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. bocnyc

    Upper West Side | Clothing

    Who needs to go downtown for cutting-edge designers? This store stocks sleek designs from the likes of Ulla Johnson, Loeffler Randall, and A...Read More

  • 2. Zabar's

    Upper West Side | Food/Candy

    When it comes to authentic New York food, it's hard to beat rugelach, black-and-white cookies, or lox from this iconic, local-favorite specialty...Read More

  • 3. Intermix

    Upper West Side | Clothing

    Whether you're looking for the perfect daytime dress, a pair of J Brand jeans, or a puffer coat that doesn't make you look like the Michelin...Read More

  • 4. Pachute

    Upper West Side | Clothing

    This cozy boutique, which means “simple” in Hebrew, specializes in stylish casual wear for women. If your weekend uniform consists of button...Read More

  • 5. Tani

    Upper West Side | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    Fashionable Upper West Side ladies love this shoe store for its huge selection and patient staff. Tani's selection is mostly classic-with-a...Read More

  • 6. Westsider Books & Westsider Records

    Upper West Side | Books/Stationery

    This wonderfully crammed space is a lifesaver on the Upper West Side. Squeeze in among the stacks of art books and fiction, or pop outside for...Read More

  • 7. Felix and Fanny

    Upper West Side | Clothing

    When you shop at this funky boutique (formerly known as A Time for Children), you'll also be doing some good, as 100% of the profits go to the...Read More

  • 8. Le Palais des Thés

    Upper West Side | Food/Candy

    If you prefer a mellower caffeine kick, come to this French-owned tea boutique. All varieties of black and green teas are available as well...Read More

  • 9. Mint

    Upper West Side | Clothing

    Trendy pieces that don't break the bank are what Mint is all about. The collection includes Alice & Olivia, Susana Monaco, and Joe's Jeans...Read More

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