Chicago is known for its vibrant culture, architecture, and food scenes. However, what some may not realize is that the Windy City is also a thrifting paradise. From vintage boutiques to large thrift chains, Chicago offers an abundance of unique thrift stores to discover hidden treasures.
In this article, we are going to explore the 10 best thrift stores in Chicago. Whether you're looking for gently used clothing, home goods, or books, or just love the thrill of the hunt, these top thrift stores in Chicago are sure to delight you!
Key Reasons To Shop Thrift Stores In Chicago Include:
Endless inventory: With new donations coming in daily, you'll always find something different on each visit.
Affordable prices: Thrifting allows you to build a wardrobe on a budget or find one-of-a-kind pieces for a fraction of retail costs.
Environmentally friendly: Reusing pre-loved items keeps them out of landfills.
Support local charities: Many Chicago thrift stores donate proceeds to worthwhile causes.
From vintage boutiques to resale giants, the top thrift stores showcase the best of pre-owned style. So, grab your reusable bags – it's time to explore the 10 best thrift stores in Chicago!
Disclaimer: Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and there are numerous thrift stores in Chicago that cater to different budgets, needs, and fashion preferences. It's always a good idea to check out multiple stores to find the best deals and hidden gems.
1. Mt. Sinai Resale Shop, Lake View East
Mt. Sinai Resale Shop has been operating for over 34 years out of its location in Chicago's Lake View East neighborhood. It first opened in the late 1980s as a way to raise funds for Mt. Sinai Hospital. The shop is renowned for its vast selection of inventory, focusing on furniture, housewares, and clothing. It carries a wide range of styles for all ages and tastes. They also have a designer section with high-end labels.
Mt. Sinai accepts donations of clean, gently used items year-round. Popular donation items include clothing, accessories, books, toys, small furniture, and kitchenware. Donations allow them to keep inventory constantly refreshed. All proceeds from the Mt. Sinai Resale Shop directly benefit Mt. Sinai Hospital and its programs. Over the years, it has raised millions of dollars to support patient care, medical research, and community health services.
Address: 2902 N Clark St, Chicago, IL
2. Out of the Closet, Boystown
This thrift store offers a wide range of items, including clothing, books, housewares, and unique finds. Clean, gently used items in good condition are gratefully accepted. Popular donation categories include clothing, accessories, books, home goods, and small furniture. Out of the Closet's mission is to provide funding and awareness for organizations working to end HIV/AIDS. All proceeds from sales support these HIV services worldwide.
Since 1991, Out of the Closet thrift stores have raised over $60 million to support HIV/AIDS services. This includes research, prevention programs, and direct assistance for those living with HIV. The store holds regular sales and special events throughout the year. Recent examples include a Pride Month sale and trunk shows featuring local designers.
Address: 3311 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL
3. The Brown Elephant
The Brown Elephant is part of Howard Brown Health, which provides healthcare services to the LGBTQ+ community. Proceeds support Howard Brown's programs and clinics. Since 1991, Brown Elephant thrift stores have raised over $15 million to support Howard Brown Health's services. This includes primary care, mental health support, and health promotion programs.
Shoppers can find a wide assortment of clothing, accessories, furniture, home goods, books and more. Inventory is constantly refreshed with donations. Regular sales and events offer additional savings. Recent examples include a Pride Month sale and trunk shows featuring local designers' work. Clean used items are accepted daily and help keep the stores well-stocked. Popular donation categories include gently worn clothing, accessories, books, linens, dishes and small furniture.
Address: Multiple locations, including 3020 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL
4. Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co.
This unique thrift store plays up the theme of spy gear and secret agent finds. Alongside more typical thrift items, you may discover disguises, gadgets, and other tongue-in-cheek spy accessories. Proceeds from sales benefit 826CHI, a nonprofit that provides creative writing and tutoring support to youth in under-resourced communities.
Beyond the spy theme, shoppers will uncover books, clothing, vinyl records, home goods, retro electronics, and other eclectic thrift treasures. New donations arrive daily. Regular sales and themed events are announced on their Facebook page. Recent examples include a costume party and author readings.
Address: 1276 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL
5. Village Discount Outlet
With multiple locations in Chicago, Village Discount Outlet offers a vast selection of items, including clothing, shoes, accessories, and household items. Shoppers can find a variety of options at discounted prices. The inventory is regularly restocked with new merchandise. Village Discount Outlet accepts donations of clean, gently used items. Donated items contribute to the store's inventory and help support their mission of providing affordable options to the community.
