We believe that the best way forward for fashion is for us to buy secondhand and vintage pieces as much as possible. Thrift stores are part of the solution.
Buying used articles of clothing cuts down on production pollution and eliminates waste.
And, we should stress that each time we go out thrifting, we have a lot of fun in each shop we visit.
We think that you will too, especially in these amazing San Francisco shops.
From the Bay Area to Pacific Heights, we’ve got you covered.
Alameda Flea Market
It’s a market and as such, it’s not open all the time. In fact, it’s only open on the first Sunday of every month. It may also be known as the Alameda Point Antiques Faire.
However, it’s one of the best thrift stores in San Francisco when it’s open and we’d recommend that you read our sustainable thrift shops tips before you go.
The flea market has over 800 thrift store stalls and takes up a considerable part of the Alameda Naval Base.
Address: 2900 Navy Way Alameda, CA 94501
If you want popular thrift shops, then you can’t go wrong with thrift shopping at Buffalo Exchange.
It’s one of the most established locations in the city and it’s been everyone’s favorite thrift store since it was opened in 1974 by Kerstin Block.
We warn you though, their sell price is usually fair but their prices for buying items are usually on the low-end.
They have a good selection of items in this thrift shop though and it’s always worth a visit.
Address: 1555 Haight Street San Francisco, CA 94117
Check out Buffalo Exchange here.
The best thrift shop in Bernal Heights is Chloe’s Closet and we think you’re best off visiting this place if you’re looking for baby gear and clothes, children’s items, and not for classic clothes for adults.
They also have decent maternity styles in stock if you’re looking to grab some clothing for mom too.
Don’t expect designer shoes or leather jackets though or you will be disappointed.
Address: 451 Cortland Avenue San Francisco, CA 94110
Check out Chloe’s Closet here.
Community Thrift Store (Valencia)
If you want to support a community thrift shop then we can strongly recommend Community Thrift which donates its profits to support more than 200 non-profit organizations and ventures in the local community.
Even cooler, when you drop off the items that make up the hidden gems that this place sells, you can choose which partner organization benefits from your kindness.
Address: 623 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110
Check out Community Thrift Store (Valencia) here.
This is no Goodwill boutique, it’s all about high-end men’s and women’s clothing.
If you want Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton this is the top destination of thrift shops in the city.
However, don’t think “thrift shops” always mean “cheap as cheap can be”.
You will get a bargain here but designer gear comes at a price and Cris Consignment is more expensive than other vintage stores and thrift outlets in the city.
Address: 1813 Polk Street San Francisco, CA 94109
Check out Cris Consignment here.
If you want to find clothing at great prices and you’re not too fussy about what you want to be seen in, this mildly curated selection at Crossroads Trading might be what you’re looking for.
There’s some great stuff to be found but it’s a bit of a treasure hunt with the majority of pieces being semi-fashionable great that tries and sometimes even succeeds to track current fashion trends.
For sellers, you should know that they pay 1/3 of the price that your items sold for as their buyer’s fee.
Address: 1901 Fillmore St, San Francisco CA 94115
Check out Crossroads Trading here.
Out Of The Closet
As you might suspect by the name this wonderful pair of stores have close links to the LBGT community and they came into being in order to support AID/HIV programs and housing services in the city.
They don’t just sell vintage pieces and interesting clothing. They also have on-site pharmacies and can arrange for a free on-the-spot HIV test too.
If you want to donate to them? That’s very easy, just call the store and they will arrange to come and collect your items.
Addresses: 1295 Folsom St San Francisco CA 94103 and 1498 Polk Street San Francisco, CA 94109
Check out Out Of The Closet here.
You should read our confessions of a thrift store addict if you want to understand why we love Pikitos.
It’s one of the best vintage stores that we’ve ever had the privilege to visit anywhere in the country.
Their website, sadly, sucks as does their Facebook page but if you want to visit and go through the racks carefully, it’s one of the few places in the city where you can find real thrift-store-gold.
We never leave their store without some awesome vintage goods for a bargain price.
Address: 2336 Mission St San Francisco, CA 94110
This is right by Crossroads and the street is a very popular location for thrifting, so don’t be afraid to browse around the different places nearby.
However, once again, we’re talking high-end designer thrift and not vintage or ordinary pieces.
Don’t expect to leave the store with your wallet in tact, you’re going to spend a small fortune but you’re really going to love doing so.
Address: 3038 Fillmore Street San Francisco, CA 94123
Suir Generis Consignment
Another upscale, store in San Francisco. It’s in The Castro part of the city and it’s all about the name brands.
If you want Chanel, D&G, Givenchy, Gucci, etc. then you’ll be in your element browsing the shelves.
However, you need to know that you can’t just drop by and start shopping – you will need to make an appointment online to be able to view the items inside.
Yes, it’s a touch on the exclusive side and their customers like it like that.
Address: 2231 Market St, San Francisco, CA
Check out Suir Generis Consignment here.
Final Thoughts On Vintage Clothing, Thrift Stores And More In San Francisco
We love a bargain and whether we’re in Santa Cruz or the Bay Area, we’re going to hunt down a store that can sell us vintage clothes and unique pieces that are real bargains.
You can also find toys, jewelry, furniture, shoes, accessories, and more if you search hard enough and all of it is priced just for you. There’s a great selection of thrift waiting for you in the city, now it’s time to go and enjoy it.