J’aime Rachelle is a young reporter for belfastvibe who is always out and about in the city.
She’s always telling us what’s hot and what’s not.
So we put her to the test.
We asked J’aime to find the best hidden gems (and not so hidden in some cases) of the city and tell us what she thought of them.
If you have any more to add to the list email us to firstname.lastname@example.org.
J’aime’s hidden gems:
1. Fresh Garbage
Fresh has recently celebrated it’s 40 year anniversary, and it’s easy to see why it’s lasted so long.
As soon as you walk towards the shop you are welcomed by bright scarves, bags, and as you walk in you are hit with a huge waft of incense, surrounded by corsets, skulls, flowing skirts and tight leather dresses, something that will appeal to every subculture.
From Rockabilly dresses, to tartan skirts, to studded bras, and of course a great selection of flavoured rolling papers, punk badges, hairdye, the lot- and a bunch of friendly staff to help you find what you want
Fresh Garbage on Facebook
2. Young Savage
With a café beside it and a record shop above it, this is the perfect spot for the TARDIS-like Young Savage, with it’s “bigger on the inside” feel.
Run by the lovely and quirky Ken, you could spend hours looking through the rails and having a chat with him about fashion and music.
The walls are painted bright pink, with photographs of Siouxsie, Lou Reed, a few washing lines with leaflets, photos and sunglasses, among other bits and bobs.
There are always one-off pieces at great prices, there’s something for everyone no matter what your budget.
Find Young Savage on Facebook and Instagram – @theyoungsavagebelfast
3. Yellow Submarine and Octopus’s Garden
Botanic’s lovely Yellow Submarine recently popped out a new baby in the form of The Octopus’s Garden I’m the centre of Belfast.
Yellow Submarine is floors and floors of, well, ‘stuff’. But lovely retro stuff.
There is a whole floor dedicated to being an Everything £5 room, which also has the option to go 3 for £10 (which I adore).
Yellow Sub was busting to the seems with clothes, records, jewellery and furniture that it gave birth to Octopus’s Garden, which is a lot like Yellow Sub, but a lot smaller! But don’t let the size scare you off- in here is a huge range of retro and alternative clothing across two floors, at fantastic prices.
They also have a Beatles rail where all the Beatles tops are £5. Bargain!
4. St. George’s Market
St. George’s is one of the most interesting places in Belfast.
There is so much to see, eat and do.
There are always live bands playing, handmade cards and jewellery, fresh fruit and vegetables, and, I personally love Check Out My Buns most of all- everything is Vegan and gluten free, but you’d never tell the difference (Try the caramel squares. You’ll thank me later)
Find St George’s Market on Facebook
Instagram @stgeorgesbt1 @checkoutmybuns
5. Dragon Records
Dragon Records is the best record shop in Belfast.
There is such a wide variety of music- from black metal to Blondie, there’s something for everyone.
With a mix of second hand and new, the prices are fantastic.
There is a huge selection of LPs, singles, CDs, tapes, T-shirts and books, to name a few.
After co-owner Gary left the shop, Dragon is now looked after by Jeff, Chris and Steven.
Find Dragon Records on Facebook
Voodoo is Belfast’s alternative bar, across from Remedy, this rock ‘n roll heaven has played host to a huge variety of gigs, including Infa Riot, 999, Modern Baseball, Penetration, The Old Firm Casuals and Glen Matlock- not to mention the regular Club Hell, which is a heavy disco club, and Punk and New Wave Club with DJ’s Tony Spence, Gary Fahy, and the pink-haired princess that is Ali-P Indahouse.
With friendly bar staff and great music, this is the best place to go get a shot of Chilli Rum.
Find Voodoo on Facebook
7. The Warzone Centre
The Warzone Centre, also known as the Anarchy Centre, is host to Giro’s, Belfast’s only vegan café.
Giro’s runs every Wednesday and Thursday by a group of animal-loving volunteers who give up a few hours every week to prepare cruelty-free food, serving delicious vegan meals that everyone will enjoy.
Warzone also hold gigs and events regularly, with regular bands such as the crust-punk madness that is 1,000 Drunken Nights, and good ol’ Oi band Takers and Users and Cornucopia, which is a goth disco night. Sometimes they even have bingo nights. (Yes, I’m serious).
Find The Warzone on Facebook
8. The Nutmeg
The Nutmeg is Belfast’s best Vegan and Vegetarian supplies shop.
Last month saw their new range of homemade vegan sandwiches and snacks, alongside the infamous Soy Sausage Rolls.
Herbal teas, healthy cereals, natural hairdyes, dairy-free chocolate, everything you would ever need to get started to a cruelty-free lifestyle.
Find The Nutmeg on Facebook
9. The Dock
The Dock is a charity-run café with a twist.
Based in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, The Dock is the only place where you pay for your food through donating money in an Honesty Box.
There is a wide range of Suki Tea, scones, traybakes, cookies, soup and much more. The Dock is a great place to relax with friends or on your own.
There is a little prayer garden, where you can go and sit and meditate, pray, or just have some quiet time to relieve stress.
Find The Dock on Facebook
Compiled by J’aime Rachelle for belfastvibe