Field Guide: 5 Best Flea Markets to Shop This Summer

How to get your flea on.

Clover1

Vintage furniture and salvaged signage at Clover Market. | Photo by Jauhien Sasnou.

The 21st-century flea market has nothing to do  with junk. Need proof? These five local emporiums  offer some of the best finds in the region.

Clover Market
Calling Clover a flea market is like confusing the Rittenhouse Hotel with a Holiday Inn. The popularity of this upscale marketplace — in different locations all year long — has skyrocketed since it began five years ago. That’s all due to founder Janet Long’s discerning eye and strict standards. (Each of the 100-plus vendors is vetted by Long before securing a coveted market spot.) She aims for a nice mix, too, which means you’ll find groovy ’60s artwork and sideboards made from old farmhouse wood alongside vintage-y glass cloches and jewelry crafted from antique china.
Go Here For: Quality home goods all in one place. // Locations in Ardmore, Chestnut Hill and Center City.




Berlin Farmer’s Market
You can keep walking straight through the indoor part of this South Jersey institution: With the exception of the oysters at Charlie’s Clam Bar and the milkshakes at Mueller’s, the food market and tables of new, cheap tchotchkes aren’t much of a draw. Outside is where the worthwhile hunt begins. On weekends, rows of dealers line up, peddling gems like old Mummers costumes, original art and gently loved musical instruments.
Go Here For: The quirky stuff. // 41 Clementon Road, Berlin.

Golden Nugget
Lauded by the national media for decades, this year-round indoor/outdoor market is best in warmer months, when it’s positively booming, drawing in serious style mavens who want authentic collectibles and quality ephemera. Some recent scores: gauzy vintage tablecloths, Royal Doulton china sets, oversized watches with perfect patina, and the promise of a prosperous future courtesy of a tarot reading.
Go Here For: Low-key shopping. This is the rare market that also operates during the week (on Wednesdays); go then to avoid the swarming crowds. // 1850 River Road, Lambertville.

Franklin Flea
When the Brooklyn Flea Philly went belly-up last year, its local organizer, Mark Vevle, wasn’t ready to call it quits. He found a new space (the historic Strawbridge’s building, the site of many successful Fleas, though you'll now find Franklin Flea at the McCall School Yard), changed the name (paying homage to our hometown hero) and tweaked the concept (awesome food, more vendors, suburban pop-ups). Sellers commit week-to-week, which means the goods each Saturday are always new. Expect collectibles that feel so-right-now: Wes Anderson-evoking vintage home decor, pastel Turkish bath sheets, reupholstered ikat ottomans.
Go Here For: The food. Each week features new restaurants (think Vedge and High Street on Market) and eats from Hot Diggity, Luke’s Lobster and more. // 327 South 7th Street.

Renningers
Wear your flats and clear out your trunk — it’s easy to spend an entire day hiking around this peruser’s paradise. The megamall has a few distinct parts: a large farmers’ market with local produce, cheese and garden greens; an alfresco flea market whose vendors change weekly; and a permanent indoor antique market teeming with treasures like model trains, vinyl records and Victrolas.
Go Here For:The Antique and Collectors Extravaganza, an Antiques Roadshow-esque event that runs three times a year, and features more than 300 antiques dealers from around the country. // 740 Noble Street, Kutztown.

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  • Kurt

    Clover Market is done until Fall…which seems problematic if you want to go during the Summer…

  • TIMBOSHAQ

    South Jersey has a new (Mercato Market) a grand re-opening is scheduled for July 5 & 6 weekend. Vendors needed of both new items and hidden treasures (used). Very affordable and the special for the month of July is buy one spot get one free if you book for the month. Huge discount on monthly rate too. Also, you get free entertainment, great food and they even have a beer garden. Vendors are like a family due to the absolutely wonderful owners. Just give them a call at (609) 377-8484, I promise you you won’t be sorry…

  • http://www.philadelphiafleamarketnews.com Philadelphia Flea Market News

    I’m surprised you did not include the Kimmel Center Indoor Antiques & Vintage Market on August 23, 2014. It takes place in the city of Philadelphia and is run by a native Philadelphian (Tony Soprano of Phila Flea Markets). In addition, it’s inside and air conditioned. See my pictures below from last year’s show.

    Visit my website for more Philly flea market inside information as we are well on our way to becoming the One-Stop Philly Flea Market Information Spot.