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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Dépanneur

    Food/Candy

    Foodies have many reasons to stop at Dépanneur: artisanal products, cookbooks, food magazines, gourmet sandwiches, pastries, and coffee by Toby...Read More

  • 5. G. Esposito & Sons Jersey Pork Store

    Carroll Gardens | Food/Candy

    The epitome of an old-school Italian butcher and specialty shop, Esposito's has been serving the area once known as South Brooklyn for almost...Read More

  • 6. La Maison du Chocolat

    Upper East Side | Food/Candy

    Stop in at this artisanal chocolatier's small tea salon to dive into a cup of thick, heavenly hot chocolate. The Paris-based outfit sells handmade...Read More

  • 7. Mast Brothers

    Food/Candy

    The elegantly wrapped bars of Brooklyn's artisanal bean-to-bar chocolatiers are ubiquitous in New York City, but to experience the magic as...Read More

  • 8. Sahadi's

    Brooklyn Heights | Food/Candy

    Inhale the aromas of spices and dark-roast coffee beans as you enter this Middle Eastern trading post that's been selling bulk foods in Brooklyn...Read More

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Caputo's Fine Foods

    Carroll Gardens | Food/Candy

    Counter service can be slow, but a visit to Italian fine food emporium Caputo’s for freshly made mozzarella and handcrafted pastas (fresh or...Read More

  • 11. Economy Candy

    Lower East Side | Food/Candy

    Oh, to be a kid in a candy store! Economy Candy has been making life sweeter since 1937, and the floor-to-ceiling shelves and candy-and-nut...Read More

  • 12. Fairway Market

    Red Hook | Food/Candy

    On the Hudson River waterfront, this giant food emporium sprawls through the bottom floor of a repurposed old coffee warehouse. As at other...Read More

  • 13. Fei Long Market

    Food/Candy

    This massive supermarket is noteworthy for its large selection of Chinese grocery items, fresh produce, and housewares. Come here to stock up...Read More

  • 14. Fine & Raw Chocolate

    Food/Candy

    On a mission "to save the world through silliness and chocolate," this company makes its products with organic ingredients and low-heat techniques...Read More

  • 15. Gastronom Arkadia

    Brighton Beach | Food/Candy

    The legendary steam tables here are stocked with hot and cold delicacies such as stuffed cabbages and peppers, blintzes, baked fish, pickled...Read More

  • 16. Li-Lac Chocolates

    West Village | Food/Candy

    Feeding the Village's sweet tooth since 1923, Li-Lac indulges shoppers with its almond bark and coconut clusters as well as such specialty items...Read More

  • 17. Sockerbit

    West Village | Food/Candy

    Who knew Scandinavians are obsessed with candy—but there's much more than Swedish fish at this gleaming white candy emporium that stocks hard...Read More

  • 18. Stinky Brooklyn

    Carroll Gardens | Food/Candy

    If the name doesn’t tip you off, Stinky is a mighty fine cheese shop (the case is typically stacked with a couple dozen selections) that also...Read More

  • 19. Two for the Pot

    Brooklyn Heights | Food/Candy

    The name of this narrow shop, in business since 1973, refers to the indulgent practice of adding two extra scoops of coffee grounds to every...Read More

  • 20. Whole Foods

    Food/Candy

    This isn’t your average Whole Foods Market. Built to serve the grocery-starved, food-obsessed Brooklyn population and to display the borough...Read More

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