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Top 10 Shopping Streets in New York City

Category General

|by Jessica Colley Clarke |


Shop ‘till you drop at these 10 fabulous retail thoroughfares in New York City

For fashion enthusiasts, shopping is sightseeing. New York City is the glamorous home of sparkling department stores with shoe sections that never seem to end and tiny boutiques with personal service and shelves lined with coveted items. Whether you’re shopping for gifts, cool and creative staples for your wardrobe or a special-occasion piece of jewelry, the superior shopping in New York offers a one-of-a-kind experience. Here’s our guide to the best shopping streets, from the Upper East Side to Soho to Park Slope, Brooklyn.

A shopper passes Olive and Bette’s on Spring Street in Soho (Photo: Nora Krupitsky)

A shopper passes Olive and Bette’s on Spring Street in Soho (Photo: Nora Krupitsky)

Madison Avenue (between 55th and 72nd Sts.), Upper East Side

Shopping shrines of iconic designers dot Madison Avenue, drawing fashion fiends looking to spend big. From the bright patterns of Emilio Pucci (855 Madison Ave., emiliopucci.com) to the decadent dresses of Monique Lhuillier (19 E. 71st St., moniquelhuillier.com), this Upper East Side street delivers the crème de la crème of New York shopping. You could start at Chanel (737 Madison Ave., chanel.com) or Gucci (840 Madison Ave., gucci.com) before trying on jewelry at Cartier (828 Madison Ave., cartier.us) or browsing the halls of Barneys (600 Madison Ave., barneys.com). After refueling over lunch, spend the afternoon with Valentino (821 Madison Ave., valentino.com)Armani (760 Madison Ave., armani.com) or Tory Burch (797 Madison Ave., toryburch.com).

Made in New York: Since 1907, Kwiat (725 Madison Ave., kwiat.com) has specialized in upscale jewelry and diamonds; today jewelry is conceived, designed and created in their workshop on Madison Avenue.

Elizabeth Street (between Broome and Houston Sts.), Nolita

Individual character and designs are the draw for boutiques along a few dreamy, narrow blocks of Elizabeth Street in Nolita. This neighborhood is the home of a boutique from Project Runway winner Christian Siriano (252 Elizabeth St., christiansiriano.com) alongside stores featuring curated collections from multiple brands and designers, such as Coop & Spree (202 Elizabeth St., coopandspress.com). Some of the bright, colorful shops — such as Thomas Sires (243 Elizabeth St., thomassires.com) — stock housewares, gifts and jewelry in addition to clothing. A few recognizable brands such as Aesop (232 Elizabeth St. aesop.com) share these shady blocks with local designers offering one-of-a-kind items, including Anya Ponorovskaya (251 Elizabeth St., anyaponorovskaya.com).

Made in NYC: Vintage-inspired jewelry (from bracelets to engagement rings and more) is made locally by designer Erica Weiner (173 Elizabeth St., ericaweiner.com) and showcased in a bright boutique.

Spring Street (between Bowery and 6th Ave.), Soho

Other than shopping, a favorite Soho pastime is people-watching. Take a seat at an outdoor café in Soho, and a parade of personalities will strut by. The same is true for the variety of shopping along Spring Street, from the sleek suits and blouses of Theory (151 Spring St., theory.com) to the fun and funky Olive & Bette’s (158 Spring St., oliveandbettes.com). If any of the Kardashians are in town, you may have to dodge a few paparazzi outside DASH (119 Spring St., shopdashonline.com) before maxing out your credit card with the on-trend items (and frequent excellent sales) at Variazioni (195 Spring St., vznyc.com). To get a feel for the sleek Soho life, browse fashions for women and men at J. Lindeberg (126 Spring St., jlindeberg.com). For a perfect overview, check out our Soho shopping tour.

Made in NYC: For design-centric gifts, accessories or housewares, explore the multi-level MoMA Design Store (81 Spring St., momastore.org), featuring items such as jewelry by local designer Alexis Bittar made in New York.

