One of the things that makes Brooklyn stand out – not only in New York but worldwide – is thrift stores.
I’ll never forget when I found an authentic Chanel blazer in a pile of clothes for 10 bucks. Even better, I wore it to a job interview the next day and landed the job!
But as exciting as it may be, it can also be pretty confusing and overwhelming trying to figure out which stores are good, how to rummage through the items effectively, and how to get the best deals possible.
That is especially true for thrifting in Brooklyn, as it has some of the world’s most diverse and best thrift stores.
Furniture, vinyl records, books, clothing, and vintage jewelry are cool things you’ll encounter on your Brooklyn thrifting adventure.
But don’t worry – you’re in the right place. In this article, I’ll share everything you need about Brooklyn thrift stores – including some thrifting dos and don’ts!
- Brooklyn has some of the best and most diverse thrift stores in the world, where you can find incredible deals on clothes, furniture, books, records, and more.
- Some top thrift stores in Brooklyn include Monk Vintage Thrift Shop, L Train Vintage, Buffalo Exchange, Housing Works, Beacon’s Closet, and Urban Jungle.
- Lesser known thrift gems include City Opera Thrift Shop, Cure Thrift, Awoke Vintage, No Relation Vintage, 10 FT Single by Stella, and Unearth Vintage.
- For a full day of thrifting in Brooklyn, start in Williamsburg, explore stores on Bedford Ave, head to Bushwick, and end in DUMBO. The best times to go are weekday mornings and evenings.
- Brooklyn thrifting lets you find unique vintage items while supporting small businesses, local artists, and even charitable organizations. It’s an experience that embodies the borough’s creative spirit.
Thrift Stores in Brooklyn: Lesser Known Hidden Gems
We’ve established that Brooklyn is the “it” place for thrifting, which is why some shops are incredibly well-known and popular among thrifters.
But those places aren’t the only ones worth poking your head in.
Here are some of my favorite thrift stores in Brooklyn that aren’t as famous but definitely deserve your attention.
Monk Vintage Thrift Shop
Location: 500 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Monk Vintage is a small but well-curated thrift store with a huge selection of vintage clothing, accessories, and home goods. The prices are also very reasonable – plus, you can donate your clothing and get a 25% discount on your next purchase!
Not only can you find incredible clothing items there, but you can also find the perfect suitcase for your upcoming travels, hats and jewelry to amp up any outfit, and even a vintage movie poster that will make everyone envy your crib.
What’s even better is that Monk has some of the best seasonal selections – which means you might just find your new favorite ugly Christmas sweater there!
City Opera Thrift Shop
Location: 513 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001
City Opera Thrift Shop is one of those uniquely New York places. Just set foot inside the store, and you’ll know what I mean.
They’re known for coming out with curated vintage collections throughout the year, all centered around different inspirational topics.
If you’re searching for designer and high-end pieces, it’s one of the best thrift stores in Brooklyn. Give it a shot even if you’re on a tighter budget, though – they have a great, affordable selection, too!
Location: 91 Third Ave, New York, NY 10003
If you want to spend the day thrifting in the Big Apple – and you care about giving back – Cure Thrift is the place to go.
The store owner, Liz Wolff, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was a child – so when she started the vintage shopping business, she knew she had to make it meaningful.
That’s how Cure Thrift became one of the few non-profit vintage stores that donate its earnings to the Diabetes Research Institute.
If you need more convincing after this, I’ll tell you a bit about what you can find in the store: vintage art, jewelry, home decor, rugs, high-end clothing – and so much more.
You can visit Cure Thrift online for a detailed look at their offer – but don’t skip the in-person visit. It’s an experience like no other.
Location: 132 N 5th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
This adorable thrift store was established all the way in Perth, Australia, in 2007. In 2012, the owner, Liz Power, took a leap of faith and relocated her business to Brooklyn, NY.
What sets it apart from the rest is that it specializes in denim, so if you’re on the hunt for the perfect pair of jeans to live in, head over to Awoke.
