Finding an awesome gift shop in New York is harder than you’d expect. The city tends to be dominated by fashion shopping, with souvenir and gift shops few and far between. When you do find one, it’s often the franchises that you can find literally anywhere in the country, like the trinkets at Macy’s or Pylones.
Or even worse, the kitsch made in China souvenir shops that have literally carried the same items since the late 80s and litter popular tourists zones like Times Square.
So where do you go for those cool one-of-a-kind New York City gifts that you won’t find anywhere else? They’re out there, from Manhattan, midtown, and downtown to Brooklyn, and we’ve rounded up all of the best shops for you so. Your memories of New York should be reflected with truly unique souvenirs and gifts.
#1 Unique & Hand Crafted Gifts NYC
Looking for NY adventure? This gem of a gift store, hidden away in a Manhattan side street in the Chelsea/Flatiron district, is almost like a speakeasy for NY gifts. Here you discover a place with some of the most unique and sought after gifts in NYC.
33 West 19th St 4th Floor
New York, NY 10011
You can pick up gifts from their walk-in shop or online, and they offer unique gifts that are designed and made exclusively for them by actual New York City artists, so these items literally can’t be found anywhere else. It's easy to get to and close to Union Square.
They carry everything from edible gifts (the organic apple flavored candies are delicious!), unique gifts made out of vinyl records, carved out of wood, 3D printed, hand painted, and laser etched from steel. Even the jewelry is one-of-a-kind made from the finest jewelry studios in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The best part is that everything in this shop is New York City and Brooklyn themed, and are actually affordable with some of the NYC gifts starting at $4.95 and going up from there. Better yet, each item on their site also lists the artist that made the item along with the artist's story, making you a part of the journey.
This season they are featuring all new items made by master wood carver, David Raz. The intricately designed and handcrafted jewelry box features a delicate filigree design, a base etched with the New York City skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. Check it out HERE.
#2 Artists & Fleas
Located in Chelsea & Williamsburg
Booths of artist made wares and interesting flea market finds wait for you here at the largest flea market you’ll find in New York City. You can discover the best find of a lifetime here, and even pick up a new favorite artist, but be sure to come here with plenty of time available, and comfy shoes as going through all the booths and their availabilities can be an arduous, time-consuming process. While you're there, be sure to lookout for incredible vintage and collector's finds!
High tech, cute, and ironic gifts that make you laugh or smile. Located in Brooklyn and the East Village, you’ll find some pretty cool and trendy gifts here. While they might not be one-of-a-kind, they aren’t easy finds either, and make for the perfect gifts for millennials, youngsters, kids, hipsters, and techies. While not wholly New York, you'll still find some great gifts.
#4 Fishs Eddy
Classy kitchen and home decor items. They do have a good number of New York themed dishware that has an nostalgic feel to it, but do keep in mind, that NYC theme isn’t their primary niche. You will however, find a whole slew of really interesting and unique finds, so it’s worth it to stop by if you’re in the market for home and kitchen decor.
#5 Bond No. 9
High end perfume all with a NYC theme can be found at this gorgeous luxury shop, and you’ll be hard pressed to find even a fraction of their full collection anywhere else. They have selections for both men and women that’ll let you keep the spirit of the fast paced city life and bright neon colors with you wherever your journey takes you.
Cool apparel and must have accessories that make up the New Yorker look. This little gift shop is known to be trendy and artsy, although they can also be pricey so be sure to watch your budget! From trinkets to handbags, art supplies to clothing, you can really pick up items that make up the NYC fashion style.
New York is a global community and this shop sells gifts from around the globe, but specializes in home decor, particularly of the Latin variety. They travel the world to find unique items from abroad that represent the spirit and diversity of New York.
The New York Times Store specializes in classic, historic gifts and you can also find exclusive NYTimes apparel here, so if you’re shopping for a journalism or history buff, this is a great stop. Just beware that the prices start soaring into the hundreds very quickly, so be sure you have the budget for this shop.
