Thrift Stores in San DiegoApril 22, 2021
Whoever you are and whatever you’re interested in, thrifting can be a great way to find hidden treasures and things you never knew you needed. There are a variety of thrift stores in San Diego where you can look for items you’ve been wanting or simply browse to find hidden gems. If you’re looking for cheap clothes, rare antiques, or affordable furniture, there are quite a few options to choose from. Whether your fashion inspiration is as recent as Billie Eilish or as long ago as Kurt Cobain, you should head to a thrift store.
The best thrift stores in San Diego go beyond the typical shops and consignment stores to buy second-hand goods. When you’re on the lookout for consignment stores in San Diego, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking for thrifting in San Diego, check out the stores below.
Table of contents
- Updated List Due to Recent San Diego Thrift Store Closures
- The Best Thrift Stores in San Diego
- Bad Madge & Co
- AMVETS Thrift Store
- Mattson Company
- Honest Thrift Studio
- Assistance League of Greater San Diego
- American Cancer Society Discovery Shop
- Navy Marine Corps Relief Society Thrift Shop
- San Diego Rescue Mission
- Humble Heart Thrift Store
- United Cerebral Palsy Thrift Store
- Buffalo Exchange
- Goodwill & Salvation Army
- Furniture Thrift Stores in San Diego
- Additional Clothing Thrift Stores in San Diego
- Thrift Stores in Downtown
- Thrift Stores in Clairemont
- Thrift Stores in La Jolla
- Thrift Stores in North Park
- Thrift Stores in North San Diego County
Updated List Due to Recent San Diego Thrift Store Closures
Whether it was due to COVID, real estate development, or both, several thrift stores in San Diego have closed since this article was published. The Rescue Mission Thrift Store in North Park was a casualty, as were multiple Humble Heart Thrift Store locations. Some of the Cerebral Palsy thrift stores shuttered their doors, too. If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s this: Shop at your favorite thrift stores!
The Best Thrift Stores in San Diego
There is no shortage of good thrift stores in San Diego. Are you looking for vintage clothes or old electronics? Whatever you need or want, you will likely be able to find it at one of these stores. With so many options to choose from, browse through the inventories or go search for something specific. “Where can I thrift in San Diego?” you might ask. You’re in luck.
Bad Madge & Co
Bad Madge is a newer thrift store; it has only been nestled on its block of Fern Street in South Park between Juniper and Ivy since 2011. But an article on Yelp in March 2022 named it #1 on a list of the top vintage and consignment shops in the United States. The article ranked it higher than vintage stores across the country, including Glam Factory Vintage in Las Vegas and Teal Flamingo in Portland. Bad Madge & Co. is located on the same block as the Station Tavern, Whistle Stop Bar, and Matteo, a nonprofit restaurant from the Buona Forchetta Family that used to be Rebecca’s Coffee House. So if it’s the best vintage/consignment store in the country, it’s probably the best in San Diego!
- South Park: 2205 Fern St., San Diego, CA 92104
- Everyday Hours: 11AM – 5PM
- Phone: (619) 285-1668
AMVETS Thrift Store
The AMVETS thrift store in San Diego is the kind of thrift store that people who love hunting for bargains flock to. As an added bonus, you might find a great deal while supporting American veterans. As with many thrift stores of this variety, the prices are cheap. AMVETS has two locations in San Diego County.
- Pacific Highway: 3441 Sutherland St. #2031, San Diego, CA 92110
- Everyday Hours: 8AM – 6PM
- Phone: (619) 297-4213
- Lemon Grove: 999 Cardiff St., San Diego, CA 92114
- Everyday Hours: 9AM – 7PM, Closes at 6PM on Mondays
- Phone: (619) 697-9796
The Mattson Company organizes estate sales and liquidation. Think of it as a mobile furniture thrift store in San Diego. While the location changes, you’ll be able to find unique and antique objects you won’t find anywhere else. The inventory constantly changes, but that’s why it is a great option to find pieces you would never come across otherwise.
- Sports Arena: 3602 Kurtz St., San Diego, CA 92110
- Everyday Hours: M-SAT 9AM-7PM, SUN 10AM-6PM
- Phone: (619) 284-2929
Honest Thrift Studio
Honest Thrift is a small store with specifically-curated things to purchase. It stands out amongst the best thrift stores in San Diego because it is owned by a single person who carefully curates the inventory. While the selection is smaller than a lot of the list of thrift stores in San Diego, that doesn’t mean it isn’t great. You will find more unique items here than at your typical thrift store.