But jeans aren’t the only thing this thrift store is good for. You can find nuggets of gold – not literally, but maybe if you look carefully enough – for $5 or $10, or you can check out their carefully curated selection of small Brooklyn-based brands.
No Relation Vintage
Location: 654 Sackett St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
No Relation Vintage is part of the family-owned L Train Vintage, which is one of the best vintage shops in New York. There are actually two different thrift stores: one in East Village and one in Gowanus.
Don’t be deterred by the location, though:
The No Relation in Gowanus is definitely worth the visit. The store is in a warehouse – which adds to the charm – but most importantly, it’s filled with great pieces.
You just have to know what to look for, and you’ll find it here!
10 FT Single by Stella
Location: 285 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Right next door is its sister shop, Stella Dallas Living, where you can find amazing vintage furniture, furnishing textiles, and vintage women’s clothing from the 1940s!
What I love about this store is that, unlike some thrift shops, 10 FT Single is organized into categories – perfect for vintage shopping beginners and those looking for a seamless thrifting experience.
Are you a sucker for a pretty-looking store, like me?
Then you’re going to love Unearth Vintage in Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill. This 2,000-square-foot store is filled with the most diverse selection of clothing; it’s a treasure hunt!
It doesn’t matter if your style is more shabby chick or feminine classic. You’ll find something in Unearth.
This funky store, however, is known for its statement, unique vintage finds that cannot be seen in other Brooklyn thrift stores.
What’s even better is that they get hundreds of new items every week. So, even if you don’t spot something you like on your first try, I recommend paying another visit to the store and trying again!
Famous “Classic” Brooklyn Thrift Stores
Now that we’ve covered those hidden gems of Brooklyn thrift stores, we can move on to the big guns.
You’ve probably heard of some of these vintage stores – but I’ve also previously mentioned a couple in connection to the lesser-known thrift stores.
Here’s my list of the best thrift stores in Brooklyn – all famous for a reason!
Location: 109 Boerum Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Buffalo Exchange is a national chain, but its Brooklyn locations are some of the best. The stores have a wide selection of vintage and secondhand clothes, shoes, and accessories.
You can find everything from designer labels to vintage Levi’s jeans.
Buffalo Exchange has been around since 1974, so they know their stuff.
What makes this shop unique is the shopping style. Back in the 70s, Kerstin Block came up with the idea to open a thrift store with a different business model:
She allowed people to sell their clothes for cash or on-the-spot trade, making Buffalo Exchange a resale shop with a great selection of hand-picked clothing.
L Train Vintage
Location: 629 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
I’ve mentioned L Train Vintage before – but let’s get into more detail.
L Train Vintage is a Williamsburg institution. The store has a huge selection of vintage clothing, home goods, and furniture.
You can find everything from vintage Chanel dresses to mid-century modern furniture at L Train Vintage.
Their store in Williamsburg is tiny but mighty.
The space is neatly organized, which saves you lots of time. You’ll be in and out with your new steals in no time.
You can find charming pieces of vintage clothing for an affordable price – even though L Train Vintage isn’t one of those well-known cheap thrift stores.
Their selection may not be everyone’s cup of tea; many quirky bits require a special type of person to fall in love with them.
If that’s you, you’ll have a field day here!
Housing Works in Brooklyn Heights
Location: 150 Montague St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Here’s a Brooklyn thrift store with a meaningful mission behind it:
Housing Works in Brooklyn Heights is a nonprofit organization that supports people with HIV/AIDS.
The thrift stores have a wide selection of clothes, shoes, and accessories, both new and used. You can find everything from designer handbags to vintage jewelry at Housing Works.
Housing Works prides itself on its advocacy and lifesaving services:
Besides clothing and books, the store offers healthcare services for people affected by AIDS/HIV and homelessness.
You already love thrifting – so why not support this stellar community and store while finding awesome clothing?
They have several locations across New York, but the one in Brooklyn is worth giving a shot!
