Sydney’s Top Christmas Hidden Gems


What do you reckon Santa’s going to start giving naughty kids once coal runs out? Let’s hope everyone’s been good this year so you can get something on this list instead!


Books Galore


Ariel Books


Do you know anybody interested in architecture, art, design, fashion, interiors or photography? Do they also like to read? Well, then! You might just be able to find them the perfect gift at Ariel Books, one of the most alluring and fascinating bookshops in Paddington. A bright, airy fusion of literature, art and general charming eccentricity, this is an extremely fun place to spend a day in. Read More »

‘Whether you come to Ariel on a mission to find a particular book or a present, or if you just feel like perusing, this funky shop has a variety of quality titles. There are so many amazing fiction & non-fiction books, all logically displayed. There is a huge range of the latest photography, art, music, travel and coffee table books to flick through.’ – C Sandiego

Delightful Pastries


La Renaissance Patisserie Francaise

The Rocks

You can always find something delightful at the Rocks and pastry is just one of the wonders. It’s a generally acknowledged fact that the French are the hands-down experts when it comes to creating deliciously flaky, moist, bursting-with-flavour pastries and La Renaissance Patisserie Francaise doesn’t disappoint. All of their sweets look like works of art that you’ll almost not want to eat them. Almost. Read More »

‘First place that comes in mind when I want desserts or some macaroons when at work. Their Opera Cake is amazing as are the macaroons. It’s my go to place when buying something small as a surprise treat for my husband.’ – Bare Essentials

Retro Records


Red Eye RecordsSydney

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Knocking around since 1981 (back when Iron Maiden were considered dangerously heavy), Red Eye Records is Sydney’s largest independent music retailer. Naturally, this makes it your best shot if you’ve got a particularly intense music fan to buy a present for, so get down there and start browsing. Who knows what you might find?  Read More »

‘One of the best record stores in Sydney, particularly good for hard to find CDs and more avant garde music. Outside of this there’s something for everyone. The second hand stuff can be a little pricey but it’s always in great condition. Highly recommended.’ – Chux D

Homewares and Funky Jewellery


Dinosaur Designs


Dinosaur Designs began life in modest fashion, when a bunch of idealistic young art students started selling homemade jewellery at Sydney’s Paddington Markets back in the mid-80s. It’s gone from strength to strength since, and is now a rich source of uniquely stylish homeware and lifestyle accessories. Lots of tasty Christmas present ammunition here, friends! Read More »

Have you been to Dinosaur Designs?  Tell us what you think and write a review.

Tea Shop  


T Totaler


Tea is a culinary staple of many different countries, as T Totaler’s founder Amber Hudson knows better than most. After all, she’s travelled to over thirty of them in search of the perfect brew, and she’s poured (hehe) all of that experience into this magnificent artisanal tea shop. You’ll be able to find the perfect Christmas blend for anybody here, or we’re not True Local. Read More »

Have you been to T Totaler?  Tell us what you think and write a review.

Doggie Treats


Dog Barkery


Dogs used to have to be content with a few scraps of turkey (and maybe an adorable little Santa Claus hat) for Christmas, but those days are long gone. Dog Barkery specialises in an enormous range of wonderfully original dog treats, and they’re all as good for your best pal as they are delicious. They’re all baked fresh just for you, and contain absolutely no preservatives or additives. Woof!  Read More »

‘I love taking the dogs to The Barkery 🙂 any dog visiting is sure to get lots of pats from the staff and other customers. The lady behind this store is incredible in terms of the items she comes up with for dogs, from bones, to *pup-cakes* – bones like Pumpkin flavour, roast dinner, peanut butter, fish-n-chips to snacks modelled on *human food* – nachos, donuts, pizza, kebabs and so much more’ – Diane R

Fine Wines  


The Oak Barrel


With a name like The Oak Barrell you can be sure this bottle shop is bringing the finest wines to Australians everywhere. Whether you’re craving something romantically French or exotic flavours from Argentina and Chile, The Oak Barrell has got you covered with an extensive wine collection including hard to get imports from all around the globe.  Oh – and if you’re looking for something extra special, head down to the custom made vault for rare, decade-old vintages – Now that’s a Christmas present that’s sure to impress.  Read More »

‘Came across this place a few years ago and have been casually coming here ever since…Fantastic international selection with wonderful variety of hard to get imports. Knowledgable non intrusive staff.‘ – johnandsimonedosydney

Pamper Yourself  


Nature’s Energy


In terms of Christmas presents, gift vouchers are often considered the last bastion of the desperate and the clueless. However, that’s certainly not the case when luxurious day spas are involved. After all, what better way to dispel all the accumulated festive season madness than a day of glorious, high-class pampering? Invite someone you love to Feel Nature’s Energy! Read More »

‘This is a review of the pregnancy massage by Linda at Nature’s energy. I have had a number of massages during my pregnancy but this was the best. The table with the belly-hole is just the start. I received a firm yet relaxing massage that didn’t upset the delicate balance of the pregnant body. The environment was very relaxing and warm and all the staff friendly. Give it a go!!!’ – nerdy1

Got any lesser-known Christmas classics of your own? Give ‘em a True Local review!

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