Every time I travel to a new city, the first thing I do is look up where to shop the best vintage and antiques—in other words, I look for the best flea markets. Not only is a flea market the perfect place to get a taste of a city’s culture and snag yourself (and your friends) some totally unique gifts, but you’ll also find that’s where some of the coolest, most interesting people in the area congregate. What better way to get to know a new place?
If you’re on the hunt for vintage finds, the weirdest antique knickknacks, the yummiest local food, or simply looking to kill a few hours with some good old people-watching, the below 13 are must-visit spots.
Photo via Brooklyn Flea
Brooklyn Flea, Brooklyn, NY New York’s Brooklyn Flea, with locations open on Saturdays in Industry City and Sundays in DUMBO, is a one-stop shop for some of the best in emerging designer goods, as well as vintage of all sorts. Looking for some quirky antique pieces, like vintage toys or postcards? Be sure to hit up dAN’s Parents’ House, which, yes, carries an assortment of finds from the shop owner’s parents’ house. If you’re looking to do more than just shop, the market also hosts a ton of workshops for all ages to satiate your curiosity, such as portrait photography, lacemaking, container gardening, and more.
Photo courtesy of Artists & Fleas
Artists & Fleas, New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA As New Yorkers, we have to admit that Artists & Fleas is one of our absolute favorite markets to hit—and it keeps on growing. The multi-merchant marketplace has been around for over a decade, curating a selection of art, clothing, vintage, home goods, and more, and currently boasts three New York locations (Chelsea, SoHo, and Williamsburg) and one Los Angeles location (Venice). Whether you’re looking to sip some cold brew and peruse records from Black Gold in SoHo or create DIY gifts at Brooklyn Charm in Chelsea, there’s something for everyone.
Photo via @melrosetradingpost Instagram
Melrose Trading Post,Los Angeles, CA When in L.A., you absolutely can’t miss shopping all of its vintage offerings. One place, in particular, that’s a must-see is Melrose Trading Post, a flea set up at Fairfax High School selling the best in vintage clothing, antique furniture, arts and crafts, and more. Be sure to catch live music every Sunday after perusing the flea’s many offerings, and know that you’re giving back: All admission proceeds go back to education, funding the school’s many programs, from theater and sports equipment to student field trips.
Photo via @silverlakeflea Instagram
Silverlake Flea, Los Angeles, CA Looking for something low-key and easy to navigate? Check out the offerings at Silverlake Flea, a weekly market located on the playground of the Micheltorena Street Elementary School where you’ll find vintage, handmade, and antique goods and more. Shop amongst L.A.’s hipster kids, stylists, and costume designers at some of the market’s best vintage vendors, such as Pickpocket Vintage, and then grab a bite at the food truck of the week.
Photo via @rosebowl_fleamarket Instagram
Rose Bowl Flea Market, Pasadena, CA I mean, this wouldn’t be a list of flea markets if we didn’t list the legendary Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, would it? Held on the second Sunday of every month in the enormous Rose Bowl Stadium, it’s one of the best fleas on the West Coast, and possibly even the country. You’ll find everything from vintage furniture and clothing to knickknacks and other oddities. It can be overwhelming and crowded, so arrive early if you’re looking to hit it all.
Photo courtesy of TreasureFest
TreasureFest, San Francisco, CA Further up the California Coast, be sure to check out San Fran’s TreasureFest. The last weekend of every month, you’ll find over 400 local crafters, artists, and antique and vintage curators, as well as more than 35 food trucks, live music performances, and—possibly the best part—three bars serving local beer, wine, spirits, and more. Every month has a different theme, with “Summer of Love” scheduled to be its upcoming June celebration.
Photo courtesy of Randolph St Market
Randolph Street Market, Chicago, IL If you find yourself in Chicago sometime between May and September, be sure to hit up Randolph Street Market. Recently celebrating its 15th birthday, this market has been hailed as one of Chicago’s best. The European-style antiques and vintage market is the perfect mix of high-brow and low-brow items, boasting over 300 stalls of fashion, furniture, jewelry, housewares, spirits, and more. Founder Sally Schwartz suggests checking out Saffron Vintage, where you’ll find a stunning curation of gorgeous vintage couture, and snagging a vintage Schwinn “in every lollipop color” at Mike’s Bikes.
Photo by Matthew Sumi
Fremont Sunday Market, Seattle, WA In Seattle? Be sure to visit the Fremont Sunday Market, a European-style street market that’s been a city mainstay since 1990. In between hunting for the best in vintage clothing, antiques, artisan crafts, “deluxe junk,” and more, be sure to check out its many gourmet food trucks on rotation for a delectable street food treat.
Photo via Portland Flea + Food
Portland Flea + Food, Portland, OR Looking to get a true taste of Portland? Look no further than Portland Flea + Food, a monthly market hosting some of the city’s most talented local artists and expert curators—oh, and plenty of local eats.
Photo courtesy of @brimfieldfleafinder Instagram
Brimfield Antique Show, Brimfield, MA Now, this one is worth booking an entire trip around! The Brimfield Antique Show is world-famous and the oldest outdoor flea market in the country. This multi-location, six-day flea in the small town of Brimfield, Massachusetts, only comes around three times a year: March, July, and September. You’ll find antique dealers from around the country—and the world—selling some truly unique, can’t-be-missed goods.
Photo via @miamiflea Instagram
The Miami Flea, Miami, FL In Miami this summer and need a break from the beach? Head on over to the Arts and Entertainment District on August 16 for a true treat. The one-day gathering will feature an assortment of vintage, handmade, and homemade goods along with small-batch food, local beverage vendors, as well as local bands, craft workshops, and mind and body classes to keep you busy.
Photo by Troy Burt
Indie Arts & Vintage Marketplace, Indianapolis, IN Looking for something fun to do in Indiana’s capital city? Head on over to the Indie Arts & Vintage Marketplace, a monthly gathering of vendors selling the finest vintage, antique, re- and upcycled, and artisanal goods. Want to make sure you don't miss it? Check its 2018 schedule, here.
Photo via @originalaustinflea Instagram
Austin Flea, Austin, TX Should you find yourself in Austin on a weekend, be sure to check out Austin Flea, a pop-up market with locations all over town selling some of the best local Texan goods, handmade items, antiques and vintage, and more. You can visit its website for schedule and locations.
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