Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Secondhand shoppers rejoice! A guide to vintage shops, thrift stores in Austin

Kelsey Bradshaw
Austin 360
Ane Kristin Bang-Steinsvik shops at Room Service Vintage on Jan. 19.

If you haven't gasped at a vintage Pyrex bowl — olive green, with white daisies —stacked on the shelves of a vintage store for only $15, have you really lived?

That green bowl now lives in my house, among lots and lots of other finds from thrift stores, vintage spots and antique malls. Hunting for finds is seriously addictive, whether it's a pair of fringed leather shorts or a pink mid-century lamp with gold speckles. And it's become an especially dangerous hobby in Austin, where it seems some kind of secondhand store lurks around every corner. 

So in the interest of sharing, we've rounded up some of our favorite vintage and thrift stores in Austin. Most are a good mix of clothes, home goods and low prices.

Some of the items on sale at Next-To-New in Austin on Aug. 30, 2019.

The Next to New Shop of St. David's Episcopal Church 

Where: 5435 Burnet Road

What: Listen to me. (Pretend I'm holding your face in my hands, OK? I want to seem as threatening as possible.) This is my favorite place to shop in Austin. Rows of dishes, vases, glasses and pitchers greet you when you enter. It has rugs, art, books, clothing, lamps, furniture, jewelry, mirrors and appliances. I have purchased an outdoor patio table, earrings that look like lamps, a bar stool, a painting of flowers, a zebra-print mirror and, like, six vases here. The shop is run by volunteers and your purchase funds charitable donations. And if you don't know how consignment works, we've got you — the prices decrease the longer an item stays on the shelves. When you go, because you should go, let me know what you find, please!

Online: next2new.org/home.php

Room Service Vintage in the North Loop neighborhood is a popular vintage shopping destination.

Room Service Vintage

Where: 117 E. North Loop Blvd. 

What: Ah, Room Service. You've probably heard of this North Loop spot. It definitely seems like the place everyone knows or learns about first when they come to town. Here, you'll find mostly home goods and furniture, but they have a great selection of vintage T-shirts and tops, jeans, boots, purses, dresses and jewelry. The store may seem small when you enter, but trust us, you can spend the better part of an afternoon snooping through each nook and cranny. You can grab some seriously good finds here. The store posts frequently on Instagram if you want to nail down a piece before shopping in person. Be prepared to spend a little money when you visit or just go for the browsing, as the store feels like a fun museum.

Online: roomservicevintage.com

More:Zach Theatre adds 'The Rocky Horror Show' to lineup as replacement for canceled production

Top Drawer Thrift 

Where: 4902 Burnet Road

What: Albeit small, Top Drawer Thrift is mighty in its selection. I've found some of my favorite lamps, dishes and art pieces here. A particularly cool section in the store includes vintage radios and other electronics. And I'll save you the ask— the old Ann Richards campaign sign in the window is not for sale. The store also puts its proceeds toward helping Austinites with HIV or AIDS through Project Transitions, which provides housing and other services. (As of this writing, the store was open for pick-up only. Be sure to check their website before heading over.)

Online: projecttransitions.org/topdrawerthrift

Next-To-New volunteer Maria Rios helps to place items on the shelves in 2019.

Flamingos Vintage Austin

Where: 2915 Guadalupe St.

What: If you're only looking for clothes, oh boy, buckle up. Flamingos Vintage, which is a chain, sells clothes by the pound. I'm only half-kidding when I say you should make sure to hydrate and eat something before heading to the Guadalupe Street store to hunt for finds. They have hundreds of pieces. Do you need a denim jacket? They have 1 million. (OK, not really, but that's what it feels like.) If you've been searching for the perfect pair of jeans or jean shorts, I recommend starting here. 

Online: instagram.com/flamingos.vintage.austin

Buffalo Exchange

Where: 2904 Guadalupe St.

