Your guide to exploring James Street
Boutique shopping, fine dining and the city’s best dressed brunch crowd collide on James Street. This leafy suburban street is a key shopping precinct for independent, local and international designer flagship stores in Brisbane, and some of the best dining any time of day.
There’s a lot crammed into this one tiny street, so use our guide to navigate your way around. Think twice and dress up in your Sunday best before hitting the pavement for homewares, new kicks or an exquisite meal.
Shopping guide to James Street
Shop local designers
Beyond the Australian boutique labels that grace the street, it’s the local flagships that shine brightest. Brisbane fashion designer Gail Sorronda brings her dark romanticism, monochrome palette and international popularity, while jewellery label Natasha Schweitzer (which shows at New York and Paris fashion weeks twice annually) has a small store next door filled with gorgeous pieces. Don't walk past luxury basics brand Frances Hendrie – the quality t-shirts found here are made to complement every wardrobe.
Established in 1978, Camargue boutique stocks a range of unique, quirky pieces and labels, while Calexico brings international flavour with a blend of contemporary, emerging and niche designer labels, and Samantha Ogilvie focuses on European style, with tailored classics, luxe basics and special statement pieces.
Brisbane’s Molton Store is a gem-filled wonderland of sparkly costume jewellery, while Adronis Fine Jewellery creates exceptional bespoke fine and luxury jewellery in the family workshop. Award finalist, jewellery designer, goldsmith and qualified gemologist Matthew Staff is behind MJS Jewellery, where you’ll find bespoke fine jewellery and personal service.
Rather than go into great detail, we’ll just let you know that popular Australian fashion labels Aje, Gorman, Camilla, Zimmermann, Sass & Bide, Scanlan & Theodore, Silk Laundry, Lee Matthews, Nudie Jeans, Bec & Bridge, Bassike, Mr Zimi, Dion Lee, Camilla & Marc, Carla Zampatti, Venroy and Assembly Label all have flagship stores or boutiques along the street. Kookai and Witchery also have shopfronts, and there is a boutique-size David Jones, and Australian boutique Wolfe & Ordnance stocks a range of labels.
For activewear, try Lululemon (who offer free yoga on Sunday mornings) or 2XU, and for shoes there is Zomp for all things leather, smaller shop Milu or luxury footwear at Maryon’s Shoes. Bailey Nelson and Optiko sell glasses and sunglasses, while Libertine Parfumerie offers a bespoke perfume experience.
Shopping for the boys
Finding good boutiques for menswear can be hard, but James Street has quite a few. An offshoot of its neighbour by the same name, Calexico Man offers the same quality threads by all international menswear designers. Richards & Richards offers a luxury shopping experience with a European twist, stocking renowned and exclusive labels from around the globe including the latest luxury sportswear and streetwear, to the finest tailoring and accessories. Digby’s Menswear has an extensive range of Australian brands, and can cater from small sizes up to 6XL. Bespoked takes traditional British style as the base for its refined suit tailoring service. And of course, boutiques Nudie Jeans, Assembly Label, Venroy, Bassike, Lululemon, Optiko and Milu offer a range of menswear too.
American homewares giants Pottery Barn and West Elm anchor the area with a mega store of everything lounge, bath and bedroom just off the main drag. Over the road, St Barts stocks luxe homewares with an island vibe, and neighbour Kova is a go-to gift store. Australian resin makers Dinosaur Designs have their Brisbane flagship store stocking bowls, serving utensils and jewellery, Wheel ‘n’ Barrow has glassware, crockery and cooking equipment in the bag, Arc + Family supplies hand-crafted pots and Bed, Bath ‘n’ Table covers bedding, table linens and homewares.
For furniture, try Jardan. It designs and crafts all its furniture in Melbourne using local materials. The Modern Furniture Store stocks new and original Scandinavian-designed furniture and accessories. Just off James Street, Living Edge holds high-quality furniture for architects, interior designers and lovers of quality and unique furniture.
Last but not least, Bang + Olufsen, best known for its high-quality speakers, has a flagship.
Bare walls be gone. Eurowalls supplies fun and exciting wallpapers, or drop into one of two art galleries on the street. Mitchell Fine Art showcases a selection of Australia’s leading contemporary artists through changing exhibitions in the industrial space. TWFINEART focuses on showing the latest art trends from around the world, representing pioneering and critically acclaimed international artists who produce boundary-pushing work.
