Where to go for the Best Shopping in NYC
Looking for the best shopping in NYC? From flea markets to high-end fashion legends, New York City has endless options. For years, people from all over the world come to 5th avenue in New York City to shop the infamous storefronts, like Saks Fifth Avenue to H&M. Today, the shopping goes beyond the iconic streets of 5th Avenue. Take a stroll with us as we explore some of the best shopping destinations in New York City.
While you’re visiting New York City, be sure to check out our other guides for more ideas and inspirations:
- The Best Pizza in New York City By Borough
- Unique things to do in NYC at night
- List of the Best US Boutique Hotels in 2018
Best shopping in NYC
Every neighborhood in New York City has a different assortment of shops that are aimed for different visitors. Are you ready to shop like it’s your job? Then check out our top picks for the best shopping in New York!
Welcome to hipster heaven! Brooklyn is infamous for it’s cool and free spirit boutiques. Shoppers flock to the area known as “The Burg” (Williamsburg) to shop at their unique vintage clothing stores, ideal for fashionistas in search of a bargain. Be sure to take a walk down Bedford Avenue to discover the best shopping in Brooklyn. In other areas of Brooklyn (Park Slope, Fort Greene, Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens, and Dumbo), you can find more diverse and independently owned shops.
Head to Brooklyn to discover some of New York City’s best shops:
- Beacon’s Closet – Beacon’s Closet is a massive warehouse where shoppers can buy and sell gently worn clothing. Their buyers are famously choosy so you can expect to find great finds each time. If you love hunting through rows and rows of vintage styles, then check out their Greenpoint location – their largest shop.
- Bird – This Brooklyn staple has 3 locations spread throughout the district – Williamsburg, Cobble Hill, and Park Slope. According to their website, they ‘actively promote strong eco-conscious ideals through its community partnerships and endeavors’. Expect to shop quirky and cool styles at this boutique.
- Brooklyn Flea Market – Exploring an outdoor flea market in New York City is a must, and the Brooklyn Flea Market is the largest most notorious markets to hit. You’ll find vendors from around the borough and beyond selling crafts, antiques, specialty foods, and more. This flea market is opened on the weekends year-round but depending on the time of the year, can be found in different locations. The co-founder Eric Demby suggests checking the Brooklyn Flea’s Instagram page (@bkflea) to get the run down before going.
- Space Ninety 8 – Located in the neighborhood of Williamsburg, this trendy, well-kept secret is actually a spin-off of Urban Outfitters. At this unique shop, you can browse through hand-picked vintage pieces, lounge around on comfy couches, check some records, or eat upstairs at the restaurant and rooftop bar.
Chelsea is a remarkable neighborhood bound together by an artistic and visual history. With the Fashion Institute of Technology located here, it’s no wonder this area makes for great shopping. However, you won’t find a shopping street in Chelsea, like you do in SoHo or Midtown Manhattan. Wander the artsy streets on Chelsea to find these hidden and infamous places to shop:
- Barney’s New York – Located in the original 1923 flagship building (see the original image below), this Barney’s is definitely worth checking out. Today, the store boasts of luxury and modern design with monochromatic palettes from the floor to the spiral flight staircase.
- Chelsea Market – Satisfy all your shopping needs by visiting this famous indoor market that houses over 40 vendors selling everything and anything. Many large retailers host pop-up shops here, making the space more attractive and innovative. The Chelsea Market has it all.
- Printed Matter – located in the heart of the busy Chelsea art district, this non-profit grant-supported bookstore specializes in artists’ books and publications. They host ongoing events which include zine releases, exhibitions, book announcements, and more. In fact, many artists rely on Printed Matter’s ‘commitment to fostering creative output that is overlooked by commercial art galleries and publishers.’
- Story – This shop changes its inventory every four to eight weeks so that each cycle focuses on a new theme, trend, or issue. The fun idea behind Story is to take the “point of view of a magazine, change like a gallery, and sell things like a store.” Regardless of the theme, you’ll be sure to find gifts for any occasion.
Manhattan is New York’s most famous and well-known borough. In fact, it is home to the largest shopping district in the country: Madison Ave. Manhattan is also pretty big. So big, that it is made up of 5 districts: Lower Manhattan, Midtown Manhattan, Upper Manhattan, Harlem, and Washington Heights. Most of the main New York City attractions are found in this neighborhood as well, so you’ll be able to see famous sites like the Empire State building and Times Square while you shop!
Here are our picks for the best places to shop in Manhattan:
- Bloomingdale’s – This store is so popular, that it’s actually one of the top tourist attractions in New York City! Shoppers can experience the true hustle and bustle of New York here and shop the plethora of high-quality options that this location offers. Check out this guide to learn how to navigate all 9 floors.
- Century 21 – This New-York born discount department store has been up and running for more than a half a century. Merchandise is priced at up to 65 percent off of retail rates, attracting both locals and tourist. Century 21 has two locations in Manhattan: its Downtown headquarters in the Financial District and a newer Lincoln Square outpost that opened back in 2012.
- Forbidden Planet – This cool corner store specializes in comics, graphic novels, toys, and other collectibles. This nerd’s paradise got its name from the 1956 movie Forbidden Planet. Be sure to check out all the collectibles (some dating back to 1981) on your next trip to New York City.
