The definitive guide to thrift and vintage shopping in Vancouver

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      Vancouver may get a lot of flak for its, erm, relaxed fashions, but, thanks in part to our strict adherence to the third environmental R (that’s “recycle”, folks!) and the keen eyes of a few prudent shop owners, the city’s thrift and vintage game is pretty damn strong.

      Whether you’re in it for the thrill of the hunt, are looking to reduce your fast-fashion intake, or are in desperate need of a flapper dress for that ’20s-themed baby shower your sister-in-law has insisted on throwing, there’s a secondhand shop around town for every style and budget.

      Below, a definitive guide to Vancouver’s best thrift and vintage stores listed by neighbourhood (and all pinned on a handy map!) So control + F (or command + F) your area of choice, grab a friend or two, and set aside an afternoon: it’s time to rummage.

       

      The East Village

      Hastings–Sunrise

      Sure, there’s the giant Value Village (1820 East Hastings Street) between Victoria and Commercial drives, but dig a little deeper in this down-to-Earth ’hood and you’ll be rewarded with a cartful of gems for a fraction of VV’s prices and with minimal crowds.

      Start on the east end of Hastings at Miscellany (2615 East Hastings Street), a social enterprise that employs “hard to place” women and youth as its kind salespeople, then make your way to the volunteer-run VGH Thrift Store (2535 East Hastings Street), a more manageable, well maintained, and better priced alternative to big-box thrifts. (Proceeds help support the Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Hospital; look for the coloured tags to score additional discounts on already awesome deals.)

      A short walk away is Burcu’s Angels (2355 East Hastings Street), the new permanent location for the out-there Main Street institution that counts national treasure Nardwuar the Human Serviette as one of its regulars. (Need we say more?)

      Six blocks north of Hastings is perhaps the area’s best kept thrift secret: Far Out Coffee Post (2173 Dundas Street). There, you can scour racks of men’s and women’s vintage Ts, overalls, and patterned button-ups with a freshly brewed Americano and almond croissant in hand.

      Looking for more? The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Value Shoppe (1738 East Hastings Street), located a few doors down from the area’s Value Village, is one for the seasoned thrifter.

       

      Miscellany Thrift and Vintage

      Commercial Drive

      Situated on the north end of the Drive, Little Miss Vintage (931 Commercial Drive) is a tiny shop filled to the brim with the kind of trendy-again goods you wish your mother had passed down to you.

      Allot some time to check out the vintage pins and jewellery, then head to Miscellany’s (1029 Commercial Drive) original location to rummage through an assortment of fast-fashion, handmade, and designer pieces.

      Still Fabulous Thrift (1124 Commercial Drive) is another feel-good spot: proceeds from the shop go toward the B.C. Children’s Hospital and the B.C. Women’s Hospital and Health Centre.

      Don’t be fooled by Mintage’s (1714 Commercial Drive) slight Wild West vibe. Despite the cowboy artwork, decorative animal horns, and heavy use of wood, the longstanding establishment stocks everything from throwback band Ts and suede moccasins to ugly Christmas sweaters and even bridal gowns. 

       

      Amanda Siebert

      Strathcona and Downtown Eastside

      When Far Out Coffee Post’s vintage stock began outgrowing its part-café, part-arcade space in Hastings-Sunrise earlier this year, the biz opened a dedicated secondhand shop dubbed Far Out Vintage (165 East Cordova Street). Nearby, the Union Gospel Mission Thrift Store (671 East Hastings Street) is another treasure trove marked by affordable prices, though, fair warning: the shop is closed on weekends.

      Tucked inside an unassuming coffee shop, faulknerandco (136 East Hastings Street) is one of a few shops in Vancouver that emphasizes vintage menswear. Expect a blend of denim, plaid, and punk-rock threads at mid-range prices, some of which owner James Faulkner imports from his U.K. homeland.  

      One part thrift, one part arts-and-crafts shop, and one part social enterprise, Community Window (11 West Hastings Street) carries a selection of pre-loved unisex threads, plus locally crafted goods and bags hand-sewn by recovering women in the DTES. Around the corner, Community’s Frocke Shoppe (311 Carrall Street) offerings lean more feminine with retro dresses, heels, and jewellery on display. Proceeds from both stores benefit underserved residents of the DTES.

