If you're travelling to New York, don't forget to buy some souvenirs for yourself or your loved ones before you head home. In New York you'll find shops at great prices compared to European rates. And if you go on a trip to the best New York Outlets you'll also find reduced prices on luxury brand items.
The city is full of tourist souvenir shops but if you're looking for something different, in this post I'll tell you 10 things to buy in New York in unique and original places. You'll love them!
1. The best gift for literature lovers, at the New York Public Library Shop
If you're looking to buy some souvenirs from your trip to New York that are original, carefully designed and far from the usual, the New York Public Library Shop is the place to go.
There are plenty of gifts to suit all tastes, so it's easy to choose the right one for you. While you can find the perfect gift for a literature lover with a huge selection of classic and contemporary books, the New York Public Library Store also has some amazing items.
What to buy?
From Jane Austen and William Shakespeare-inspired home and office items, vintage calligraphy sets, themed jewellery and accessories, to postcards and beautiful gift editions of classics such as "Peter Pan", "Beauty and the Beast", "Emma" and "Frankenstein" - I got the book of "The Little Mermaid" and I'm keeping it like gold!
You might be more familiar with the Rose Main Reading Room, the main reading room of the New York Public Library, for its ostentatious décor with hanging chandeliers, frescoes on the ceiling and for being the size of a football stadium. It is so famous that the New York Public Library's own shop has dedicated a whole collection of souvenirs to it: umbrellas, puzzles, scarves, costume jewellery and more.
- Where: Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street , New York, NY 10018
- Hours: Monday to Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM
2. Decoration objects and the most original kitchenware, at Fishs Eddy
One of the things I like most about New York is that when you stroll through its streets you get carried away and end up discovering surprising places, as is the case of Fishs Eddys in the Flatiron district, very close to Union Square and the Flatiron Building.
It is a beautiful country chic style shop that has become a real paradise for lovers of decoration and in particular of kitchenware with an original and vintage design.
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 you'd hate to stain them.
As a curiosity, at Fish Eddys you'll also find shot glasses dedicated to American presidents such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison and more recent figures such as Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
- Where: 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
If there's one thing I like about the Strand Bookstore, it's that it's a family-run bookstore that has withstood the big chains in New York since 1927, which is unheard of in this day and age. It has been open for so many decades that it boasts almost 30 kilometres 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 shop lined with carts filled with dozens of well-priced books. There's a 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 is much more waiting for you... three floors crammed with books of various 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 books weren't 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 rings... Strand Bookstore has a lot of little gifts of their own production!
Personally, I like their tote bags because they are very original and perfect for carrying all your things around the city throughout the day. They have a lot of variety in terms of sizes and designs. But if you're looking for a typical New York souvenir, I recommend you take a look at their section of books dedicated to the Big Apple. You'll love them!
- Where: 828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
- Hours: Open daily from 12 PM to 8 PM.
4. Vintage treasures at Artists & Fleas flea markets and shops in SoHo and Brooklyn
In an increasingly globalised world, where can you find a different souvenir that you can't find anywhere else? My suggestion is Artists & Fleas, a flea market that brings together local artists, young designers and collectors where you can find paintings, accessories, costume jewellery, clothing and other unique items that are made by artisans to ensure that they are special pieces.
You'll find Artists & Fleas in the Soho and Williamsburg neighbourhoods, but Chelsea Market isalso linked to the fabulous food market in this Meatpacking District building.
If you don't know Chelsea Market, I recommend you read the article I wrote about it. Did you know that Oreo biscuits were invented here? It is the former Nabisco biscuit factory 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 stalls (sandwiches, noodles, tacos, sushi, pasta, doughnuts...) if you work up an appetite while shopping at Artists & Fleas.
What to buy?
You'll find everything in the stalls, so you'll find it hard to resist shopping. I'm telling you from experience! I picked up a beautiful New York poster but there was so much more, from decorative candles and message bags to natural skincare products.
- Where is it: 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 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 the shelves, especially the prints and the 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 little high, if you want to buy someone who loves art and design a little something original 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 jewellery and Vans shoes inspired by MoMA itself.
In short, all kinds of souvenirs for the curious and design fans. I'm sure you'll want to take everything because many of the things they sell you won't find in other shops.
- Where: 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 design, will be at Kikkerland
You know the kind of shops where everything is so beautiful and cool that you'd buy it all 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 travelled 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.
Initially, Kikkerland was a wholesale manufacturer of gift products but they were so successful that they have now opened this little shop located in the West Village. As soon as you walk in, you'll want to lose yourself in every aisle looking at all the shelves. They have a lot of curious products and you're 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 airport surcharges, eye 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.
