The Comprehensive Guide to Shopping in New York City

Sachin Bhola

New York City sets the bar high when it comes to shopping. It’s no surprise that visitors can spend the day—or entire weekends—shopping here.

From renowned department stores to million-square-foot shopping centers, from luxury retailers and boutiques to thrift stores and more, read on for our roundup of essential New York City shopping across all five boroughs.

Nordstrom Flagship & Men's Store. Photo: Connie Zhou

Department Stores

Bloomingdale's 59th Street
1000 Third Ave., Midtown East, Manhattan
This year marks Bloomingdale’s 150th anniversary, a testament to the department store’s lasting popularity and influence. Get inspired by a range of designer brands, including Balenciaga, Off-White, Givenchy, Helmut Lang and Marc Jacobs. Indulge in the samples at the beauty counters of Nars, Chanel, Tom Ford and Byredo (among others), and, most important, get your hands on the famous Little Brown Bag.

Macy’s Herald Square
151 W. 34th St., Herald Square, Manhattan
Built in 1901, Macy’s flagship in Herald Square has 1.25 million square feet of retail space, making it the largest department store in the US. Shoppers flock to this iconic location to take in its history, window displays and, of course, the many brands it carries across apparel, accessories, beauty, homeware, furniture, toys and more. Wear your most comfortable shoes (or buy some there!), because you could spend all day shopping its 11 floors.

Nordstrom Flagship & Men's Store
225 W. 57th St. and 235 W. 57th St., Midtown West, Manhattan
It’s hard to miss the glass facade of the Nordstrom flagship store housing seven floors of upscale shopping near Central Park, with the Nordstrom men’s store just across the street. Refresh your wardrobe with statement pieces by Saint Laurent, Paco Rabanne, Manolo Blahnik, LaQuan Smith, Luar, The Row and other expertly curated brands. Make a pit stop at the Shoe Bar on-site, which serves specialty cocktails and coffee drinks perfect for refueling.

Saks Fifth Avenue. Photo: Justin Bridges

Luxury

Dover Street Market
160 Lexington Ave., Murray Hill, Manhattan
Created by celebrated designer Rei Kawakubo of the Japanese fashion label Comme des Garçons, the artfully designed eight-floor space that is Dover Street feels more like a fashionable fun house than a traditional retail shop. Come here for the contemporary selection of mid- and high-end brands that include Gucci, Jacquemus, Craig Green, Jil Sander, Stussy and Converse. Rose Bakery on the ground floor provides the perfect opportunity for people-watching.

Fifth Avenue
Midtown East, Manhattan
The mix of luxury brands and mass-market retailers lining Fifth Avenue cater to shoppers with a wide variety of interests and budgets. There’s sportswear (Adidas, Nike), high-street fashion (H&M, Zara), luxury (Van Cleef & Arpels, Bergdorf Goodman), books and toys (Barnes & Noble, The Lego Store), tech (Apple, Best Buy) and more. Notably, the main shopping on Fifth Avenue is located between Bryant Park and Central Park South—fewer than 20 blocks—so you could easily make a day of shopping and sightseeing.

Madison Avenue Business Improvement District
57th Street to 86th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan
A day (window) shopping on Madison Avenue is a quintessential Upper East Side experience. Stroll the avenue and take in the eye-catching windows at Elie Saab, Gabriela Hearst and Bottega Veneta. When you’re done shopping, grab a coffee at Ralph’s Coffee (attached to the Ralph Lauren store), then stick around for the art galleries, spas and fine dining interspersed throughout the avenue.

Saks Fifth Avenue
611 Fifth Ave., Midtown East, Manhattan
This luxury department store has remained best in class since it first opened on Fifth Avenue in 1924. As Saks’ flagship, it doesn’t hold back on the bells and whistles. You’ll be captivated by its creative light display before even entering the store—the facade now a tourist attraction in its own right. Once inside, you’ll experience the height of upscale department store shopping with countless brands on-site, like Prada, Loewe, Sacai and Marni.

Tiffany & Co.
6 E. 57th St. (temporary location), Midtown East, Manhattan
Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn and treat yourself to the experience that is Tiffany & Co. While the iconic flagship at 727 Fifth Avenue undergoes a transformation, customers are invited to shop at the temporary space on East 57th Street. In addition to the fine selection of timeless jewelry, you’ll find watches, leather embossing and monogramming, repairs and engraving services—ideal for the holiday season or any special occasion.

Brother Vellies. Photo: Christopher Sherman

Boutiques

Brother Vellies
73 Franklin St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Brooklyn-based Aurora James is the woman behind mission-driven label Brother Vellies. James’ line of luxury shoes and accessories are sustainably made by employing makers across the globe, in places such as South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco and New York City, who are paid living wages to create one-of-a-kind products. James also launched the 15 Percent Pledge, urging major retailers nationwide to allocate 15 percent of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses.

