Field Guide: 5 Best Flea Markets to Shop This Summer
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.