Finding a thrift store in the Bay Area that isn't picked over is nearly impossible. A Saturday afternoon stroll through Berkeley will reveal the culprits -- all those damnable kids in cool head-to-toe hand-me-down gear. Sure, you could be a sucker and pay big bucks for used duds at the "vintage" clothiers around here, but real bargain hunters shop at thrift stores for the thrill of the chase, that big payoff where you stroll out of the store with a snazzy new outfit and one less dollar in your pocket. Which is one reason that Thrift Town, way down there in San Leandro, is so awesome. The place isn't picked over by armies of college kids who all happen to be exactly your size. It's reasonably clean (read: not swarming with cooties) and even somewhat organized. Though the prices seem somewhat arbitrary, even the fanciest items at Thrift Town aren't going to break the piggy bank; patrons can easily outfit themselves for under a five-spot. And -- if you're in the market for previously loved housewares -- the store is brimming with deals on lamps, dishes, knickknacks, and assorted bric-a-brac that will shame IKEA and make you the envy of all your peers.
3251 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland,