Why pay full price when you have next-to-new Austin fashion at your fingertips? Thrift shopping is nearly as ubiquitous to Austin as live music and food trucks, but it can be hard to get your foot in the thrifting door.
No need to fear: we've got a complete guide to the smorgasbord of Austin thrift shops right here.
Best bang for your buck
Goodwill Bins, 6505 Burleson Rd.
If you're pinched for cash or looking for adventure, head to the Goodwill bins for the cheapest options on the market. At $1.49 a pound, it's easy to walk away with 10 or more items for less than $10. This is where the unselected items at Goodwill stores lay to rest, so there can be slim pickings. But that makes it that much sweeter when you find a designer item, tag intact. Come ready to be assertive—each time new bins are brought out, it's prime real estate, and a crowd quickly gathers around the new picks.
Thrift Land, 512 W. Stassney Ln., Ste. 107A
For anything from 99-cent T-shirts to brand-new designer leather pants, head to Thrift Land in South Austin. The store has been around since 1985 and has a huge variety of men's and women's clothing, home decor and even books and furniture. Every section is color-coded, so come with a desired color scheme in mind. Bring cash as well—the store is cash-only, but there is an ATM inside just in case you forget.
Thrift land is packed with outfits for activities from business meetings to a girl's night out. (Claire Partain/Austonia)
Thrift Town, 5726 Menchaca Rd.
Thrift Town shares a strip with a Goodwill, but the store consistently brings better style and lower prices to the table. Thrift Town's slightly trendier cousin, Thrift Land, is also conveniently located nearby in South Austin. There aren't as many home furnishings as Thrift Land, but they more than make up for it with with mannequins serving as style inspo above the aisles and plenty of business-casual clothing appropriate for any workplace meeting.
Thrift Town employees regularly outfit mannequins with their favorite picks. (Thrift Town/ Facebook)
Salvation Army, 4216 S. Congress Ave.
While you can find nearly anything at Salvation Army, which is famous for its half-off days, you can find high-quality used furniture—and a healthy selection of it—without breaking out the piggy bank. Plus, if you need to rid yourself of extra furniture, the Salvation Army will come to pick up items directly from your house so you can spare yourself the sweat. Donations and support go to those in need—the non-profit organization donates 82 cents on every dollar to services that help the less fortunate. While the Salvation Army does not help move furniture to homes, several services like Easymove and Dolly will help you get it where it needs to go.
Far Out Home Furnishings, 1500 W. Ben White Blvd.
This vintage, upcycled and knick-knack emporium is so filled with upcycled goodies and eclectic art pieces that they have a dedicated "Funkyard" to house it all. This garage-sale-like thrift shop carries used fashion, indoor and outdoor furniture, musical instruments, jewelry, frames and whatever else your heart desires, so long as you have the stamina to find it. The store offers an online tour and regularly updates its inventory, so you'll have an idea of what's in store before you head over.
Pavement Austin, 611 S. Lamar Blvd.
Flaunting a colorful exterior to match the sprawling, eccentric interior, Pavement has a carefully curated selection of clothing for the modern fashionista. Filled with a mixture of new, used and vintage fashion and accessories, Pavement caters to all aesthetics at both of its Austin locations. With clothes for all bodies, Pavement sets itself apart by hand-selecting the items it puts on the sales floor instead of relying on brand or release year, so you will likely find something for everyone.
Flamingo Vintage Pound, 2915 Guadelupe St.
Flamingo is the cutting-edge of thrift fashion, but don't take our word for it: influencer and former Texas State student Wisdom Kaye, who has racked up 6 million TikTok followers for his keen fashion sense, has been known to frequent it. Inside is a hodgepodge of eccentric Austin fashion. Find vintage Harley Davidson tees or funky bell-bottom pants in the store's curated sections. Come here looking for discounted fashion-forward items instead of extra-low prices. Flamingo is significantly more pricey than the Goodwill bins, but it still follows a discounted pay-by-the-pound model.
St. Vincent de Paul, 901 West Braker Ln.
An Austin favorite, this donation-based store known simply as "Vinny's" comes with all the trappings of a Goodwill or Salvation Army but with a more curated selection. Look for trendy clothing, wood furniture or eclectic jewelry at this North Austin thrift shop.
Passport Vintage, 2217 S. 1st St.
Looking for quality vintage denim? With over 20,000 Instagram followers, Passport Vintage has established itself as a vital storefront for tasteful shoppers. It's not the cheapest, however—come here if you're willing to pay near-new prices for authentic vintage items. Aside from its Instagram, the store also has a website and a brick-and-mortar store open seven days a week.
Ballin' on a budget
Uptown Cheapskate, 3005B S. Lamar Blvd.
