13 Best Thrift Stores in Chicago That Will Blow You Away
Allow the Windy City to sweep you away and carry you to the best thrift stores in Chicago.
From budget-friendly basics to high-end Hermes, the city is ripe with opportunity for treasure hunters.
In addition to second hand clothes for the whole family, many offer an impressive range of accessories, home goods, furniture, and one-of-a-kind finds.
Yes, yes, there are Goodwill thrift stores in Chicago, but let’s take a step off the beaten path to explore unique thrift shops in Chicago that can’t be found elsewhere.
As you hungrily wait for your Chicago deep dish (to fuel up, of course), be sure to have a look at our thrift shopping tips, as well as our take on why thrift shopping matters at the bottom of this article.
QUICK LINKS FOR BEST THRIFT STORES IN CHICAGO
- Let’s Change Resale Shoppe
- Monarch Thrift Shop
- Upscale Rummage
- The Brown Elephant
- Family Tree Resale
- Wolff’s Flea Market
- Mercy Beaucoup
- El Dorado
- Alex’s Attic
- Norwood Life Society Thrift Shop
- Greater Goods Community Thrift
- Mount Sinai Hospital Resale Shop
- Three Stars Resale Shop
1. LET’S CHANGE RESALE SHOPPE
About Let’s Change’s Unique Thrift Store in Chicago
With sweet deals for the entire family, Let’s Change Resale Shoppe is consistently recognized as one of the best thrift stores in Chicago suburbs—Humboldt Park, to be exact.
They have new and gently used clothes, shoes, and accessories, as well as small furniture pieces, home decor, and vintage items.
You can feel extra good about your #thrifthaul because all donations and proceeds support humanitarian efforts through the organization Army of the Kind.
They support children-in-need in countries like Peru and Burkina Faso with clean water, nutrition, medicine, shelter, and more.
Location: Humboldt Park
2. MONARCH THRIFT SHOP
About Monarch Thrift Shop Chicago
Monarch Thrift Shop is one of the best thrift stores in Chicago for clothes for men and women (with kids’ clothes available online only).
Whether you’re after everyday essentials, or something Luxe to spice up your wardrobe, they’ve got what you need at low prices.
You can even peruse their selection online for a seamless secondhand shopping experience or if you don’t have any plans to visit the City in a Garden.
Circular fashion aside, breaking cycles of homelessness is the main mission of this social enterprise thrift shop.
Through their RISE Up Retail Certification Program, they invest in youth experiencing homelessness, giving them the tools and experience they need to get a career in retail.
They also partner with One Heart One Soul to give back to the community and provide a nurturing environment to build employment skills, rebuild lives, and reduce recidivism.
3. UPSCALE RUMMAGE
About Upscale Rummage’s Furniture Thrift Store Chicago
One of the truly good thrift stores Chicago has to offer (in every sense of the word), Upscale Rummage is a not-for-profit resale shop that has been supporting those in need since 1999.
All proceeds support nonprofits in Lake and Cook counties, providing essential services for refugees, the incarcerated, and those affected by house fires, disability, medical emergencies, job loss, and homelessness.
Set up just like a department store, the well-organized, clean, and affordable items include furniture, rugs, lamps, artwork, clothing, books, housewares, and toys.
If they can’t find a home for their donated treasures, they do their best to ensure things get responsibly recycled.
4. THE BROWN ELEPHANT
The Brown Elephant’s Cool Thrift Stores in Chicago
The Brown Elephant is one of the vintage thrift stores in Chicago that can make you look cool and feel even better.
Between fashionable finds, vintage clothes, books, jewelry, and home decor, Brown Elephant shops are just as fun and surprising as a white elephant gift exchange.
With locations in Lakeview, Andersonville, and Oak Park, they’re accessible all over the city.
Operated by Howard Brown Health, all proceeds provide LGBTQ health care for the under or uninsured.
Some locations offer free HIV and STI screenings.
Location: Lakeview | Andersonville | Oak Park
5. FAMILY TREE RESALE
About Family Tree Resale
Did someone say Under $10 rack?
Family Tree Resale is a go-to Chicago thrift store for organized, clean, good-condition clothes for men, women, and children (to whom a quarter of their store is devoted).
They also have home goods, toys, women’s shoes, and wedding guest dresses.
Through their Voucher Program, they partner with local schools and charities to provide neighbors in need with access to free clothing and home goods—more than $195,000 in donated goods has been distributed so far.
Unsold items (including broken old electronics) are properly recycled.
They also offer recycled bags for shoppers who need them.
Location: Lincoln Square
6. WOLFF’S FLEA MARKET
About Wolff’s Flea Market for Thrifting in Chicago
When it comes to the top thrift stores in Chicago, Wolff’s Flea Market has to make the list.
Where else can you score fresh produce, churros, and a vintage band t-shirt all in one place?
The massive outdoor market becomes home to about 700 small businesses every summer Sunday, beginning May 1.
The family-owned and operated flea market has something for everyone: thrift clothes, holiday decor, books, flowers, antiques, electronics, jewelry, vinyl, art, “totally weird stuff,” and more.
