Shopping in NYC isn’t just for the Carrie Bradshaws or Blair Waldorfs. From elegant luxury stores to affordable unique spots that house the perfect gift, there is something for everyone.
While stores and malls can be found virtually anywhere within the five boroughs, check this list out if you’re in need of some new places to spend your paycheck.
From vintage to cannabis, shopping in Williamsburg is very true to the eccentric vibe it is known for. Here, you’ll discover locations of popular NYC thrift stores such as Buffalo Exchange and L Train Vintage. For chain retail, visit the recently opened H&M, which frequently hosts themed events and offers a more upscale setting than their usual stores!
In terms of places that are unique to the area, locals recommend thrift store Brooklyn Woke Vintage and CBD shop 7 Leaf Clover. To directly support local artisan vendors, browse the stalls of The Mini Mall, which is a marketplace for products like denim, undergarments, candy, and even books.
Where: Find Williamsburg’s “Main Street” at Bedford Avenue.
NoLita, or North of Little Italy, is full of retail character. Shop at sustainable boutiques such as Coclico NOLITA, Swedish sportswear chain Fjällräven, or quality casual-wear clothing store Oroboro!
For the little ones in your life, check out children’s toy and clothing store Little Moony. If you wish to accessorize your body or household, visit jewelry store Love Adorned, which sells unique pieces and house decor both modern and vintage.
Where: Find NoLita within the boundaries of Bowery to Lafayette street to E. Houston St to Broome St.
3. Madison Avenue
Madison Avenue is known for it’s luxury retail. In this shopping district, you can find flagship locations for designers like Ralph Lauren, Bottega Veneta, and Carolina Herrera. A physical location for luxury online reseller TheRealReal also exists, proving that you can virtually find any high-end item of your choosing on this East Side strip.
Chain retail stores such as Madewell, LoveShackFancy, and J.Crew can be found along the avenue. And don’t just shop for your clothing needs. To satisfy your sweet tooth, make a stop at La Maison du Chocolat Madison for Parisian-inspired chocolate and pastries.
Where: Find the main shopping strip of Madison Avenue between E. 43rd St and E. 93rd St.
Chinatown is a robust cultural neighborhood full of traditional East Asian goods, which you’ll find simply by wandering the streets. For skin goods, oo35mm is a store selling makeup and skincare mainly from South Korea. And for speciality gifts and food, Canal Street Market is the perfect shop for imported items and quality bites you will not find anywhere else!
Where: Find Chinatown boundaries from Essex St. to Baxter St and Grand St. to Worth St.
With elaborately decorated shops such as Little Market, Housing Works Thrift Shop, or even the Nike and Aritzia locations, SoHo stores are not just about the products they sell, but the experience they deliver. It is also a hotspot for pop-up shops, so keeping updated with the neighborhood via social media or through your favorite brands is recommended. Home to the new Glossier flagship store, these cobblestone streets may soon be in need of your steps.
SoHo is one of the busiest shopping hubs in NYC, so try to visit during off-peak times like weekdays.
Where: Lower Manhattan and Hudson Square tucked up along the banks to Canal Street.
6. Chelsea Market
You never quite know what you’ll find at Chelsea Market, but we can ensure it’s probably fantastic! Located in the Meatpacking District, you’ll find a mix of artisanal shops, boutiques, and unique food vendors that you can spend hours browsing through! We love a shop and snack!
Where: 75 9th Ave
Of course well known for their Christmas lights, the iconic Bloomingdale’s department store is a must-visit for a wide range of fashion, beauty, and home goods. It’s been featured in movies and features everything from men’s suits to pots and pans.
Where: 59th St & Lexington Ave
8. Greenwich Village
While it has some of the most expensive housing on the market, Greenwich Village is a relatively down to earth area for shopping, with a variety of indie bookstores, record stores, and thrift shops.
In and nearby the area are a notable amount of second-hand retro and vintage stores such as Beacons Closet, Reminiscence, and Hamlet Vintage. For vintage costume sourcing and fashion, hold your screams at Screaming Mimi’s Vintage.
If you’re looking for a gift, check out neighborhood bookstore Three Lives and Company, or The Evolution Store if you want a unique science or history related collectible. And for curated and avant-garde designer unisex fashion, look towards Shop Untitled.
Where: Third Ave and Sixth Ave and 14th St to E Houston St.
9. Fifth Avenue
As you may know from every movie set in New York, Fifth Avenue contains all the top designers, restaurants, and retailers every fashion enthusiast would love to get their hands on.
Shopping on Fifth Avenue has been a symbolic New York activity for decades and for good reason. This exclusive locale offers a variety of the most iconic stores in Manhattan, such as Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Cartier, and more. Here you’ll also find the Tiffany & Co. flagship store – where you can actually have “Breakfast At Tiffanys” at the Blue Box Cafe.
If these stores sound out of your budget, don’t worry (nor feel alone.) There are MUJI, Urban Outfitters, and even Five Below stores located nearby. For book lovers, make sure to visit the Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue, which was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1999 as the largest bookshop in the world.
Where: Find the main shopping strip of Fifth Avenue between E 40th St and E 60th St.
10. Union Square
Simply put, Union Square is the place to be. This Manhattan location is full of places for events and entertainment, but is well versed in shopping!
It’s no mystery that Union Square will fit just about everyone’s bill whether it be for clothes, books, candy, toys, or your special interests. During the holidays and select weekdays, Union Square is the host of a spectacular Greenmarket, selling local artisan goods that includes the famous strawberry wine in a glass heart bottle! For flowers, fresh produce, and seasonal treats, going to the Greenmarket is a lovely way of spending time with friends, or even as a solo-activity.
