Brussels overflows with flea markets, vintage shops and antique boutiques, making it one of Europe’s top places for second-hand shopping. Here are some of the best.
Another vintage guru is Foxhole, whose business runs smoothly with its two shops in the heart of Brussels, one in Antwerp and an online store. Here, no need to rummage as the finest pieces have already been pre-selected for you. With its funky selection of clothes from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s and an immense choice of accessories, Foxhole is an essential stop for all second-hand lovers. The only downside is perhaps the steep prices but the clothes are in very good condition so, in the end, it’s really worth it.
Foxhole, Rue des Renards, 6, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Foxhole, Rue des Riches-Claires, 4, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
On a different note, we have Les Petits Riens, a charitable association with several locations throughout Belgium, selling everything from clothes to books and house furniture to crockery. Their colossal stock of second-hand items and housing supplies sell for close to nothing and the profit is used to provide food and lodging for the homeless. Once a year there even is a Second Life Runway Show, where local fashion designers recycle some of the clothes sold at these shops. Their cavernous warehouse at the Rue Américaine will probably leave you busy for a couple of hours, with its three floors, bike section, unbelievable prices and constant stock renewal (every Thursday). Make sure not to miss the Retro Paradise area for a less chaotic shop display and more fashionable pieces.
Les Petits Riens, Rue Américaine, 101, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Speaking of chaotic, you have never seen true chaos until you’ve entered Stefantiek. So if you are a fan of flea markets and yard sales, you simply must go have a look at this unusual shop or rather Ali Baba’s cave of nearly 1000m2. A set of walkways and floors clustered under avalanches of old and unexpected junk will leave you completely overwhelmed. It’s awfully expensive of course, but a totally worth-it picturesque ride. They even sell a vintage carousel, for crying out loud.
Stefantiek, Place de la Chapelle 6, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Stefantiek, Rue Blaes 63, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Next on the list is Think Twice, or T2 for friends. A very misleading name, if you ask me, because you shouldn’t even think once before you step in. Part of the Humana organization, T2 chain of stores has spread in many Belgium cities and although, at first sight, it might not seem that different from the competition, you will instantly feel delighted with the shops’ tidiness, retro décor and meticulous organization. Its real strength is its large collection of vintage clothing, sorted by gender which is renewed every month. In fact, they organize periodic and exceptional sales to get rid of the previous stock: – 50% towards the last days, then lowering it down to 3€, 2€ and finally, everything at 1€ the last day. Make sure not to miss these sensational few days by following their Facebook page.
Think Twice, Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains 57, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Think Twice, Rue des Eperonniers, 51, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Nonetheless, Melting Pot definitely wins the gold star for the amusing and ludic customer shopping experience. An unconventional and innovative concept in Brussels, this shop sells vintage clothes by weight instead of a set price. They offer a gorgeous and trendy selection, very hipsteresque, and the several scales in the store are just waiting for your next purchases. The price per kilo is 15€, which makes it easy to buy a whole outfit for an astonishing low amount.
Melting Pot, Rue Haute 154, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Ever wondered when and why did the Rue des Chartreux become so hip? Well, here’s a scoop: it was the shop Gabriele Vintage that started it all off in 1998. Originally a costume designer, Gabriele’s passion for vintage led her to open this vivacious showroom, highly visited by movie and theater people, as well as fashion designers on the lookout for new ideas. With its unique style, you will feel like you’ve just walked into a movie set. From women’s ball gowns, outerwear, blouses and dresses, to men’s shirts, jackets and raincoats, no detail is disregarded. Top it all off with Gabriele’s vast selection of accessories and handbags, jewellery and shoes and you’ll be good to go.
Gabriele Vintage, Rue des Chartreux 27, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
It goes without saying that Brussels’ second-hand fever has led to the emergence of worthwhile vintage markets, as well. Brussels Vintage Market happens every first Sunday of the month at the Saint Gery Halles. Its many stands selling clothes and jewelry and the music put on by a DJ makes it the perfect weekend hangout.