If you’re trying to take a little piece of New Orleans home with you, there’s no need to shop for mass-produced souvenirs. This is a city where creativity and originality flourish, and there’s also a strong sense of history–making it a hotbed for flea markets and unique thrift shops. Whether you’re looking for a re-purposed or vintage clothing item, a one-of-a-kind accessory, or a hand-made piece of art, the following places are sure to be goldmines for you.
Saint Claude Social Club
photo | Saint Claude Social Club
The Saint Claude Social Club is an accessory-driven shopping experience in the Lower Garden District, reflecting the eclecticism, creativity, and international influences that thrive in New Orleans. At this Lower Garden District boutique, you’ll find a number of one-of-a-kind vintage dresses, robes, and costume pieces, in addition to accessories and other handmade trinkets by a variety of local and global artists. Saint Claude Social Club also hosts creative workshops and networking events.
French Market New Orleans | Courtesy fo French Market
French Market – New Orleans dates back to 1791 when it was a Native American trading outpost. Renovated and re-purposed multiple times over the years, it now stands as a simple market full of tasty treats. It’s a great spot to listen to live jazz while chowing down on muffuletta sandwiches, hot sauce, pralines, and sipping an Abita beer before wandering around.
This thrift and consignment store is a favorite among locals. Bloomin’ Deals is supported by the Junior League of New Orleans that works volunteer shifts and is required to donate goods every year–meaning shoppers find no shortage of adult and children’s clothing, designer labels, house-ware, furniture, books, and gifts. The shop has strict requirements about the quality of clothing, so rest assured that everything within is ready to wear.
Palace Market is an outdoor, night, art market that stays open late and is situated among music clubs and bars on New Orleans’ famed (and must-see) Frenchmen Street. Vendors herein sell handmade local art in a laid-back, friendly atmosphere. The Palace Art Market also hosts live mural paintings, art performances, furniture painting demos, and other special events.
The Oretha Castle Haley Art Market was launched in 2010 as part of an effort to promote the arts and bring in foot traffic to the revitalized Central City neighborhood, which is a recognized Cultural Products District. At this indoor/outdoor market, visitors will find local, handmade crafts on the second Saturday of the month from noon until 4 p.m. It also frequently hosts art competitions for both professional and aspiring artists. The market is open to the public and often collaborates with local farmers markets and musicians.
On the first Saturday of the month (with exceptions in June, July and August), the Uptown intersection of Freret Street and Napoleon Avenue becomes a lively, happening place for tourists, visitors, and kids of all ages. The popular Freret marketplace is split up into three categories: food, art, and flea. A number of restaurants also call the neighborhood home, so there’s no shortage of food options–whether you’re craving contemporary cuisine or a more traditional New Orleans signature dish. In addition to the 90+ local vendors peddling their various crafts, drink specials and live music are also among the many reasons to explore the Freret Market.