Best book shop: Exclusive Books

Oh, how we love this shop! There’s nothing better than losing a few happy hours browsing the shelves and finding the new releases in our favorite genres, all with a cappuccino in hand (most stores feature an inhouse coffee shop). But even if you’re not an ardent book worm, Exclusives should be a first stop when you’re gift shopping. There are so many ideas, from beautiful stationery to puzzles and quirky games. –, 0800 332 550

Best bicycle shop: Linden Cycles

Linden Cycles isn’t just at the heart of the cycling community; it’s an entrenched part of Linden’s community, too. That’s made it the go-to for everyone from serious athletes, to dads who think the time has come to take off those training wheels. With expert advice on hand, a wide range of accessories and repairs offered to boot, it’s an address that’s well known to everyone who loves their bike. –, 63 3rd Ave Linden, 011 782 7313

Best bridal shop: Bride & Co

Forget the venue or anything else for that matter: for most brides, the best part of planning a wedding is selecting a dress. And Bride & Co is here to make that choice the exciting experience it should be, with skilled consultants on hand to steer you towards a gown that will suit your style, your occasion and your budget – and hundreds of options to choose from. They’ll hook up your entire party with outfits for the ‘before’ events, too. –

Best computer/electronics store: Incredible Connection

It really doesn’t matter if you have no idea what a gigabyte is or if your tween son can’t get you to understand Minecraft – the team at Incredible Connection will help you cut through the jargon to find what you need, whether that’s a power solution for your WFH office or a gaming chair to enhance your experience. The range is simply enormous! –

Best florist: Dunkeld Fruit & Flowers

Dunkeld Fruit & Flowers is a family-run business – and it feels like it, thanks to the care and pride that’s evident in every bouquet that’s lovingly put together for you. Expect an exuberant display of blooms (including out-of-season specials) and expert advice to help you put together a personalized posy, or choose from one of the gorgeous ready made arrangements to brighten your home or bring real joy to a loved one. – Jan Smuts Avenue, Dunkeld West Centre, –, 011 341 0101

Best forecourt store: Woolworths Foodstop Engen William Nicol

We can personally attest that this centrally located store has made dinner possible at many a household! With a range that’s just as good as any you’d find at a full Woolies store, it’s been a lifesaver for many moms and dads who have realized, at the last minute, that there are no more bananas or that the schnitzels have just run out. All the quality we expect from Woolies, with outstanding convenience. –

Best furniture store: Coricraft

It wouldn’t be remiss of you to associate Coricraft with couches – the brand is, after all, one of the largest couch manufacturers in Africa (making 300 couches every day). But did you know that you can actually buy anything you could possibly need for your home here, from beds to serveware – and it will all be super stylish, locally made, and of the very best quality., 021 508 5200

Best garden centre: Lifestyle Home Garden
Even if your fingers aren’t naturally green, you’ll be itching to get them into soil once you walk into this beautiful shop. You’ll find everything you need to turn your garden into a wonderland: seeds, pots, lighting, landscaping features, bird baths, tools – the list goes on and on! It’s a breath of fresh air. PS – you can also order online, or have your instore purchases delivered. –, Cnr Beyers Naude and Ysterhout Ave Randpark Ridge, 011 792 5616

Best gift shop for life’s little luxuries and best kitchen essentials shop: @Home

Everyone loves a little spoil – whether that’s a gourmet treat for the pantry, a gorgeous home fragrance, or an eye-catching photo frame. @Home’s large range means that you’ll find something to suit the taste of just about everyone in your life – after all, who doesn’t enjoy beautifying their space. Browse around and you’ll probably find something for yourself, too! –

Best hardware store: Leroy Merlin

You don’t have to be a DIY whizz to get lost inside Leroy Merlin. Sure, there’s an enormous amount of space dedicated to the nuts and bolts (literally) of home maintenance – but somewhere over the shop’s four storeys, you’re bound to find something that appeals to you. For us, it was in the décor department. Other features we think are just fantastic? You can hire tools if your own set is missing something, get your purchase installed by an expert, or up your own knowledge by attending a workshop. –, 010 493 8000

Best health shop: Wellness Warehouse

We’re not kidding when we say that just walking into Wellness Warehouse makes you feel like you’re on a path to greater wellbeing! From organic foods to locally manufactured clean beauty products, from chemical-free household cleaners to environmentally friendly baby goods, from vitamins to collagen, you’ll find everything you could possibly need to start living your best life right now – plus, the friendly team are always willing to explain a product if you have any questions. –