      Hey Jude (315 Abbott Street), meanwhile, is so smartly edited it doesn't feel like a vintage store at all. The worn-in denim, 100-percent silk Ts, and tailored knits adhere to owners Lyndsey Chow and Lauren Clark's breezy, modern-working-girl aesthetic. Expect to see prices in the mid to high range.

       

      Duchesse

      Chinatown

      With its high ceilings, natural light, and delightfully kitschy kitchen and home objects showcased sporadically throughout, Duchesse (430 Columbia Street) is a joy to shop in. Thoughtfully hand-picked, the vintage wears are tagged at mid-range prices with a small selection of children’s apparel available toward the back.

      Not far off, local handbag designer Erin Templeton (511 Carrall Street) curates her own secondhand attire, too. The stock is tight, well edited, and caters almost exclusively to women, though we did spot a young chap making off with a gorgeous oversized leather jacket once.

      A new addition to the area, Chinatown Vintage (121 East Pender Street) offers contemporary and vintage womenswear—plus a small assortment of men’s—donated by inhabitants of the ’hood and other fine Samaritans. All proceeds go to the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation, which works to preserve the cultural significance of Chinatown while supporting its vulnerable residents.

      Hunter & Hare (227 Union Street) is a prime spot to both consign and shop. In addition to gently worn womenswear that runs the gamut from everyday basics to special-occasion attire, the boutique carries greeting cards and small goods crafted by local makers. 

       

      F as in Frank

      Mount Pleasant

      Featuring a funky mix of high-low fashions, Main Street is Vancouver’s most concentrated thrift zone—and an absolute no-brainer to trawl if you’re on a time crunch. Begin your trek at F as in Frank (2425 Main Street): with its wall of snapbacks, b-ball jerseys, and reworked Champion and Adidas threads, the boutique is essentially thrift for the Supreme set.

      A real rummage, however, awaits in Frank’s back alley at the Rag Machine (2425 Main Street). Self-proclaimed as “Vancouver’s cheapest thrift store”, the shop hawks its secondhand wears by the pound with single Ts and tanks starting at just $5 a pop. Dive deep into the Rag’s assorted bins to get the most bang for your buck.

      Pit stops at Aunt Leah’s Urban Thrift (177 East Broadway), Miscellany (323 East Broadway), and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Value Shoppe (2741 Main Street) are optional before you arrive at Turnabout Luxury Resale (2929 Main Street), the largest location for the local consignment chain where you’ll find gently worn Dolce & Gabbana gowns, Manolo Blahnik pumps, and Alexander Wang duffles organized impeccably alongside homegrown names like Nicole Bridger, Obakki, and Aritzia.

      Next-door neighbours Bohemia Gallery (3243 Main Street) and C’est La Vie (3247 Main Street) are must-visits, too. Favourites among locals, the boutiques offer an eclectic range of one-of-a-kind, contemporary, and hippie-haute goods that we’ve yet to see anywhere else in the city.

       

      Woo Vintage

      Riley Park

      Main Street’s stacked thrift lineup continues south of East 16th Street with Front & Company (3772 Main Street), a gateway of sorts for thrifting newbs that carries an edited blend of pre-loved fast-fashion and premium labels, as well as brand-new apparel, jewellery, and trinkets, for men and women.

      A few doors down is the Main Exchange (3728 Main Street), a lesser known women’s boutique that offers comparable stock to Front, minus the throngs of shoppers and notoriously picky consignment department.

      Fab Finds (3938 Main Street) boasts a similar aesthetic: Chloe blouses, Citizens of Humanity denim, and flowy Free People frocks—all in near-perfect condition—presented tidily at bargain prices. 

      If you’re looking for a more traditional thrift experience, hit Lines (3793 Main Street), where you can spend time combing through the store’s overflowing racks of faux fur coats, tweed blazers, and the occasional Chinese silk robe. Prices range wildly.

