If you’re looking to do some serious shopping while visiting New York City, you’re in luck. With its countless stores and boutiques, the Big Apple has something for everyone. From high-end designers on Fifth Avenue to quirky shops in Williamsburg, here are the best shopping districts in New York City.
Fifth Avenue is the perfect place to start for those who love window shopping and spending major bucks. Top-name designers and high-brow window displays are begging to be gawked at.
Head south to Nolita and Soho to find one-of-a-kind shops and cute boutiques. Or, if you’re looking for something more unique, cross the Williamsburg Bridge to this hipster haven. You can explore cheese shops and vintage stores and get a cup of coffee there at one of the neighborhood cafes.
The Best Places for Shopping in New York City
Best Shopping in NYC: Manhattan
1. SoHo (South of Houston Street)
The neighborhood of SoHo in New York City was once home to numerous factories. Now, these factories have been converted into loft spaces for chic and expensive living. On the streets of SoHo, one will find a variety of high-fashion boutiques, shops, and trendy restaurants. Notable stores include a branch of the Guggenheim Museum, a Bloomingdale’s, and even a Chanel boutique. The cobblestone streets provide the perfect atmosphere for a day of exploration and shopping.
Soho is known for its trendsetting fashion and shopping outlets. It is the perfect place to find model-approved fashion trends and nearly every shopping outlet. This is why it is recognized as one of the best shopping neighborhoods in New York City.
2. Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue in New York City is a legendary shopping destination. It is recognized as one of the most popular shopping areas in the world and is renowned for its stunningly opulent window displays. It is often called the most expensive shopping district in the world.
New York City is a city of risk-takers and those who are not afraid to stand out, and this is embodied in the myriad of large stores that line Fifth Avenue. Here, you will find the flagships of many iconic brands, offering the best of the best. Budget, however, is something to consider as Fifth Avenue is known for its expensive prices.
3. Madison Avenue
Madison Avenue is a popular shopping street in New York City, just a block from Fifth Avenue. Peppered with luxury brands, this Upper East Side neighborhood street draws tourists and locals alike. It is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the world, making it unaffordable to shop there for many. However, if you’re looking for the best shopping experience in NYC, I highly recommend strolling down Madison Avenue regardless of your budget.
In this shopping district, you will find high-end stores, but if you’re looking for more affordable options, you must look elsewhere. One treat that won’t break the bank is Ladurée, a popular patisserie located here. No trip to Madison Avenue is complete without stopping by the stunning Ralph Lauren store in a beautifully renovated mansion. Don’t forget to pop into the Ralph Lauren Cafe for an afternoon pick-me-up.
NoLita, or North of Little Italy, has come a long way since it was a tenement-filled home for immigrants hoping for a better life. Today, it is a fashionable and cool neighborhood filled with unique boutiques, shoe stores, and jewelry vendors. Many artist-driven shops are ideal for browsing and finding a special piece to add to your wardrobe. These stores range from socially responsible children’s clothing to thrift store jewels.
The narrow streets of NoLita are charming and old-fashioned, making them the perfect place for people-watching in independent cafes. Unsurprisingly, NoLita is recommended for the best shopping in New York City due to its interesting boutiques and unique gems. Unlike the commercial stores in SoHo, NoLita is a friendly and fashionable neighborhood.
5. Greenwich Village/ The West Village
Greenwich Village is a legendary part of New York City. It is divided into East and West sections by 5th Avenue and bounded by Houston Street, 14th Street, the Hudson River, and Broadway. It has a rich history of being a haven for creative and rebellious individuals. Today, the area has become too expensive for the typical starving artist. However, the Village remains a wonderfully open, tolerant community for anyone hoping to explore individuality, talent, and thought. It also has a strong gay presence, adding to its unique character.
Bleecker Street is a must-visit for music and shopping lovers. It is smattered with quirky bookshops, record stores, and specialty spots that are as unique as the neighborhood’s residents, which is why it is recommended for the best shopping in NYC.
