Caprice mannequin holding 'open' signVintage and Thrift Store Shopping in Nice – with interactive map!

If you like vintage glamour, second-hand chic, discount designer duds and unique fashion finds, put on your shopping shoes and head first to Old Nice.

The Golden Ring of Vintage Shopping in Old Nice

Here is a circuit over just a couple of blocks where bargain hunters will find their bonheur in boutiques ranging from vintage to retro thrift stores.  Tram stop Cathédrale.

Start at 12 rue Droite, Caprice Vintage, the number one vintage shopping address in all of Nice, with two floors of glamour and eclectic selections from the 1920’s through the 80’s. Caprice is sought out by retro-loving fashionistas worldwide, hoping to find a unique piece of French chic to take home… in fact, 80% of her clientele is foreign!  Madame Caprice selects each piece personally, focusing on the 1920’s through the 50’s, and looks for unique or eccentric items of quality, not just luxury labels.  She loves the magic of an item with a story, can tell you the fabulous history behind every piece in the store!

Directly across the rue is Caprice Bis, her second store …as the first one was overflowing!  This store is run by her daughter, and focuses on more affordable pieces.

Continue on rue Droite another block until just before you get to rue Rossetti, and look right to see Flashback Second Hand at 22 Rue Droite with two floors of flea-market free-for-all, including an entire floor for men.  Now go across the street to the left to see La Fraperie on 7 rue Rossetti with funky one-of-a-kind wares spilling out on the sidewalk.

Come continue in the same direction on rue Droite until you get to the church, then look right: La Belle Epoque Vintage consignment store is tucked into the square, Place du Gesu, with a nice balance between stylish modern and vintage fashion finds.  Sanela speaks better English and German than she does French, and opened the store years ago to feed her passion for vintage fashion finds.  1 place du Gesu

Back to rue Droite and continue towards Cours Saleya.  Rue Droite turns into rue Jules Gilly for the last block, and it is here, on the right where you will find the tiny but mighty Opus Frippery.  It is not always open, but if it is be sure to take a peek.  Their motto: “our prices are as cracked as our sign”

You are now at Cours Saleya where you take a right, then another right on rue de la Poissonnerie, to find Vide Dressing des Copines, an upscale designer label consignment boutique whose motto is ‘Big Labels for Tiny Prices’.  5 rue de la Poissonnerie

Vintage sign made of buttonsNow if you are into old fabrics, take a quick 2 minute detour: take the first left on rue Barillerie and go down almost to the next street.  On the right you will find Marie Chiffon Rue Barillerie, with a really inspiring stash of vintage lace, linen, wild fabrics, and all kinds of inspirational accessories and findings.

Now go back up the street to where you were, and continue on rue de la Poissonerie which quickly turns into rue Benoit Bunico; just keep going until you see the sidewalk sales racks beckoning you in to O’Chineur, the bargain hunter’.  It may be tiny but it lives up to its name, as Laure keeps it stocked with lots of well-chosen variety.  What sets her apart?  The price!  Check out her latest finds on her Facebook and Instagram pages.  Afternoons only.  8 rue Benoit Bunico

And finally, at the end of rue Benoit Bunico, the finish line:  Step into a time warp at the trippy Lib et Frip (formerly Hippy Market) for one big hilarious flashback from the 60’s and 70’s.  With music and memories to match, the clothes are a blast from the past: cut off jeans, peasant blouses, bell bottoms, Keds high tops, vintage aloha shirts, macramé purses, tie dye… it goes on and on, just like the summer of love.  3 rue Benoit Bunico

Now back track 10 steps and poof, you’re back where you started!

If you’re not all fripped out by now, make a quick 1-minute detour to 22 rue Centrale (walk up the narrow car road that shoots off from Place Centrale and goes to Place Rossetti).  Centrale Vintage is hidden in plain site, because they can’t put anything outside due to the cars, and the street is so narrow you can’t see their sign.  The location is so bad that the rent must be dirt cheap, and so here you might find the best bargains of all!

Ready for a little break or maybe even some lunch?  To keep in the theme, head to Café des Chineurs just off Place Garibaldi at the top of rue Bonaparte (to the left of the Hotel Geneve sign), for a fun café designed by die-hard vintage/retro aficionados, fully decorated with their antique market finds and full of beautiful mismatched place settings.  The cuisine is French tapas, so you can have a snack, lunch or just a coffee or glass of wine.

Port area

Just off Place Garibaldi down rue Cassini, Frip’n the City trades in second-hand chic and funky fashion collectibles.  A thrift store mainstay in the hip Petit Marais neighborhood for over 10 years, Laure’s motto is “Frip is chic!”   10 rue Cassini, tram stop Garibaldi

Head towards the Port and on the street just behind the church you’ll find Au Grenier de Mamie (Granny’s Attic), at 7 rue Fodere, which is the newest entry to the vintage Port scene.

From there walk around the block to 19 rue Lascaris where you’re in for a treat!  au bonheur des cocottesAu Bonheur des Cocottes is an adorable boudoir of style, mixing fab one-of-a-kind dresses and accessories among the furnishings and curios, and creating displays that are little works of art in themselves.  It’s worth going to her website for her gallery of photos alone! Pure inspiration… this is one of the best in Nice!  Tram stop Port Lympia.

Downtown Nice for High End Finds

Downtown Nice, the fashion gets serious, with several resell boutiques that only deal in the best of the best.  These prices for second hand clothes might shock the uninitiated, but are absolute steals for those that love designer labels. Clientele: mostly French.

Pomme Glamour  More high-end modern designer labels with matching high-end discounted prices… but locals can pay in 4 payments with no interest.  Check out their latest acquisitions on their blog or like their Facebook page for updates.   37 bis rue Marechal Joffre.

