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10 things to buy in New York

Shopping in New York is practically mandatory. Here's what you need to keep in mind to find the best prices. Leave room in your suitcase!

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

13 min read

10 things to buy in New York

Fifth Avenue Shops | ©Hellotickets

If you go on a trip to New York do not forget to buy some souvenirs for yourself or for your loved ones before returning home. In New York you will find stores at very good prices compared to European rates. And if you go on a trip to the best New York Outlets you will also find reduced prices on luxury brand items.

The city is full of tourist souvenir stores but if you are looking for something different, in this post I tell you 10 things to buy in New York in unique and original places. You will love them!

1. The best gift for literature lovers, at New York Public Library Shop

Inside the New York Public Library| ©Clay Banks
Inside the New York Public Library| ©Clay Banks

If you're looking to buy some souvenirs from your trip to New York that are original, thoughtfully designed and a departure from the more typical, the New York Public Library store is the place to go.

It has a multitude of gifts for all tastes so it will be very easy to choose yours. Although here you can find the perfect gift for a literature enthusiast thanks to its huge selection of classic and contemporary books, the New York Public Library store also has more surprising items always with reading, language and this library as a backdrop.

What to buy?

From home and office items inspired by Jane Austen or William Shakespeare, vintage calligraphy sets, jewelry and themed accessories, to postcards and beautiful gift editions of classics like "Peter Pan", "Beauty and the Beast", "Emma" or "Frankenstein", I got the book of "The Little Mermaid" and I'm keeping it like gold!

Speaking of Mary Shelly's famous creature, did you know that on the third floor of this building you can see the library with original furniture owned by this author? It is one of the most impressive and most unknown corners for most visitors.

Special Collections

Perhaps you are more familiar with the Rose Main Reading Room, the main reading room of the New York Public Library, for its ostentatious decoration with hanging lamps, frescoes on the ceiling and for having dimensions like those of a soccer stadium. It is so famous that the New York Public Library's own store has dedicated a whole collection of souvenirs to it: umbrellas, puzzles, scarves, costume jewelry and more.

The same goes for the famous lions that guard the entrance to the building. In honor of Fortitude and Patience, as they are called, there is a collection of caps, T-shirts, stuffed animals, pendants and sculptures, among other products.

Practical information

  • Where is it located?: Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street , New York, NY 10018
  • Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM

2. Decorative objects and the most original kitchenware, at Fishs Eddy

Shopping at Fishs Eddy| ©Time Out
Shopping at Fishs Eddy| ©Time Out

One of the things I like most about New York is that walking through its streets you get carried away and end up discovering amazing places, as is the case of Fishs Eddys in the Flatiron neighborhood, very close to Union Square and the Flatiron Building.

It is a beautiful country chic style store that has become a real paradise for lovers of decoration and in particular of kitchen items.

Since 1986, Fishs Eddys has been selling basic household goods but with an original and vintage design, which has made their kitchen towels, cups, glasses, plates, bowls are highly prized.

What to buy?

Among tourists, any item that refers to New York is a best seller. The most successful collection is the tableware decorated with the Manhattan skyline and the tablecloths with the East River bridges printed on them are almost museum pieces. They are so beautiful that it is a shame to stain them.

As a curiosity, at Fish Eddys you will also find shot glasses dedicated to American presidents such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison or more recent figures such as Donald Trump or Joe Biden. If politics is not your thing, don't worry because there are glasses with flowers, kittens, dogs and even the iconic New York skyscrapers so you can have a few drinks at home remembering your trip to the Big Apple.

Practical information

  • Where is it located? 889 Broadway and 19th Street. New York, NY 10003
  • Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM. Sundays from 11 AM to 6 PM.

3. Any book at the Strand Bookstore

The best bookstore in New York| ©Wikimedia
The best bookstore in New York| ©Wikimedia

If there is one thing I like about Strand Bookstore, it is that it is a family-owned bookstore that has been resisting the big chains in New York since 1927, which is unusual in this day and age. It has been open for so many decades that it boasts of stocking almost 30 kilometers of books on its shelves, or in other words, almost three million used, new, unique editions and best sellers.

If you're a literature lover , you'll lose track of time at Strand Bookstore because there's so much to see and read at its Broadway and 12th Street location, just steps from Union Square.

I'm not exaggerating. When you arrive you'll see the outside of the store packed with carts filled with dozens of well-priced books. There's a little bit of everything, so I recommend you check them out because you can find bargains. I bought a book there that I read on the plane on the way home.

Inside, there's a lot more waiting for you... three floors crammed with books in a variety of genres! Whatever you're looking for, you're sure to find it at Strand Bookstore. Whether it's for yourself or as a gift.

What to buy?

As if the books were not enough, Strand Bookstore is also a great place for souvenirs. They have a lot of curious souvenirs such as packs of socks dedicated to writers and their works, music boxes, mugs, notebooks, key chains ... Strand Bookstore has many gifts of its own production!

