New York City

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 such as 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.

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. They're 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 rag & bone along with independently owned boutiques. And if you jaunt over to Brooklyn, you'll discover that some of the city's hippest designers are hanging out at boutiques just across the East River.

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  • 1. Alter

    Greenpoint | Clothing

    Sartorialists come to this fashionable boutique to snag unique wardrobe pieces like drapey sweaters, Cheap Monday jeans, and minimalist jewelry...Read More

  • 2. Beacon's Closet

    Greenpoint | Clothing

    The racks are organized by category and color at this trove of secondhand and vintage clothes, so you can find an entire section of black dresses...Read More

  • 3. Bellocq Tea Atelier

    Greenpoint | Food/Candy

    This jewel box of a tea shop is a bit out of the way, but it's a must for tea aficionados. Bellocq sources organic and exotic teas from China...Read More

  • 4. In God We Trust

    Greenpoint | Clothing

    Stylish shoppers love this boutique for the homespun clothes and cheeky accessories, like gold penne pasta on a delicate chain or business-card...Read More

  • 5. Homecoming

    Greenpoint | Household Items/Furniture

    There aren’t many places where you can purchase handcrafted floral arrangements and home decor accents alongside coffee and pastries; Homecoming...Read More

  • 6. WORD

    Greenpoint | Books/Stationery

    What this pint-size bookshop lacks in space, it more than makes up for in community spirit and book enthusiasm. It's known for popular readings...Read More

  • 7. People of 2morrow

    Specialty Stores

    This airy shop is all about fair-trade and artisanal goods, from clutch purses imported from Thailand to locally made ceramics and soaps. Search...Read More

  • 8. From the Source

    Household Items/Furniture

    Beautiful, modern furniture made with exotic woods is the specialty at this 35,000-square-foot warehouse and showroom, where you can browse...Read More

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