2021 NYC Holiday Gift Guide: Shop Local Edition

Text by Kate Canary and Rachael Roth, Photos by Poupay Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet

In New York City, one-of-a-kind holiday gifts are always at your fingertips. Small and independent merchants of varying specialties can be found in all five boroughs, and they offer a human touch and inviting spaces that bring back the art of browsing. When you shop local for the holidays, everybody wins: your giftees get something thoughtful and unique, local business gets a boost, and you get a memorable NYC experience (and potentially something for your own stocking). To help you embrace the spirit of in-store shopping this season, we’ve compiled our top gift picks from all around town.

For the cook with impeccable taste: Tasting spoons from Big Night

154 Franklin St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn

The dinner party is making a comeback, and it’s begging to be accessorized by this new Greenpoint shop from former Infatuation editorial director Katherine Lewin. Designed for browsing, the store’s highly curated assortment of entertaining essentials—from the tableware to the garnish—is playfully categorized by scenario, like the “For When U Wish U Were in Italy” collection. —KC

For your friendly neighborhood bodega lady: A staff-selected wine from Happy Cork

51 Buffalo Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

She’s been there for your late-night cravings and your early morning caffeine fix; she’s let it slide when you’re short a few bucks; and she’s held on to your spare key. Thank your beloved bodega lady with a bottle from this shop—tucked away on a Bed-Stuy side street—that specializes in wine and spirits from Black- and minority-owned labels. Gift cards and handmade accessories are also available. —RR

For your superb super: Gift basket from Zabar's

2245 Broadway, Upper West Side, Manhattan

This gourmet emporium has been serving the Upper West Side for more than 85 years. After a mouthwatering stroll past hand-cut lox, fresh-baked bagels and more groceries on the ground floor, head upstairs to see the collection of housewares and kitchen essentials. Many items—including gift baskets piled high with rugelach, coffee and caviar—ship nationwide. —KC

For the street-style savant: NYC Parks Nalgene Bottle from OnlyNY

49 Franklin St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and 176 Stanton St., Lower East Side, Manhattan

New York City is its own brand, and lucky for your giftee, it will never go out of style. One of the best ways to rep the City is by wearing OnlyNY’s ultrahip apparel. Shop here for hoodies, varsity jackets, T-shirts and accessories that feature MTA and City Parks emblems or boast Brooklyn pride. The minimalist storefronts in Brooklyn and Manhattan stock seasonal collections and in-store exclusives. —RR

For your cheeky holiday party host: Under the Influence glassware from Fishs Eddy

889 Broadway, Flatiron, Manhattan

Offering a tasteful take on kitsch, Fishs Eddy’s eclectic glasses, mugs, textiles and other tabletop delights have brought levity to the City’s notoriously cozy kitchens for decades. Daintily painted glassware with expressions like “sauced,” “blitzed” and “turnt” are deserving of a double take. We’re also partial to the NYC-themed patterns, but the entire collection at the Flatiron flagship is well worth a browse. —KC

For the friend settling into a new apartment: Turkish bath towels from Stay Forever

818D Woodward Ave., Ridgewood, Queens

You may want to stay forever in this colorful yet minimalist shop in Queens (by the looks of their Instagram, even Padma Lakshmi is a fan). Products such as natural soaps, candles handmade in Brooklyn and Queens, incense holders and pink translucent vases emphasize a calm and curated lifestyle. Iron-on “Sweetheart” patches profess love for Ridgewood and are sure to elicit the question, “Where did you get that?!” —RR

For the littlest locals: Glitter high-tops from Two Kids and a Dog

65 Pearl St., Dumbo, Brooklyn

Founded by a retail veteran and a designer with a couple of kids and—you guessed it—a dog, this Dumbo shop has become a local favorite since its 2014 debut. Expect to find coveted brands, gifts for any occasion and everyday essentials in this hip, high-end children’s collection that feels right at home in the neighborhood. —KC

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For your fashionable sister who already has everything: One-of-a-kind clothing items from Lagoon New York

293 Nostrand Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

Wade into this designer-owned shop in Bed-Stuy to discover eclectic handmade wares, jewelry and apparel. Owned by local fashion designers Amalya Miera and Logan Blagg, the shop focuses on sustainability through upcycling and zero-waste construction. The space itself—part gallery, part boutique—hosts experimental art shows, clothing swaps, vintage pop-ups and readings. —RR

For the WFH creative: Handmade candleholders from Sips + Maker

312 New Dorp Lane, New Dorp, Staten Island

A coffee bar and design marketplace in one, this Staten Island standout is a bona fide creative oasis. In addition to locally baked goods and top-notch lattes, they offer a range of artisanal gifts from makers focused on fair trade—making it a place to get both wired and inspired. —KC

For the five-borough history buff: Tenement food tea towels from the Tenement Museum Gift Shop

103 Orchard St., Lower East Side, Manhattan

The items in this Lower East Side shop proclaim a love of New York City without being cheesy or over the top. Tote bags, coffee table books and home decor (including Christmas tree ornaments) feature quintessentially NYC subject matter. Purchases support the Tenement Museum’s mission to embrace immigration as an integral part of our national identity through exhibits and immersive tours. —RR

For the unimpressed New Yorker: BXNY bucket hat from Bronx Native

127 Lincoln Ave., Mott Haven, The Bronx

Borough pride is the obvious common thread in Bronx Native’s line of streetwear and accessories, but any local will love the vibe of this Mott Haven boutique. Cardi B quotes, quarter waters, pigeons and bodegas appear on tees, hoodies and hats in a street-inspired space—complete with graffitied walls, street signs and a basketball hoop. —KC

For the old and the young, all in one stop: Tea set from Wing on Wo & Co.

26 Mott St., Chinatown, Manhattan

The longest continuously running store in Manhattan’s Chinatown—it was founded in 1890 and opened its current Mott Street location in 1925—Wing on Wo & Co. specializes in Chinese porcelain, much of it sourced from China’s porcelain capital of Jingdezhen. Browse delicate tableware and playful accessories, including antiques and modern merch collaborations, until you’ve checked everyone off your list. —RR


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