Personally, I like their tote bags because they are very original and perfect for carrying all your stuff around the city throughout the day. They have a lot of variety in terms of sizes and designs. But if you are looking for a typical souvenir about New York, I recommend you to take a look at their section of books dedicated to the Big Apple, you will love them!

Practical information

  • Where is it located?: 828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
  • Hours: Open daily from 12 PM to 8 PM.

4. Vintage treasures at Artists & Fleas flea markets and stores in SoHo and Brooklyn

Shopping in Williamsburg's vintage stores| ©Hellotickets
Shopping in Williamsburg's vintage stores| ©Hellotickets

In an increasingly globalized world, where can you find a different souvenir that you can't find anywhere else? My proposal is Artists & Fleas, a flea market that brings together local artists, young designers and collectors where you can find paintings, accessories, jewelry, clothing and other unique items that are made by artisans to ensure that they are special pieces.

You will find the Artists & Fleas market in the Soho and Williamsburg neighborhoods, although the Chelsea Market isalso linked to the fabulous food market in this building in the Meatpacking District.

If you don't know Chelsea Market, I recommend you to read the article I wrote about this market. Did you know that Oreo cookies were invented here? It is the former cookie factory of the Nabisco company converted into a market, where the beautiful original industrial style of the building with high ceilings and exposed brick walls has been preserved.

You can also order snacks from the fast food stands (sandwiches, noodles, tacos, sushi, pasta, donuts...) if you work up an appetite while shopping at Artists & Fleas.

What to buy?

Among its stalls you can find everything, so it will be hard to resist buying. I tell you from experience! I got a beautiful poster of New York but there were many other things, from decorative candles and bags with messages to natural skin care products.

Practical information

  • Where is it located? Chelsea Market is at 75 9th Ave, NY 10011. The Artists & Fleas market is located next to the 10th Avenue entrance.
  • Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 9 PM. Sundays from 10 AM to 8 PM.

5. A work of art from the MoMA Design Store

The MoMA Store| ©Unsplash
The MoMA Store| ©Unsplash

The MoMA Museum Store is like a shopping magnet. Whenever I walk down 53rd Street or through Soho I go into the MoMA Design Store. I can spend hours and hours browsing all its shelves, especially the prints and fascinating books on art. After all, MoMA is the world's most important museum of modern art. I tell you more in this post about the famous art gallery.

What to buy?

Although the price is a bit high, if you want to buy someone who loves art and design an original gift at the MoMA Design Store, you're sure to get it right. They sell everything from lithographs, puzzles and things for the home to furniture, designer jewelry or Vans sneakers inspired by MoMA itself.

In short, all kinds of souvenirs for the curious and design enthusiasts. I'm sure you'll want to take everything because many of the things they sell you won't find in other stores.

Practical information

  • Where is it located? 44 West 53 Street, NYC
  • Hours: Saturday to Thursday 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM; Friday 9:30 AM to 9 PM.

6. Anything you can think of, if it's designer, will be at Kikkerland

The Kikkerland showcase| ©NYC Go
The Kikkerland showcase| ©NYC Go

You know those kind of stores where everything is so nice and cool that you would buy everything without thinking? Kikkerland is that kind of place. Since 1992 they have been making fun products for the home, toys, office gadgets and technology that aim to bring a smile to their customers' faces.

Kikkerland 's designers traveled all over the world to take inspiration and create each product with a funny aesthetic that gives an original and different touch to the decoration of your home or office.

At first, Kikkerland was a wholesale manufacturer of gift products but they were so successful that now they opened this little shop located in the West Village. As soon as you walk in you will want to lose yourself in every aisle looking at all the shelves. They have a lot of curious products and you are sure to find an endearing gift to give to your friends or yourself.

What to buy?

There is a lot of variety in terms of travel items, which are very practical if you are a person who likes to travel a lot: pillows, anti-snoring kits, portable suitcase weights to avoid surcharges at airports, masks to sleep better on planes...

However, Kikkerland has a wide variety of products that you should take a look at because they are very original things.

Practical information

  • Where is it located? 493 Sixth Ave. Manhattan, NY 10011

7. A Knicks or Yankees cap at Modell's Sporting Goods.

Yankees Merchandising| ©Hellotickets
Yankees Merchandising| ©Hellotickets

If you are traveling to New York to enjoy an NBA or NHL game, you will need to be dressed for the occasion and to cheer on your team. However, in many occasions the price of the official articles of these teams is exorbitant.

One store that offers the same guaranteed quality but at much more affordable prices is Modell's Sporting Goods. It has everything from Knicks and Nets jerseys and hats to Mets and Yankees, the New York baseball teams. If you're looking for anything related to the NFL Giants, you can also find it at Modell's Sporting Goods.

