It should be no surprise that a port city like Oakland is full of interesting antique and vintage shops, bursting with pieces that connect shoppers to an earlier era or far away place. Some vintage hunters do it for the adrenalin rush, banking that an item might increase in value one day. For others, shopping for gently used furniture and accessories is a way to tread lightly on the earth, avoiding the fallout and guilt of post-consumption.
Hop on BART and make a day of exploring these retail treasures. Talk to shopkeepers and learn about items that once meant something to someone. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a connection to your own past. Better yet, maybe you’ll take home something and begin your own story for someone else to uncover one day.
380 Fourth Street, Oakland
Consider this large Jack London warehouse sale the ideal estate sale that doesn’t require you to arrive an hour before it opens and wait in a long line in the cold. Though they are only open once or twice a month, you’re bound to score something as they are out there scouring sales for you. Look for dishware, furniture, rugs, and art. Check their website or Facebook page for sale dates.
6007 College Avenue, Oakland
Appropriately named, Talisman has an eclectic assortment of small collectibles from faraway places. The small, packed shop also has Western and Eastern wood furniture, and textiles from all over the world, many worthy of framing and hanging. The owner, Kingsley, is always happy to chat or provide tweaking on something you’re contemplating.
6395 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland
This cute and quirky shop is located on a strip of Telegraph that houses a few other antique and vintage shops. Items are displayed in fun vignettes, making it a bit more enjoyable to imagine pieces in your home. They have a good selection of salvaged items and architectural details as well as furniture and ephemera like old photos and fashion accessories.
5914 College Avenue, Oakland
Anyone looking for colorful vintage kitchenware and pottery will feel like they struck gold at this cute shop that carries a great mix of vintage and new items. The items are displayed creatively using painted vintage hutches and tallboys throughout the small shop. Check out their great selection of cards and holiday décor when that time of year rolls around.
735 Washington Street, Oakland
In the heart of Old Oakland, Urban Eclectics makes great use of its high ceilings and corner space. The bright and airy shop is filled with home goods, furniture, and well-priced vintage framed art. It’s the type of shop that you could visit frequently and be surprised every time. Bonus points goes to them for being a block from the weekly Friday farmers market.