- The Strand Bookstore – Famous for its “18 miles of books” of new, used, and rare books, this shop is a must see on your list. The Strand contains some of the most diverse literary collections in the nation and has been thriving since 1927. The rarest book at the store is a first edition copy of Ulysses, which is autographed by James Joyce and illustrated by Henri Matisse and goes for $40,000!
Queens is the largest borough of New York City. This neighborhood is home to 150 different cultures and is currently the fastest growing borough. The heart of the shopping district is located on Jamaica Avenue and is easy to find with its loud street music and upbeat feel. Astoria is also another neighborhood in Queens that is home to a handle of unique and vintage shops. Check out this blog for updates on all things Astoria.
Check our picks for the best places to shop in Queens below:
- Lockwood – Looking for unique gifts? Check out one of the four Lockwood stores spread throughout Queens. Lockwood is known for having an amazing collection of home goods, gifts, candy, cards, and other lifestyle items. Lockwood is also a go-to for Queens-themed gifts. Shop local and check it out!
- New World Mall – Stepping in this mall is like visiting Hong Kong. This Asian marketplace is a go-to for many locals and visitors and is actually New York’s largest indoor Asian mall. The food court features Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese specialty foods while the upstairs floors feature several beauty shops and other Asian specialty shops. Skip Chinatown and come here instead.
- Vintage Queens NYC – This appointment-only vintage shop has a wide array of clothing, costumes, hats, and more accessories from all eras. This is a must-visit for vintage lovers. Be sure to follow their Instagram for live updates on new arrivals.
Wondering what and where SoHo NYC is? It’s actually a neighborhood in lower Manhattan. In fact, The name “SoHo” refers to the area being “South of Houston Street.” So why did this neighborhood make our list? Because it makes up some of the most unique and upscale shops in New York City!
- Birchbox – Birchbox is an online beauty and grooming sample service which just opened their first brick-and-mortar shop back in July 2015. At this store, you can B.Y.O.B (build your own birchbox) with over 2,000 of their products. The boutique also features testing stations and free how-to classes on makeup and hairstyling.
- The Laundress – This bright and white Soho store is an eco-friendly brand of specialty detergents and home cleaning products. The boutique offers interactive activities such as “Ask The Laundress Bar” where you can receive in-store care recommendations on how to wash certain fabrics and any other cleaning questions. The shop also provides workshops and pop-up events.
- Nike – Why would you come all the way to New York and go to a Nike store? Because this is more than your average Nike store, its the retail headquarters too. The five-story building features a basketball court, a miniature soccer field, and a Nike + Running Trial Zone to test out different shoes. Nike Soho also features the ultimate display for sneaker lovers: the Nike + SNKRS experience. The 54-foot-wide dual-gender Nike Sportswear footwear wall is the largest in any Nike store worldwide and has the largest in-season collection of the iconic Nike Air Force 1.
- What Goes Around Comes Around – Love to score vintage finds? Then this boutique is for you. What Goes Around Comes Around has been the leading magistrate of authentic luxury and vintage pieces since the inception of its flagship store in 1993. This 7,000-square-foot, the by-appointment-only showroom is stocked with over 100,000 vintage pieces where you can find designers from YSL, Prada, and more.
- & Other Stories – This H&M owned store is located on the corner of Prince Street and Broadway. This super-chic retailer launched back in 2013 and has stores in Paris, Stockholm, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Cologne, and more. So what’s with the name? The brand’s intention is to collab with other brands (such as Nike & Other Stories). Sometimes this means exclusive products and sometimes it’s the existing collection with a twist from the influencing brand.
The Bronx is separated from Manhattan by the Harlem River and is the only district in New York located on the mainland. There are plenty of unique things to do in the Bronx such as visiting the Yankee Stadium, going to the Bronx Zoo, and shopping, of course! The largest shopping district in the Bronx is located on Fordham Road.
- Arthur Ave. Retail Market – Tucked away in Bronx’s Belmont, Arthur Ave is home to some of New York best Italian food. It’s worth a visit alone for the history. Shop for authentic Italian food and products and grab a bite to eat at New York’s ‘real Little Italy’. Check out this guide from Serious Eats on how to navigate the market.
- NYBG Shop – This shop is actually inside the New York Botanical Gardens – a museum of plants, an educational institution, and a scientific research organization -located in the heart of the Bronx. The shop offers gardening tools and accessories, botanical books, prints, rare plants, and unique gifts for any garden lover. After you explore the botanical gardens, be sure to check out this shop!
- Sneaker Bar – This independently owned shop has some of the largest selections of trendy sneakers and sports shoes in the Bronx. The store specializes in Air Jordans and Nike, as well as retro sneakers that are rare to find.
Are you a retail owner in New York City?
You could be breaking new laws without realizing it. New York recently implemented the most stringent labor guidelines for fast food and retail with the Fair Work Week Legislation. To get the rundown on these predictive scheduling laws, the team here at Deputy created a guide about these laws and how businesses can stay compliant. Download the following free eBook below and keep your business on the right side of the law:
The best way to stay on the right side of the law is to invest in an employee scheduling tool. These tools help employers manage compliance to avoid penalties and potential class-action lawsuits; all while saving your business money and time. Give Deputy a try by signing up for a free 30-day trial below:
Shopping in New York can be a fabulous experience. The list above are just highlights of each area, so be sure to include enough time to explore other nearby stores.
Have any other stores to add to the list? Comment below and we’ll be sure to feature it!
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on Deputy's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. Deputy is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article. Deputy disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.