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. ABC Carpet & Home

    Union Square | Household Items/Furniture

    If you love eclectic luxury home goods from around the world, this will be your wonderland. Spread over six floors is a superb selection of...Read More

  • 2. 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

  • 3. Artists & Fleas

    Outdoor/Flea/Green Markets

    Hands down the best place to lay eyes on the latest cool creations from Brooklyn-based artists and designers, this huge warehouse lures canny...Read More

  • 4. Astor Wines & Spirits

    East Village | Wine/Spirits

    Stock up on wine, spirits, and everything else alcohol-related at this beautiful shop; it often has the bottle you can't find anywhere else...Read More

  • 5. B&H Photo & Video

    Midtown West | Cameras/Electronics

    Competitive prices, vast inventory, and a fair return policy make this bustling emporium a favorite with pros and amateurs alike looking for...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Beacon's Closet, Park Slope

    Park Slope | Clothing

    Of the four secondhand clothing shops in a two-block stretch, this one's the best. The well-organized local chain carries vintage and modern...Read More

  • 8. Bedford Cheese Shop

    Food/Candy

    A cheese lover's dream, this small fromagerie sells everything needed for a gourmet antipasto. The more than 200 artisanal cheeses are arranged...Read More

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Better Than Jam

    Local Specialties

    Stocked with clothes, jewelry, accessories, art, local zines, bath products, and housewares all handmade in New York's five boroughs, this store...Read More

  • 11. Black Bear

    Clothing

    The well-curated selection of secondhand and vintage designer clothing—perhaps a colorful Pucci dress or a child-size coat—sunglasses, hats...Read More

  • 12. Bloomingdale's

    Midtown East | Department Stores

    Only a few stores in New York occupy an entire city block; the uptown branch of this classic New York retail institution is one of them. The...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. Bonpoint

    Upper East Side | Clothing

    Celebrities and mere mortals love this French children's boutique for the beautiful designs and impeccable workmanship—think pony-hair baby...Read More

  • 15. Books of Wonder

    Chelsea | Books/Stationery

    Readers young and old delight in Manhattan's oldest and largest independent children's bookstore. The friendly, knowledgeable staff can help...Read More

  • 16. Brooklyn ARTery

    Gifts/Souvenirs

    Jewelry, T-shirts, home decor items, Brooklyn-made artisanal foods like candy from Liddabit Sweets and Mike’s Hot Honey, health and beauty products...Read More

  • 17. Brooks Brothers

    Midtown East | Clothing

    The clothes at this classic American haberdasher are, as ever, traditional, comfortable, and fairly priced. Summer seersucker, navy-blue blazers...Read More

  • 18. Catbird

    Jewelry/Accessories

    Known for its trademark stackable rings and other dainty jewelry, the tiny store also sells soft cashmere hats, candles, and gift items, all...Read More

  • 19. Collyer’s Mansion

    Brooklyn Heights | Household Items/Furniture

    Although this housewares shop is named for New York’s infamous hoarder brothers, it’s actually a thoughtful selection of beautiful textiles...Read More

  • 20. Court Street Grocers

    Carroll Gardens | Food/Candy

    Part sandwich shop, part specialty food store, Court Street Grocers is a one-stop shop for Brooklyn’s most food-curious visitors. The shop’s...Read More

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