New York became the fashion capital of the world in 2013, overtaking Paris and London, according to a study by the Global Language Monitor. In addition, New York is a city that hosts famous fashion weeks twice a year, along with fashion weeks in Paris, London, and Milan.
You don’t have to be a superstar or a top model to be a part of this fashion world. In this article, we will tell you what shops in New York you should definitely go through.
It doesn’t matter if you came here to fly home with a full suitcase of purchases, or if shopping in New York City is just part of your cultural program in the Big Apple. So, here in this article see below the top 18 New York City shopping destinations.
Best Shopping Areas In NYC
Shopping in New York is on the list of favorites for fashion lovers! There are many brands, boutiques, and vintage and designer clothing stores.
On this page, you will find a list of the best shopping in New York and detailed information on where to shop in New York. Read my guide to the outlet mall, and more!
The list of shops in New York City is huge. Most of the tips in this blog are still relevant in 2019 despite being published a few years ago. We also recommend an article updated in 2019 with recommendations for shopping in New York City.
Whether you are visiting NYC for the first time or not, shopping is surely one of the reasons why you go to New York City and America.
In general, shopping in America is happiness. Huge selection, prices are lower than in other countries, any size, variety of brands.
Williamsburg in Brooklyn is New York City’s popular imaginative region. Because of the verifiable inundation of a wide assortment of nationalities, Williamsburg is an extremely vivid area that has been impacted by many societies.
Today, Williamsburg stays a well-known region of the city, home to numerous celebrities. The modern locale is known for its underground bistros, thrift shops, and the renowned Brooklyn Brewery. One day is sufficient to get to know this piece of New York City.
Most of the shops open around noon, so I advise you to come in the afternoon and stay for dinner and drinks in one of the many cool bars.
The Williamsburg neighborhood, located in trendy Brooklyn, has more and more vintage and thrift store that are worth visiting.
Do not hesitate to cross the Brooklyn Bridge to go shopping here and, incidentally, take the opportunity to have a drink in the delicious restaurants and cafes in the area and visit the art galleries.
Shops and markets abound in this mecca for fans of bygone eras. Make a hole in your schedule to visit Beacon’s Closet, a true classic of vintage stores, as well as the Artist & Fleas and Brooklyn Flea Market. You will find numerous hotels in the neighborhood that will make your stay even more comfortable.
The social blend of New York City is reflected in a wide assortment of public foods, and Williamsburg in Brooklyn is an ideal model. There are a lot of good places to eat and shop here. For the majority of great cafés, make a beeline for Berry Street.
2. Meatpacking District
One of the most fashionable areas of New York City at the moment got its name from the fact that meat wholesalers were located here at one time.
Buildings that not long ago served as slaughterhouses and meat distributors for all of New York are now the city’s trendy restaurants, hotels, and clubs.
Squeezed between the bohemian West Village and the youthful Chelsea, the district has absorbed all the best, becoming a mecca for the progressive cluster. It is here that more and more trendy clubs and bars have been opened in recent years, among which The Standard Grill is especially popular.
The bar is famous not only for its grilled dishes and meat products but also for its patio, where you can drink beer at common tables and play ping-pong.
If there is no desire to sit in a bar, then you should take a walk through the fashionable boutiques that are presented here in abundance – Diane Von Furstenberg, Vince, Earnest Sewn, Intermix, and other slightly less famous, but therefore even more interesting names.
Nolita, the shopping neighborhood of new designers (and the most original shops). Nolita means North of Little Italy. Long ago it belonged to this neighborhood, although today little or nothing remains of its Italian character.
It is a beautiful place with multiple stylish shops that we have not been able to avoid “inspecting thoroughly” but also boutiques, bars, and restaurants that make this neighborhood an essential visit.
It is a neighborhood that very well combines the elegance of the designer shops that settled there and the more conventional shops that manage to fit in perfectly due to the originality and care of their decoration.
Today it is completely dedicated to tourists, with menu restaurants and souvenir shops, although its streets are still a curious place to walk.
Especially if you visit during San Gennaro, the festivity that every September brings Italian characters back to Little Italy. If you’re left wanting more, you’ll have to head to this mega shopping zone in the Bronx!