What: Once you're done at Flamingos, head across the street to Buffalo Exchange. Dare I say it? This store has one of the best earring selections around. I always leave with at least one pair. Buffalo, which is a chain, carries trendy, mostly donated pieces. When cow print got big, I found a cow-print purse here, for example. If you're looking for name-brand activewear, start at Buffalo.

Online: buffaloexchange.com

More:'Black Austin Matters' co-host: 'There’s not enough air time for all we want to do'

Treasure City Thrift

Where: 2142 E. Seventh St.

What: I had to put this East Austin spot on our list, and not just because it's next to Los Comales Mexican Restaurant. This gem is an old-faithful shopping experience. The prices are right, and you'll find racks of clothes and shelves of home goods. This writer once purchased a picture frame in the shape of a cow's body for a buck or two at Treasure City Thrift. It is a prized possession now.

Online: treasurecitythrift.org

Texas Thrift

Where: 5319 N. Interstate 35

What: Gather 'round, hardcore thrifters. Texas Thrift is a no-nonsense spot. I mean that you won't find any frills (or curated mid-century sections) here. That's not a dig, either. I love it. Packed racks of clothing take up most of the store, and it seems like there's always some kind of sale going on. Home goods are also available. You can really roll up your sleeves, both literally and metaphorically, and get to digging in here.

Online: buythrift.com

Claudio Ramirez holds Lyanna Ramirez, 3, while shopping at Room Service Vintage on Jan. 19.

Austin Antique Mall

Where: 8822 McCann Drive

What: Perhaps you are like me, and your mother taught you about antique malls the same way she prepared you for your bat mitzvah ceremony. If that's you, you are probably already a frequent visitor to Austin Antique Mall. But let's talk about it anyway. You could spend probably a whole day in here if you wanted to. The building is full of dozens of booths from different sellers, and it feels like the antiques go on for miles. I suspect anything you can dream up — a telescope, an old-timey cash register, a cookie jar shaped like a goose — you'll find at Austin Antique Mall.

Online: instagram.com/austin_antique_mall

More:And just like that, Austin-based artist Deborah Roberts featured in 'Sex and the City' sequel

Thrift Town

Where: 5700 Menchaca Road, No. 240

What: I'll let our native Austinite, editor Eric Webb, take this one: "Aisles upon aisles of affordable finds. It's a true thrift shopping experience — you do have to sort through a lot of hay to get to your needle, but when I worked at Amy's Ice Creams, I got all my fun T-shirts for work here."

Online: facebook.com/ThriftTownAustin

Thrift Land

Where: 512 W. Stassney Lane, No. 107A

What: Who doesn't love color coordination? Thrift Land keeps its clothing organized by hue so you can find what you want faster. They have racks and racks of clothes and all kinds of home goods, too. The store is pretty big, so start your shopping trip early.

More:Positively Guadalupe Street: Bob Dylan painting of Austin club shown at London gallery

Online: familythrift.com/austin-tx

At Room Service Vintage, you can find a plethora of accessories.

Charm School Vintage

Where: 1111 E, 11th St., No. 150

What: Tired of digging? I recommend Charm School Vintage for a more curated selection of vintage clothing pieces. Don't expect dirt-cheap prices here, but do expect to find a lot of colorful, unique items you'll love. And no, you're not mistaken, Charm School Vintage was featured on the latest season of Netflix's "Queer Eye."

Online: charmschoolvintage.com

Austin Pets Alive thrift stores

Austin Pets Alive has three donation-based thrift locations, which makes stopping by pretty convenient. Each store carries home goods, clothing, appliances, shoes and more. Your shopping habit will also do some good here. The money you spend goes to helping the animals at Austin Pets Alive. The store locations:

  • 5801 Burnet Road.
  • 1409 West Oltorf St.
  • 5102 Clarkson Ave. 
Manager Janet Hollifield looks through clothing items at Austin Pets Alive Thrift Store on Oltorf Street last year.