As I’m such a lover of second-hand shops, there’s no better place to start than Carrer De La Riera Baixa in El Raval. This tiny street is home to an amazing selection of vintage stores and independent boutiques and as its right in the heart of El Raval and not far from Las Ramblas, is well worth a visit.
There’s so much variety on this street so rather than list all of the shops, I’m just going to run through my favourites with a brief description of what you can expect to find in each one.
First up is Lailo, which is exactly the kind of second-hand shop I like. It’s full of clothes and accessories from every decade since the 1930s, and possibly even earlier. There are quite a few items that look like they could be theatrical costumes, so it’s a great place to go if you’re looking for an outfit for a fancy dress party. They also have lots of bargain baskets dotted around too, so great for rummaging in. I do love a good rummage. The whole street is full of great shops but I have to say, this is my favourite one. You could easily spend an hour or more in here, just looking through everything. The prices run from €2 for scarves up to the hundreds for some of the really rare pieces, and I feel that the pricing here is well thought out and fair and accurate for each piece. If you don’t have a lot of time, this is the shop I recommend you visit first.
Next up is Carrousel, which is different to Lailo by dint of the fact that they have less stock, but I have to say that I always love everything that they have here as you can tell that they’ve selected only the best quality items. There’s no cheap tat masquerading as vintage here. On my last visit I hankered after a beautiful crepe shirt dress, which was only €29 but sadly not my size. The accessories are good here too. It’s more of a boutique than Lailo, so good for those of you who don’t like to wade through lots of items.
The last shop that really is a stand out for me is Smart and Clean . This place is a Mod Mecca and if you want to get your hands on some Harrington or Sta-Prest goodies, this place has everything you could want. I don’t wear this style myself but have a fondness for the look as many of my friends (and my first crushes) were mods in the early eighties so it will always have nostalgic appeal for me. It’s quite a high maintenance look but I respect that, even if I couldn’t commit to it myself.
If you’re feeling peckish after all that shopping there’s a great little tapas bar, Resolis, where you can refuel and fortify yourself with some wine. You may want to leave off the wine till you finish shopping, however, as otherwise you’ll probably end up spending way too much as there is such a lot of temptation on this little street.
Don’t forget that I’m open to suggestions for shops and places to cover so if there’s anything any of you want to know about, or you have some favourites you think I should write about, let me know.