Feeling nostalgic for the era of lounge, Poppy lipsticks, Friends on TV and Frente on the radio? Get a '90s fix at Melbourne's best vintage shops, retro arcades and record stores.

Retro gaming

Back before we were glued to our phones and Candy Crushing, we’d head out for a few beers and hit the pinball machines. Neon-lit Bartonica keeps the arcade games and cold craft beers going strong. Think classics like Mario Kart, Ms Pac-Man and Super Smash Bros. Or hit up Archie Brothers Cirque Electric for NBA hoops, dodgem cars and more.

Vintage and Y2K fashion at Cheep Store

Cheep specialise in fabulous vintage styles and nothing costs more than $25. Head here to grab a cute kilt to wear with your Docs. Load up on psychedelic rave wear or a dash of Spice Girls’ kitschy chic. Unleash your inner Riot Grrrl with vintage t-shirts and classic ‘90s babydoll dresses. 

A pink wall in a women's clothing store
Cheep store

Watch ‘90s TV and movies at ACMI

At ACMI’s Story of the Moving Image, there’s a bunch of classic Australian TV and movies to access. We’re talking good old Blue Heelers, Full Frontal, All Saints and Heartbreak High. And who remembers The Ferals? That puppet show with feral animals living in a share house? It tapped into the grunge-vibe of the era perfectly. Head to ACMI to watch – BYO banana YoGo. 

Have a High Fidelity moment at Basement Discs

Cult classic High Fidelity beautifully captured romance and heartbreak in a record store setting. Record stores were the perfect meeting place for ‘90s tribes. To live out your High Fidelity fantasy, head down the stairs to Basement Discs. Flick through the amazing selection of vinyl and see who else is digging the Beta Band.  

The inside of a record store
Basement Discs

Don Homer and Wu-Tang merch

Every t-shirt store in the '90s stocked t-shirts emblazoned with a laconic Bart Simpson. Or Wu-Tang Clan. Sure Store, one of the city's coolest streetwear and sneaker shops, has created the ultimate '90s collab – 'wu-mer'. Get hats, t-shirts and hoodies featuring a fantastic hybrid Homer Wu-Tang logo.

Be your own Buffy at Melbourne's magic shops

Crystals and witchcraft were big business in the ‘90s. Buffy, The Craft and Charmed put a spell on us and we were loving the mysteries of magic. Channel your inner Willow at Muses of Mystery for spiritual tools and spell consultations. Then head to Spellbox for tarot sets, crystals and readings. If you want to conjure up prosperity or true love, there are spell boxes made just for that.  

The inside of a magic shop
Muses of Mystery

Order a Cosmopolitan

Sex and the City went for glamour over grunge and fast became a '90s fave. But who was the real fifth member of the show? Our pick is the iconic cranberry-hued Cosmopolitan, a staple on Carrie's arm through thick and thin. Get your besties together, glam up and head sky-high to The Atrium on 35 at the Sofitel for Cosmos and NY-style fun.

More throwback experiences in Melbourne

Vintage Sole

Classic retro fashion store, selling a curated range of quality clothing, footwear and accessories.

Rocksteady Records

An independent record store, specialising in vinyl releases and CDs with a local focus.

RetroStar Vintage Clothing

Home to an extensive range of vintage clothing, shoes, bags and accessories.

Martin Fella Vintage

Pre-loved luxury-brand fashion and accessories for the vintage enthusiast.

Last updated on Thu 24 Jun 2021

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