The Frankie Shop
59 Crosby St. (temporary location), Soho, Mahattan
Another fashion insider’s favorite, the Frankie Shop is a small New York City boutique with global influence, and two locations in Paris. The store is known for its gender-fluid style that offers a modern take on classic wardrobe pieces. Choose from its namesake label or a selection of brands, including Nanushka and Coperni. While the boutique’s original location on the Lower East Side undergoes renovations, customers can shop at its temporary store in nearby Soho.

Kith
337 Lafayette St., Noho, Manhattan
Queens native Ronnie Fieg is the man behind Kith, a store with a cultlike following where it’s not uncommon to find people waiting in line to enter. The boutique’s popular namesake label carries everything from outerwear to footwear, featuring collaborations with brands like Birkenstock, New Era and Calvin Klein. Kith also stocks some of the best streetwear brands in town, like 1017 Alyx 9SM, Ambush and Palm Angels. If you’re shopping for children, visit the nearby Kith Kids at 62 Bleecker St.

Noah
195 Mulberry St., Nolita, Manhattan
Launched by Long Island native Brendon Babenzien, Noah is a brand with serious street credibility, preferred by fashion insiders. Chalk it up to Babenzien’s influence in the industry, having served as creative director for Supreme and currently as the men’s creative director for J.Crew. The Noah boutique carries classic menswear pieces that are utilitarian and sometimes nod to nautical themes. You’ll also find skateboard decks and surfboards here.


L Train Vintage. Photo: Molly Flores

Vintage Shops

L Train Vintage
Various locations, Brooklyn and Manhattan
You’d be hard-pressed not to spot a local with an L Train Vintage shopping bag in New York City, especially if you’re riding—you guessed it—the L train. This vintage shop operates under different monikers at various locations, including No Relation Vintage and Urban Jungle, serving multiple neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the East Village in Manhattan. Arrive caffeinated, because you could spend hours rummaging through racks of leather jackets, cargo pants, Levi’s jeans, cowboy boots and other vintage essentials.

Other People’s Clothes
885 Woodward Ave., Ridgewood, Queens
With outposts in Ridgewood, Queens, and Bushwick, Brooklyn, this small business has attracted customers near and far. At Other People’s Clothes, you can buy, sell and trade your gently used or new wardrobe items any day of the week. The shop stocks plenty of vintage threads, including designer pieces, as well as apothecary goods, beauty products and jewelry.

What Goes Around Comes Around
351 W. Broadway, Soho, Manhattan
Founded in 1993, What Goes Around Comes Around has become a premier shopping destination for vintage luxury goods that span decades. You’ll find designer bags, accessories, jewelry and watches from the likes of Chanel, Rolex, Goyard, Dior, Fendi and more. Shopping here is a lesson in fashion history.

Courtesy, MoMA Design Store

Only in New York

Fishs Eddy
889 Broadway, Flatiron District, Manhattan
While on a trip in Upstate New York, founders Julie Gaines and David Lenovitz stumbled upon large quantities of old restaurant dishware in a town called Fishs Eddy. Inspired, they brought all of it back to the City and opened a store under that name in 1986; since then, Fishs Eddy has become somewhat of an institution in New York City. Here, you’ll find kitchenware of all sorts, tea towels, framed prints and tote bags. The shop’s popularity has even led to collaborations with famous New Yorkers Alan Cumming and Amy Sedaris.

MoMA Design Store
44 W. 53rd St., Midtown West, Manhattan
If you’re looking for a souvenir that is both thoughtful and unique, stop by the Museum of Modern Art’s Design Store. Here, you’ll find gems like artist prints (Warhol or Haring, anyone?), rare posters, artfully designed tote bags, stickers and notebooks featuring vintage New York City maps and even a MoMA hoodie created in collaboration with Champion.

The Pushcart Presents
88 Essex St. Stall 16, Lower East Side, Manhattan
At the Lower East Side’s Essex Market, you’ll find a variety of vendors ranging from grocers to restaurateurs to specialty retailers. Among them is The Pushcart Presents stall, created by couple Louise Sturcken and Javier Molea who sell quirky items made by New York City artists. Get your hands on a one-of-a-kind souvenir by choosing from a distinctive selection of candles, children’s wear, glassware, beauty and wellness products, and books.

Empire Outlets. Photo: Grace Tyson

Shopping Centers

Bronx Terminal Market
610 Exterior St., South Bronx
This shopping center has been a mainstay in the Bronx community since 1935. What started as a wholesale produce market evolved into a nearly million-square-foot space for shopping and dining, conveniently located near Yankee Stadium. Chain store favorites, including Target, Best Buy, Home Depot and Marshalls (to name just a few), will keep you busy for hours. When you’re in need of a pick-me-up, choose from a variety of family-friendly restaurants, like Applebee’s and Chuck E. Cheese.

Brookfield Place
230 Vesey St., Battery Park City, Manhattan
Fun fact: this shopping center has its own zip code—and, yes, it lives up to that grandiosity. Brookfield Place boasts some of the best upscale shopping in New York City, with brands like Bottega Veneta, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Mid-tier retailers, including Club Monaco, Oliver Peoples and Theory, complement the main menu. The shopping center hosts many events and art installations and includes a food hall and waterfront patio.

