Our Favorite Places To Thrift In Philadelphia
Hello there, it's been a minute. July has been a whirlwind of driving, flying, sailing, hosting, and more. We're tired, but we're tired with a tan. Anyway, I was trying to explain our absence from this little home-related corner of the interwebs, hopefully to some success. But now we're back, and with no less than a heavily-requested topic: where are the best places to thrift in Philly? I would like to start by saying this isn't necessarily a loaded question, however, there is quite a bit of variation in what someone means by "thrifting". Are we talking about a cheap find, something vintage or retro, an antique, or even raw materials? Well, since there is indeed a bit of diversity in the definition, we're going to share a number of places that are great for different purposes. And a minor disclaimer: this list is not ranked and is by no means exhaustive- these are simply places we find ourselves going back to time and time again. So, let's get started!
Address: 2234 W Westmoreland St, Philadelphia, PA 19140
Again, this list is not ranked. That being said, whenever I post this place on our story, it probably garners the most "WHERE IS THIS?!?!" replies. Do with that information what you will. With that acknowledged, let's get down to the details. Philadelphia Salvage, as the name implies, focuses on... salvage. They've got a pretty great Instagram page that shows a lot of their finds, but in our opinion, it's best to experience this place IRL. The old warehouse itself is worth getting lost in. That being said, this is probably not the best place for wandering and casual browsing. We usually go here with a specific purpose (or item, really) in mind. Are you looking for: an old door to bring back to life, an antique mantle, massive beams, or even windows to refurbish? If so, this is the place for you. The price point ranges from reasonable to pricey, but again, we usually go here for big things, and those usually come with a price tag.
PRICE POINT: Medium to high
BEST FOR: Specific browsing (i.e. a door, fireplace mantle, etc.)
Address: 2441 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Okay, okay... we're not ranking. BUT... they have a shop cat (cats?)! So do they win? Anything with a shop cat is a winner in my book. Anywhomst, this place is great. Taking a stroll through an old church from the 1800s that's now filled everything you can imagine is always a treat. It is for me, at least. This is one of those places where you never really know what to expect. There are old stools, an assortment of art, vintage glass bottles, ceramics, discarded electronics, mannequins, lamps- you name it, it's probably here, somewhere, hiding in a corner. Let the shop cat lead the way.
PRICE POINT: Cheeeeeeaaaaappppp
BEST FOR: Coming in with no expectations or purpose and walking away with a lovely find, whatever that may be.
Address: 2233 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
This place might not look like much, but if you give it a chance, it will surprise you. It's located next door to the main Circle Thrift, which focuses mostly on clothes. But this side-attachment that's slightly larger than a garage is filled to the brim with steals, honey. This feels like whatever "thrifting" is in its purest form. A toaster, picture frames, books, a bicycle that may or may not work- that's what you come here for. But for me... it's the books for me. Not sure if that sentence worked, but to translate into real English, this is my favorite place to find vintage and antique books. They're usually a dollar or less (really), and this price point simply cannot be beaten. I made out with almost twenty or so antique books, filled with personal notes and library cards from decades passed, for less than twenty bucks. At trendier shops, one antique book alone would run you this amount. Don't believe me? Go check it out for yourself whenever you have empty shelves to fill.
PRICE POINT: As cheap as it gets, sis
BEST FOR: Casual or spontaneous browsing (but don't sleep on their old books)
Address: 29 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
This gem in Old City is easy to miss, but looks can be deceiving. From the outside, it looks like it might be something the size of a barber shop or nail salon. But no, it basically runs as deep as an entire city block. Unfortunately for me though, Mr. Goldman didn't appear to be in the shop when I stopped by on Friday, so I didn't get to venture inside. However, I can assure you of its greatness by taking a stealthy picture through the front window. Quite a few of our gallery wall pieces were found on the floor here, stacked away beneath books and paintings and whatever else he has in here. If art is what you seek, he probably has it, but it might be buried underneath a dozen other paintings. Seriously, this long and narrow shop is bordering on sensory overload, but it's incredible, and probably my favorite place to journey to when I need to fill empty wall pace with vintage prints and paintings. The prices aren't as cheap as others (this is Old City after all), but everything is in pretty great condition, and his selection (and catalogue) is unbeatable.