To add a bit of enchantment in your life, venture into the nearby Flatiron area to visit the worlds largest Harry Potter Store for an assortment of merchandise, books and magically sweet confections.
Where: Find Union Square within the boundaries of E 14th St and E 18th St and 5th Avenue and Irving Place.
11. Herald Square
Shopping in New York doesn’t have to be expensive. In Herald Square, affordability is what you will find. Not only will you see the familiar chains of Macy’s, Target, and H & M lined on the streets, they are also some of the largest locations in the country, respectively.
Gamers may get a kick out of the combined GameStop and ThinkGeek store, which sells video games and merchandise from pretty much any fandom you could think of.
Nearby the Empire State Building is a Rainbow location and Japanese retailer TESO is a frequented spot in Koreatown. If you’re looking for a fuzzy friend, check out Build-A-Bear. On your way to Penn Station, check out discount supermarket Jacks to grab a quick snack or a household item.
Where: Find Herald Square between E 34th St and E 35th St and 6th Avenue and Broadway.
Why go to only one mall when you can go to two in the same area? Within a couple blocks from each other in downtown Manhattan, you’ll find both Westfield and Brookfield Place, but each has a different feel (and you can go to one or both depending on your tastes and budget).
Inside the World Trade Center are Westfield shops and dining. Here you will be comforted by the familiarity of stores like Sephora, Kiehls, UGG, and even Duane Reade. When grabbing a bite to eat, check out Eatly for a selection of imported and freshly made Italian delights.
Where: World Trade Center at 50 Church St
13. Brookfield Place
A few streets away from the Oculus is Brookfield Place, where you will find upscale stores such as Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton and Lululemon. This opulent retail destination also offers services such as shoe cobblers, hair salons, and even a Russian school of mathematics.
What makes this mall stand out from your average shopping experience are its art exhibits, waterfront dining and activities, a glass atrium known as the Winter Garden, and a rooftop skating rink. With palm trees lining the floors and sunshine leaking through the crystalline walls, shopping at Brookfield Place is like taking a vacation, but much closer to home.
Where: 230 Vesey St
14. Empire Outlets
Staten Island is home to one of the only outlet malls in NYC. At Empire Outlets, there are large retail factory stores, such as Gap, Banana Republic, and Levi’s at a fraction of the cost of its other locations. Good deals are found easily here and once the shopping is done, be sure to grab a bite to eat at one of their dining destinations.
Not only is Staten Island a great place to spend the day, you can take the ferry back home once you’re finished!
Where: 55 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island
15. Columbus Circle
Columbus Circle hosts not one, but two shopping hubs: The Turnstyle Underground Market, an underground food-stall market serving delicious street-style food; and The Shops at Columbus Circle, a sophisticated mall located in a skyscraper, carrying brands such as Lululemon, Jo. Malone, Williams-Sonoma, and Coach.
Where: 10 Columbus Circle and 1000 S 8th Ave
16. Hudson Yards
Home to the Highline and the Vessel, Hudson Yards also has a deluxe shopping mall! With Aritzia, Dior, Kate Spade, and Pandora locations offered, there are no limits to your retail possibilities. An onslaught of eateries and cafes are also at your disposal, in case you need refreshments after a shopping spree in such a scenic site.
Where: 20 Hudson Yards
We cannot exclude the biggest borough in a list about shopping. While there are many locations to shop in Queens, including the Queens Center Mall and “The Avenue,” Astoria is a notable mention for its array of independently-owned bookstores, tea shops and boutiques.
For vintage casual wear and accessories, Loveday31 could be the place you strike gold. Or on a rainy day, cozy up in Astoria Bookshop and Astoria Tea. Gift and stationary shops such as Morning Glory, Lockwood (a SNYC approved local business) and Side B are perfect to browse in search for someone. And towards the Ditmars-Steinway area, check out The Brass Owl for handcrafted jewelry, shoes, tote bags, and other knickknacks.
Where: Find most of these Astoria stores within the boundaries of 31st St and 34 St and 28th Ave and 34th Avenue
Located on the outskirts of the Bronx is Yonkers, an area known for their quaint shopping mall Cross County Center. Here, you can stroll through their grass grounds visiting Guess, Zara, Steve Madden, Hollister, and other well known retail stores. Food-chain locations such as Red Lobster, Stickys, and Panda Express are available, but theres also the option of visiting Japanese fusion hibachi restaurant Mitos!
The mall hosts fun seasonal events, such as ice skating during the winter, or even a photo opportunity with the Easter Bunny in the spring. For Bronx residents wanting a change in scenery from their usual Bay Plaza (though the opening of their new Adidas store may warrant a trip soon), venture up north to Cross County!
Where: 8000 Mall Walk, Yonkers
19. Garment District
If you can’t find it, make it.
For those who are handy with a sewing machine, the Garment District may be up your ally, with over 1,400 businesses available at your shopping helm. With stores like Botani Trimmings & Lampo Zipper NYC for your button and zipper needs, or fabric stores such as Fabric House, District Leathers and New York Elegant Fabric, the Garment District is a fever dream for creative souls. Plus, you can check out the new Button sculpture now on display!
Where: Find the Garment District between W 42nd St and W 43rd St and 9th Avenue and 6th Avenue.
20. Century 21
After filing for bankruptcy and permanently closing all stores in fall of 2020, we were thrilled to see Century 21 return to NYC last year. This world-renowned department store is known for their discounted designer goods, where you can find clothing, accessories, and home goods at affordable prices.
Where: 22 Cortlandt St