If you love name-brand clothing but don't love draining your bank account, Uptown Cheapskate is the place to shop. The store has brought upcycling to the mainstream by buying and selling clothes brought in by customers, meaning you can shop for less and even make a quick buck while you're there. Clothes are chosen with a few criteria in mind: brand, date they were released and condition, so you may not sell everything you bring in, but you will walk out with something that was on boutique racks just a few months before.
Plato's Closet, 5400 Brodie Ln., Ste. 240
Fulfill your Instagram influencer fantasies without breaking the bank at Plato's Closet, the classic name-brand thrift store chain. It doesn't take much sifting to find Lululemon, Zara, Madewell and even high-fashion designer items within the curated store. Come with a bag of your old clothes, too, if you trust your fashion sense—they'll give you a couple bucks for whatever they like from your wardrobe.
Buffalo Exchange, 2904 Guadelupe St.
Buffalo Exchange has a reputation that precedes it as the premier designer thrift destination. Located just across the street from Flamingo, Buffalo Exchange is stocked with items straight from the closets of trendy University of Texas students living nearby. Grab an entire Gen Z outfit—from flame-shaped sunglasses to embroidered cowboy boots—and have change to spare. In our experience, the pants section has some of the best quality items on the thrifting market.
Uncommon Objects, 1602 Fortview Rd.
Uncommon Objects doesn't sell clothes, but it does sell used items from yesteryear. Down the eerie, cluttered aisles, you're likely to find old objects that confuse, delight, inspire and fright, but seeing that every item is used, it is thrifting in its own right. There's no true way to know what you'll find in the self-proclaimed "antiques Mecca" but a few staples include dolls, paintings, statues, skeletons, photos and old appliances. Whatever you take home, it will probably be older than you.
Supporting a good cause
Austin Pets Alive!, 1156 W. Cesar Chavez St. (multiple locations)
With three locations across Austin, all net proceeds go to the puppy-loving, no-kill Austin Pets Alive! Shelter. The boutique-style thrifts are a great place to find clothes for everybody, and you can donate your old items to help animals. Plus, if you're an APA! foster parent, you can enjoy 20% off every time you shop.
Treasure City Thrift, 2142 E. 7th St.
With the motto "solidarity not charity," Treasure City Thrift is a Black-owned shop that claims to be "the most affordable thrift store in Austin." The shop prides itself on educating the public on zero waste practices, inspiring art and creativity, making needed goods available for people who need them most and making monthly donations to the Really Really Free Market. You're likely to see a pop-up market outside the brightly-painted pink building when you visit and you might just catch the monthly 25-cent sale.
For the fashion challenged
Thrifted Feels ATX, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Ste. G-125
Do you struggle to put together something fashionable in the morning? Ever wish you could just have someone do your shopping for you? Thrifted Feels ATX would love to be that personal shopper for you. A tried and true shopaholic, owner Dominique Kirven resells clothes that fit her personal aesthetic so you can fake it until you make it. She describes her style as nature-inspired with Earthy tones and textures, though there is always room for a little statement. You know what they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
Feathers Boutique Vintage, 1700B S. Congress Ave.
This vintage consignment shop has a brick-and-mortar storefront, but it's also got a fully-functional site and ships its items around the world. Since 2005, the shop has curated quality vintage items with an extra Austin flair. From bandanas and scarves to quality jeans, Feathers has a little bit of something for everyone.
Elephant Paths, Depop and Instagram pop-ups
More shoppers than ever are using their thrift expertise to create their own curated online shops. If you don't have the free time to head to your favorite shop, head to Instagram or Depop for pop-up thrift shops galore, including Elephant Paths, one of Austin's newest online stores. Austinite Aysia Jackson resells her favorite thrifted items for exceptionally low prices. Check her site for colorful jackets and blazers, go-to skirts and more as she continues to build up her inventory.
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After moving from Honduras to Austin in high school, Giselle Suazo Arriaga has accumulated years of dating experience in the capital city. And in that time, she and her friends observed what they call “Peter Pan syndrome” in the dating pool.
“They don't want to be ‘tied down,’ as they say because you're essentially in a playground. There are so many people in the city,” Arriaga said.
The 28-year-old who works as a marketing manager went on to say she’s been on dates with men in their 20s, 30s and 40s, but finds the same pattern plays out regardless of age. She's also been out with the so-called "tech bros," or those who Reddit and other parts of the Internet have described as men working for companies like Google or Tesla and have therefore become somewhat egotistical or arrogant.
“I try not to stereotype all tech bros,” Arriaga said. “But it's interesting how they continuously prove that there is a stereotype. Like, they uphold it, you know what I mean?”