Village Discount Outlet has received positive reviews from customers, with mentions of its large selection and affordable prices. However, some reviewers note that certain locations may be more picked over due to their popularity.
Address: Multiple locations, including 2032 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL
Ragstock is known for offering a variety of trendy and vintage clothing, accessories, and costumes. They have a wide range of options to suit different styles and preferences. Their inventory includes items for both men and women. Their items are generally in good condition. Like all vintage clothing, they may show some signs of wear, but there are no outstanding flaws.
According to online reviews, Ragstock is highly regarded among thrift stores in the Wicker Park area. Customers appreciate the store's selection and find it to be a great place for thrifting. Sales and Discounts: Ragstock occasionally offers sales and discounts on their merchandise. It's recommended to check their website or visit the store to find out about any ongoing promotions.
Address: 1459 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL
7. Mercy Beaucoup
Mercy Beaucoup is a resale boutique that offers a curated collection of high-quality clothing, jewelry, and accessories. The boutique focuses on providing unique and stylish items to its customers. The boutique is mentioned as one of the top vintage clothing and thrift stores in Chicago in various lists on Yelp This suggests that it is well-regarded among thrift and vintage enthusiasts in the area.
The boutique's curated collection includes a variety of clothing options, ranging from vintage pieces to contemporary styles. In addition to clothing, Mercy Beaucoup also offers a selection of jewelry and accessories to complement different outfits. Mercy Beaucoup is known for offering unique and one-of-a-kind items that can help customers create their own personal style. The boutique's focus on high-quality items ensures that shoppers can find special pieces that stand out.
Address: 1545 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL
8. The Salvation Army Thrift Store
This thrift store chain has multiple locations throughout Chicago. The Salvation Army offers a wide assortment of affordable items, including clothing, home goods, toys, books, and more. The inventory is diverse and constantly changing, providing shoppers with a variety of options to choose from.
The proceeds from The Salvation Army Thrift Store support local social services programs. When you donate goods to The Salvation Army, the donation proceeds are used to fund their Adult Rehabilitation Centers, which provide support and assistance to individuals in need.
The Salvation Army Thrift Store is well-known and respected for its charitable work and affordable prices. The Salvation Army is recognized as a compassionate organization that contributes to disaster relief efforts.
Address: Multiple locations, including 1247 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL
9. Crossroads Trading Co.
Crossroads Trading Co. is known for its large selection of vintage and designer clothing. In addition to clothing, the store also offers furniture, accessories, records, and more. The inventory is carefully curated to provide customers with a wide range of stylish options.
The profits from Crossroads Trading Co. support arts education. By shopping at Crossroads, customers contribute to the funding of programs that promote and support arts education initiatives.
Trading Co. is generally well-regarded among thrift and vintage enthusiasts. The store's focus on offering trendy and high-quality items has earned it a positive reputation.
Address: 2020 W Division St, Chicago, IL
10. Savers Value Village
Savers Value Village is part of the Savers chain, known for offering a wide range of new and used items at bargain prices. The store carries various categories of items, including clothing, household goods, books, and toys. Shoppers can find a diverse selection of items to meet their needs. Savers Value Village focuses on providing affordable options to its customers. The store's pricing strategy aims to offer items at bargain prices, allowing shoppers to find great deals on their purchases.
Savers Value Village is part of the Savers chain, which operates thrift stores across the United States and Canada. The chain is known for its commitment to sustainability and recycling, as well as its support for nonprofit organizations. By shopping at Savers Value Village, customers contribute to the store's mission of supporting local communities and reducing waste. The store's profits help fund various social services programs and initiatives.
Address: 5650 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL
With so many diverse neighborhoods come a variety of thrift stores to uncover hidden gems. From large chains to curated boutiques, each offers a chance to breathe new life into pre-loved items. The best way to experience Chicago's thriving thrift scene is to visit multiple stores, open your mind to new discoveries, and let serendipity be your guide. Who knows what treasures you may find during your adventures in thrifty bliss? With so many quality options, it's easy to see why Chicago continues to be a mecca for vintage enthusiasts and bargain hunters alike.
Note: For a comprehensive list of thrift shops in the Chicago area, you can visit the Chicago Resource Hub, which provides information on various thrift stores, including The Salvation Army, Unique/Savers Thrift Store, Crossroads Trading Co., and more. Remember to check the store hours and any specific guidelines or discounts offered by each thrift store before visiting. Happy thrifting!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©gabriel12/Shutterstock.com.