For edible items in cute gift baskets, this little market is the best of the best. They have both New York themed foods, and foods made here in New York. So if you’ve wanted to sample New York chocolates, coffee, jam, honey, pickles, baked goods, and cheese all in one spot, you’ve found it. Better yet, you can also gift it.
Not exactly one-of-a-kind, nor made in New York, but there are some really cool finds here. Expect to pay a pretty penny (although the bookends are worth it!), and definitely check out the artwork while you’re at it.
A cute little shop full of hipster New Yorker-esque goodies, apparel, and accessories. You’ll things like candles, beanies with the word namaste printed on it, New York made cookies & cookbooks, handbags, jewelry, etc. Maybe not the place to shop for guys, but it still has a cool and interesting lineup.
#12 City Store
This shop is hard to find, but if you’re near the Brooklyn Bridge it’s worth checking out. City Store also happens to be the official souvenir/gift shop for the City of New York, so they have a decent lineup of both the classic I Heart NY shirts, the usual FDNY/NYPD fare, but also some interesting MTA and Brooklyn souvenirs and gifts.
This shop actually started out as just men’s apparel, but as they’re conveniently located in Times Square, they tried out some sporting goods and souvenirs and ran with it from there. GrandSlam NY is now primarily a souvenir shop and sports gifts store that has been selling the same kitsch made in China, Statue of Liberty figurines, I Heart NY tees and NYPD caps for decades, although the sports jerseys are always up to date and they do have an incredible selection of sports goods.
If you’re looking for fantastic New York City gifts, Grand Slam New York is not the best gift shop, but it is one of the best for sports fans. If that’s the one you’re shopping for, then you should check them out.
Now for the guys, geeks, indie pop culture fans, and tomboys on your shopping list, there’s Alphabet. Cool indie and pop culture gifts and apparel are the theme here, and you’ll come away with awesome comic bookish type items and tees that are utterly unique. The downside… you won’t find anything with the words New York or NYC.
For the history buffs and antiques lovers, this little museum gift shop has historical New York gifts available, though not in large selection. They carry both affordable and very accurate replicas of historical items.
#16 NYC Webstore
This gift shop is only online unfortunately, and while they have a giant selection, it’s not the most original or unique. The selection is exactly what you’d expect of any retro souvenir shop without the more modern and interesting choices available on the market today. But if old school is what you’re going for, NYC Webstore is the best bet.
For something actually made in New York (that won’t break the bank) with a much more unique with both modern and classic selections, we recommend you check out our number one choice, Souvenirs NYC, which has its gifts available both online and in person.
Memories of New York boasts over 100 I Heart New York gifts… so if you really need I Heart New York, then this is your stop. They also have a gigantic selection of the old school souvenir fare, including Statue of Liberty snow globes in every size. The shop is large enough though, that every once in awhile you might get something a little different available. Just don’t expect it.
The name is misleading, since the only actual Broadway item they have is a novelty license plate with the word Broadway on it. This shop is targeted mostly to tourists, but they sometimes get an interesting item or two. The selection isn’t great, and everything there is mostly the same junk you can pick up literally anywhere, but we did like the gold foil Christmas ornaments they have. Even if you’re crunched on time however, you’re still going to be better off checking out the other options above.
Ultimately, the options for awesome gift shops in New York City are incredibly limited, and that’s because the old school late 70s/early 80s souvenir shops that cropped up never went away, never updated their inventory, and are doing well enough that they don’t have to. They can buy the kitsch keychains for pennies and then sell them for a few bucks.
But NYC is a highly populated city full of diversity, choice, and creativity and we believe that the souvenir you take home for yourself, and the gifts you give can and should reflect that.
While there are a number of decent and nice gift shops, so few of them actually carry New York themed items, we were actually surprised at the incredible lack of options.The only shop that well and truly fit the bill for interesting and unique gifts with a New York City theme and both vintage and modern options, was Souvenirs.nyc.
The shop opened just last year in the Fall of 2015, originally online only, because they saw the disconnect between what’s available and the actual feel of New York. While we found incredible and really cool items at some of the other shops, this one will have a lasting impression on us. You can check out their online selection HERE.