PRICE POINT: Medium-ish
BEST FOR: Prints, paintings, drawings- anything that comes in a frame. (And books I guess, as the name suggests. But we covered another place for those already.)
Address: 1410 E Moyamensing Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147
This newer vintage shop is on the first floor of a rowhome, so as you can imagine, it's not the largest. But as the saying goes, size isn't everything. I actually picked up two pieces here on Friday: a vintage French print in a nice gold frame, and another empty frame (for a purpose yet to be disclosed). As mentioned, there isn't a lot of room, but take your time. The selection of art they had here reminded me a lot of Jinxed (which we'll get to in a moment), and the owner was incredibly pleasant to talk with. He also mentioned that some film crew members from Adam Sandler's upcoming movie Hustle, which is currently filming in Philly, were in the shop taking pictures for a while the other day- so maybe we should all be on the lookout for their feature film debut. Besides antiques, they have other fun little things like candles and cards and whatnot, if you're on the market for those.
PRICE POINT: Very reasonable!
BEST FOR: Popping in to see what their owner has found in a farmhouse attic over the weekend.
Address: 4313 Main St, Philadelphia, PA 19127
At last, we've returned to our charming little hilltown-in-the-city that is Manayunk, and this is our first stop. UrbanBurb is probably one of the more aesthetically-pleasing shops on this list. It has spaces set up like living rooms or seating areas, and art lines the walls like it would in said living room, albeit a gigantic one. We like to pop in here every few weeks to see what new things have been brought in. As the name has already given away, furniture is their specialty. They always have a chic display of mid-century sofas, chairs, and the like on display here. As you're probably already guesstimating, the prices here do tend to fall on the higher end of the spectrum. But I will say, everything here is really, really nice and in tip-top condition. And! Their prices drop periodically after certain dates if the item doesn't sell. So, for once, patience rewards you! This is where our bar/liquor cabinet is from that we're absolutely obsessed with, and we watched it in the window for weeks until we finally made a move. Also, I can't write a paragraph about UrbanBurb without mentioning their fantastic live-edge wood selection. We purchased a nice n' pretty lil piece of wood here to make a bench that now sits in our bedroom. So if you're looking for one of those stunning, sprawling live-edge pieces of wood for a dining room or coffee table, this is where to find it.
PRICE POINT: Higher end
BEST FOR: When you're on the hunt for a statement piece/live-edge wood
Address: 4353 Main Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127
I would link the website, Instagram, or whatever here- but there isn't anything, so the address will have to do. As the owner has told me, she "comes and goes on Main Street", so I'm assuming her internet and social media presence is the same. A few years ago when she was at a different address on Main Street, I stumbled upon the hand-tooled, Peruvian leather coffee table that now resides in our living room and it remains my favorite antique/vintage find of all time. Her newest location isn't large- it's also the first-floor of a rowhome, so you're not going to spend hours here. But like Arcana, take a bit of time to see what she's got. Her collection changes pretty frequently, so it's fun to stop in every so often and see if there is something that strikes your eye. On one of those occasions, you might discover something incredible. Also, small PSA, there are always dog treats outside!
PRICE POINT: Middle of the road
BEST FOR: Popping in every once in a while and finding a steal
There are, obviously, plenty of places that have been left off of this list for one reason or another that we still love and appreciate. At the top of that list is probably Jinxed. We have so much art from Jinxed- their antique art curation is truly next level. Unfortunately though, due to the pantene conditioner (read: pandemic), none of their shops in Philadelphia have been open to the public since March 2020. Now they're only selling off of Instagram which, in our experience, is incredibly frustrating. They have a bajillion followers and anything remotely interesting, or even something meh, sells within seconds. So basically until their shops open back up and we're able to blissfully browse once again, I can't in good faith say they're still our favorite. Other cool spots: Provenance (like Philadelphia Salvage, but bougier), Beaty American, and Philly Aids Thrift.
THE END! Hopefully this will help you along your thrifting quest. The journey is never-ending, it seems- but always rewarding!