Location: 74 Guernsey St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Beacon’s Closet is another Brooklyn institution.
The store has a large selection of vintage and secondhand clothes, shoes, and accessories. You can find everything from designer dresses to vintage band T-shirts at Beacon’s Closet.
It’s been recognized by some of the biggest fashion magazines and sites – like Vogue, Goop, Refinery 29, W Magazine, and many more.
It’s not just a hyped-up store with no substance, though.
The owner, Carrie Peterson, started the thrift store with clothes from her and her friends’ collection and personal thrift finds in 1997, and even lived in the back for a while to make ends meet.
That’s how much she believed in Beacon’s Closet.
It has multiple locations across Brooklyn and New York, too.
The story, the atmosphere of these stores, and the great selection of hand-picked secondhand clothes make this one of my favorite thrift stores in Brooklyn.
Urban Jungle is a thrift store and vintage clothing store in Bushwick.
The store offers a wide selection of vintage clothes, shoes, accessories, home goods, and furniture.
You can find everything from vintage Levi’s jeans to mid-century modern furniture at Urban Jungle.
It’s part of the L Train Vintage stores, which greatly explains their huge selection.
Even more so, Urban Jungle has got to be one of – if not the biggest – thrift stores in New York City. That should give you an idea of how much there is to sort through here.
What is even better is that items have reasonable prices – while being in near-perfect condition.
I should warn you that you’ll probably spend the entire day here – it’s huge!
Location: 10 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Tired Thrift is a thrift store in Williamsburg that specializes in Y2K fashion. It’s basically the product of simultaneous frustration and love for the clothes of two native New Yorkers.
They’re on a mission to bring back authenticity to fashion in the face of mass production.
The store boasts a wide selection of vintage clothes, shoes, and accessories from the late 1990s and early 2000s.
With their vintage pieces from the ’90s and ’00s, you are guaranteed to feel those nostalgic vibes and trip down memory lane if you’re a millennial or an early Gen Z kid.
The store is well organized, too – and you already know how important that is to me.
All in all, you should put Tired Thrift store on your thrift shopping list.
Grand Street Local
Location: 154 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Grand Street Local is a thrift store in Williamsburg that specializes in vintage clothing and home goods.
Oh, and it’s a family-owned business with vintage clothes dating as far back as the 1940s, too!
I’ve found some of my most worn T-shirts in this store. If you love nothing more than to throw on a pair of jeans and a quirky Tee, you’ll have your hands full at Grand Street Local.
If you’re eager to see what they have in their current selection, you can visit their Instagram page – and while you’re there, you can participate in a live auction every Sunday night.
The energy in the store is great, and the staff is friendly. You’ll love being there – not just for the clothes!
Location: 80 Pearl St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Now for a little change – we’re going full-on retro!
It takes place outside, which already makes it different from most other places I’ve told you about. Plus, this type of thrifting is something your grandma probably took part in her days.
I love the Brooklyn Flea because it’s an experience like no other.
My friends and I often plan it as a whole-day thing, especially when the weather is nice. The fact that there’s delicious fresh food there, as well, is just an added bonus.
In general, the thing with flea markets is that it’s not as regulated as shopping in stores – but it’s pretty worth it. You can find many items – clothes, antiques, home decor, books, and records!
Location: 281 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Stella Dallas should be a familiar name by now – but here, I’ll tell you about the Stella Dallas Living thrift store. Thrifting in Brooklyn wouldn’t be complete without some home goods, right?
Well, this store is the perfect place for that.
Upcycling vintage home items and furniture is super fun. You can make it a DIY project with your friends and family!
However, this isn’t the only thing you can find here:
Stella has some ultra-charming vintage women’s clothing from the 1940s, too. So, if that’s your style – or you are looking to emulate Ava Gardner – you’re sure to succeed in your search here.
Aside from that, the store has a wide selection of vintage dresses, as well as vintage shoes and accessories.