6. The Flatiron District & Union Square
Union Square is a popular spot for shopping in New York City. At the park’s south end, you will find stores like Nordstrom Rack (the first one in NYC), Burlington, and DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse). If you’re looking for a quick bite, Whole Foods is nearby. You’ll find a beautiful cast-iron Barnes & Noble store at the park’s north end, but if you’d like to support a local NYC bookstore, Strand is a few blocks away.
The star of the show, however, is the Greenmarket that takes place within the park. Here you can find unique vintage clothes, interesting souvenirs, and farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. Make sure to visit Union Square in the winter for one of the best Christmas markets in NYC.
Head a few blocks north of Union Square, and you’ll be exposed to many of the best stores in New York City.
7. Meatpacking District/Chelsea
The Meatpacking District of New York is no longer the headquarters of the meat industry but rather a glamorous location. Although former meat lockers and meat packers remain, the area has been completely transformed. At the corner of Ninth Avenue and 14th Street, visitors can find the high-tech Apple Store, which is always crowded. The cobblestone streets are home to designer boutiques such as Jeffrey, Stella McCartney, and Catherine Malandrino. In addition to fashion, the Meatpacking District is home to the hippest hotels and fantastic restaurants.
The Meatpacking District is a great destination for shopping. It is a place to see and be seen, with models crowding the streets and abundant cool crowds. Visitors can find Hermes, Restoration Hardware, Christian Louboutin, LuluLemon, and Madewell stores. The Chelsea Market is a great spot for those seeking something unique. There are plenty of food options inside and smaller, local boutiques. Anthropologie is a great place to start, followed by other stores within the market.
8. East Village
The East Village of New York City has acquired a reputation as a haven for bohemian culture. It is most clearly demonstrated by the abundance of vintage stores in the area.
Four of the best are Cloak & Dagger, L Train Vintage, East Village Vintage Collective, and Cobblestones. Each store offers a unique selection of vintage clothing, accessories, and home décor.
9. Herald Square
Herald Square is a popular destination for shoppers in New York City. The area is filled with tourists who come to experience the large stores that call it home. Despite the overwhelming crowds, Herald Square remains a great place to find affordable items in Manhattan.
10. Hudson Yards
The Shops at Hudson Yards is an impressive mall that spans 720,000 square feet. Featuring four floors of some of the biggest name stores in New York City, the mall offers over 100 stores, from luxury brands like Cartier to more affordable stores like Uniqlo.
When you’re done shopping, head to the basement level to check out Little Spain, a Spanish food hall with delicious sangria.
If you’re visiting New York City during the holiday season, don’t miss out on the breathtaking lights display at Hudson Yards. It’s a truly remarkable sight!
11. Battery Park City
Battery Park City is home to two impressive shopping malls, The Oculus and Brookfield Place. Inside these two malls, you will find some of the best shopping in New York City, with brands such as Lululemon and Gucci. The malls are located a few blocks apart and offer different shopping experiences. Brookfield Place offers luxury designer brands, while Oculus has more affordable brands.
If you are still looking for a great shopping experience in NYC, head to South Street Seaport. It is one of the most charming areas for shopping in NYC, featuring many unique stores. One of the highlights is McNally Jackson Books, which also has a great in-house cafe and wine bar.
12. Columbus Avenue
Columbus Avenue is the best shopping street on the Upper West Side. It stretches from 66th Street to 86th Street and has small shops and boutiques. Madewell and the Strand bookstore have outposts here and a variety of grocery stores like Zabar’s, Trader Joe’s, and Fairway Market. Those looking for new walking shoes should not miss the helpful staff at Tip Top shoes.
13. Columbus Circle
The Upper West Side is home to Columbus Circle, a great shopping area. Spanning four floors, the mall is home to luxury brands and more affordable shops, such as the Amazon bookstore. It’s a great place to check out for the views of NYC alone.
In addition, Columbus Circle has a Whole Foods underground that spans 59,000 square feet. This is a great spot to get a midday snack if you’re in the area.