Mademoiselle is a mix of modern classics and retro-glamour, specializing in vintage and designer deluxe.  41 rue de France behind the Negresco and the Musee Massena.

(Re)Shop is actually in the Nice Etoile Shopping Center (tram stop Jean Médecin).  It only accepts brand name consignments in perfect condition, with professional displays like a department store, and not a speck of dust or whiff of mustiness… but you pay almost-new prices for these almost-new clothes.

Best Vintage Selection for Men

Bozar Vintage is one of the few that has a really good selection for men.  It’s clean, stylish and inspiring.  2 rue Niepce, just off rue Notre Dame, tram stops Gare Thiers or Jean Médecin.

Very Bad Frip logoVery Bad Frip Vintage Shop focuses on American and British retro finds, with a good men’s section, and lots of rock & roll and heavy metal t-shirts.  9bis Rue de Lépante, tram stop Jean Médecin.

Exterior of military surplus storeSurplus Marceau is stocked to the rafters with French military surplus!  Lots of cool finds here if you like camo or are into the offbeat. 29 Rue Marceau, tram stop Gare Thiers or Liberation.

And as I mentioned above, Flashback Second Hand at 22 Rue Droite in Old Nice has their entire main floor for men.

The Holy Grail of Upscale Vintage… Monaco!

It is a well-kept secret that a second-hand shop exists in Monaco… in fact it is so successful, that now there are two!  With consignments from Monaco’s socialites, you can only imagine the eccentricities, excesses and designer delirium that you will find at Le Dressing 2 rue des Orangers +37797 70 45 60 and 1 rue Princesse Florestine.

But the best in second hand chic is found at Monaco’s charity bazars, the literal holy grails of flea markets, where Monagasque shopaholics empty their fabulous closets for charity to make room for this year’s new styles.

  • Monaco’s annual Kermesse de Soeur Marie is a hotly anticipated giant charity flea market held under the giant circus tent in Monaco’s Fontvieille district, usually the first weekend in April.
  • The same big top tent hosts Monaco’s annual winter Kermesse  usually the 1st Saturday in December.
  • Monaco’s Grande Braderie de la Croix-Rouge, end of October, in the Espace Leo Ferre Concert Center adjacent to the Fontvieille Shopping Center.

From High-end down (way down) to Low-end…

The French equivalent of The Goodwill is run by the Secours Catholique (Catholic Aide Society) and their boutiques are called Abi06.   They manage the drop-boxes all over town (the easiest place for everyone to donate their castoffs) so you can often find closet treasures for a pittance.

  • Abi06 downtown: Walk straight out the back of the Nice Etoile Shopping Center and cross the street, and you’ll find an Abi06 at 2 Ter Rue Spitalieri, tram stop Jean Médecin, open 10am-6pm M-F, closed weekends.
  • Abi06 Port at 5 rue Auguste Gal, tram stop Republique or Port,
  • Abi06 Carras at the airport end of the Prom at 14 ave Saint-Augustin
  • and there’s even one in Cannes at 25 rue de Mimont

Just opened the end of 2023, Solimode boutique not only offers a second life to the fashions, but also to their staff.  In conjunction with a homeless shelter for women, all the staff have gone from sleeping on the street to starting out on a new life. Open Tues-Fri noon-7pm, Saturday 9am-7pm.  22 rue Barberis, tram stops Republique or Palais des Exhibitions.

Les Armoires de Jorge is a clean well-maintained thrift emporium a few blocks behind the hotel Negresco, run by the Saint-Pierre-d-la’Arenes church.  52 rue de la Buffa, tram stop Alsace-Lorraine.  Open 10am-1pm on Wed/Thurs; 10am-6pm Tues, Fri, Sat.

Nice also has a little-known Red Cross thrift store, the VestiBoutique, just three tram stops past the train station.  Open 11:30am-5pm Tues/Wed/Fri, and 2pm-5pm on Mon/Thurs; 12 -14 rue Parmentier tram stop Borriglione or Valrose.

Emmaus is more housewares than clothes (but each store does have at least one rack, and their hub has a whole barnful of clothes), and was founded by Abbe Pierre, a revered Mother Theresa-like figure, that built a renown France-wide association to house the homeless, while giving them work and job-training repairing the donations and running the stores.  In Nice they have couple small boutiques:

  • Downtown, 2 doors down from the Abi06 on rue Spialieri, tram stop Jean Medecin
  • In the Old Town (only open afternoons) at 7 rue Droite , tram stop Cathedrale,
  • and another at 34 Avenue de la République, tram stop Republique, open 9:30am-5:30pm Wed-Sat.

…But if you want a real treasure-hunt adventure, make the trek out to the local Emmaus headquarters, which is in the crumbling ruins of a hillside chateau, outside the town Saint-Andre-de-la-Roche, just above Nice.  The formerly-homeless denizens live and work on-site, and the different outbuildings and open structures hold clothing, antiques, housewares, furniture, and reconditioned electronics.  I personally have bought several armoires, some very unusual furnishings, and all kinds of funky one-of-a-kind finds here over the years.  Open afternoons-only on Tues-Thurs, and 10am-5pm Fridays/Saturdays; closed Sun/Mon. 158 chemin des Arnaud in Saint-Andres-de-la-Roche;  you can drive (best for carting back all your purchases!) or take the tramway to the Vauban stop, then catch the Bus #19 getting off at Pont Liprandi, then cross the bridge and follow the forested street to discover a truly unique shopping experience.

 

Trip map courtesy of Wanderlog, a trip planner app on iOS and Android

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