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The Hottest Thrift Shops to Hit Up in San Diego

The Hottest Thrift Shops to Hit Up in San Diego

Whether you are a San Diego local, or just visiting and love to shop, it is essential to know these 5 hottest thrift shops across Southern California! Vintage embodied, and filled with the best finds, these 5 shops are the perfect go-to for recycled and upcycled fashion. Shopping is not just a time-killer, it is also a full-fledged event, and wasting time not finding anything “good,” is not an option! These shops will ensure you leave with at least one new outfit, from head to toe.

1. Disabled American Veterans

Disabled American Veterans, or D.A.V., is by far my #1 pick and my go-to favorite thrift shop in SD! They often have sales or discounts on various tagged items and restock their shelves on a daily basis. Whether you are interested in name-brand clothing, or lightly used and gently worn low-rise jeans from 2007, this shop has you covered! 

Noteworthy is the home goods section! I have restyled and revamped my room at least five times in the past few years, and D.A.V. always supplies me with affordable dressers, antique armchairs, and vanities resembling gaudy French pieces. 


Their selection of footwear is also a must-see; just last week I found and rocked a pair of vintage 89’ black cowgirl boots– absolutely gorgeous and in great condition. I have been a loyal customer of this shop for almost five years, and I always notice the 91.1X radio station blaring in the background… They know how to set the vibes! Check out D.A.V.; it’s one of the best thrift shops in San Diego, and you won’t be disappointed! 

2. Flashbacks!

Flashbacks, specifically the location in Hillcrest, is #2 on my hottest thrift shops on this San Diego list. This SoCal classic is filled with whacky and funky essentials for costume parties, concerts, or clubbing downtown. The prices are affordable, and the pieces are practically a steal. 

From the brightly colored walls to the sequins lining the racks, to the disco-themed dressing rooms, Flashbacks makes thrifting feel like an exclusive event! The accessories and wigs are what make this shop so fabulous! Lining the register and higher-up shelves, are mannequins dressed like royalty, and lavish wigs modeling eccentric hats. 


I am sure I have never left this shop without a hole in my wallet, and a few vintage band t-shirts to add to my collection! The employees are so friendly too– I walk through the door and am immediately greeted with warm smiles and a welcoming “Hello!” Definitely must-see. 

3. Amvets on Cardiff St.

Amvets, specifically on Cardiff St. in Spring Valley, California, ranks #3 on my hottest thrift shops in San Diego. I have been a weekly (sometimes more than twice weekly) visitor and am always surprised at the vast selections this shop has! 


Located in Spring Valley near a cluster of other vibrant thrift shops, and just minutes away from Grossmont Center Mall (host to great food and further shopping), Amvets is a great choice for all types of people! The clothing selection ranges from boys and girls to men and women– each section features numerous racks with thousands of options.

It is a must to check out their coffee mug selection on the back wall of the shop; my coffee addiction is due in part to most of the unique and quirky ceramics I have found on that wall! Their art selection is numerous too, and the most adorable French frames can be found if you just take a glance! Amvets on Cardiff is definitely deserving of #3 in the hottest thrift shops in San Diego!


4. Amvets on Sutherland St.

Hitting #4 on my hottest thrift shops list, is Amvets part two, located near Point Loma, San Diego, on Sutherland St. This particular Amvets is the trendiest thrift shop! From their gaudy shoe collection to being the IT-spot for vintage Levi’s and baggy skate jeans, Amvets is a must-visit.

I already covered the jean section that is taking up a solid third of my closet space, but the women’s winter coat department is competing for that spot! From vintage real leather jackets to leopard print trench coats and hippie-style lace shawls, you have to sprint to this section when you come to Amvets. 

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Their CD collection is also staggering! Shania Twain and Evanescence reside in my car’s glove box, but Amvets has something for everyone. Whether you are a metalhead or an avid country listener, odds are, you will surely find something that suits your fancy on one of the CD shelves.

5. Humble Heart O.B.

Ranking #5 on my hottest thrift shops list is Humble Heart Thrift Shop in Ocean Beach, San Diego. In the heart of the West Coast’s “city that never sleeps,” Humble Heart is essential when thrifting in beach territory!


Right on Newport Avenue in the center of all the beach town’s festivities, Humble Heart can always be seen filled with trendy teenagers and young adults looking for the perfect piece to add to their wardrobe. 

Humble Heart is known for its funky “go with the flow” mentality, but do not disregard them as being one of the top-selling thrift shops. They always have the freshest styles on their racks, and often play throwback tunes to accompany you on your thrifting journey! 

You can’t miss this shop– bright green with a tie-dye sign and welcoming fluorescent signs will greet you at the door; either that or a street walker took a seat on the Pearl drum set they keep in their display case and is letting you rock out to the sick beats they put out! Great shop, great vibe, and great purchases await you at Humble Heart!


Of course, there are more hot thrift shops in San Diego aside from these 5, but these are top of the line, and won’t disappoint! Listed in order from “run, don’t walk,” to “if you are in town you have to check out,” these spots are sure to supply you with anything you are looking for– from one-of-a-kind, locally painted, Van Gogh-esque art, to cowboy hats… visit one of these thrift shops in San Diego, and let Society 19 know what you think!

What are your favorite SD thrift shops? Leave them below in the comments!

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