In fact, it was the place where we saw the coolest stores, some even had bars inside so you could take a break from your purchases or have a drink to concentrate on what was there.
Nolita, an acronym for “North of Little Italy,” follows the same model as SoHo, although it sees fewer visitors. This neighborhood is wrapped in a modern and pleasant atmosphere, which is more than evident when walking among the elegant passers-by.
The shopping streets of Nolita dazzle with the well-cared windows of stores such as Vince, Warm, Babel Fair, and Lingo, with select fashion collections for men and women.
These are just some of the shops in this neighborhood, but you will discover so many more if you explore the area on your own.
4. Madison Ave
The Upper East Side is mostly famous for its affluent residents and exclusive homes, but the designer shops and luxury big department stores of famed Madison Avenue.
Between 72nd and 58th, Madison Avenue is the big flagship store, some of them also on Fifth Avenue: Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, stunning Ralph Lauren store, Hermès, Alexander McQueen, Prada, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Dior, Max Mara.
One of the most mind-blowing realized places is the renowned Barneys New York City and Bergdorf Goodman shopping centers, which remember every one of the richest brands in one spot.
There you can find from lovely Balenciaga sacks to delightful Manolos. Who doesn’t fantasize about feeling like Carrie Bradshaw for a day purchasing Manolos in New York City!
Here you will also find any brand you can think of, such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and Co., and many more. Although this shopping area is only suitable for those who are more than willing to splurge, it is worth taking a stroll down Madison Avenue for window shopping.
5. Union Square
With a colorful past and a vibrant food-oriented present, it’s a must-stop for visitors to New York City. Union Square is one of the important public spaces in New York City.
It was the meeting point for passionate activists who campaigned for civil and women’s rights and who protested against the war in Vietnam. Currently, it is full of activity of a more commercial type.
Union Square is located off trendy 14th Street in Downtown Manhattan and is home to the third-largest subway station in the city.
It remains a platform for public speeches with regular demonstrations and impromptu performances. However, its name is actually a tribute to the central location of the square that joins Broadway and Park Avenue. Union Square is easily accessible by bus and subway.
If social activism is Union Square’s legacy, food is its future. In recent years, this area has become known for the Greenmarket, where New Yorkers flock to farmers market to buy fresh produce directly from more than 100 farmers in the region.
The market takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. It is an excellent place to have a gourmet aperitif.
If you go in September, try one of the many rich dishes on offer at the “Harvest in the Square” tasting. It is a night of food and wine in which chefs from well-known local restaurants present their creations with products from the region.
Chinatown is famous for selling bags and watches (mostly imitations of the big brands) and New York souvenirs. In addition, Chinese food products are available and there are plenty of Chinese crockery and pottery shops. You have to haggle!
Manhattan’s Chinatown doesn’t convince everyone, but if there’s one thing it doesn’t lack, it’s authenticity. Shops displaying exotic fruits, fish, and mushrooms, restaurants, and shops packed with souvenirs, trinkets, and imitations.
Hotels here are a bit cheaper. Read the reviews carefully, as some are not in very good condition, although several modern hotels have recently opened.
In local stores, you can often negotiate prices, especially if you’re willing to pick up multiple items. Always try to set a maximum price you are willing to pay and be patient to get what you want.
On the other hand, it is well known that counterfeit luxury goods can be found in Chinatown. To be honest, I’m not keen on this practice (first because, of course, it’s not legal) but mainly because the products they offer are not guaranteed.
As for the variety of brands, for those who limit themselves to the standard set of large department stores or shopping malls, I want to say right away that the choice there is good,
But if you want something that “no one else has”, and at the same time do not want to spend a whole condition for shopping, you may find the recommendations below useful.
If you have no desire to go to a mall outside of New York City (for example, Woodbury), if you have already been to large department stores and this is not quite what you were looking for, if you have explored the length and breadth of New York shops in midtown, and to if you would like to buy things in New York City, shoe stores, accessories that can hardly be found anywhere else, head to Soho.
There are hundreds of shops in Soho. Large, small, and very small. Well-known designers and brands, and emerging designers. The official boundaries of SoHo are from Houston street to Canal street.
What is important to know is that the main shopping street in SoHo is Broadway, but you will find big brand stores there.
