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FOOD & DRINK

Where to Shop Like a Local In and Around Hurstville

Whether you're looking for hard-to-find spices, a rare comic or some German treats, you'll find them all in this southern suburb.
By Caitlin Morahan and Melanie Colwell
December 11, 2019
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Where to Shop Like a Local In and Around Hurstville

Whether you're looking for hard-to-find spices, a rare comic or some German treats, you'll find them all in this southern suburb.
By Caitlin Morahan and Melanie Colwell
December 11, 2019
  shares

WHERE TO SHOP LIKE A LOCAL IN AND AROUND HURSTVILLE

in partnership with

Whether you're looking for hard-to-find spices, a rare comic or some German treats, you'll find them all in this southern suburb.

Sydney's south may be better known for its beautiful beaches and slow-living lifestyle, but it's also home to a bustling hotspot filled with food, fashion and entertainment. Since the surge in Chinese migration to Sydney in the 90s and 00s, Hurstville has been considered a hub for Chinese — and, more broadly, Asian — culture with a wealth of quality Asian groceries, yum cha joints and herbal medicine stores to check out. And that's just the start of your shopping adventures — scattered between these Asian shops, you'll find more small businesses dedicated to other cultures and distinct interests.

We've teamed up with American Express to showcase a selection of awesome local businesses to shop small in Hurstville and its surrounding suburbs. When you're next searching for that obscure ingredient for a recipe, a gift, or a really good feed, this list is here to help — and better yet, all of these joints will happily accept your American Express Card.

  • 11
    The Hellenic

    Living, breathing and coveting Greek cuisine is a reality for many living in Australia — but particularly for Dimitri Travlos. Raised in Kefalonia, a small Greek island in the Ionian Sea, Travlos grew up surrounded by and appreciating the hospitality behind big, traditional Greek lunches. He moved to Sydney as a young adult and began training as a chef. Now Travlos runs three outposts of Hellenic Greek — this one on the rooftop of Westfield Hurstville, the original in nearby Brighton-Le-Sands and another in Mosman.

    Here, the menu offers something for every varying degree of hunger and it is all based around local produce and hearty classic dishes cooked with passion — think souvlaki skewers, pitas, baked lamb, moussaka and spanakopita. And yes, there are haloumi chips.

    If you’re peckish, you can’t go past the slow-cooked pork pita wrap. Or if you’re up for a challenge, grab a mate and sit down to the Eat Like A Greek platter — a monstrous plate featuring slow-cooked lamb, bifteki, haloumi, salad, chips and tzatziki with a side of pita. And if your eyes are too big for your stomach, don’t worry — the friendly staff will pack up any leftovers for you to take home.

    Images: Trent van der Jagt.

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  • 10
    The Bottle-O Grove Cellars

    Nestled in the back streets of shady Hurstville Grove is a purveyor of fine wines, beers and spirits. While small, this bottle shop is sure to stock everything you need for a cocktail party, a backyard barbecue or a fancy dinner party.

    Unlike some of the bigger liquor chains, this joint stocks some rarer labels that are notoriously difficult to find. Even if it doesn’t stock some hard-to-find Argentinian wine made from special grapes plucked at the full moon, the friendly staff behind the counter will go above and beyond to try and source it for you.

    Images: Trent van der Jagt.

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  • 9
    Sydney Party Shop

    There’s nothing in life more simultaneously stressful and exciting than a costume party. Don’t worry though — Bexley’s renowned Sydney Party Shop has you covered from vampire fangs to princess tiaras. When we say it’s a one-stop shop for all your party needs, we mean it — you’ll find all manner of costumes, balloon arches, tableware, piñatas and over 50 different types of confetti.

    You can also sort out catering here, too, with everything from snacks and salads to finger food, prepared meals and cakes on offer. The shop also hires out helium tanks if you want to be super extra for that birthday party — or, you know, just a rainy Saturday afternoon. You really have no excuses to not go all out and make your event the party of the year, but if you need some guidance, the in-house party consultants will sort you out.

    Images: Trent van der Jagt.

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  • 8
    Oregano Bakery

    Oregano isn’t typically an ingredient you find in many desserts. So then, why is this famed South Hurstville bakery named as such? Well, the store was originally designed to be a Lebanese pizza shop when it opened in 2010, naming it after one of the three main ingredients in zaatar.

    Soon after opening, chef Tony Jabbour began experimenting with the pizza dough and the famous scrolls were born. Years on, they’ve become somewhat of a bucket list treat for sweet toothed Sydneysiders. These days, the scrolls come in a multitude of flavours, including the signature cinnamon, banoffee, salted caramel and cookies and cream. While the scrolls are what put it on the map, Oregano still creates amazing Lebanese fare that you won’t regret trying — the original zaatar pizza with oregano, thyme and sumac is still a winner and can be amped up with cheese or garlic if you fancy.