Health and beauty guide
Endota Spa, Health Place, Waterlilly and Thai Foot Spa will all leave you feeling relaxed and pampered with a massage or facial, while Brooklyn Beauty Bar will prep those nails for any occasion, Amy Jean will get your brows in order, and Headquarters Hair or Lyla Clare will get your locks event-ready. Twin Palms Barber is ready for the boys.
Beauty products ahoy!
Step into Aesop and leave with soft, amazing smelling hands. Conscious.kin stocks ethical, transparent, and sustainable beauty, skincare and wellness brands. Pick up makeup supplies from MAC Pro or Mecca Cosmetica.
James Street dining guide
One of Brisbane’s top restaurants, Gerard’s Bistro happily calls James Street home. Set back from the main road, the Middle Eastern inspired bazaar serves a banquet of dishes. If you have company, the slow-roasted beef brisket is a must order, as is the fried cauliflower with ras el hanout, tahini and pomegranate seeds. Those who love chicken wings should order the bekka wings – spicy in all the right ways and served with a kishk yogurt and rose petals.
Nearby Italian bistro Bucci is a local favourite. Order an aperol spritz and snack on the house-baked ciabatta before diving headfirst into a bowl of pasta. The restaurant likes to lighten much-loved traditional dishes to suit modern tastes, and its chocolate cake is legendary.
If you've been living in Brisbane over the past year, there's a very high chance you've heard of or visited the restaurant that opened within The Calile – Hellenika. This Gold Coast favourite is serving delicious and flavoursome Greek food to everyone able to score a table. Book early, drink all the wine and order the zucchini chips – you'll be pleasant surprised.
For a more casual bite to eat, James Street has many options. Starting with breakfast, King Arthur Cafe uses local produce to create a seasonal menu of brunch and lunch eats, while Chow House adds an Asian twist to its classic breakfast menu. Harvey’s is a James Street classic that attracts regulars for a meal anytime of day. Tinderbox is best known for its pizza (and it does gluten-free too) along with Italian snacks, while Ribs & Burgers says it all in the name.
Quick bites & groceries
Hungry but in a rush? Deal with your thirst at Quench, the juice bar, or grab super fresh sushi from Fresh Sushi Co. It’s inside the upmarket James Street Market, where you can purchase groceries and high-quality deli goods along with French pastries, a fishmonger and butcher.
Further down the street, The Yiros Shop serves what’s written on the box, and Pineapple Express is the place for acai bowls and green smoothies. If you need to treat yo’self, stop into Gelato Messina or pick up a birthday cake and baked goods from Jocelyn’s Provisions – one of Brisbane’s favourite cake bakers and patisseries.
Shopping without coffee? You’ve got to be kidding. James Street has two local roasters close to the street. Campos is just next door to the James Street Market, while Belissimo is across the road from West Elm on Doggett St. Next to Gerard’s Bistro is small cafe Cantinho, and towards New Farm there is King Arthur on Arthur St.
Kick on by kicking back with a cocktail or boutique vino. Cru Bar is one of the city’s best wine bars, with an incredible bottle shop attached. Stop in for Saturday wine tastings, or take friends and sit by the window watching people mingle on the street. Although technically not on James Street, City Winery is located on Wandoo Street and is the city's first urban winery. Join one of the two winery tours, taste and sip at the cellar door or sit back with your favourite vino and watch the world go by.
Hidden in a back carpark, Gerard’s Bar is a poorly kept secret. Pick from plenty of charcuterie and cheese options to build your own board and pair with a cocktail or funky new-age wine for a great afternoon in the sun.
Walking towards New Farm, Sixes and Sevens is a popular spot for a Sunday Sessions, with crowds spilling out of the old Queenslander and into the courtyard. It’s a place to see and be seen (as is this whole street), so dress up and have fun! While you're dressed, pop into The Lobby Bar within The Calile. The food is cutting edge, wine list simple and enticing and the aesthetic space is what is expected within this modern and eye-catching hotel. Nearby Tippler’s Tap is a craft beer bar with a more casual vibe and some of the city’s best brews running through the pipes. Lobby Bar
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