The vintage Kattebak Market at The Palms, Woodstock
Cape Town residents love thrifting, so it’s no surprise that there are several vintage and secondhand stores around the city. If you’re looking for a great bargain, or simply want to pick up some unique items, check out these top 10 Cape Town thrift shops and flea markets.
The charming seaside town of Kalk Bay is a thrift-shopper’s dream, so if you’re looking for secondhand goods in Cape Town, it might even be worth the drive out here to see what the area has to offer in its various secondhand and thrift stores. Kalk Bay Vintage is one such establishment. It’s situated on the aptly named Memory Lane and is a quaint little shop that stocks unique antiques including military paraphernalia, silverware and various odds and ends that have been collected by the owner over the past 25 years.
As the name suggests, Anything Goes sells a variety of quality secondhand goods at affordable prices. The shop has an eclectic range of pre-owned furniture that can easily be restored – with a bit of sanding and lick of paint – to furnish your home or apartment for a song. They also stock homeware accessories, vintage-style items and even the odd wetsuit.
Second Time Around is a beloved Long Street institution that stocks a well-curated collection of vintage designer clothing, shoes and accessories from the 1920s to the present. The store transports patrons to a bygone era of fashion, amid walls lined with pictures of old Hollywood starlets and shelves filled with opulent jewellery, evening bags and retro sunglasses. The shop has several rails of clothing, neatly arranged by garment and colour to make it easier to pick out something you love.
Second Hand Rose is situated opposite the Cavendish Square Mall in Cape Town’s southern suburbs. It is one of the oldest thrift stores in Cape Town, and boasts a treasure trove of pre-owned casual wear and evening wear. Inside, you’ll find flirty cocktail dresses, beautiful leather handbags, shoes and costume jewellery.
Glitterati is the go-to place for quirky and glamorous vintage finds for both men and women. This gem of a store is situated in the Long Street Arcade, and is packed to the rafters with a variety of clothing. Most items hark back to a distant era, and hail primarily from between the 50s and the 80s. Dig around and you will find vintage costume jewellery, hats, gloves, suitcases, shoes and scarves.
This iconic inner-city market has been a feature of Greenmarket Square for years, and is one of the best places to find African souvenirs and crafts in Cape Town. After browsing the numerous colourful stalls, you can stop for lunch at one of the restaurants in the square and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. Go in prepared to bargain, and be sure to watch your pockets for the occasional opportunistic pickpocket. Even a visit without a purchase is an enjoyable experience.
The Milnerton Flea Market is sprawled across a vacant stretch of land alongside the Atlantic Ocean, where it trades on weekends and public holidays. It’s roughly a 10-minute drive from the city, and you can find a wide range of items in this vibrant open-air bazaar. There’s some of everything, from antique tea sets and glassware to car parts and old war medals. There are also several food stalls offering a variety of sweet and savoury snacks. Though the items on offer range in quality, with a bit of patience you might just find that hidden gem you’ve been seeking for years.
Die Kattebak Market is inspired by the car boot sales of France, and is held on the second and last Saturdays of the month at the Market at The Palms in Woodstock. Here you will find a wide selection of retro clothing and accessories, various secondhand goods including books, beautiful antique tea sets and handmade items like soap. After browsing the many rails and stalls in the vintage section, head downstairs and try out the delicious artisanal food and drink on offer.
The Kirstenbosch Craft and Food Market is set in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens where you can enjoy a day of shopping surrounded by mountains and greenery. The market is held on the last Sunday of the month during summer (September to May), and boasts a diverse range of clothing and crafts such as pottery, leather goods, art, aromatherapy and other handmade products from more than 200 traders. If you’re feeling a little hungry after all the shopping, there is food and drink on offer as well. There are also a variety of activities to keep the kids entertained.
If you’re looking for secondhand books, bric-a-brac and other miscellaneous items in the Cape Town city centre, then it might be worth making a turn at the Cathedral Second Hand Books & Bric-a-Brac. Situated in the shadow of the iconic St George’s Cathedral, this small store is everything you could want in a thrift shop – packed shelves, helpful staff and the promise of discovering something old but wonderful around every corner.