Even long before the resurgence of thrift store popularity in the 2010s, New Orleans has always had a special kind of relationship with secondhand shopping. With the number of costumes the average New Orleanian needs throughout the year, it’s no wonder we’re fond of affordable items that we can completely alter into something new. And really, what’s more satisfying than finding a great pair of jeans and a perfectly sized end table not only in the same store, but also for an incredible price? Whether you’re looking for a statement piece or want to repurpose an antique for a DIY project, New Orleans is full of great, local thrift stores for you to peruse. Make sure to take your time browsing the aisles. You never know what hidden gems you’ll walk away with.
4626 D’Hemecourt St.
As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That couldn’t be more true about Junk’s Above, a thrift store in Mid-City that’s bursting with character both inside and out. You’ll find everything from antique records, handheld suitcases, metal lockboxes, board games, retro motorcycle helmets, and framed illustrations from the 50s. This shop is loaded with unique finds.
YEP Thrift Works
1626 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
Founded as a workplace development program for at-risk youth, YEP Thrift Works sells everything from toys and DVDs to clothing and housewares. YEP, which stands for Youth Empowerment Program, opened the thrift store a little over four years ago. Add this stop to your thrifting itinerary and shop fun finds while giving back to New Orleans youth.
Bridge House Thrift Stores
4243 Earhart Blvd. and 7901 Airline Dr.
There are two incarnations of Bridge House Thrift Stores (run by a local charity that provides services to those recovering from addiction), and they both offer up some of the choicer second-hand items you’ll find. The prices are a bit higher than your typical thrift store, but the clothes seem to come straight from the closets of the Garden District. They also have an extensive collection of furniture, and are pretty open to haggling if you see something you’ve got to have. So if you’re looking for a Brooks Brothers suit shirt, an antique ottoman, or a set of China, this is a good place to start. All funds go directly to the Bridge House/Grace House substance abuse treatment program.
2025 St. Claude Ave.
Restoration Thrift’s promise is simple: inside, “your treasure awaits.” This gem can be found down in the Bywater near Frenchmen Street. Give this store a visit to find inspiration for your next DIY project—whether it’s repainting a coffee table or bedazzling a pair of shorts for next Mardi Gras. The ultimate thrifters can even become part of the Treasure Hunters club, an email list where you’ll receive exclusive coupons and first notice of sales.
Thrift City USA
601 Terry Pkwy.
While a little outside the confines of New Orleans proper, Thrift City USA is the reincarnation of an old New Orleans establishment. Thrift City was once located at Tulane and Carrollton, next to the old Rock n’ Bowl and was the place to go for Mardi Gras and Halloween costumes and cheap, fun furniture and clothes. After 2005 it relocated to the West Bank, making the stock less picked-over as fewer people make the trek across the bridge. Now, the spacious thrift shop carries an extensive selection of clothes and shoes for adults and children. It’s worth a quick drive to the other side.
4119 Magazine St.
Magazine Street is home to some of the city’s premier boutiques, restaurants, and vintage shops, but for those who relish the hunt and affordability of thrifting—along with some of that vibrant, one-of-a-kind New Orleans style straight from the locals’ closets—Buffalo Exchange is your dream come true. What helps to supply its ever-changing stock of clothes, shoes, and accessories is its clothing credit option; a staff member selects sellable pieces from your pile and gives you equivalent store credit in return. It’s a win-win: you get even more bang for your buck, make room for your new clothes in your closet, and give your gently-used pieces a new chance at life with someone who will love them as much as you did.
2019 Metairie Rd.
Another suburban location, Second Act in what the locals call “Old” Metairie is a consignment shop rather than a traditional thrift store, meaning that the original owner of whatever you purchase gets a cut of the final profit. What really sets this shop apart is it’s highly-curated selection of “better and designer label” clothing, jewelry, shoes, and accessories limited to items that align with current fashion trends. Like the Bridge House stores, their prices are higher than traditional thrift, but these high-quality treasures are certainly worth the extra cash.
Red White & Blue Thrift Store
5728 Jefferson Hwy. and 555 Lapalco Blvd.
With two locations in the New Orleans ‘burbs, Red White & Blue is the quintessential thrift store experience—racks on racks of every sort of clothing (organized by color!), furniture, decor, records, cassettes, CDs, small appliances...you get the picture. These shops truly break the thrift store mold with one particular feature: daily sales. Yes, you read that correctly. Select items are marked 50% off every day (except for Wednesdays, when sales are reserved for seniors 55 and older) in order to keep inventory moving. Those extra minutes in the car are more than worth the treasures and deals you’ll discover.