- Old Town: 2609 Congress St., San Diego, CA 92110
- Everyday Hours: WED-SAT 11AM-3PM, Closed Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays
- Phone: None listed, Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistance League of Greater San Diego
The Assistance League is one of the best thrift stores in San Diego. It is perfect when you want to make sure your money is going to the right place. They not only offer cheap clothes and furniture, the Assistance League helps people in the community just as the name suggests. Keep in mind that this store is closed Sunday through Wednesday and is only open 11:00AM to 3:00PM Thursday through Saturday. You can tell that the Assistance League is designed to provide for the community by their small caring staff, low overhead, and helpful atmosphere.
- Mission Hills: 108 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92103
- Everyday Hours: THURS-SAT 11AM-3PM, Closed Sun, Mon, Tues
- Phone: (619) 291-9464
American Cancer Society Discovery Shop
Another thrift store and good cause is the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop. Your purchases here will support patients with cancer. It isn’t just a good place to support, they have some of the best vintage thrift stores in San Diego. At its two locations in Point Loma and Rancho Bernardo there are many antique options that will send you back in time.
- Point Loma: 3609 Midway Dr., San Diego, CA 92110
- Hours: Mon – Sat 10AM-5PM, Sun 12-5PM
- Phone: (619) 224-4336
- Rancho Bernardo: 16787 Bernardo Center Dr., A01B, Rancho Bernardo, CA 92128
- Everyday Hours: M-SAT 10AM-5PM, Closed Sundays
- Phone: (858) 385-0479
Navy Marine Corps Relief Society Thrift Shop
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) organization has been serving sailors and marines for over a hundred years! At the San Diego location of the NMCRS Thrift Shop, you won’t just be able to purchase clothing, household items, and more at very reasonable prices, you will have the opportunity to support a great organization. All of the items are carefully inspected. Located on the Naval Base in San Diego, the shop has a large selection of donated objects to choose from. The only caveat is that you have to be able to get onto the Naval Base in order to shop there.
- Naval Base San Diego: Bldg 270, 3115 Dolphin Alley, San Diego, CA 92136
- Everyday Hours: M, W & F 10AM – 1PM; Closed Sat, Sun, Tues, Thurs.
- Phone: (619) 556-8624
San Diego Rescue Mission
The San Diego Rescue Mission thrift store is another benevolent entity where you can support hungry people in the community by purchasing items and donating money. Until recently, there was a location on University Ave. in North Park, but it permanently closed. You can still shop at the location on Sports Arena Blvd., however. There are electronics, furniture, clothing, and much more. The business you bring in goes to support the local homeless population.
- Point Loma: 3601 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110
- Everyday Hours: M-F 9:30AM-5:30PM, Closed Sundays
- Phone: (619) 819-1785
Humble Heart Thrift Store
Humble Heart is more than a place to go thrift, it is one of most affordable book stores in San Diego. In addition to their large book selection, there is clothing, shoes, antiques, home decor, collectibles, and even jewelry and furniture. Whatever you’re looking for, there is a chance that you will find it at the Humble Heart Thrift Store. You’ll be impressed both by their inventory and their friendly employees. Until recently, there used to be a location on El Cajon Blvd. in City Heights; that location is permanently closed, however.
- Ocean Beach: 4967 Newport Ave., San Diego, CA 92107
- Everyday Hours: 11 AM – 8 PM, Closed on Sundays
- Phone: (619) 238-5555
United Cerebral Palsy Thrift Store
Another thrift store that supports a good cause is the United Cerebral Palsy shop. It is open seven days a week, the organization has three stores to choose from. Until recently, there were locations in City Heights and Pacific Beach; sadly, they closed. However, the Chula Vista location is still in operation, and you can find a wide selection of furniture, antiques, electronics, and sporting goods. Not only will you be able to find cheap items, you’ll be helping kids and adults who are struggling with the disease. It’s a great option for thrifting in San Diego.
- Chula Vista: 405 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA 91910
- Everyday Hours: M-F 11AM-6PM, SAT-SUN 10AM-5PM
- Phone: (619) 426-6446
With locations in Hillcrest and Pacific Beach, Buffalo Exchange offers high-quality and vintage clothing at reasonable prices. You will love the wide selection of clothing, shoes, and accessories the store has to offer. Buffalo Exchange is a hip, diverse, and urban store where anyone can find something new. When it comes to the options at Buffalo Exchange, it is one of the best consignment stores in San Diego.
