A Guide to Bay Area Flea Markets
Then check out FuncheapSF’s guide to the best places in the Bay Area to hunt for bargains, and finally score that obscure B-side or Art Deco bureau you’ve been searching for.
What’s your favorite flea market in the Bay Area? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Berkeley Flea Market
If you’re more in search of a unique experience rather than quality used goods, then go bonkers every weekend at the Berkeley Flea Market, located right next to the Ashby BART station. Although most of what you’ll find in the stands are knock-off DVDs, generic tee-shirts and rasta wear, what’s most fun about this event are things like quirky characters dancing to a drum circle, $2 novelty trinkets and kooky vendors which make this a truly inimitable market.
Berkeley Flea Market (1937 Ashby Ave., Berkeley) | Every Saturday & Sunday | 7a-7p | FREE
Alameda Point Antiques & Collectibles Fair
Stationed at the former Alameda Naval Air Station, shop for steals with the San Francisco skyline as your backdrop at the Alameda Point Antiques & Collectibles Fair. Now in its 12th year of operation, this Bay Area antiques establishment brings in over 10,000 shoppers and 800 dealers for each monthly event. Amenities at the fair also include food vendors, shopping cart rentals, a customer lounge as well as free parking, shuttle service and courtesy flat carts to move your new futon or file cabinet. Tickets can be purchased on site for $15 from 6-7:30 a.m., $10 from 7:30-9 a.m., $5 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and free admission from 2-3 p.m.
Alameda Naval Air Station (2900 Navy Way, Alameda) | First Sunday of the Month | 6a-3p | FREE*
Jonesing for some new jewelry or desperate for some decorative items not covered in dust? Then make your way to the Alemany Flea Market, which is known for its abundance of antiques and vintage valuables. This smaller-scale flea market is great for treasure hunters who don’t want to commit an entire Sunday to scrounging around for old silverware, though tipsters do advise against attending this flea market on the first Sunday of the month, when all of the best dealers tend to go sell at the Alameda Point Antiques & Collectibles Fair.
Alemany Flea Market (100 Alemany Blvd., SF) | Every Sunday | 8a-3p | FREE
Solano Swap Meet
Check out this Concord classic which includes approximately 500 dealers selling everything from quality collectibles and crafts to new and trendy merchandise. However, the best stuff is the second-hand, garage sale items, which you can browse while listening to live music, scanning produce at the mini farmers market or grabbing some food if you feel famished after a full day of treasure-hunting. According to locals, it’s also best to come on Sundays when there are more vendors and you’re more likely to score some quality steals.
Solano Swap Meet (1611 Solano Way, Concord) | Every Saturday & Sunday | 6a-4p | $1.25
Treasure Island Flea
Not fond of the musty merchandise usually found at second-hand or antique flea markets? Then make the trek to the monthly Treasure Island Flea, which not only touts an impressive collection of antiques, but also specializes in new, local indie vendors and merchandise. So if you’re searching for a mix of both old and new, then get out to this man-made island to browse an assortment of carefully curated hand-made, up-cycled and collectible items.
Treasure Island Flea (Avenue of the Palms, Treasure Island, SF) | Last Weekend of the Month | 9a-4p | $3*
*FunCheapers usually get coupons for free admission, so check back periodically for updates.
Bay Area Community College Flea Markets
The most curious and compelling things can often be found at community college flea markets, where many locals sell garage sale-type fare on campuses including Oakland’s Laney College and Hayward’s Chabot College. Some of the best college markets though are the largest ones like Cupertino’s De Anza College Flea Market, which features over 800 sellers held every first Saturday of the and the Ohlone College Super Flea Market with around 500 vendors every second Saturday of the month.
- De Anza College (21250 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino) | First Saturday of the Month | 8a-4p | FREE, but Parking $3
- Ohlone College (43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont) | Saturday, July 9 | 8a-3p | FREE but Parking $2
- Chabot College (25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward) | Third Saturday of the Month | 8a-4p | FREE
- Laney College (7th & Fallon St., Oakland) | Every Sunday | 7a-4p | $1
Really, Really Free Market
Swap everything from shoes to skills at the Really Really Free Market, which has been described as a “potluck” for whatever you want to give or take away. Everybody brings something to the table, whether it be a skill, idea, object or discussion, and comes out of it with not just new stuff, but ideas and talents as well. The market is a very DIY event with last-minute schedule and location changes, so check their website ahead of time and make sure that you don’t miss out on swapping some banana bread for a bongo lesson.
Dolores Park (San Francisco)* | Last Saturday of the Month* | 1-6p | FREE
*This is a very DIY event and locations and dates sometimes change
Other Bay Area Flea Markets & Antique Shows
- SF: Alamo Square Flea Market (Annual) – Next date August 20, 2011
- SF: Candlestick Park Antiques & Collectibles Fair - Monthly on Sundays (but dates vary) In Candlestick Park parking lot. Admission: 6am-8am ($10); 8am-3pm ($5)
- SAN JOSE: The Capitol Public Market – Thursday through Sundays, 6am to 3pm. ($1.25)
- OAKLAND: Oakland Coliseum Public Market – Thursday through Fridays, 6am to 4pm, Saturdays & Sundays 6am to 5pm (schedule varies due to Oakland A’s and Raiders schedules) ($1.50)
- OAKLAND: The Phat Flea’s Market – Every last Saturday of the month, 10am to 3pm. (FREE)
City Guide - Ongoing, Shopping & Fashion
Submitted by Sandra Song