So this is what I've got for you instead! A long-promised compilation of all my favorite vintage and thrift store shopping stops in LA. Just in time to buy your beloved a semi-functional and only slightly tarnished mid-century chandelier, a vintage nude oil painting of some person you don't know at all, or simply the perfect side chair. Am I the only one who yearns for such things?
This list doesn't include all of LA's great vintage shopping (and never forget the Rose Bowl Flea Market please), but it is all of the spots that are on my regular circuit. I'm an east sider, so these places are situated accordingly. And of course, please tell them I sent you!
The key to much of my vintage shopping is to be able to hit a few shops in one stop. Because that's just good time management people, not to mention how pleasant (opposite) parking in LA can be. To park once and shop twice or thrice makes me a very happy girl.
My Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood stop ...
Hernandez Furniture & Appliance
6208 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Big selection. Not one of those places where you'll score Baughman for nothing. They know what they have. But it's generally fair and way less expensive than if you headed further west. (No official website, but good they're good about their tumblr and instagram feeds.)
*NOTE: Daddy Hernandez's son has just branched out and opened his own storefront a few doors down from the original, between Hernandez and White Buffalo. I don't even know the name yet, I was there recently chatting with him when he was just getting it set up. So that's 3 shops for one parking spot. So far so good!
White Buffalo Furniture
6124 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90038
A block or two down from Hernandez, this actually is one of those places where you can still score genuine mid-century design for cheap. Often good for dressers, credenzas, etc. A lot of my pieces have come from here over the years. They'll bargain a bit. (Definitely no website ... these guys are a well-kept secret ... although the word seems to be getting out on Yelp.)
3216 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026
This looks like a typical hole-in-the-wall Mexican grocery, but don't be fooled. Half the space is loaded with vintage furniture. The Senora who has owned it forever is named Maria (I think Daisy is her daughter's name?) I've scored great stuff over the years. Generally more traditional or regency-style antiques and less mid-century. Fair prices and she'll bargain.
3212 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Right next door to Daisy's is this very pretty antique shop. Ultra nice people who know what they've got, thus it's pricier than the two funky stores that flank it, but it's also a better curated collection of goodies. The other two spots are total wild cards.
El Torito Thrift
3210 1/2 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles CA 90026
Next door to Casa Victoria. This dusty little spot is a jumble of rusty old appliances and furniture piled to the ceiling, but that's the way I like it, cuz that's where the deals are!
My Sunset Blvd in Echo Park stop ...
2508 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90023
Been coming here forever. Scored my rad mid-century Italian living room light fixture here for $50! But that was a few years ago and they've become more savvy about what they've got. Still, nice mid-century and regency stuff, with deals to be had. They've also started making pretty decent reproductions of mid-century casegoods. Don't forget to take the back stairs down to the lower level!
2504 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles CA 90026
Right next door to Sunset Bazaar is this similar (if slightly less polished) vintage store hawking mostly mid-century and mid-century reproductions. Pepe is not a popular personality on Yelp, but I've bought tons of stuff from him over the years. His reproduction furniture isn't always A-grade, but you might be very happy with it for the price you'll pay.
St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
210 N Avenue 21 Los Angeles, CA 90031
This place has been called the Costco of thrift stores, and I agree. It's an enormous warehouse in Lincoln Heights on the edge of downtown. Giant furniture selection, obviously not curated at all, but you never know what you'll find!
181 North Avenue 21 Los Angeles CA 90031
Tiny place with a random selection of mid-century kitsch. Check it out, especially because it's right across the street from St Vincent, so we're sticking with our 1 stop 2+ shops rule!
My San Fernando Rd stops ...
Out Of The Closet Superstore
2425 N San Fernando Rd Los Angeles, CA 90065
Heading home from St Vincent's I usually take San Fernando Rd to hit two more large thrift stores. It's always a crap shoot, but this particular one for some reason has been consistently good to me!
Goodwill at Fletcher Square
3150 San Fernando Rd Los Angeles, CA 90065
This is a new giant Goodwill community center with two thrift store areas. It's where I go to get 50 cent hardcover books when I need lots of shelf filler. Seriously, this is a good tip people! All the other thrift stores charge $1-$5 per book which adds up when you need a ton of them.
Those are all my usual haunts. Happy trolling!