And if you're thinking of buying a gift for someone who's really into sports, another idea is regulation footballs that you can comfortably carry home deflated in your suitcase. And if you have tickets to Madison Square Garden, don't hesitate to visit the official merchandising and souvenir stores inside.

Old Navy

Speaking of sports teams, another store that also has series dedicated to baseball, soccer or basketball at a good price is Old Navy, a brand that belongs to the same group as GAP. It is another option if you are looking for your outfit to go to a game in New York.

However, if you want to show off your trip by taking home a souvenir with the striking "I Love NY" logo printed on T-shirts, sweatshirts or clothing accessories, take a look at Old Navy as they have many original models with the name of New York of good quality and at interesting prices.

Practical Info

  • Where is Modell's Sporting Goods?: 464 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Where is Old Navy?: 150 W 34th St / Hours: Open Monday through Sunday from 10 AM to 8 PM.

8. Kilos of sugar to sweeten your trip at Economy Candy

Economy Candy's knick-knacks| ©NY Eater
Economy Candy's knick-knacks| ©NY Eater

A candy will always be a sweet souvenir of your trip to New York. In the city there are many stores to buy candy but Economy Candy is unique for its variety and its prices, which are not as high as in other stores.

In addition, Economy Candy has a very curious history! It began as a business that was dedicated especially to fix hats and shoes. However, at the door of the establishment the owners had a cart where they also sold candy. With the depression of the 30's, the candy cart began to generate more income than the other products and the business ended up becoming a candy store.

Today it is a store known as a candy paradise for New York's sweet tooth and a must visit, especially if you go with children, they will be amazed!

It islocated in the Lower East Side neighborhood and despite its small size is crammed with products of all shapes, colors and flavors so it will be easy to find a souvenir to give as a gift. After all, nobody's bitter for a sweet, right?

What to buy?

Variety is the spice of life. There are chocolates, candies, chewing gums and sweets of all kinds you can imagine. In addition to selling by weight, you will also find original tins of candy and boxes of chocolates ideal for gifts.

At Economy Candy I was very impressed by the fact that they had a section with jars of sweets from each decade. I thought it was a very original idea. There is even a table full of items at only $0.99. With that price it will be very difficult to resist the temptation.

Practical information

  • Where is it located. 108 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002.
  • Hours: Open Mondays from 2 PM to 5 PM. Tuesdays from 1 PM to 5 PM and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12 PM to 17 PM. Closed Wednesdays and Thursdays.

9. The T-shirt of your favorite series at the NBC Store

A corner of the NBC store| ©NBC store
A corner of the NBC store| ©NBC store

So many movies and series have been filmed in New York that the city has become a great film set. Surely when you walk through its streets you will notice that feeling of having been here before thanks to these productions that are set in the City of Skyscrapers.

If you are passionate about the subject, during your trip to New York I recommend that you take a Tour of movies and series in the city because you will discover many anecdotes and curiosities that you may not have known about your favorite titles. I tell you more about this tour in this post.

In addition to all the pictures and videos that you can take during the tour as a souvenir, you may want to take some souvenirs about that series you like so much. Mine is "Friends" from NBC, which in case you didn't know, has a store in Rockefeller Center where you can buy items related to this show and many others produced by this TV network.

What to buy?

I took a couple of coffee mugs of those that the main characters of "Friends" used when they met at Central Perk and a tote bag with the logo. But there are many other things in the NBC Store, such as T-shirts, key chains or hats from other star NBC shows like "Saturday Night Live", notepads, magnets or sweatshirts from the series "The Office", "Seinfeld" or "Law & Order", among many others.

Practical information

  • Where is it located? 30 Rockefeller Plaza New York, NY 10112

10. A souvenir with history at the Tenement Museum

The Tenement Museum| ©Wikimedia
The Tenement Museum| ©Wikimedia

A fantastic souvenir store that really surprised me when I discovered it in New York is the Tenement Museum, located on the Lower East Side.

It is a historical museum of the city that tells the story of those immigrants who came to the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to carve out a better future. In fact, the museum itself is located in an apartment building that between 1863 and 1935 was home to more than 700 immigrants from twenty different countries.

The museum guide will show you this chapter of New York's history and some of the six apartments that were restored to their original state. It is a very interesting way to learn about the history of the city and its anonymous protagonists.

Back to the tourist souvenirs, access to the Tenement Museum store is free but I recommend you visit it after seeing the museum as it is very interesting and worthwhile.

What to buy?

The Tenement Museum store reminds me a lot of the New York Public Library, because they have souvenirs that are out of the ordinary and a nice section of vintage posters and novels set in New York.

Practical information

  • Where is the Tenement Museum? 103 Orchard Street
  • Hours: Open Friday through Wednesday from 10 AM to 6:30 PM. Thursdays from 10 AM to 8:30 PM.