Is there any better way to spend a sunny, late-spring, Saturday morning than looking around a great flea market? I argue there are few…
That’s exactly what I got to do this past weekend at Philly Flea Markets.
The market offers a great mix of VINTAGE ONLY vendors selling a range of goods from furniture to jewelry.
During the course of this article we shall cover the location(s) of the market, what to expect and finally my own thoughts on the market.
Market Location & Time
Each Saturday in the spring / summer from 8am to 5pm the market moves to a different area of Philadelphia [Note: there are rain days that defer to Sunday].
This week the market was located in historic old Philadelphia, on 2nd street between Pine and South Streets.
This is one of my favorite locations for the flea market, as it’s located just off South Street and Fabric Row, which are both attractions in their own right. This area offers great places to eat and explore after a few hours of looking over the many stalls.
You can find a full listing of all the upcoming market locations on the official Phila Flea Markets website. It’s interesting to note that the website is “Phila” but the market is called “Philly”, so don’t get confused because they are one and the same thing.
The organization now also arranges a stationary market each Sunday at Roosevelt Mall from 8am to 4pm [I’ve yet to go, but as soon as I do shall be sure to do a write up].
What You’ll Find At Philly Flea
As with most street markets, there is a very wide array of items for sale.
The one thing I really like about this market is that it’s 100% vintage only items. This is unlike many other markets I’ve been to across the globe. Not to say I don’t like newly-made artisan items like those I recently found in Santiago Chile, I am referring more to the cheap fridge magnets and coffee cups that plague many of the London markets I love, such as Portobello Market.
There is usually lots of vintage and re-purposed furniture. So if you’ve recently moved to Philadelphia and / or are looking for some cool accent pieces, this market is a must. The prices are reasonable and items are totally unique!
As we have a focus on men’s style and fashion here at Bespoke Unit, it’s worth noting that this is not the best place to find vintage clothes. There are a few options, but it’s definitely not the market’s strongest category.
There will always be some items you’ll fall in love with, but don’t line up within your budget / are just overpriced. That was one such case for me with this stunning Art Deco poster below of the horse and greyhound that was printed in Paris, but in my opinion was way overpriced. You’ve got to know when to walk away….
My Vintage Find For The Day
As with many of my market visits, I didn’t walk away empty handed.
I spotted this very cool wooden inlay box featuring a Union Jack motif. Being from England, I thought it was a good fit, and found it to be very well made. At $50 (bartered down to $40) I thought it was a steal and would look great in my reading / office at home.
Final Thoughts On The Market
As with any market, the early bird catches the worm. The flea market opens at 8am, as that’s pretty bloody early for a Saturday, you should at least try to get there by 10am.
The market is definitely best for furniture and jewelry, but does feature a very wide array of vendors to suit all tastes.
Make sure you check the location for that week, and make plans to parley that into an afternoon out like we did on South Street.
As a final note on prices, I find them totally reasonable. Yes they are not as cheap as say in the boonies, but are far more reasonable than those in other cities such as London and New York.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this or any other general market intel below.