Four stops for a perfect day on Locke Street South

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Browse all kinds of business and specialty shops on this vibrant Hamilton street

Despite growing up in Hamilton, I have yet to explore all the unique streets that the city is known for. Recently, I spent the day along Locke Street South exploring the local businesses and eateries. The street was busy and vibrant with many students, families, and local residents doing the same. I left the experience feeling more connected with the local community, and I hope to return for their upcoming Hamilton Day event on Nov. 4 and the Magic of Locke event on Nov. 17. - Nov 18.   

Here are a few of the places I visited that left me with a great impression. 

Enjoy breakfast or coffee at Democracy on Locke 

Located in the heart of Locke Street South, Democracy on Locke is a vegan cafe with gourmet coffee and tea, baked goods and plenty of options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The industrial-style interior and natural overhead lighting creates a wonderful atmosphere to study or enjoy a slow morning. The staff let me know their most popular breakfast and brunch items include the toasted chocolate chip pancakes and cauliflower wings. The breakfast menu is offered Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 11 AM, and the brunch menu is available every weekend from at 9 AM to 3 PM.  

Search for new books at Epic Books 

Epic Books is an independent bookstore on Locke Street South offering a curated selection of books. This bookstore is relatively small, but it features a well-organized selection of books, including an impressive selection of classics and Canadian books. Speak with the friendly and knowledgeable staff for recommendations and staff picks, or for assistance placing a special order on an out-of-stock title. Epic Books also holds different monthly events in collaboration with local libraries to highlight Canadian authors. Their next event is on November 6th and features Mohawk writer and editor, Alicia Elliot, at the Hamilton Public Library Central location. Elliot is a local author who has received nominations and awards for her essays and novel, A Mind Spread Out on The Ground.  

Browse for gifts at The Local Life on Locke 

The Local Life is a gift shop offering all kinds of local or handmade products with locations in Hamilton and Vineland. It took me a while to browse all the shop’s aesthetic displays, each stocked with all kinds of goods. The spacious shop features a unique selection of mugs, Hamilton merch, jewelry, kitchen accessories, candles, bath products, and children’s clothing and toys. Many of the products are made locally in Hamilton, such as Small Batch Soaps, Dawson’s Hot Sauce, and Craving Candles.  

Get creative at Play with Clay Hamilton 

Play with Clay is a favourite for many local residents and university students. This studio is open for drop-in clay building, drop-in pottery painting, adult pottery classes and one-on-one lessons throughout the week. The studio offers a large selection of mugs, plates, vases, pottery animals and more for drop-in painting. The pieces of pottery range from $15-$40, and the prices include the cost of painting and firing. Once you’re finished, the staff will fire your pottery, which will be ready for pick up one week later. This is a fun activity for all ages and skill levels.  


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