What better way to get immersed in the local culture of the citizens of Milwaukee than to go through their closets. Not literally, of course, but by going through the clothes that they have donated to the local thrift shops and flea markets. You never know what hidden gem you might find, so it might be best just to visit every store on this list.
Retique is unlike any other thrift store. The folks here handpick items from bins at Goodwill, providing shoppers with the highest quality of donated items. The small and cozy shop has a friendly and helpful vibe, with a bit of a hipster twist seeing as it sits in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. Retique is the finest form of recycling—and for a good price. Designer items only go for slightly higher than normal thrift stores, but the people who stock the store have already found the diamonds in the rough, making Retique simply full of vintage gems.
Retique, 190 N Broadway, Milwaukee, WI, USA, +1 414 273 1797
Albella Bargain Store
When it comes to finding the rarest of collectible items, Albella Bargain Store is definitely a place to check out. Though Albella stocks everything from clothes to books, this is a place where you could find that one-in-a-million collectible. They have a wide selection of vintage toys and baseball cards that could certainly be hiding something special. The layout is a bit overwhelming, but it’s perfect for those ready to spend hours getting lost in the past.
Albella Bargain Store, 6921 W Oklahoma Ave, Milwaukee, WI, USA, +1 414 841 5043
Palmer Street Goodwill
To the untrained eye, this shop is just another simple Goodwill, but to a talented thrifter, this might be the biggest gold mine of them all. The Palmer Street Goodwill is the closest Goodwill to many affluent Milwaukee suburbs such as Whitefish Bay, Fox Point, and Shorewood; this means that people oftentimes overlook throwing away precious or expensive things, so finding top-shelf or designer trousers at low prices is very likely. The space itself is also huge, so prepare to spend quite a while here.
Palmer Street Goodwill, 3900 N Palmer St, Milwaukee, WI, USA, +1 414 967 0588
Marlene’s Touch of Class
Marlene’s Touch of Class is a bit of a mystery to those living outside of Milwaukee. The thrift store is similar to a one-stop shop. Are you furnishing a new house? Marlene’s has furniture. Do you need a new sports coat for the office Christmas party? Marlene’s has that too. Its eclectic collection has something for everyone, and rarely do shoppers leave disappointed. It also happens to be next to a mattress store, which may sound strange, but when you’re looking to furnish your home on the cheap, it’s a perfect place to go.
Marlene’s Touch of Class, 2929 South 13th Street, Milwaukee, WI, USA, +1 414 272 2470
7 Mile Fair
The 7 Mile Fair is definitely the best flea market in Milwaukee, and it might even be the best in Wisconsin. 7 Mile runs every weekend of the year, which is incredibly impressive, especially with the Milwaukee winters. People from all over the Midwest consider the 7 Mile Fair to be their go-to place for fresh and homemade goods. It is one of those unique markets that truly has everything—from vintage items to Avon products to even swap meets where vendors and patrons can swap clothes or goods for no cost. It is a perfect place to find the ideal gift for the person who is simply impossible to buy for.
7 Mile Fair, 2720 7 Mile Rd, Caledonia, WI, USA, +1 262 835 2177
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