Little Shops in Philadelphia

I’ve previously posted about my favourite ice cream shops in Philadelphia, but there’s a ton of other great little shops to visit. Here’s a few that I’ve really liked, sorted into two categories: used bookstores and vintage/oddities. I’ve excluded all food places, including coffeeshops, roasteries, bakeries, dessert shops, grocers, markets, food trucks, and so on, because there are just too many of them.

I love [a] little shop.
— The Doctor, New Earth, Doctor Who (2005) series 2

Used Bookstores

Giovanni’s Room

Washington Square — 345 S 12th Street
One of Philly’s largest and oldest queer bookstores! They carry both used books and a lot of new queer fiction, as well as some secondhand clothing and other miscellany.

Wooden Shoe Books

South Street — 704 South Street
A small volunteer-run leftist anarchist bookstore. They have a lot of leftist materials you wouldn’t see elsewhere and a lot of zines.

Mostly Books

Queen Village — 529 Bainbridge Street
With an unassuming storefront, they have a HUGE two-storey warehouse of books in the back. This is probably the largest used bookstore in Philly.

Molly’s Books and Records

Bella Vista — 1010 S 9th Street
What can I say? It’s a small bookstore with records (or a record store with books) and good vibes.

Neighborhood Books

Graduate Hospital — 1906 South Street
A cosy bookstore with lots of well-organized fiction upstairs and graphic novels downstairs.

Book Corner

Logan Square — 311 N 20th Street
A used bookstore I think associated with the public libraries of Philly.

The Last Word Bookshop

University City — 220 S 40th Street
The nearest used bookstore to campus, which is super convenient for me. Sometimes there’s a bookstore cat hanging around! Open surprisingly late.

House of Our Own Books

University City — 3920 Spruce Street
A Victorian rowhouse turned used bookstore with teetering towers of books. The fiction selection upstairs is very large and tends to be older and more literary.

The Book Trader

Old City — 7 N 2nd Street
A true labyrinth of a bookstore, with a similarly large and old collection of fiction upstairs. They also have a lovely bookstore cat!

Bindlestiff Books

Spruce Hill — 4530 Baltimore Avenue
Just a quaint little bookstore, what more could you ask for?

Vintage, Thrift, and Oddities

South Street Art Mart

South Street – 530 S 4th Street
A very cool shop full of local art! They’ve got zines, stickers, pins, keychains, cards, prints, clothes, and so on.

Little Devils Curiosities

Fishtown – 2158 E Dauphin Street
Imagine goth meets vintage. You’ll find jewellery and trinkets of that aesthetic, spiders and skulls and sigils, and some amazing taxidermy pieces too.
This shop is now closed 😔

Thunderbird Salvage

East Kensington — 2441 Frankford Avenue
A large vintage thrift store packed with everything from clothes to books to furniture. A real treasurehunt of a shop.

Raxx Vintage Emporium

South Street – 534 South Street
High quality, curated vintage clothing and other oddities. Note that they very much emphasize not being a thrift store!

A Four Foot Prune

Old City – 142 North 2nd Street
Less clothing but a wider range of cute vintageware, including toys and household goods.


Fishtown; Spruce Hill; Graduate Hospital
Similar to A Four Foot Prune, there’s three locations of antique furniture, houseware, and trinkets.

Philly AIDS Thrift

South Street – 710 S 5th Street
Sister store to Giovanni’s Room, with a larger selection of clothing and houseware, and a decent amount of books as well.

Buffalo Exchange

Centre City – 1520 Chestnut Street
A more traditional thrift clothing store with racks and racks and racks of clothes.

Safa Plant Co.

Manayunk – 4165 Main Street
A combination plant store and teashop. Yes I know I said I wouldn’t include any food places but this place is really cute and I couldn’t not.