San Francisco may be small in size, covering just 49 square miles, but it’s a city packed with attractions and a unique charm. Known for its tech community, the Warriors, and a reputation as one of the country’s pricier places to live, San Francisco is a vibrant mosaic of neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character and cultural flavor. This compact footprint makes it easy to explore and experience a lot in a short time, including the joy of thrift shopping.
San Francisco has a deep-rooted love for vintage and eclectic fashion, dating back to the era of the hippies and the Free Store established by the Diggers during the Summer of Love. Having been a San Francisco resident for many years and a passionate thrift shopper, I can certainly attest to the excitement of thrift shopping in the city. It’s where my love for thrift shopping began.
After years of sifting through many thrift store racks, I’ve found some favorites. Whether you’re strolling through the Mission district or the iconic Haight-Ashbury district, here are some of the best thrift stores in San Francisco.
1. Community Thrift Store
623 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
As they celebrate their 40th year, it’s safe to say that this secondhand shop has a good thing going. Being one of the oldest thrift stores in San Francisco, this iconic place is filled with quality vintage and antique furniture, household items, art, books, electronics, and various knick-knacks. While the clothing selection might vary from day to day, it’s clear that the stylish folks tend to snag the best pieces early.
What makes Community Thrift Stores special is their commitment to supporting over 200 Bay Area charities. When you make a purchase here, you’re also giving back to one of these non-profit organizations. Your receipt will show which local charities are benefiting from your sale.
2. Buffalo Exchange
1555 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Buffalo Exchange on Haight Street has been around for ages. This place can get really busy on weekends, and there’s a good reason. It’s practically a rite of passage for anyone visiting San Francisco to check out Buffalo Exchange.
The Haight Street location of Buffalo Exchange has been a fixture in San Francisco since 1974, and it’s a go-to spot for folks in search of stylish and unique vintage and used clothing. They have several circular racks for you to browse and a wall stocked with footwear.
1660 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Wasteland has firmly established itself on some of California’s prime shopping streets. You’ll find their stores on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, Haight Street in San Francisco, Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, and Figueroa Street in Highland Park. Each Wasteland store reflects the unique character and culture of its neighborhood, influenced by the local residents. This results in a thrift store shopping experience that’s always on-trend and one-of-a-kind.
Wasteland is a vintage lover’s dream, offering a mix of high-end designer pieces and vintage finds, along with a great selection of accessories and shoes. It’s the perfect spot for those with a taste for distinctive and edgy fashion.
While designer items come with designer prices, Wasteland is proud of its history as a California fashion hub. If you’re a serious shopper, you can easily spend an afternoon browsing racks, trying on shoes, and perhaps reminiscing about the good old days. The iconic Wasteland store houses an ever-changing, extensive collection of vintage and modern designer pieces in a well-lit, spacious environment. While prices can be on the higher side, Wasteland’s designer pieces have a stylish and trendy vibe and are consistently in excellent condition.
4. Out of the Closet
- 1295 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103
- 1498 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109
Out of the Closet (OTC) offers a unique selection of items that stand out in San Francisco. Their collection is well-curated and not just fashionable but also sustainable. The best part is they cater to a wide range of tastes. Whether you’re seeking to refresh your home decor or find that perfect retro top, you’re likely to find it here.
What sets them apart is their status as an official safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community. They provide free HIV testing and AHF Pharmacy services, allowing you to get tested or fill a prescription while you shop. Even more, when you shop or donate at Out of the Closet, 96 cents of every dollar you spend goes toward vital HIV services locally and globally. Your contribution supports testing, treatment, and prevention services that make a real difference in saving lives.
5. Crossroads Trading Co.
- 2123 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94114
- 1901 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA
Crossroads, with three spots in San Francisco and numerous others across the West Coast, stands out as a thriving recycled fashion and consignment brand. The Market Street location in San Francisco is one of the city’s largest, and it’s known for its variety—you never quite know what you might stumble upon.
Crossroads Trading Co. stocks a blend of contemporary, stylish clothing and vintage gems. What’s more, you have the option to sell your gently used clothes here for cash or store credit.
1815 Polk St, San Francisco, CA
ReLove, located in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood and having expanded to a second location in Oakland in early 2023, is a special re-sale boutique. They offer a carefully curated selection of vintage, designer, and independent labels. Every item is handpicked with love, care, and a keen sense of style.
