St Clements Green Grocer

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With multi-national chains, click-to-buy online outlets and extortionate rent prices making it increasingly difficult for independent inner city businesses to break even, Rathdowne Street’s St Clements Grocers is a delightful specimen of what is fast becoming a dying breed. Stocked daily with fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, local baked goods and an assortment of condiments and dressings, its tiny open-fronted store is the perfect spot to pick up the foundations for a home-cooked meal.

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Co-owned by the team behind Gerald’s Bar, which is conveniently located next door, St Clements boasts a menagerie of locally sourced produce. The shelves are packed with wine boxes chockfull of sprouting greens, root vegetables, vine-grown delicacies and ripened fruits, each embellished with hand-scripted pricing. Loaves are supplied by Carlton’s Baker D. Chirico, traditional American style bagels by Elsternwick’s Five & Dime Bagel Co., and imported pastas and tinned fish no doubt from one of Lygon Street’s neighbouring delis.

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Not sure where to start? If you haven’t arrived with a shopping list, we would recommend checking out the use-on-the-day discounted produce on the front counter, then leafing through one of the provided cookbooks on the back shelves for some recipe inspiration. Alternatively ask the friendly and well-informed staff for advice – they may have some treats tucked away in the hidden cool room that will complement whatever it is you already have in your basket.

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St Clements’ specialist knowledge and genuine passion for the customers who browse its aisles sets it well and truly apart from today’s identikit food giants. Even if you aren’t a local, it’s worth dropping in for a poignant reminder of why supporting the little guys matters. Oh, and pick us up a bunch of daffodils while you’re there.


St Clements Green Grocer
384 Rathdowne St, Carlton North
(03) 9347 8336
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Opening Hours
Mon – Sat / 8am – 7pm
Sun / 9am – 5pm


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