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Frock You Vintage | © Peyri Herrera / Flickr
Frock You Vintage | © Peyri Herrera / Flickr
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The Best Flea Markets and Thrift Stores in San Diego

Picture of Juliet Bennett Rylah
Updated: 29 June 2017
Bargain hunters and fans of vintage items may want to hit up these six San Diego swap meets and thrift stores in pursuit of rare deals on clothes, furniture, home goods, gifts, and more. Discover a hodgepodge of items at big events such as Kobey’s Swap Meet or the South Bay Drive-In Theaters, or narrow your sights on vintage treasures at spots such as the San Diego Vintage Flea Market or Frock You.
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Kobey’s Swap Meet

Kobey’s Swap Meet has been running for over 30 years, and it’s one of the larger markets around. Shoppers can find just about everything here, from electronics to clothes and furniture, though some rummaging may be required to find that perfect gem. People are advised to come early and bring cash. Hours are Friday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and admission is $1 on Fridays and $2 on the weekends. Children 11 and under are free.

Kobe’s Swap Meet, 3500 Sports Arena Boulevard, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 226 0650

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Auntie Helen’s

Auntie Helen’s opened in 1988, originally offering free laundry services to those with HIV and AIDS. Today, customers can find clothing, accessories, housewares, appliances, furniture, electronics, and décor at affordable prices. Proceeds from the shop continue to support services for HIV/AIDS patients, the homeless, and those in need.

Auntie Helen’s, 4127 30th Street, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 501 0209

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South Bay Drive-In Theaters and Swap Meet

South Bay Drive-In Theaters is open daily, offering first-run double features for a mere $9/adult and just a buck for kids ages five to nine. FM transmitters are used to pick up the audio broadcast, and snacks are available.

On Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., the venue hosts a swap meet featuring a variety of merchandise from over 300 vendors. Admission to the swap meet is $1 on Wednesdays or 50 cents on the weekends.

South Bay Drive-In, 2170 Coronado Avenue, San Diego, USA, CA, USA, +1 619 432 2727

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Frock You Vintage

Frock You Vintage has been selling vintage men’s and women’s clothing and accessories since 2002. Pieces are in good shape and clean, and typically date back to the 1920s through to the 1980s, with a few modern designer items thrown into the mix. Bargain hunters are advised to check out the back courtyard area for sale items or wait for one of their “Huge Frocking Sales.”

Frock You Vintage, 4121 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 220 0630

San Diego Vintage Flea Market

Though it only occurs about once a month or so, this outdoor flea market is where vintage lovers can peruse the wares of dozens of vendors for clothes, furniture, housewares, décor, and more. Items typically range from the early 1900s through to the 1980s, though the market also welcomes “vintage-inspired” merchandise including rockabilly or pinup-style clothing and tiki items. Free admission.

San Diego Vintage Flea Market, 2891 University Avenue, San Diego, CA, USA


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Honest Thrift

Newcomer Honest Thrift is unique; in addition to stocking a curated collection of clothing, accessories, and housewares, owner Jess also enjoys refurbishing furniture. She will not only spruce up things found in the shop but pieces that customers bring in as well. A portion of the proceeds benefits Girls Rising Above Child Exploitation (GRACE), a nonprofit that works to rescue trafficked children. Be sure to say hi to Riker, the shop dog, should you swing by.

Honest Thrift, 2830 Lytton Street, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 239 989 9900