      Situated on one block, Still Fabulous Thrift (4355 Main Street), the YWCA Thrift Shop (4399 Main Street), and Woo Vintage (4393 Main Street) serve up a triple dose of secondhand treasures. Slightly neater iterations of your standard thrift, the first two benefit organizations that aid women and children in B.C. Woo, meanwhile, is an excellent source for vintage dresses dating back to the ’50s, as well as throwback accessories like patent handbags and beaded evening clutches.

      Finally, you can’t leave Main Street without a stop at True Value Vintage Clothing and I Found Gallery (4578 Main Street). Lived-in leathers, Levis, and woolly knits are to be expected, though it’s the eyewear department you’ll want to carve out time for. On our last visit, we spotted vintage Gucci, Alfred Sung, and YSL sunnies—all for less than 50 bucks a pop—that former shop owner Robert Haddad lovingly supplies from his impressive 30-year-old-plus collection.

       

      Hunter & Hare

      Downtown

      Hunter & Hare’s (334 West Pender Street) original location offers the same quality mix of consigned and locally crafted goods as its Chinatown shop. Nearby, Lady Madonna (432 Homer Street) is a rummager’s paradise, stocked floor to ceiling with the kind of fun, wacky, and surprisingly wearable threads that Burning-Man dreams are made of. Look closely and you’ll even find upcycled-textile clothing crafted by the multi-talented owner, Doons.

      Before you splurge on that Birkin, try High End Resale (813 Hornby Street): the luxury consignment store carries handbags, jewellery, shoes, and watches from brands like Fendi, Gucci, and Chanel at a fraction of the original price. Mine & Yours (1025 Howe Street) operates according to a similar model, though with a larger emphasis on women’s shoes and clothing.

      The volunteer-run My Sister’s Closet (1092 Seymour Street) is another must-visit thanks to the top-notch quality of its women’s items and philanthropic edge: proceeds support women affected by violence at Battered Women’s Support Services.

      Used House of Vintage’s two locations (831 Granville Street and 1008 Robson Street) and Wildlife Thrift Store (1095 Granville Street), meanwhile, have a little bit of something for everyone, especially those who dress with a slight throwback or hipster lean.

       

      Turnabout Luxury Resale

      Fairview, South Granville, and Kitsilano

      As you move toward Vancouver’s West Side, the businesses—thrift and vintage shops included—begin to feel a bit ritzier, though there are a few notable exceptions. With its jam-packed racks, regular discounts (check out the half-off sales during the last weekend of every month), and a price range that rarely exceeds $10, Fabtabulous 2.0 (2915 Cambie Street) is one of them.

      In Again (1962 West 4th Avenue) is another no-frills joint, while Immersion Clothing (2846 West Broadway) and Second Suit for Men and Women (2036 West 4th Avenue) offer an edited assortment of mid-tier and designer clothing at slashed prices. (Don’t be surprised to find well-cared-for Hermes and Versace threads at these spots.)

      For more quality high-end goods, look no further than Turnabout, which boasts three locations in the area (3132 Granville Street; 1985 West 4th Avenue; and 3112 West Broadway). A couple of doors down from the South Granville outpost is Second Look (3151 Granville Street), which is known for its designer shoes and handbags. High End Resale’s (2607 West 16th Avenue) Arbutus shop is not far off, either.

       

      Value Village

      Elsewhere

      There’s plenty to trawl beyond the aforementioned ’hoods: HOB Thrift Boutique (2236 West 41st Avenue) carries some amazing womenswear gems—with friendly staff, to boot—and benefits the Vancouver Hospice Societythe Attic (1340 Davie Street and 1019 Broughton Street), which supports the Gordon Neighbourhood House, is crammed with all sorts of pre-loved blouses, shoes, and accessories for men and women; and we can’t forget Cheapskates (3644 West 16th Avenue), which should be your first stop for sportswear and equipment if you’re looking to play more eco-consciously or are simply on a budget.

      Formerly operating from a shared leatherworking-and-community space in East Van, Friends with Benefits (756 Powell Street) is a semi-regular pop-up market offering an assortment of curated threads from local secondhand vendors like Hocus Rocus and Mountain Girl Goods Co. (Follow its Instagram for upcoming dates and times around town.)

      There’s also the Value Village (6415 Victoria Drive) on the East Side that needs little introduction.

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