Published on July 2nd, 2015 | by Andrea Bertoli0
Best Thrift Stores in San Francisco
My sweetie and I recently relocated to the city by the bay, and have been working hard for weeks to set up our new house. As you might expect from the folks behind Green Living Ideas, we’re trying to get as much second-hand, thrifted, shared, Craigslisted, found and vintage items as possible to ensure that our new home has the lightest footprint possible, and we’ve been seeking out the best thrift stores in San Francisco.
The Bay Area has so much to offer for all price ranges: you can visit high-end showrooms to find gorgeous reclaimed wood furniture, or you can find the bargain basement furniture stores with stuff that looks good, but will surely fall apart after a few weeks of use (nevermind all the toxic chemicals used to make it!). And of course there is mid-range stuff, like Target and Ikea, which I still have never been to! Finding pieces that are of quality construction, within a good price point and still modestly attractive has taken a bit more time and perseverance, but we’ve managed to find almost everything we needed for the house. And I think we’re finally done!
We made a few exceptions for linens and kitchen goods, but for everything else– nightstands, tables, shelving, armoires, lamps, dishes, dressers and even a TV– we’ve been able to get it used. Here are the best places we’ve found to seek out vintage and thrifted items for your new home in the Bay Area.
But we want to hear from you: what places would you add to this list of best Bay Area thrift stores?
Goodwill: Throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area there are dozens of Goodwill stores that have an array of homegoods, clothing and electronics. Thus far, the ones that have proven most abundant are the Goodwill at Mission & Van Ness (1580 Mission St.) and Fillmore St. (at 1669 Fillmore St.). Both of these locations have a bunch of furniture every time we go along with a great selection of electronics. These are larger stores too, so you can stock up on a ton of vintage clothes too. There are more locations throughout the Bay Area, including a few more throughout town, but these ones are smaller and didn’t seem to have the selection that we wanted. Geary St was the smallest and least productive, and my boyfriend said to avoid the Haight St. location because it would be pretty low quality stuff.
Out of the Closet Thrift Stores: Out of the Closet is a great mission-driven company. They accept donations from the public and donate all profits to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. We visited Out of the Closet at the Mission location (1295 Folsom St) and the Polk St location (1498 Polk St.), and found that the Mission location was much bigger and had a great selection of furniture, pillows, books for days and great shoes. We were able to bring home two small dressers for about $30 each. The Polk St. store had less homegoods, but still a great selection of clothes, shoes and more.
Thrift Town: Not only is this one of the best thrift stores in San Francisco, this might be my favorite thrift store ever. Thrift Town is a huge two-story store in the heart of the Mission. Their furniture selection was small and we didn’t score anything great (yet), but they have a great array of dishes, bowls, deco, and other home goods, as well as a great selection of clothing. This is the only location in the city (2101 Mission St.), but there are four other Thrift Town stores in the Bay Area.
People’s Bazaar: A fancy vintage shop in Berkeley, selling a higher-end mix of furniture, legit antiques and jewelry. People’s Bazaar is not quite in our budget for this house, but when we sell our tech startup and make millions (haha), we’ll definitely stop by here. Visit them at 3258 Adeline street, Berkeley.
Urban Ore: A warehouse with a mission! This Berkeley warehouse is determined to change the way we think of waste and salvage; their tagline is ‘An end to the age of Waste,” which we think is pretty cool. Urban Ore has solar panels to power their store, and sells everything from furniture, salvage building materials and even clothing. (900 Murray Street, Berkeley, CA)
Bay Home Consignment: Another higher end vintage store, Bay Home Consignment offers Stylish secondhand furniture store specializing in midcentury modern pieces & other vintage finds. Find them at 1825 Eastshore Hwy, Berkeley.
Mickey’s Monkey and Apartment: Two secondhand stores that were so similar that I think they belong together. These are the types of stores that make you question how they pay their rent. Each store had a pretty small selection of random items and super unique pieces. More vintage cocktail sets, record players, art, and costume jewelry than actual homegoods. Both are fun and interesting though, and worth checking out if you’re in the ‘hood. Neither Mickey’s Monkey (218 Pierce St.) and Apartment (3469 18th St.) have websites, not surprisingly.
Leftovers: Leftovers was a great secondhand store that was a bit on the pricy side, but not crazy. Their selection of consignments was amazing: antiques, moderns and very cool accessories like Pottery Barn pillows, funky throws and cool homewares made it a fun place to browse. When we want to upgrade, we’ll be heading here. 1350 Van Ness ave @ Bush
Stuff: This place is wild! Stuff SF is two floors of the most interesting and varied vintage items I’ve ever seen. Crystal sets, furniture, clothing, jewelry, statues, games, lighting fixtures, and EVERYTHING else you could imagine. It’s all pretty pricy, but totally unique and awesome. 150 Valencia St.
Community Thrift: Another large store in the Mission district, Community Thrift carries a huge selection of home goods, furniture, clothing and more. They are also a mission-driven store, and customers can choose to donate to their favorite charity at the time of purchase. Find them at 623 Valencia St.