Best Shopping in NYC: Brooklyn
Williamsburg is a highly desirable neighborhood in New York City. It is renowned for its easy-going locals and spectacular flea markets. Shopping here is surprisingly affordable and enjoyable. If you are in the area on a Saturday during the summer, check out Smorgasburg. It is a foodie’s paradise that will surely leave a lasting impression!
15. Brooklyn Flea Market
The Brooklyn Flea Market is renowned as the creme de la creme of flea markets. Founded in 2008, it has gained an enthusiastic fan base that packs the market every weekend of the year. The variety of vendors is staggering, ranging from vintage clothing to antiques, jewelry, art, and furniture.
This impressive selection has earned the market acclaim from numerous publications, such as Travel + Leisure, Country Living, Budget Travel, and Fodor’s, who have all named it one of the best markets in America and the world.
16. Bedford Avenue
Bedford Avenue is a great shopping street in New York City. It has various charming cafes, unfussy restaurants, and unique boutiques. Visitors can find vintage clothing, beautiful art, and pretty jewelry in the small local shops. Catbird is a great shop to explore if you are looking for jewelry.
Greenpoint is one of the best shopping areas in New York City for vintage finds. It is impossible to talk about the best shopping in Brooklyn without mentioning it. The most outstanding vintage store in the area is Beacon’s Closet. This store offers steep discounts on high-end luxury brands, making it a great place to shop.
Best Shopping in NYC: Staten Island
18. Empire Outlets
Surprisingly, there is only one outlet mall in New York City: Empire Outlets, located on Staten Island. This mall opened to the public in 2019 and offers shoppers a variety of affordable brands, such as Levi’s, Banana Republic, and Nordstrom Rack.
Shopping in New York City Tips
How Much Are The Sales Tax for Shopping in NYC?
Knowing the tax situation before shopping in New York City is important. The tax rate is 8.875%, comprising three components: the 4.5% city sales tax, the 4% state sales tax, and the 0.375% commuter sales tax. Understanding this rate ahead of time will help you to plan your shopping experience better.
The sales tax laws in New York City and New York State need to be clarified. Clothing and footwear that costs less than $110 are exempt from sales tax. This means that if you buy a shirt or a pair of shoes for less than $110, you will not have to pay any sales tax.
However, if you buy items such as a purse or a pair of boots that cost more than $110, you must pay an 8.875% sales tax. For example, if you buy a shirt for $80 and a purse for $200, you will not have to pay any sales tax on the shirt, but you will have to pay 8.875% sales tax on the purse.
Shopping in New York City FAQ
What part of NYC is best for shopping?
Fifth Avenue is the best place to go shopping in New York City. It is one of the world’s most well-known and popular shopping areas. This area has everything from high-end boutiques and designer stores to budget-friendly shops and souvenir stands. There is something for everyone, no matter what your budget or style. Whether you are looking for the latest fashion trend or a unique gift, Fifth Avenue will surely have it.
What is the famous shopping street in NYC?
Fifth Avenue, between 49th Street and 60th Street, is the most famous street for shopping in New York City. This iconic street is known for its abundance of high-end stores featuring some of the most luxurious brands in the world. Shopping on Fifth Avenue is a unique experience, with eye-catching displays enticing shoppers to explore the stores.
What shops should I go to in New York?
Plenty of great options exist if you’re looking for shopping opportunities in New York City.
Macy’s Herald Square is the world’s largest department store in Midtown Manhattan. Brookfield Place is a shopping destination in Lower Manhattan, with a wide selection of luxury retail stores.
Grand Central Market is a great place to find delicious food, international vendors, and merchandise worldwide. Union Square Green Market is a farmer’s market that offers local vendors fresh produce and other goods. Saks Fifth Avenue is a high-end department store located in Midtown Manhattan.
Color Factory is an interactive art experience located in SoHo. Westfield World Trade Center is an upscale shopping center located in Lower Manhattan. Finally, Bloomingdale’s is another iconic department store located in Midtown Manhattan.