New York City Shopping

The Big Apple is one of the best shopping destinations in the world, rivaled perhaps only by London, Paris, and Tokyo. Its compact size, convenient subway system, and plentiful cabs (or Uber or Lyft rides) make it easy to navigate with plenty of bags in tow. But what it really comes down to is the staggering number and variety of stores. If you can't find it in New York, it probably doesn't exist.

If

you like elegant flagships and money is no object, head to Midtown, where you'll find international megabrands like Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, and Gucci, as well as famed department stores Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys. Nearby Madison Avenue has couture from Carolina Herrera and Vera Wang, and 5th Avenue is lined with famous jewelry stores like Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Harry Winston. This is also the neighborhood to indulge in bespoke goods, such as handmade shoes from John Lobb. If you like designer pieces but can't afford them, don't despair—there are plenty of upscale consignment shops around the city where you can find last season's Chanel suit or a vintage YSL jacket.

The small, independent shops that once lined SoHo have largely been displaced by the likes of J.Crew and UNIQLO, but if you want to hit the chains, this is a great place to do it, because the neighborhood also provides high-quality people-watching and superb lunches. Poke around on the side streets and in nearby NoLIta for outposts of smaller local and foreign designers and, if you're craving some of old SoHo's artistic spirit, don't discount the street vendors' stalls, which sell handmade jewelry and simple cotton dresses. You never know—you might buy something from a soon-to-be-famous designer.

The East Village and Lower East Side are hotbeds of creativity and quirky coolness, with little boutiques selling everything from retro furniture to industrial-inspired jewelry tucked among bars and old tenement buildings. The Meatpacking District is another great shopping destination to find chic designer stores like Diane von Furstenberg and Catherine Malandrino along with independently owned boutiques.

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New York City Shopping

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  • Fodor's Choice

ABC Carpet & Home

  • Household Items/Furniture

If you love eclectic luxury home goods from around the world, this is your place. Spread over 10 floors is a superb selection of rugs,...

Beacon's Closet

  • Clothing

Brooklyn favorite Beacon's Closet now has a Big Apple outpost. This simple space, which is lit by multiple chandeliers, has a wide selection...

Beads of Paradise

  • Jewelry/Accessories

Not your ordinary bead store, the baubles here are sourced from around the world. Shoppers can choose silver from Bali and Mexico and...

Fresh

  • Perfume/Cosmetics

Long a beauty favorite, with ingredients that are good enough to eat (think brown sugar, soy, and black tea), the Fresh flagship has...

J.Crew

  • Clothing

This preppy-chic staple in so many people's closets continues to push the envelope under superstar Jenna Lyons. Yes, you can still get...

Journelle

  • Clothing

This chic, New York–based boutique was started by two women who believed that sexy, pretty lingerie should be everyday wear—and comfortable...

Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man

  • Food/Candy

This shop and restaurant is all about a Wonka-ish sense of entertainment. The café encourages the messy enjoyment of gooey creations...

The Strand

  • Books/Stationery

Opened in 1927 and still run by the same family, this monstrous book emporium—home to 2 million volumes, or "18 Miles of Books"—is...

Union Square Wine & Spirits

  • Wine/Spirits

Tastings are easy at this well-stocked store, thanks to Enomatic machines. These card-operated contraptions let you sample dozens of...

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