Bleecker Street (between 7th Ave. and Hudson St.), West Village

Sunny days in New York are for strolling, and there are few places as dreamy for an afternoon stretch of the legs than the West Village. Shoppers are drawn to Bleecker Street — particularly the section between 7th Avenue and Hudson Street — that is densely packed with high-end brands. This is a destination for splurging, from classic trench coats at Burberry (367 Bleecker St., us.burberry.com) to special dresses and handbags at Cynthia Rowley (376 Bleecker St., cynthiarowley.com). Stop into Aesop (341 Bleecker St., aesop.com) to stock up on aromatic skin supplies before browsing the racks for the latest pieces at Michael Kors (384 Bleecker St., michaelkors.com) or Ralph Lauren (381 Bleecker St., global.ralphlauren.com). Give the day a minimal, elegant finish with a shopping spree at James Perse (368 Bleecker St., jamesperse.com).

Made in NYC: Fuel up during your shopping with a stop at Suprema Provision(305 Bleecker St., supremaprovisions.com) for a glass of wine, charcuterie and cheese; on your way out, check out the in-house market that stocks some made-in-New York items and cookbooks by New York chefs.

East 9th Street (between 1st and 2nd Aves.), East Village

The creative spirit of the East Village is densely packed along a single charming block of East 9th Street, with stores offering unique designs in a range of price points. For dresses that flatter all types of figures, browse the racks at Huminska (315 E. 9th St., huminska.com). Vintage fashions fill both the charmingly crowded Cobblestones (314 E. 9th St.) and the modern, streamlined Local Clothing (328 E. 9th St.). Neighborhood favorite Meg (312 E. 9th St., megshops.com) is known for casual, easy-to-wear items that provide an effortlessly chic feel. Those with a handbag obsession might find the time disappear while browsing at Elliot Mann(324 E. 9th St., elliotmann.com) while those in the market for vintage handbags (plus shoes, jewelry, leather and more) will love sifting through Fialka (324 E. 9th St.).

Made in NYC: Find original, out-of-the-box items at Sohung Designs Boutique (312 E. 9th St., sohungdesigns.com), where each item is handmade in New York.

Atlantic Avenue and Smith Street, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

There is much more to New York shopping than Manhattan. Hop the subway to Brooklyn and stroll stretches of Smith Street and Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill for temptations in housewares, clothing and lingerie. For casual dresses or glamorous special-occasion gowns, browse the designs at Michelle New York (376 Atlantic Ave., michellenewyork.com) before moving on to Kaight (382 Atlantic Ave., kaightshop.com), known for a commitment to sustainability and organic textiles, and showcasing the fashions of independent designers. For sustainably made toys and clothes for kids, check out Acorn (323 Atlantic Ave., acorntoyshop.com). More than just a lingerie shop, Iris Lingerie (366 Atlantic Ave., irislingeriebrooklyn.com) also offers expert bra fittings to help women of all shapes find the perfect foundation for their clothes. Some familiar names pop up here too, including the Steven Alan Home Shop (373 Atlantic Ave., stevenalan.com) stocked with gifts and chic housewares. On Smith Street, Exit 9 Brooklyn (127 Smith St., shopexit9.com) is home to a quirky assortment of New York-themed gifts while Dor L’Dor (118 Smith St., dorldornyc.com)features on-trend women’s fashions and accessories.

Made in NYC: The Brooklyn outpost of Meg (358 Atlantic Ave., megshops.com) provides another boutique for browsing the laidback, yet polished pieces this independent brand is known for — and all are made in New York.