Best home décor: Mr Price Home

It’s pretty hard to walk into Mr Price Home without feeling tempted to give your entire house a makeover. Bringing you the latest, brightest, most beautiful trends of every season, collabs from local designers as well as goodies that are just perfect for gifting (like gourmet bites and toys), the shop is a must visit for anyone needing fresh home inspo. –

Best motorcycle dealership: Harley Davidson

There’s no thrill quite like the open road – and Harley Davidson is here to help you enjoy it to the full. Start off with a free test drive, then choose your kit (jackets, knives and sunglasses, anyone?) and hit the road. Harley Davidson has genuine parts if you need them, and will help you sell your hog when the time comes. –, 3 Sunrise Boulevard, Lonehill, 010 492 4565

Best online shopping site:

We have a rule: if you can’t find what you’re looking for in a bricks and mortar store, look for it on The site has an astounding array from products, from day to day home essentials to the truly obscure (need a 30-pack of scrunchies in Barbie pink?) It’s super easy to navigate the site, delivery is often quicker than expected, and shopping is an all round pleasure. –

Best optometrist: Spec-Savers

Spec-Savers does more than look after your eye health. It’s a one-stop boutique for anything optical: shop for designer frames online, find the best sunglasses for your face shape, or even book a hearing test. What we love most is Spec-Savers Home Try On offer, ideal for the indecisive: if you just can’t pick the perfect frames, take home six pairs and take your time choosing which looks best. –

Best pet store: Absolute pets

We’ll admit it: we’re slightly obsessive when it comes to our fur babies (and we bet you are too). That’s why we love Absolute Pets: they completely get why we want to give them only the best and oblige by supplying a huge assortment of toys, food brands and treats (for critters like bunnies and guinea pigs as well as doggos and cats). They also stock products to keep your home clean and sweet-smelling – never an easy task when pets are around – but did you know that they even offer a pet spa and pet insurance? –

Best pharmacy: Dischem

It might be bewildering to walk into your local Dischem to find shelf after shelf of health products – but the helpful staff make it all easy (and we’re not just talking about the dispensary team, who are unfailingly professional, friendly, and full of good advice). Dischem is our first stop for health foods, cosmetics, baby products and fitness gear – and the onsite wellness clinics make it easy to get medical assistance when you need it, quickly.

Best outdoor/camping store: Cape Union Mart

There are those for whom a camping trip means getting as far away from civilization as possible – and there are those who insist on comfortable mattresses, enough utensils to kit out a restaurant kitchen, and outdoor gear that’s as stylish as it is practical. Cape Union Mart caters to both types of happy campers, which is why it’s our go to when we want to spend time in nature. –

Best shopping centre: Sandton City

Sandton City claims to be Africa’s most iconic shopping centre – and we certainly wouldn’t argue. You could say that the mall is to Sandton what Table Mountain is to Cape Town: a defining feature. Sandton City is home to 300 retailers and restaurants that shape our tastes, many of which you’d see in the world’s fashion capitals (visit the Diamond Walk to see the latest offerings from global offerings, for example), while others remind us why we love South African innovation and design. What we love most, though, is the cosmopolitan bustle – just what you’d expect from the hub of South Africa’s financial capital. –, 83 Rivonia Road, Sandhurst, 011 217 6000

Best sporting goods store: Sportsmans Warehouse

Not sure if it’s time to replace your running shoes? Or are you more interested in finding out how to be your best during your MTB race? Whatever your chosen discipline, the team at Sportsmans Warehouse are here to kit you out and give you expert advice; plus, they’ll even knock in your cricket bat, string your tennis racket, service your bike and personalize your team jersey. –, 0800 007 030

Best stationery and arts and crafts store: PNA Colour Your World

We bet that even if you’re not a crafter when you walk into PNA, you’ll leave itching to try your hand at a new hobby. The shop is an explosion of colour and creativity, stocking everything from the office basics to items for pastimes you probably didn’t even know existed. A must visit, whether you’re doing a back to school shop, looking for a gift, allowing your imagination to take flight or simply stocking the stationery cupboard. –

Best thrift shop: Saints Animal Charity Shop

Ever felt like you really want to help a charity, but you don’t know where to start? We have the answer: go shopping! More to the point, go shopping at Saints Charity Shop. This much-loved thrift store supports 10 different animal welfare organisations across Gauteng, and all you have to do to become part of their movement is pick from a great selection of goods, including kitchen accessories, books, décor and fashion. –, Northriding Square, Cnr Bellairs and Blandford Drive, North Riding