Where to shop in the Adelaide CBD
11 Jan 2022


Visiting your hometown is often a surreal experience of the familiar yet not. Adelaide is that place for me. I have always found Adelaide to be a great place to shop. Partly because of its affordability and livability make it home to some great artists and artisans. On this trip I found online shopping has not really changed my Adelaide shopping landscape – though it’s clear COVID has wrought a toll.


Starting in the city centre, Adelaide’s Rundle Mall is home of the traditional high street traders found in many large shopping centres, but that’s not the reason for heading into the city to shop. The real reason is found in the city arcades and laneways.

So where to start? Basically, head for Rundle Mall. Off the mall you will find some specialists trading from wonderful spaces – one being the Adelaide Arcade and Gays Arcade which run off it. These arcades have some truly unique retailers. After you have been wowed by the architecture of the gorgeous Adelaide Arcade make sure you visit Adelaide Hatters – it’s an institution that has been in the same location for decades. It is the largest speciality retail hat shop in Australia, and they offer, not surprisingly, everything you might need hat-wise. You will also find Angels Shoes which is for those of you with harder to fit feet. Angels is where Adelaide’s hobbled hipsters, trans folk and older Adelaide doyens all rub shoulders. Adelaide Arcade also boasts a specialty wig shop – Bonnie Wigs, and the Button Bar with the largest collection of buttons in Australia.

Like Sydney’s Strand Arcade and the Brisbane Arcade, the Adelaide and Gays Arcades are home to many fine jewellers. One retailer that might appeal to aficionados of the Kin Gallery Canberra and Egetal in Melbourne is Zu design jewellery + objects . Zu design is located on the Balcony level of Gays Arcade. It is a gallery and workshop that represents over 130 contemporary jewellers from around Australia.

These arcades are also where you head to for unique handcrafted pieces. In Gays Arcades head for T’arts – Textile and Arts Collective Gallery which is an artist run gallery.


Returning to the Mall as you head east (you will know because the Adelaide Hills will dominate your skyline) it turns into Rundle Street. Here you find one of Adelaide’s truly great retailers Miss Gladys Sym Choon and in the lane behind it is Mr Choon. Miss Gladys with its distinctive 19th century display windows offers a true cornucopia of brands. In this wonderfully eclectic shop you will find clothing, jewellery, and shoes. Climb the stairs to find the ‘last of’ bargains. Also in Rundle Street on the same side as Miss Gladys you will find Aje, Morrison, Flannel, Zimmerman and Gorman amongst others. The other side of the street offers more retailers but the place to head after Miss Gladys is Ebenezer Place that runs off Rundle Street. This small precinct has become home to some of my favourite Adelaide retail haunts. Here you will find the wonderful Leonard St and the flagship store of the homegrown Naomi Murrell which stocks jewellery, clothes and some homewares. Try Naomi for her sustainable swimwear and jeans and fun necklaces. Across the ‘road’ from Naomi Murrell is the sustainable jeweller Utopian Creations. Utopian Creations specialises in recycled gems, metals, and is a wonderful place to browse if you like fine jewellery. If it’s vintage mid-western gear you crave Midwest Trader is here to meet that need. Drop in and browse it’s ever changing merchandise. I defy you not to find something here for you or someone you love. For those interested in sustainable design, drop by Studio Eco at 20 Ebenezer Place.


It is quite a hike from the east end of Rundle Street to the western end of the Mall but your reward for the calorie burn is this is where you will find the original Haigh’s Chocolate shop at Beehive Corner. From here when you cross King William Street the Mall turns into Hindley Street at the end of which you cross over Morphett Street to be rewarded with the Jam Factory a haven of artistic endeavour. The Jam Factory includes a gallery space, shop and workshops. Check out what is on in the gallery and if it’s a special creation from an artisan you are looking for this is where you might find it. If that seems to be too much walking and you have time, the Jam Factory also has a retail space on the grounds of Seppeltsfield in the Barossa Valley.

Next time, shopping in the suburbs….

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