City Point
445 Albee Square W., Downtown Brooklyn
More than a shopping center, City Point is a mixed-use complex that’s part commercial, part residential. It features New York City’s first Alamo Drafthouse location and houses a food market with some of the City’s most celebrated vendors, including Katz’s, Fulton Landing Seafood and Ample Hills Creamery. As for the shopping, indulge in the curated selection of retailers that range from bookstore McNally Jackson to boutique mattress company Casper to department stores like Target and Primark.

Empire Outlets
55 Richmond Terrace, St. George,Staten Island
This outlet mall scratches every bargain shopper’s itch by offering goods at a fraction of the cost. Here, you’ll find Banana Republic, Nike, Gap, Guess, Levi’s, Old Navy and the wildly popular Nordstrom Rack. When you’re ready for a change of pace, treat yourself to the mall’s waterfront dining and spectacular views of Lower Manhattan.

Kings Plaza Shopping Center
5100 Kings Plaza, Mill Basin, Brooklyn
This indoor mall is also a haven for Brooklyn locals shopping their favorite big-name retailers. The mall was a subject of much fanfare a few years ago when British retailer Primark made Kings Plaza its first US location. Home decor enthusiasts can add Macy’s, Lowe’s and Bath & Body Works to their lists. Sneakerheads can take their pick from Adidas, Foot Locker and Vans. For fine jewelry, browse the selections at Zales, Pandora and Kay Jewelers.

The Mall at Bay Plaza
200 Baychester Ave., Baychester, the Bronx
If you’re looking for a quintessential American mall experience, be sure to visit this Bronx gem. The three-level mall houses over 150 businesses that include Apple, Macy’s, H&M, DSW Shoes, Forever 21, GameStop, Sephora, Uniqlo and countless more. If you’re not the shopping type, eat your way through the mall’s restaurants—such as Chipotle, Dallas BBQ, Olive Garden and Shake Shack—or catch a movie at the AMC Theatres.

Queens Center
90-15 Queens Blvd., Elmhurst, Queens
Yes, the Queens Center Mall might have the only Cheesecake Factory in NYC, but this shopping center also imbues local charm and features enough popular retailers that making the trip to Elmhurst is definitely worth it. QCM has been serving Queens locals for almost 50 years, and while the “hair straightener guy” no longer works there, grabbing a bubble tea while browsing stores like Macy’s, Gap, Adidas, Michael Kors, MAC, Timberland, Sephora and more is a shopping day well spent.

The Shops at Columbus Circle
10 Columbus Circle, Upper West Side, Manhattan
This mall draws in many locals thanks to the Whole Foods Market and Equinox on-site, but visitors are equally attracted to its tasteful selection of retailers. Choose from Diptyque, J.Crew, Ladurée, Williams Sonoma and Stuart Weitzman, among others. Be sure to check out what is arguably the mall’s main attraction: a view of Columbus Circle and Central Park South.

The Shops at Hudson Yards
20 Hudson Yards, Hudson Yards, Manhattan
This luxury mall first opened its doors in 2019 and has since become an anchor for Hudson Yards, one of Manhattan’s newest neighborhoods, recognizable to visitors by the 16-story honeycomb-esque structure, Vessel. It offers much of what Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue and Soho bring to the table, but it’s indoors and often less crowded, making it an ideal destination for those looking for a quieter shopping experience. Upscale retailers like Cartier, Dior and Fendi set the tone, with a few mid-priced brands like Aritzia, Zara and Madewell rounding out the selection.

The Shops at the Oculus
185 Greenwich St., Lower Manhattan
The Oculus at the World Trade Center is a tourist attraction in itself, created by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava. Its white columns come together at the structure’s spine—intended to be reminiscent of the fluttering wings of a bird taking flight—creating a bright and open space. Popular businesses include Aesop, Cos, Eataly, & Other Stories, Rituals and more. The mall is also a transportation hub, putting you right in the center of the NJ Path and multiple subway lines.

The Shops at Rockefeller Center
75 Rockefeller Plaza, Midtown West, Manhattan
Known for its famous rink, the Top of the Rock observatory and Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center also features many popular global retailers. Visit staples such as Anthropologie and the Lego Store, pop into independent record shop Rough Trade NYC or pick up a souvenir for making it into a Saturday Night Live taping at the Shop at NBC Studios.

Staten Island Mall
2655 Richmond Ave., New Springville, Staten Island
Staten Island’s only regional shopping center doesn’t disappoint. With over 200 stores on-site, tourists and locals alike could easily spend the day here. Children will love The Lego Store, Build-A-Bear Workshop, as well as Weekly Storytime at Barnes & Noble (Saturdays at 11am, through the end of the year). Looking for gift ideas? Swing by JCPenney, Primark, Swarovski and Ulta Beauty, among many others.


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