-work tipple, first date or post-shopping spree vino.

    Venture beyond the exposed brick bar and mood lighting indoors to find a greenery-filled, covered courtyard. The bar offers a decent wine selection, around five labels in each grape variety, at pretty reasonable prices — most hover around the $10 mark for a glass and nothing creeps over $16.

    Image: Trent van der Jagt.

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    Annata is Crows Nest’s go-to spot after a long day of shopping. The glamorously fitted out restaurant and bar is located on busy Willoughby Road in the heart of town, and is known for its award-winning selection of wines from around the world. The bar opens for lunch on weekends, so you can celebrate your successful shopping expedition with a glass and snacks. Annata offers set menus from $79–99 per person, and the share-style menu has featured the likes of wagyu bavette, albacore tuna, and braised duck leg.

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    The Crow Bar

    On Sundays, this north shore neighbourhood bar has free live music, which will add the perfect soundtrack to your evening out. The bar’s extensive menu makes it a crowd-pleasing dining option, too. Opt to share tapas-style plates of chorizo, zucchini frites, chicken wings, oven-baked haloumi and wild mushroom risotto balls. Or if you’re not quite in sharing territory yet, go for the pie of the day or a beef burger.

    Images: Cassandra Hannagan.

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    Meadow Meat loves its different slabs of meat — and it’ll try its hardest to get you to fall in love with them, too. Fresh cuts of sirloin steak, pork roasts, lamb frenched racks, kebabs and handmade sausages are all available six days a week. All of the meat is sourced from Australia so you’ll be helping out Aussie farmers and shop owner Sam Norouzi with your purchase. Keep track of the specials, which are posted regularly on social media — think prosciutto-wrapped pork fillet, beef cheek wrapped in pork lace with chilli or stuffed capsicums with cheese. Don’t have time to cook? Meadow Meat also has a selection of cooked takeaway lunch options, including roast or pulled pork rolls, baked vegetables and roast free-range chicken.

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    Endota Spa Crows Nest

    Comprising 100 spa locations in Australia, Endota is one of the largest companies offering pampering treatments across the country. At its Crows Nest spa, you can book in for relaxation, remedial or deep tissue massages on any day of the week. Its team uses certified organic products across all its facials, massages and beauty treatments, and if you’re rushed for time they offer express appointments, too, starting from 30 minutes for a facial ($95). But you should plan in some time to truly relax. Endota Spa at Crows Nest has six treatment rooms all up, plus two double treatment rooms with luxury spa baths — perfect for sharing the experience with a loved one. Simply here for some crucial maintenance? You can also get manis, pedis, waxing and spray tans.

    Image: Andrea Piacquadio.

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    This specialist Japanese grocery store in Crows Nest has a wide range of fresh Asian veggies, Fuji Bakery goods, and frozen foods that provides home comforts to those with connections to Japan. Ume-Ya launched in Sydney in 2002, but it very recently opened a new store next to Woolworths on Alexander Street. It also offers delivery of its good across Australia.


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

Top image: Trent van der Jagt.

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