The Best Shopping Experiences in NYC

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Apr 04, 2016

by KRISTEN AMIET, Writer

New York City has a retail destination for every temperament and taste. Here's where to stretch your credit card limit - and baggage allowance! - in the Big Apple. 

Dover Street Market

Though a relative newcomer to the NYC market scene, the Dover Street Market is a game-changer. Twice a year, the seven-floor retail space – home to everything from custom designer threads to vintage, one-off and rare kicks – undergoes a “New Beginning”. During this seasonal changeover, it’s completely shut down, reorganised and refreshed. 

160 Lexington Avenue, Kips Bay

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Department stores

They may not have invented the concept but New Yorkers made the department store a destination. You can score a suit at historic Saks Fifth Avenue, greet NYC’s most famous (octogenarian) personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman, marvel at Macy’s legendary window displays or bag a big-name brand at Bloomingdale’s. 

Brooklyn Flea & Smorgasburg

Arguably the grandaddy of NYC markets, the Brooklyn Flea peddles more than 4500 square metres of food, furniture, vintage clothing and jewellery, antiques and collectibles from 100 vendors – and that’s just in the winter months. Come summer, the sprawling outdoor bazaar takes up residence under the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo, showcasing some of the city’s wackiest trends (remember the ramen burger?).

241 37th Street, Brooklyn

Tiffany & Co. Flagship Store

With one of the most recognisable façades on 5th Avenue, Tiffany & Co. has been a New York City institution since it opened in 1940. If it’s a truly personal shopping experience you seek, take home a sparkly souvenir in that Tiffany Blue Box.

727 5th Avenue, Midtown East

Strand Bookstore

Boasting “18 miles” of new, used and rare books, Broadway’s iconic Strand is a bibliophile’s delight. The almost-century-old establishment is also home to rare pieces of art, photography digests and knowledgeable staff who know exactly what to find – and where.

828 Broadway, East Village

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Chelsea Market

Taking up an entire block in NYC’s trendy Meatpacking District, the revamped Chelsea Market maintains a neighbourhood feel while catering to a global clientele. And cater it does: around 50 vendors serve up everything from nuts, cheese, soup and flowers to fine meats, handmade cookies and freshly baked bread. The indoor food hall smells delicious.

75 9th Avenue, Meatpacking District

Madison Avenue, Upper East Side

If you’re itching to splash that cash on flashy designer items, Madison Avenue in NYC’s Upper East Side is a luxury lover’s one-stop shop. It’s dotted with shopfronts belonging to the world’s most-sought-after labels – Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Tod’s, Lanvin and Christian Louboutin, to name a few – so your new pumps will be in fine company.

Space Ninety 8

A five-storey concept store by American streetwear behemoth Urban Outfitters, Space Ninety 8 applies a refreshingly grown-up approach to the chain’s already successful retail formula. The street-level space features regular merchandise, local artists and an extensive record collection, while the remaining floors include a restaurant, rooftop bar and refurbished basement for special collections.

98 N 6th Street, Brooklyn 

C.O. Bigelow

Established in 1838, the C.O. Bigelow apothecary stays current by stocking coveted, cult and often hard-to-find beauty products and imports, along with an own-brand line loved by locals – all out of the charming original shopfront.

414 6th Avenue, Greenwich Village 

Grand Central Terminal

No doubt you’ll pass through Grand Central at some point during your trip to New York but you should stay a while. Under the roof of this spectacularly restored landmark, you’ll find the famous Oyster Bar & Restaurant and a Junior’s outlet (for those on the hunt for a slice of authentic New York cheesecake), along with high-street shops such as Jo Malone, L’Occitane and Banana Republic.

89 E 42nd Street, Midtown 

This article was written in partnership with Tiffany & Co.