If you turn off Broadway into the neighboring streets, there will be a variety of small shops of both famous and emerging designers who have very interesting things, shoes, and accessories. If you want something that no one else has, look at the small shops on the streets listed above.
8. Lower East Side
In the nineteenth and mid-20th hundred years, the Lower East Side was known as a center point for European outsiders, as well as the focal point of Jewish life in New York City.
One of Manhattan’s most intriguing regions, the Lower East Side consolidates a rich migrant legacy with a bohemian person that actually endures today. Contemporary craftsmanship exhibitions and top-notch food have started to multiply.
Visit the Lower East Side to encounter a remarkable New York City blend highlighting a day of social investigation, eating, drinking, and waterfront strolling.
By and large, because of a flourishing bar and club scene, the Lower East Side is an incredible decision for Manhattanites who need to have the nightlife scene just external their doorstep.
A small bunch of current extravagance elevated structures has jumped up lately, yet most lofts are pre-war walk-ups.
As the area has gotten more famous as of late costs have expanded. In any case, there are a lot of reasonable choices here compared with different areas downtown.
Despite the fact that the Lower East Side is inseparable from the party scene, the people who live in the local love it for its very much worn, plain bits of the local area.
9. Saks Fifth Avenue
Periodically, they are “diluted” with stores such as Gap or H&M, but most of the stores are the flagship stores of Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, Harry Winston, Omega, and Tiffany, Armani, Versace, Fendi, Cartier, Prada, Giorgio, etc.
The main pluses – in this part of the world you will find the most innovative solutions and the latest collections. Next to these stores are younger brands.
I love them very much. For example, The Other Stories on Saks Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, opposite Zara. The prices are very humane, and the things are good – well made and very “fresh” if I can say so about clothes and accessories.0
Heading south down the street at 38th Street and Saks Fifth Avenue, you’ll find Lord & Taylor, an interesting department store.
In the beginning, it may seem that there are only grandmothers-buyers, but not really. Pay special attention to the upper floors, which are dedicated to modern brands, and take your time on the first floor, in the accessories department.
10. Greenwich Village
If the East Village occupies the east, Greenwich Village and the West Village extend into the center and west of Manhattan, respectively.
They are also neighborhoods with a bohemian past, marked by artistic movements and the fight for the rights of the LGTB collective.
Greenwich Village buzzes with the university atmosphere of NYU and the hundreds of people who take over Washington Square Park on a sunny day, while the West Village is residential and its brownstone cobblestone streets look like something out of a movie.
In a trendy neighborhood that is home to many artists, you are bound to find fashion and design designer boutiques, which often offer avant-garde collections. But in Greenwich, you will actually find a lot of shops and boutiques of all kinds.
Bleecker Street is one of the most original shopping destinations in New York, where you will find many clothing stores and fashion accessories.
In the first part of this street, between Father Demo Square and Christopher Street, you can discover small vintage clothing stores which often offer items at particularly attractive prices.
Further, up to Bleecker Playground, you will find all the shops of big brands as well as designers, offering luxury stores.
11. Canal Street
Canal Street is the place to go for people who yearn for a luxury bag they can’t afford. Stalls temporarily set up in the area sell all kinds of “designer” items, from handbags and wallets to watches and perfume.
Just walking around here is an attraction in itself, as the vendors are friendly and eccentric and often have very amusing conversations with each other.
Whether you believe them or not, it’s worth discovering this facet of New York, very different from the dazzling streets of the Upper East Side.
Canal Street Market, is a modern and tidy market that contrasts with the bustling environment around it.
This market is divided into two areas: on the right, a food hall with Asian food stalls and on the left, artisan shops selling everything from natural cosmetics and jewelry to decorative items and artisanal chocolate, among other products.
This food hall specializing in Asian food is perfect if you’re visiting Chinatown with a group and everyone wants to order something different. There are several food stalls offering a wide variety of dishes for less than $15.
As you may have already imagined, some products are not authentic. Make sure you can tell fakes from imitations. The counterfeit bags are identical in shape, color, and logo, while the imitations are “inspired” by the originals.