- Where: 493 Sixth Ave. Manhattan, NY 10011
7. A Knicks or Yankees cap at Modell's Sporting Goods
If you're travelling to New York for an NBA or NHL game, you'll need to be dressed for the occasion and to cheer on your team. However, the price of official merchandise for these teams is often exorbitant.
One shop that offers the same guaranteed quality but at much more affordable prices is Modell's Sporting Goods. They have everything from Knicks and Nets jerseys and hats to the Mets and Yankees, the New York baseball teams. If you're looking for NFL Giants-related merchandise, you can also find it at Modell's Sporting Goods
. And if you're thinking of buying a gift for someone who loves sports, another idea is regulation footballs that you can take home deflated and comfortably in your suitcase. And if you have tickets to Madison Square Garden, don't hesitate to visit the official merchandising and souvenir shops inside.
Speaking of sports equipment, another shop that also has baseball, football or basketball series at a good price is Old Navy, a brand that belongs to the same group as GAP. It's another option if you're looking for an outfit to wear to a game in New York.
However, if you'd rather take home a souvenir with the striking "I Love NY" logo printed on T-shirts, sweatshirts or clothing accessories to show off your trip, take a look at Old Navy as they have many original models with New York's name on them, all of good quality and at interesting prices.
- Where is Modell's Sporting Goods: 464 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
- Where is Old Navy: 150 W 34th St / Hours: Open Monday to Sunday from 10 AM to 8 PM.
8. Kilos of sugar to sweeten your trip at Economy Candy
A sweet treat will always be a sweet souvenir of your trip to New York. There are many shops in the city to buy candy, but Economy Candy is unique for its variety and for its prices, which are not as high as in other shops.
Economy Candy also has a curious history! It started out as a shop that specialised in mending hats and shoes. However, the owners had a trolley outside the shop where they also sold sweets. With the depression of the 1930s, the candy cart began to generate more revenue than the other products and the business was eventually converted into a candy shop.
Today, it is known as a candy paradise for New York's sweet tooth and a must visit, especially if you have children in tow. They'll love it!
It's located in the Lower East Side and despite its small size, it's packed with products in all shapes, colours and flavours, so you'll easily find a souvenir to give as a gift. After all, you can't go wrong, right?
What to buy?
Variety is the spice of life. There are chocolates, sweets, chewing gum and sweets of every kind you can imagine. As well as selling by weight, you'll also find original tins of sweets and boxes of chocolates, ideal as gifts.
At Economy Candy I was very struck by the fact that they had a section with little jars of sweets from each decade. I thought it was a very original idea. There is even a table full of items for only $0.99. At that price it will be very difficult to resist temptation.
- Where: 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 5 PM. Closed Wednesdays and Thursdays.
9. The T-shirt of your favourite series at the NBC Store
So many films and series have been filmed in New York that the city has become a great film set. When you walk through its streets, you're sure to get the feeling that you've been here before thanks to these productions set in the City of Skyscrapers.
If you're a film buff, during your trip to New York I recommend you take a Film and Series Tour of the city because you'll discover many anecdotes and curiosities that you may not have known about your favourite films. I'll tell you more about this tour in this post.
In addition to all the photos and videos you can take during the tour as a souvenir, you might want to take home a souvenir of that series you like so much. Mine is NBC's "Friends", which in case you didn't know, has a shop 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 that the main characters of "Friends" used when they met at Central Perk and a tote bag with the logo on it. But there are many other things in the NBC Store, for example T-shirts, key rings or caps from other NBC stars such as "Saturday Night Live", notepads, magnets or sweatshirts from the series "The Office", "Seinfeld" or "Law & Order", among many others.
- Where: 30 Rockefeller Plaza New York, NY 10112
10. A souvenir with history at the Tenement Museum
A fantastic souvenir shop 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 in the city that tells the story of those immigrants who came to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to make a better future for themselves. In fact, the museum itself is located in an apartment building that between 1863 and 1935 was home to more than 700 immigrants from 20 different countries.
The museum guide will show you this chapter in New York's history and some of the six flats 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 shop is free, although I recommend you visit it after seeing the museum as it is very interesting and worthwhile.
What to buy?
The Tenement Museum shop reminds me a lot of the one at the New York Public Library, because they have unusual souvenirs and a nice section of vintage posters and novels set in New York.
- Where: 103 Orchard Street
- Hours: Open Friday to Wednesday from 10 AM to 6:30 PM. Thursdays from 10 AM to 8:30 PM.