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The migration of tech workers to Austin has resulted in some feeling unfavorable about the dating pool. Arriaga says tech workers, often consisting of young men earning impressive salaries, may exhibit the Peter Pan syndrome more commonly.
Anoush Stevenson with SpeedAustin Dating, which has matchmaking and speed dating services across the nation, says more men have expressed interest in their services as pandemic restrictions eased and Austin's tech scene continues to flourish. It's a trend that has created a more even ratio of men to women.
“It used to be more female heavy for us in Austin,” Stevenson said. “And I don't know if that's connected to the influx of tech workers now that there's a balancing for us in that there's as many guys if not more, signing up than women now.”
When it comes to dating apps, Stevenson said those can lead to frustration.
"People are, I think, just fed up with it," Stevenson said. "They just want to know, in a few minutes, is there an attraction? Is there a chemistry there?" She added that the speed dating events don't add pressure to what happens next after the date. Attendees are asked to write down whether they're interested in meeting that person again or not, and her team takes care of the rest.
Such a carefree experience hasn't been as common for Arriaga, and she's worked to try to find out people's intentions before agreeing to a date.
“I genuinely feel like people just want to stay single though,” Arriaga said. “I don't really find guys that are like, ‘I want a relationship right now.’”
Still, Arriaga is hopeful that she’ll eventually meet someone who’s compatible with her.
“I genuinely believe that there's someone out there for everyone, it just takes time to find them,” Arriaga said.
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It may be a hot summer but it can’t stop you from keeping cool at your favorite happy hour.
Here are some of Austin’s finest happy hour deals.
DRINK at Fareground | 111 Congress Ave.
This modern food hall-style eatery has six restaurants, two bars to choose from and happy hour on weekdays at DRINK. Drinks start at $4, with a wide selection of $5 beers, $6 cocktails and $7 wines.
Happy Hour: 5-7 p.m. Monday-Friday
Garage | 503 Colorado St.
Bougie, semi-underground speakeasy Garage is known for its hard-to-find location and retro interior. During happy hour, you can get some of its signature secret cocktails for just $6.
Happy Hour: 3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
House Wine | 408 Josephine St.
A self-proclaimed “unpretentious” wine bar, House Wine says it sources its bottles from small batch and boutique vineyards from around the world. Though you can get $2 off glasses or $6 bottles daily, House Wine has unique happy hour specials for each day of the week.
Happy Hour: 3-6 p.m. daily, all day Wednesday
Irene’s | 506 West Ave.
Stopping for a quick drink during happy hour at popular brunch bar Irene’s will get you a free bag of popcorn! This aviator-esque bar offers $3 draft beers, $4 well drinks, $5 frozen cocktails or wine glasses and $6 snacks during happy hour.
Happy Hour: 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
Lou’s | 1900 E Cesar Chavez St. and 1608 Barton Springs Rd.
This roadside micro-chain eatery is a cozy place to stop for a burger and brew on a warm summer night. On weekdays you can get half off its classic burger, Lone Star brews and sangria—plus wine bottles on Tuesdays!
Happy Hour: 3-5 p.m. and 9-10 p.m. Monday-Friday
Péché | 208 W 4th St.
This downtown absinthe bar will also keep you well-fed with its French-inspired cuisine if you show up at the right time. The almost daily happy hour offers $6 drinks and half-off certain dishes.
Happy Hour: 4-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, all night Sunday and Monday
Salty Sow | 1917 Manor Rd.
Head to Salty Sow for some New American food in the Cherrywood neighborhood. For two hours every day, you can get $2 off cocktails and beer, $24 select wine bottles and $6 by the glass, $4-6 appetizers and $7 honey rosemary fried chicken.
Happy Hour: 4:30-6:30 p.m. daily
Second Bar + Kitchen | 3121 Palm Way
Located inside the North Austin Archer Hotel, happy hour at Second Bar + Kitchen has big yields with $5 cocktails, wine glasses and beers; $4.50-$7 appetizers and discounted pizzas.
Happy Hour: 3-6 p.m. Sunday-Thursday
Sour Duck Market | 1814 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
You can get 20% off your entire order during happy hour at Sour Duck Market. You read that right—20% off three days of the week.
Happy Hour: 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday
Stagger Lee | 87 Rainey St.
This Rainey Street favorite bar slings $3 domestic beers, $3 wells and $5 frozen margaritas or wine by the glass every day of the week.
Happy Hour: 3-7 p.m. Monday-Friday
Uncle Nicky's | 4222 Duval St.
Get your happy hour on early at Uncle Nicky’s Italian Bistro every day from 2-5 p.m.—$2-3 beers, $5 glasses of wine, $6 spritzes, $2 disco lemonade shots or a $25 wine and cheese plate.
Happy Hour: 2-5 p.m. daily