Tickets are an affordable $2 unless you want to get there for first-pick privileges before 6 am, in which case admission is $4.
7. MERCY BEAUCOUP
About Mercy Beaucoup’s Thrift Shop in Chicago
Aside from the clever name, Mercy Beaucoup is one of the best thrift stores Chicago has to offer for those looking for mission-driven secondhand steals.
100% of the profits go towards the Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, a safe home and educational center for children in crisis.
As if it doesn’t feel good enough scoring deals on clothes from brand names like Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, and Alice + Olivia.
In addition to clothing for the entire family, they also have shoes, home decor items, and accessories for prices ranging from $2 to $200+.
Location: Near North Side
8. EL DORADO THRIFT
About El Dorado’s High End Thrift Store in Chicago
El Dorado is a Hispanic family-owned Chicago thrift shop that hopes to shed some of the stigma associated with secondhand shopping.
That’s why El Dorado—the Lost City of Gold—is filled with treasures including designer apparel, shoes, purses, and tiliches (junk/trinkets/knick-knacks).
Those are balanced with popular brands and clothing (including sports jerseys and kids clothing) for as little as $4.
Everything is carefully curated and organized to make shopping easy and prevent the need to sift through scattered piles.
Location: Logan Square
9. ALEX’S ATTIC
About Alex’s Attic’s Thrift Store Chicago
One of the thrift stores on Milwaukee Ave, Chicago’s Alex’s Attic is a family-owned consignment shop often considered one of the best places to thrift in Chicago.
The Logan Square thrift shop provides options for buying and selling new and gently used men’s, women’s, and children’s clothes, shoes, and accessories.
If you’re selling or seeking team sports jerseys, their selection is unmatched.
Their website also has an online store for non-Chicago shoppers.
Location: Logan Square
10. NORWOOD LIFE SOCIETY THRIFT SHOP
About Norwood Life Society Second Hand Store in Chicago
Wear your heart on your sleeve with a purchase from Norwood Life Society Thrift Shop.
Yet another one of the best thrift shops in Chicago for those who like to give back, 100% of proceeds go towards resources and programs for local senior citizens.
The store is entirely volunteer-driven and contains an ever-changing selection of clothing, collectibles, housewares, artwork, books, and more.
Go on certain weeks and you might find a $1 footwear or pants sale.
Location: Norwood Park
11. GREATER GOODS COMMUNITY THRIFT
About Greater Goods Community Thrift
Greater Goods Community Thrift is a clean, well-kept place to find quality items at impressive prices, meaning some of the best thrifting in Chicago for those on a budget.
These include vintage items, clothing, jewelry, housewares, toys, shoes, and more.
They value inclusivity, sustainability, community relationships, and justice. As a not-for-profit, all proceeds support Big Shoulders Church.
12. MOUNT SINAI HOSPITAL RESALE SHOP
About Mount Sinai Hospital Resale Shop—a Lincoln Park Thrift Store
Mount Sinai Resale Shop is about as close as you can get to thrift stores in downtown Chicago.
The shop is open 7 days a week, filled with friendly volunteers, and unique treasures and odds and ends.
Raising money for the hospital’s patient care programs, bargain-hunters can expect to find a selection of gently used designer clothing, artwork, quality furniture, and household goods.
Location: Lake View East
13. THREE STARS RESALE SHOP
About Three Stars Resale Shop—One of the Best Furniture Thrift Stores in Chicago
If we’re talkin’ cool thrift stores in Chicago, be sure to add Three Stars Resale Shop to the list.
Many would argue they should change their name to Five Stars because the prices are reasonable, the selection is impressive, and the shop’s building is really cool.
Specializing in antique home decor, furniture, kitchenware, and lighting, you’ll find an eclectic range from the 1960s to 1980s.
Paired with friendly staff and a fun showroom-style layout, you’ve got a thrifter’s dream.
Location: Logan Square
WHY GO THRIFTING IN CHICAGO?
You’ve probably heard the bad news by now, but the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global emissions.
No wonder more and more people are looking to learn how to avoid fast fashion.
The good news is that the solution is a lot more exciting (and warmer) than just going naked.
Thrifting in Chicago (or whatever city you’re in) is one of the best ways to show the slow fashion movement a little love and keep valuable items in use (and out of landfills) for longer.
The White City has an impressive recycling program that diverts about 2.5 million pounds of used clothing and shoes from landfills every year.
But still, this only encompasses around 15% of the city’s textile waste. You can help up that number by checking out Chicago’s many thrift treasure troves.
Between savvy secondhand scores (think: $20 Chanel) and quirky things that can be used for a DIY project, Chicago’s diversity makes for an excellent range of gently used or vintage items.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST CHICAGO THRIFT STORES
Whether you’re a tried and true Chicagoan or planning a visit to the Bean, be sure to incorporate a few stops to these thrift stores in Chicago (and these zero waste stores in Chicago, while you’re at it).
There are numerous thrift stores in the city, all with selections that can suit any budget, need, or fashion whim.
If you have a friend heading to Lollapalooza or know a White Sox fan in the family, be sure to share this list of the best secondhand stores in Chicago with them.