Beyond being a boutique, ReLove also serves as a community space that inspires, challenges your fashion boundaries, greets you warmly, seeks to know you, and encourages you to part with what no longer serves you.
Customers consistently praise the diverse and curated collection of vintage, designer, and contemporary pieces found in this neighborhood gem. The shop oozes a stylish atmosphere with a hipster touch and an inviting atmosphere.
ReLove offers a wonderful blend of high-quality, well-curated vintage and designer clothing at affordable prices, making it a go-to spot for the creative and expressive fashion enthusiast.
7. Held Over
Held Over stands as one of the original thrift shops in Haight Ashbury, a vintage clothing store known for its diverse selection of Bogart hats, leather jackets, and Levi’s. They take great care in organizing their clothing, grouping items by decade and style.
While you might need to browse a bit, you’ll find a wide mix of vintage pieces from various time periods. For instance, they dedicate an entire section to 80s/90s windbreaker jackets and even offer older dresses from the 30s and 40s. They also have a section for hats, with glasses neatly displayed in glass cases near the cash register.
1700 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
It’s a well-known name in the thrift store world, and San Francisco certainly has its fair share of Goodwill locations. The Haight-Ashbury store is often hailed as the city’s finest. While Goodwill stores can vary, this particular Haight-Ashbury spot stands out as one of the best.
Just be prepared to roll up your sleeves and dig a little. Inside the store, you’ll find various departments dedicated to clothing, accessories, home goods, electronics, and books. It’s also one of the prime spots for sourcing high-quality, affordable, used furniture.
By choosing to shop at Goodwill, you’re not only in for fantastic deals and unique finds but also contributing to their mission of empowering individuals and strengthening communities through employment and job training programs.
9. Salvation Army
3921 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118
The Salvation Army on Geary Blvd is definitely worth a visit. It’s a spacious store with a diverse collection of gently used clothing and high-quality furniture. While the furniture pieces might be considered somewhat pricey for used items, they’re well worth the investment.
This store consistently provides an appealing mix of new and vintage items, making it a standout choice for thrift shopping in San Francisco. One great thing about it is that it’s not typically overcrowded, creating a pleasant shopping atmosphere. Whether you’re shopping or donating, you’ll be contributing to a worthy cause.
10. Cris Consignment
1813 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Cris Consignment has been a San Francisco mainstay for over three decades. Located in the heart of Nob Hill, this boutique is a must-visit for those who appreciate high-end brands and labels like Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, and Gucci. They’ve earned a reputation for curating a well-maintained selection of discounted designer clothing and boutique pieces from recent seasons.
Their inventory includes both classic and contemporary dresses, shirts, suits, and accessories, all neatly arranged by color and impeccably maintained. Cris Consignment is more than just a high-end consignment shop; its friendly staff takes pride in helping you personalize your unique style.
11. Chloe’s Closet
451 Cortland Ave., San Francisco, CA 94110
Kids deserve stylish and gently worn clothing, too. This beloved Bernal Heights shop has been a trusted destination for parents in search of everything from play and school clothes to special occasion outfits for their little ones.
You’ll find neatly folded items for newborns through pre-teens, coupled with toys and baby gear. It’s no wonder they’re a cherished favorite in the SF Bay Area for buying and selling kids’ clothing, toys, baby gear, and maternity wear.
12. Sui Generis Consignment
2231 Market Street, San Francisco, California 94114
Sui Generis Designer Consignment is a well-regarded fashion resale store in San Francisco, catering to both women and men. Their impeccable selection has earned them praise from respected names like The New York Times, GQ, Refinery29, GOOP, and Forbes, cementing their reputation as one of the top consignment shops in the United States.
Locals in San Francisco appreciate this boutique for its carefully curated collection of designer clothes, which includes European classics like Prada, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton, as well as selections from Japanese fashion houses like Comme des Garçons. They also offer unique vintage items and pieces from emerging designers and other well-known brands. This one is absolutely worth a visit.
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- Thrift Store Shopping Hacks That Can Save You a Ton of Money
Tamara White is the creator and founder of The Thrifty Apartment, a home decor and DIY blog that focuses on affordable and budget-friendly home decorating ideas and projects. Tamara documents her home improvement journey, love of thrifting, tips for space optimization, and creating beautiful spaces.