5th Avenue (between 50th and 60th Sts.), Midtown

Fifth Avenue is often compared to a runway — this is one shopping destination where you’ll want to dress your best. The stores here are international icons, from the luxurious Saks Fifth Avenue (611 5th Ave., saksfifthavenue.com) to the sophisticated Henri Bendel (712 5th Ave., henribendel.com) and are stocked with exclusive items that won’t be found elsewhere. This expanse of 5th Avenue is also dotted with big-name designer boutiques from Versace (647 5th Ave., us.versace.com) to Dolce and Gabbana (717 5th Ave., dolcegabbana.com) to Salvatore Ferragamo (655 5th Ave., ferragamo.com). To surprise someone special with a sparkly gift, check out the flagship Tiffany & Co. (727 5th Ave., tiffany.com) and bring home a signature blue box.

Made in NYC: Shoppers may be familiar with some department stores that run outposts in other parts of the country, but Bergdorf Goodman (754 5th Ave., bergdorfgoodman.com) is a New Yorker, with only a 5th Avenue location.

5th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn

It is easy to empty your wallet during a shopping stroll along Park Slope’s 5th Avenue, though there are options for different budgets too. For vintage clothes and shoes, browse the racks at Beacon’s Closet (92 5th Ave., beaconscloset.com) or Housing Works Thrift Shop (266 5th Ave., housingworks.org). A former buyer of Barney’s and Steven Alan is the woman behind Bird (316 5th Ave., shopbird.com), a boutique with colorful, creative designs for both men and women. Another destination for women’s clothing and affordable accessories is the bright boutique Habit (137 5th Ave.). For casual tees or comfy dresses, check out Brooklyn Industries (206 5th Ave., brooklynindustries.com) and don’t leave the neighborhood without popping into Two Lovers Boutique (227 5th Ave., twoloversnyc.com), a 1950s-themed boutique with thoughtful second-hand items for both women and girls.

Made in NYC: Fun gifts, toys, accessories and housewares (from garden kits to slate cheese boards to mugs) fill Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store (232 5th Ave., blueribbongeneralstore.com), with several items made in NYC.

Orchard Street (between Canal and Houston Sts.), Lower East Side

Those with deep pockets or shoestring budgets will find several enticing storefronts along the Lower East Side’s Orchard Street. For vintage threads, check out The Dressing Room (75a Orchard St., thedressingroomnyc.com) — part consignment shop, part boutique and part cocktail bar. One of Orchard Street’s longtime favorite vintage shops, David Owens Vintage(161 Rivington St.), moved over to Rivington Street from its original Orchard Street location — take a little detour if obsessed with vintage fashions. Trendy duds, bags and shoes for both men and women are stocked at Epaulet (144 Orchard St., epauletnewyork.com) while World Hats (130 Orchard St.) is a destination for an impressive range of headgear. Those in the market for special jewelry should check out Anna Sheffield Jewelry (47 Orchard St., annasheffield.com), but note: If shopping for engagement rings, make an appointment in advance.

Made in NYC: Pilgrim (70 Orchard St., pilgrimnyc.com) may be known for its upscale vintage finds, but this shop also stocks new high-end women’s clothing that’s made in NYC.

West Broadway (between Canal and Houston Sts.), Soho

Soho may be synonymous with sky-high prices, but between the cobbled streets and airy boutiques there is now a wider range of options than ever before — especially on the wide stretch of West Broadway between Houston and Canal Street. Here you’ll find reliable brands that frequently offer steals during sales time, from superior denim at 7 For All Mankind (384 W. Broadway, 7forallmankind.com) to on-trend staples at French Connection (435 W. Broadway, frenchconnection.com). For vintage pieces with character check out What Goes Around Comes Around (351 W. Broadway, whatgoesaroundnyc.com) or polish off your look with a new pair of sunglasses across the street at Oliver Peoples (366 W. Broadway, oliverpeoples.com)Reiss (387 W. Broadway, reiss.com/us) is the place for sleek, special occasion items that will become staples in your wardrobe for years to come.

Made in NYC: If you’ve ever wanted to design your own jewelry or be involved in the jewelry design process, stop by Soho Gem Fine Jewelry Boutique (367 W. Broadway, sohogem.com) to meet in-house designer Irina Ferry; custom jewelry will be ready within six weeks.

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