Culture Things To Do

The 10 Most Uncommon Places For Gifts In NYC That You Haven’t Thought Of Yet

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

The 10 Most Uncommon Places For Gifts In NYC That You Haven’t Thought Of Yet

We all know the usual spots for shopping in NYC, from Fifth Avenue to department stores to countless holiday pop-ups.

But if you’re still struggling to find something for everyone on your list, there are tons of spots you might not expect with the most one-of-a-kind gift ideas.

So, here are 10 places you probably haven’t thought of yet that are perfect for snagging your most-needed holiday gifts, especially for those pals who are proud New Yorkers!

1. New York Public Library, Midtown

Facebook / The New York Public Library Shop

This New York landmark isn’t just for checking out books (or for holing up in the Rose Reading Room)! The New York Public Library in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building has a wonderful shop loaded with perfect gifts for the book lover in your life. From library card tote bags to funky literary socks, you’re bound to find something original for your favorite reader.

Also: don’t miss the gorgeous Christmas tree!

Where: 476 5th Ave

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10am to 6pm

2. New York Transit Museum, Grand Central

Facebook / New York Transit Museum

This museum is great for children and adults alike. Make things easier on a commuting New Yorker with an artistic MetroCard holder, or pick up model trains for a little one who who can’t stop saying “choo choo!” There is also a store in downtown Manhattan and one at their museum in Brooklyn.

Where: The Shuttle Passage in Grand Central Terminal

Hours: Monday–Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 10am to 6pm, Sunday 10am to 6pm

3. Museum of Arts and Design

Instagram / @thestoreatmad

For the more aesthetically-inclined person in your life, the Museum of Arts and Design gift shop is the best. In the highly curated shop, you can find the likes of serving bowls inscribed with quotes from David Bowie and Price to colorful glass hourglasses.

Where: Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle

Hours: Monday-Wednesday, Friday & Saturday: 10am-7pm, Thursday: 10am-9pm, Sunday: 10am-6pm

4. Koreatown

Instagram / @besfrenbeauty

This Korean-influenced section of Manhattan houses some amazing under-the-radar spots for gifts. Try Koryo Books for sweet stationary products and K-Pop items, H Mart for a large assortment of Pocky and uniquely-flavored Kit Kats (like green tea!), and Besfren Beauty for the best face masks and adorably packaged beauty products.

Where: 35 W 32nd St. (Koryo Books); 38 W 32nd St. (H Mart); 315 5th Ave (Besfren)

Hours: 10am-9:30pm Monday-Thursday, 10am-9pm Saturday (Koryo); 8am-10:55pm (H Mart); 10am-11pm everyday (Besfren)

5. Tannen’s Magic Shop, Midtown

Instagram / @tannensmagic

Tannen’s is the oldest operating magic shop in NYC, founded in 1925. It makes just as much of a fun visit for you as it does for whoever you get the gift for! A rigged deck of cards and bubbles that “turn into” glass balls are great for any age—you may spark a new hobby, or at least give them a new way to be entertained.

Where: 45 W 34th St #608

Hours: Monday-Friday, 11am-6pm; Saturday 10am-4pm; closed Sundays

6. The Evolution Store, NoHo

Visiting the Evolution Store in Greenwich Village is like going to a museum in and of itself. It contains so many science and natural history collectibles, artifacts, gifts, and home decor. There are vintage prints, rocks and minerals, and old-world desk toppers like globes and sextants.

Where: 687 Broadway

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 11am to 8pm

7. Markets, Various Neighborhoods

Instagram / @ashley_hy0416

Okay, holiday markets aren’t uncommon places to find gifts, but there are a couple you may have missed! It’s the first year for both the Alsace Market in Bowling Green Park and the Harlem Night Market at La Marqueta. It’s the last weekend for both of them December 21-22, so be sure to check them out before they’re gone.

See here for more general holiday markets.

Where: Bowling Green Park (Alsace) and 1590 Park Ave (Harlem Night Market)

Hours: Daily from 11am-9pm (Alsace)December 21 from 4-10pm (Harlem Night Market)

8. Sullivan Street Tea & Spice Company, Greenwich Village

Instagram / @sullivanteashop

The Sullivan Street Tea & Spice Company houses hundreds of organic teas, herbs and spices in its quaint Greenwich Village shop. They create, design and hand-assemble most of the tea and spice gift sets right in the shop. Get a blend of wellness teas for that friend who always catches a cold, or the culinary salt gift box to take your favorite home cook’s meals to the next level.

Where: 208 Sullivan St.

Hours: 10am-7pm everyday

9. Arthur Avenue, The Bronx

Instagram / @arthuravefoodtour

Whether your loved one has Italian roots, can’t stop talking about their latest Amalfi coast vacation, or just wants to bring a little taste of the European lifestyle to their home, you can find the perfect thing in Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. You can get them a Bialetti stovetop coffee maker to make their own espresso at home (with a bag of gourmet coffee!), high-quality pasta and olive oils, or imported wine. At the covered Arthur Avenue Retail Market you can get everything in one place with over 40 vendors. Hot tip: turn it into a fun day and stay in the neighborhood for a delicious dinner!

Where: 2344 Arthur Ave, The Bronx

Hours: 8am-6pm everyday

10. Milk Bar, Flatiron


The store in the new Milk Bar Flagship has its own “Send-A-Package” station where you can stock up from the Mini Mart (loaded with packaged treats and adorable merch) to make a custom care package and send to whomever you wish.

Where: 1196 Broadway

Hours: Sunday–Thursday 9am-Midnight; Friday–Saturday: 9am-2am

If you’re still out of ideas, don’t forget that the gift of an experience is even better than something material!

featured image source: Facebook / New York Transit Museum