Pasadena’s Vintage Vault: 12-Must-Shop Stops
Design is in Pasadena's DNA. So, naturally, the city is a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind vintage finds.
You could easily spend a whole week shopping your way around town on the hunt for gently used furniture, home décor, art, jewelry, clothing and vinyl. Between the high-end antique shops, eclectic vintage outposts, record stores and renowned flea markets, the options are endless and the range of eras represented is vast. That's why design aficionados and fans of all things retro make Pasadena their go-to shopping destination. To help you navigate the abundant line-up of offerings, here are 12 of the top shopping stops in Pasadena's "vintage vault."
The Antique District
South Fair Oaks Avenue from Bellevue Drive to East California Boulevard is a mini-hub of well-curated antique stores where top Hollywood set designers and globally recognized interior designers are among the loyal clientele. Revival Antiques (1 W. California Blvd. # 611) is filled with restored lighting fixtures, antique furniture and vintage tiles. Pasadena Antiques & Design (330 S. Fair Oaks Ave.) is a sizable multi-dealer shop meticulously arranged with fine art and furnishings, pottery, ceramics and other artifacts. The massive Pasadena Antique Center & Annex (480 S. Fair Oaks Ave.) spans two-buildings housing furniture, jewelry, art and rare books sourced from 130 professional antique dealers. T.L. Gurley Antiques (512 S. Fair Oaks Ave.) may be the smallest of this bunch, but they pack a lot of quality and character into their tightly edited selection of rugs, furniture, art and garden décor.
Pasadena Antique Mall
Locals have voted Pasadena Antique Mall (300 E. Colorado Blvd.) the best antique shop in town for several years running. The family-run business located in Paseo Colorado features an eclectic selection that runs the gamut from whimsical collectibles and retro clothing to period furniture and time-tested books. Expect affordable prices and a huge selection. If you can't find something specific that you're looking for, their "Wish List" feature allows you to connect with their dealers' directly to dig deeper into their selections stored off-site.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
The internationally renowned Rose Bowl Flea Market (1001 Rose Bowl Dr.) is a mecca for vintage lovers and interior decorators. The legendary market takes place the second Sunday of every month at Rose Bowl Stadium. More than 2,500 vendors are spread out around the grounds selling vintage clothing, midcentury modern furniture, African textiles, Moroccan rugs, Chinese antiques, jewelry and so much more. The people watching is just as compelling as the epic selection of goods for sale—and the celebrity sighting potential is very high. Early entrance tickets can be purchased to get first dibs on the merchandise before the doors open to the general public at 9:00 a.m.
Pasadena City College Flea Market
On the first Sunday of each month, Pasadena City College Flea Market (1570 E. Colorado Blvd.) attracts hundreds of vendors selling antiques, collectibles and records. This flea market is a go-to for music fans in particular. More than 50 record collectors and used music vendors set up shop in a dedicated area where they showcase their vinyl, CDs and memorabilia. The market runs 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. around the campus's East and West parking lots and admission is free.
The Huntington Collection (766 S. Fair Oaks Ave.) is a premium resale shop that benefits the Huntington Senior Care Network. Every purchase supports a good cause at the thoughtfully arranged store stocked with gently used designer clothing, furniture, collectibles, jewelry and tableware. The donated and consigned items generally come from well-to-do residents, and given the affordable price points, incredible values and finds can be scored here.
Luxury lovers frequent Clothes Heaven (111 E. Union St.) to scour their glittering racks for designer handbags, clothing, shoes and accessories. With more than three decades in business, Clothes Heaven is a trusted resource for iconic brands like Gucci, Prada, Chanel and Louis Vuitton—to name just a few of their big name labels. Couture gowns, fur coats, Chanel purses, Christian Louboutin heels and much more await bargain-hunters, fashion fans and stylists alike.
HotBox Vintage (1127 S. Mission St.) is infused with a youthful joie de vivre. The boutique carries fashion-forward vintage women's clothing from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Think unique dresses, fur coats and statement accessories. The South Pasadena boutique also carries a nice range of men's pieces, including bomber jackets, Hawaiian shirts and logo sweatshirts.
MeowzMeowz (2423 E. Colorado Blvd.) is a small vintage shop with a big-hearted rock 'n roll spirit. This is the spot for you if you have a penchant for the 1980s, punk rock and goth vibes. In addition to men's and women's clothes and shoes, the store carries vinyl, CDs and collectibles.
Founded in 1956, Canterbury Records (805 E. Colorado Blvd.) is LA's oldest surviving record shop. The family-owned, independent store has long catered to music lovers of all genres. When it comes to their extensive vinyl selection, they sell both used and new records.
Poo-Bah Records (2636 E. Colorado Blvd.) opened in 1971 and has been a staple of the LA music scene since. The avant-garde Los Angeles Free Music Society made it a regular gathering place in the 70s, cementing Poo-Bah's status as a destination for music makers and appreciators alike. Today the vinyl selection remains one of the best in the region. The listening lounge is a good excuse to linger long after you've finished browsing.
Pasadena Architectural Salvage
If you're in the market for salvaged items to suit a specific era or style, Pasadena Architectural Salvage (2600 E. Foothill Blvd.) sells reclaimed doors, cabinets, windows, plumbing and lighting fixtures spanning the decades between 1880 and 1940. They also have a wide range of wrought iron elements and striking stained and leaded class glass windows.