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  • 7

    This family-owned establishment is a top pick among the locals in Hurstville. Known especially for its noodle soups, Like Noodle is a fantastic spot to recharge with a hot and filling meal after a morning of shopping. It’s excellent value for money, with big portions coming in at around $12 a dish. Service is speedy and the seating ample — even during the lunchtime rush — so don’t worry about getting too ‘hangry’ while you wait.

    You can’t go wrong with the signature meatball noodle soup or fresh xiao long bao, but if you’re looking for something a tad more adventurous, try the pork intestine soup — it’s a favourite of Shanghai natives.

    Image: Trent van der Jagt.

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  • 6
    Hillcrest Florist

    Priding themselves on being behind one of the St George area’s best florists, the dedicated team at Hillcrest Florist are on hand for any occasion that marks the need for a new arrangement.

    Hillcrest delivers on the same day to homes, offices, hospitals, churches, nursing homes, schools and wedding venues in and around Hurstville Grove — you name the place, the team will get your blooms there. And we’re not just talking traditional blooms like roses, lilies and gerberas, but native Australian arrangements and plants, too.

    Oh, and if you’re prone to sending house plants to an early death, the team will give you step-by-step instructions on keeping your leafy companion alive.

    Images: Trent van der Jagt.

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  • 5
    Christopher's Cake Shop

    Christopher’s Cake Shop first opened the doors of its Surry Hills shop way back in 1955 (originally as Athens Cake Shop). In the years since, the business has stretched its reach from Sydney’s inner city to the suburbs with stores in Ashfield, Eastgardens, Kogarah and Hurstville.

    Here, you’ll find traditional Greek sweets such as baklava, kataifi, paximathia, melomakarona (an almond honey biscuit), plus a wide range of cakes and other biscuits.

    Although it might seem a little mainstream, take the opportunity to pick up the mud cake — it’s as perfect as cake and chocolate put together could possibly get. Hint: take it home and warm it up in the microwave for 20 seconds — it’ll melt the fine layer of chocolate on top and make the ganache centre oh-so-perfectly gooey.

    Image: Trent van der Jagt.

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  • 4
    German Butchery Deli & Cafe

    There are your regular neighbourhood delis and butchers — and then there is Bexley North’s German Butchery Deli & Cafe. This place stocks everything you’d expect from a German butchery and deli, from cold cuts, sausage links (yes, including bratwurst) and pâté to traditional German smallgoods and bread.

    If you’ve got a craving for a particular German delight, perhaps while reminiscing about that trip you took a few years back or reconnecting with old family traditions, this shop should have it. You’ll find knödel (potato or bread boiled dumplings), sauerkraut, gherkins and, of course, salt pretzels. You may also stumble across some products that are common on European supermarket shelves, but not so much here, including curry ketchup, Austrian Almdudler herbal lemonade and Czech Kitl flavoured syrups. Planning a party? The team here can put together platters that’ll set you back as little as $8 a head, too.

    Image: Trent van der Jagt.

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  • 3
    Harvin Spices

    This tiny establishment has a huge clientele base. And for a good reason — people travel from all over Sydney to stock up on spices and pantry staples for many South Asian recipes. Nepalese, Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani cuisines are among the most represented, although plenty of Pacific Island staples can be found here, too. Expect to find a vast array of rice, lentils, and frozen veggies, plus racks upon racks of spices and hard-to-source herbs.

    And the quality of the produce is matched by the friendly service — anything you require that isn’t on the shelves will be tracked down for you within a matter of days. The store is easy to find on Forest Road, and if your eyes become bigger than your carry bags, don’t fret — you can organise delivery here, too.

    Images: Trent van der Jagt.

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  • 2
    Arcadia Unbound Comics & Toys

    Arcadia Unbound has a large and incredibly loyal following — and for a good reason. The store has moved locations a few times but owner Garry Einstein has been working in the comic book sphere since the 90s. Incredibly knowledgeable and true fans of the art form, the team at Arcadia Unbound are friendly, approachable and happy to point you in whatever direction your particular tastes take you.

    The store has a great selection of comics, action figures, trading cards and other pop culture paraphernalia and, most importantly, very reasonable prices. For those who still enjoy physically flicking through comics, Arcadia Unbound is a true gem of find.

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  • 1
    Wellmay Asian Mart

    In a time when the Southeast Asian cookbooks are leaping off the shelves, there has never been more of a demand for authentic Asian supermarkets. Wellmay Asian Mart is set up with everything you could possibly need to put on that Chinese feast for your friends — barbecue pork buns, dumplings, fresh noodles and piles upon piles of fresh Asian greens.

    If you’re a real food lover and have a higher talent for cooking than most, it’s here you will find those hard-to-find gems to centre recipes around — think dried scallops, spiced abalone and makrut lime. It’s always fun to try something new — from sweet sesame rice balls and aloe vera jelly to pickled chickens feet. Be as adventurous as you dare.

    Images: Trent van der Jagt.

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Love where you live and shop small to support the local stores that make Sydney so great. To learn about American Express and the Shop Small initiative, visit here. Then, head this way to find more must-visit spots around the southern suburbs.

Top image: Trent van der Jagt.

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