A Local’s Recommended Itinerary To a Perfect Day Thrifting in Brooklyn
Okay, by now, you are aware that Brooklyn is a thrifting paradise – home to countless vintage shops and secondhand stores just waiting to be explored.
I want you to have the best day, so I’m giving you an insider itinerary for a full day of thrifting Brooklyn’s best spots while experiencing local culture:
- Start your day with a coffee and pastry at one of the many cafes in Williamsburg. I recommend St. Anselm, known for its delicious coffee and pastries, as well as its stylish and inviting atmosphere. I mean, you are in Brooklyn, after all.
- Once you’re properly caffeinated, head over to the L Train Vintage. This store has a huge selection of vintage clothing, home goods, and furniture; you’re bound to find something you love.
- After L Train Vintage, you can stroll down Bedford Avenue to Beacon’s Closet. This store is another Brooklyn staple – and it is known for its range of vintage and secondhand clothes, shoes, and accessories.
- Grab a bite to eat in one of Williamsburg’s atmospheric restaurants. If you’re up for more mainstream food, L’Industrie Pizzeria is the place to go.
- Done with lunch? Then, head to Bushwick to explore the neighborhood’s many thrift stores. Monk Vintage Thrift Shop is the place to be. It has a well-curated selection of vintage clothing, accessories, and home goods.
- After Monk, you can take a walk down Myrtle Avenue to Urban Jungle. There, you’ll find a wide range of items – clothes, furniture, and much more.
- For dinner, head back to Williamsburg. I recommend Chez Ma Tante, which serves up delicious French-inspired cuisine in a charming and romantic setting.
- After dinner, you can stroll along the East River waterfront and enjoy the magical views of Manhattan. Before heading home, you can also stop by St. Anselm again for a nightcap.
That’s just a suggested itinerary; feel free to customize it to fit your interests and budget.
For example, if you’re on a tight budget, you can pack your own lunch and visit some of the free museums and attractions in Brooklyn, such as the Brooklyn Museum and the Prospect Park Zoo.
You’ll have a great time thrifting in Brooklyn either way!
Insider Tips: Days and Times to Go Thrifting in Brooklyn
Here’s what to keep in mind when making a plan:
- Weekday mornings (Mon-Wed) – You’ll get the first pick of new inventory. Besides, it’s less crowded than on weekends.
- Thursday evenings – Many thrift stores put out new merch or mark down items on Thursdays, which means good availability.
- Fridays – It’s a fun day to thrift, but bear in mind that the stores start filling up for the weekend. If you want to go on a Friday, go earlier.
- Saturdays – Saturday is a popular day, so be as early as possible. There’s lots to choose from, but be prepared for a crowd.
- Sundays – Another busy day. Some thrift stores have sales on Sunday mornings, making for an exciting adventure and unbearable crowds.
- End of month (last week) – More donations and truck unloading happen at month’s end, giving you the perfect opportunity to bag some awesome deals.
- Holiday weekends – Try thrifting on the actual holiday when most other stores are closed. Less competition means less stress.
- Cold winter weekdays – These are typically slower thrifting days. Besides, the staff may be willing to negotiate prices. If bargaining is your thing, this is your time to shine.
Don’t forget to look up the store’s working hours and schedule; the last thing you want is to make a plan – only to arrive at the store and find it closed.
Thrifting is a delight – but recognizing the best thrift shops to go to is a skill in its own right.
Additionally, the spirit of thrifting, community, and doing something good – not only for the environment but for other people, as well – is an added bonus. And as you saw, there are numerous stores that help a greater cause.
Not only that, but you get to meet this charming part of New York, which is bursting with culture and art!
Put all that in a unique environment such as Brooklyn, and you’ll see that nothing compares.
Thrifting in Brooklyn is like eating pizza in Italy or drinking wine in France – in a league of its own!
So, there you have it: my guide to the best thrift stores in Brooklyn. Let me know about your go-to thrift store in the comments below!