Thank you to Katie Aftosmis for sharing her Berkeley thrifting tips with us today!
When my kids were little, I used to regularly visit a handful of secondhand clothing shops around the East Bay. As my girls got older, and many of those shops unfortunately closed, shopping second-hand fell off my radar. That is until my tween asked if we had any good thrift stores near us. Not only do we have an abundance of thrift stores around Berkeley and Oakland, but thrifting can be a great way for tweens and teens to find clothes that fit their budget and burgeoning sense of style.
Take Your Tween Thrift Shopping on Telegraph Avenue
Our current favorite thrifting spot is Telegraph Avenue, and you can easily make a day of it. Here are the shops we love:
2nd Street has the largest selection of secondhand clothes on Telegraph, and it’s also the store with the most up-to-date fashion thanks to all those Cal students nearby. The pricing can be a bit high, but my daughter has snagged tank tops for $7. It’s well organized with plenty of dressing rooms.
Location: 2543 Telegraph Ave. Berkeley
Near 2nd Street, So-So Market is a small store with a mix of used, vintage, and new items for sale. It also has a fun jewelry selection and Sonny Angel dolls (IYKYK).
Location: 2505 Telegraph Ave. Berkeley
With a mix of new and used clothing, Anastasia’s is another large shop that never disappoints. It recently added a new area in the front where secondhand clothes are organized by brand, which makes finding what you’re looking for even easier. The pricing is fair and the quality is good. Plenty of dressing rooms here as well.
Location: 2360 Telegraph Ave. Berkeley
Mars is more of a traditional vintage store, with clothes organized by type and decade. For tweens and teens, it could be a great place to find a Halloween costume or something very specific. Men’s clothes are downstairs and women’s are upstairs.
Location: 2398 Telegraph Ave. Berkeley
Parent Tips for Thrifting on Telegraph Ave.
To maximize your chances of success, prepare yourself and your thrifting companion.
- Drinks. None of the stores we went into would let you bring in a drink. So if your kid is begging for boba, plan to get it at the end of your shopping adventure. The options for boba are seemingly endless on Telegraph. We’re partial to Yifang Taiwan Fruit Tea and Share Tea.
- Eats. Shopping can make you hungry and Telegraph Avenue does not disappoint. Mezzo has great salads and sandwiches; Super Duper is perfect for burgers and fries; Blondies and Sliver both offer pizza by the slice. And if you need some dessert, you can’t go wrong with a Belgian waffle from Little Gem with Nutella and strawberries.
- Books & Music. Clothes aren’t the only secondhand items you can find on Telegraph. Moe’s Books has a young adult selection on the bottom floor, and the new Sleepy Cat Books has a mix of used and new books (and an actual cat you can say hello to). And what’s more fun than looking through used vinyl and embarrassing your kid in Amoeba Music by dancing in public and gushing about your first Debbie Gibson cassette tape? I’d say nothing.
Honorable Mentions (not on Telegraph Ave.)
Telegraph Avenue has a high concentration of thrift stores, but there are plenty of other thrifting spots around the area. My family especially loves these Berkeley places for finding secondhand clothing deals:
- Crossroads Trading Co. This chain has locations in Berkeley and in Oakland.
- Sports Basement Pre-Loved. On the second floor of Sports Basement in Berkeley is a well-stocked pre-loved section. Not only can you find soccer cleats and ski boots, but my tween found a vintage Rolling Stones shirt and I snagged a pair of Vuori pants in perfect condition.
- Out of the Closet on University can be hit-or-miss but you’ll find parking much easier than on Telegraph. They go all out for Halloween and other holidays.
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