- Address: Hillcrest – 2862 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
- Everyday Hours: 11AM – 8PM, Closes at 7PM on Sundays
- Phone: (619) 298-4411
- Pacific Beach: 1079 Garnet Ave., San Diego, CA 92109
- Everyday Hours: 11AM-8PM, Closes at 7PM on Sundays
- Phone: (858) 273-6227
Goodwill & Salvation Army
No discussion about thrift stores could be complete without mentioning the two stalwarts: Goodwill and Salvation Army. Goodwill has 30 locations in San Diego County, and Salvation Army has about half that many. So chances are, there’s one within a stone’s throw from where you live. As any well-seasoned thrifter knows, these stores can hold some great finds. The price is usually right, too!
Furniture Thrift Stores in San Diego
These are just the beginning when you’re looking for a furniture thrift store in San Diego. In addition, you can find Consignment Classics where you’ll be overwhelmed by the large amount of vintage, antique, and consignment furniture. There is also a store called Rustic Home, which has been in business for 34 years selling all kinds of rustic and antique furniture. Lawrence Furniture is another great option.
Additional Clothing Thrift Stores in San Diego
There are other great clothing thrift stores in the area where you can find amazing options for clothes. One option is Rock Thrift Store, which has discount days where you can buy items for very cheap. Another is the OB Thrift Store. Located in Ocean Beach, you will find a lot of great options for affordable clothes. Finally, Father Joe’s Villages Thrift Store & Donation is a great place to spend some money on used clothing.
Thrift Stores in Downtown
The Salvation Army thrift store in San Diego is located downtown. It is one of the top thrift stores in the country. Goodwill is also found downtown. These famous nonprofits are the most common thrift stores around. Not only will you be able to find the furniture, clothing, electronics, shoes, and more, they’re conveniently located in the heart of San Diego.
Thrift Stores in Clairemont
The Goodwill store located in Clairemont is open from 10:00AM to 8:00PM every day. Every Goodwill location is different, with its own antiques, clothing, electronics, and more. If you’re in the area, take a look at what this Goodwill location has to offer. Whether you need clothes or new furniture, you’ll be able to find it here.
Thrift Stores in La Jolla
There are a wide variety of La Jolla boutiques, but what about thrift stores?
If you’re in the Village, you’re in luck. You’ll probably want to stop in at the Goodwill on Girard (7631 Girard Ave), not far from Von’s. There’s a place a little further down on Girard called Second Act West (7856 Girard Ave) — they specialize in ladies designer resale — and another consignment shop on Girard called Boulevard La Jolla (7730 Girard Ave). Over on Fay, there’s a resale boutique called Echoes Too (7705 Fay Ave). There is also a resale shop for men called Le Chauvinist (7709 Fay Ave), but it’s at least temporarily closed as of 2022.
Which brings us to recent thrift store casualties in La Jolla. There used to be a place called Friends Resale Shop on the UCSD campus; they closed in 2020. Another La Jolla thrift store that closed is My Sister’s Closet. They still have a location in Encinitas Village, however.
Thrift Stores in North Park
There are plenty of thrift stores in North Park. Another great cause is the Alliance for African Assistance. Not only are there plenty of options for clothing and other thrifting items, you will be supporting a charity for the people on the continent of Africa.
Auntie Helen’s is not just a thrift store, it is a charity and safe space. Not only is it a great organization to support, Auntie Helen’s features high-quality products and brands. Check out this store for its great clothing but stay for the message. You won’t regret supporting this amazing organization.
A unique thrift store, Hunt & Gather is a place to browse for eclectic clothing options and unique styles. It is hip, stylish, and rugged all at the same time. There is something for everyone at Hunt & Gather. You will find something you like in their awesomely-curated inventory.
Full Contact Rock n’ Roll is a great store for records, VHS tapes, vintage t-shirts, and other great memorabilia. Whether you’re trying to find something you didn’t know you needed or are looking for something specific, if you’re into music you will love this shop.
Home Start Thrift Boutique provides a welcoming thrift store that’s in an old house. You will find lots of boutique options, clothing, and furniture. Closed on Sundays and Mondays, the store is open from 10:30AM to 5:00PM Tuesday through Saturday.
Thrift Stores in North San Diego County
In North San Diego County, there are plenty of options for thrift stores. First, there is St. Peter’s Thrift Shop, which has brand-name clothing options while supporting ministry programs and the local community. Second, Rancho Coastal Humane Society Thrift Shop has an extensive selection of items. This organization also helps homeless animals, making it another thrift store to support.
Whatever you’re looking to buy second-hand, there are a lot of options when it comes to thrift stores in San Diego. Whether you want clothes, furniture, electronics, antiques, and other items, there are plenty of options. Go browse these stores and see what you can find!
About the author: Ryan Beitler is a writer, journalist, and blogger who has written for a variety of publications including The Slovenia Times, Paste Magazine, Deadline News, and more. He used to live in San Diego.