12. West Village
West Village is, as its name suggests, the western part of Greenwich Village. It was founded in 1916 and soon after was baptized “Little Bohemia” for its bohemian atmosphere and the lifestyle of its residents.
The West Village is the neighborhood where the famous Bleecker Street and the historic area of Greenwich Village are located. In its winding streets, you will find a wide variety of elegant boutiques and famous brands, such as Diptyque and C.O. Bigelow, ideal to turn your home into the most pleasant place possible.
One of the area’s hidden treasures is Madame Matovu, a shop that can be pricey, but this is the least of it when it comes to discarded vintage luxury items.
If you are looking for innovative brands, don’t miss Maison Margiela and Urban Zen, the new creation of Donna Karan, established in 2015.
You will discover incredible places, such as the beautiful Jefferson Market Courthouse or the famous Magnolia Bakery.
13. Park Slope
Park Slope is a neighborhood located in western Brooklyn, right next to Prospect Park. It is a pretty, quiet, and family-friendly place, with plenty of shops and restaurants.
It is above all a neighborhood where I live in Brooklyn, and it is even probably my favorite neighborhood in the borough.
Park Slope is like that shy but modern friend who is too modest to admit that he is always dressed in the latest fashions. When you think of Fifth Avenue, Tiffany and Co. is probably the first thing that comes to mind, while Park Slope is like a frenzy of independent fashion stores selling one-of-a-kind items.
When you shop in this area, you’ll find real treasures inside the typical Brooklyn brownstones. Don’t forget to immortalize them with your camera to be the envy of everyone on Instagram. Bird, another fabulous branch of Beacon’s Closet, and Diana Kane are especially worth a visit.
West of Union Square, Chelsea is one of the neighborhoods in Manhattan where you can find almost anything: shops for all budgets, fast food, good restaurants, dozens of art galleries, bustling avenues, and residential streets where silence engulfs you.
And without forgetting the High Line, the elevated park where you can treat yourself to a break from the city. A very central and comfortable option to stay on your shopping trip to New York, with a huge range of hotels.
Don’t miss a visit to the internationally renowned bakery, Sarabeth’s Bakery for its divine cookies. For gourmet shopping in New York, you’ve come to the right place!
15. Columbus Circle
Columbus Circle in New York is located southwest of Central Park. Columbus Circle is named after the sculpture of Christopher Columbus that has been in the center of the square since 1892.
The Shops” in Columbus Circle is a small, uncluttered shopping center with a direct view of Central Park. We like to shop there because we find interesting shops there that are not overcrowded. Columbus Circle is directly in the lower-left corner of Central Park at 8th Avenue.
This is a very busy area, where you will find the Time Warner Center. Columbus Circle square is one of the most prominent points in New York. in fact, it is the place from which the distances of the city are counted!
Many other points of interest are located in the vicinity of Columbus Circle. You can take a walk to Times Square and Rockefeller Center. If you prefer not to move much, you can go shopping in the mall located in the Time Warner Center
FAQ Best Shopping Places In New York
How To Shop In New York?
Before you rush headlong to the shops, it’s good to know a few things, especially if you want to get the best deals on New York’s Black Friday. For example, store hours in New York City are not standardized.
Therefore, check the opening hours of the store in advance so that you are not in for an unpleasant surprise.
If you plan to buy a lot of items, be aware that your New York shopping can be expensive if you forget to add sales tax in your mind. In addition, when going through customs in your own country, you may find that some goods from New York are subject to duties.
Is Shopping In New York Expensive?
Shopping in New York is very often much cheaper than in France. It’s a fact: everyday consumer goods (clothing, accessories, electronics) are more accessible and the original prices converted into euros are often around 20% lower than the prices you would pay for them in Europe. This is why many of us have fun on the other side of the Atlantic!
What Is The Best Place To Shop In New York?
If you want to shop in brand stores, the ideal is to go to Fifth Avenue at the height of Central Park. Here you can find the famous Apple store; for many, it is just one more tourist attraction in New York.
If you want to find clothes at very affordable prices, we recommend certain shopping centers such as Macy’s or Kmart.
Macy’s is one of the most popular places in New York and is located next to Penn Station. Also, if you show your ID or passport to customer service, they will give you an 11% discount card valid for 30 days.
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