There’s something extra special about New York in winter. Maybe it’s the blankets of frost and snow covering Central Park, the excitement of ice-skating below iconic skyscrapers, or getting to gaze at the festive displays in shop windows…

Speaking of shopping, New York’s reputation for offering an incredible retail experience is what lures many of us Brits across the pond for some extra special Christmas shopping. Along with increasingly budget-friendly flights (you can start searching here… just an FYI), a recent Christmas Shopping guide we compiled with Post Office Travel Money revealed that there are in fact great savings to be found from shopping over in the Big Apple too.

Take your shopping experience up a notch by avoiding the tourist hotspots and going for it like a local New Yorker. We reveal some of the best shopping experiences in the city – that only the locals (and we) know about.

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1. Urban Jungle

For vintage lovers, jump on the L Train to Bushwick and check out Urban Jungle. An Aladdin’s Cave for military jackets, vintage dresses, offbeat denim and retro sportswear; you will find unique treasures with price tags that will seem like an absolute steal.

2. Unnameable Books

Forget Amazon, Unnameable Books is the Prospect Heights bookstore with a perfectly curated selection of new and used titles. No doubt you will lose track of time as you browse its many loaded shelves and stacks of books lining the floor. Yep, this is how all bookshops should look.


Williamsburg is home to Hickorees; the ultimate spot for the discernible gent where you can stock up on basketweave twill neckties or splurge on cotton tweed tailored jackets… Or purchase some Astronaut ice cream as a mid-shopping snack.

4. MoMA Design Store

An absolute must for those artistically inclined, MoMa’s stand-alone store in Soho is worth a gander for beautiful print reproductions and retrospective coffee table books, quirky lighting and gadgets you never thought you would ever need but now suddenly can’t live without.

5. Fish Eddys

For homeware with a retro flavor, make a beeline for Fish Eddys and stock up on patterned glassware, illustrated trays and kitsch crockery… just don’t forget the bubble wrap to make sure they withstand the flight home!

6. Creatures of Comfort

A haven for rare yet stylish labels, Creatures of Comfort is an utterly cool concept store with an almost Scandi minimalist feel. Ladies, fall in love with its racks of chic threads, snap up some Odacite skincare products or stock up on some Miscelanea Soy candles to cram into your suitcase.

7. Brooklyn Flea

Featuring hundreds of vendors serving up an eclectic array of products- from antiques and collectables to vintage clothing and crafts by locals artisans; Smorgasburg is the accompanying food market also worth sampling, especially given it was once dubbed “ The Woodstock of Eating” by the New York Times.

8. The Future Perfect

Featuring many unique and special edition objects and furnishings, The Future Perfect boasts beautifully designed homeware such as mirrors and lighting as well as larger furniture pieces. Luckily, they ship internationally so you won’t have to fret about squeezing that bed into your carry-on.

9. Mast Brothers

For those with a sweet tooth, venturing to Brooklyn’s Mast Brothers is a must. You can splurge on the delicious range of gorgeously packaged chocolate that would make for the perfect stocking filler. Or while you are there, why not indulge in one of their daily factory tours too?

10. Objectify 139

At this little white brick shop, nestled in the Lower East Side, you’ll find a hub for prints, books, accessories and sculptures made by local artists. An excellent find for affordable artworks and delightful Christmas gifts.

11. Opening Ceremony

Manhattan was the birth place of Opening Ceremony back in 2002, with its original store still being a mecca to cool kids who flock to its doors to check out the latest wares from established designers such as Alexander Wang, Rodarte and Pamela Love, as well as the very best in up and coming fashion talents.

12. Alexis Bittar

For statement jewellery that is simply irresistible, check out one of the three Alexis Bittar stores in New York. With cool collections that vary from minimal chic to “Absolutely Fabulous”, these pieces are worth the investment.

13. Story

An interesting concept, Story is a Manhattan based retail company that takes the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery and sells things like a store. As a result, every six to eight weeks this place completely reinvents itself – from its design to its merchandise. Past themes or “Stories” explored have included “Feel Good” and “Made In America”, while currently it’s bringing to light the theme “Home for the Holidays” – just in time for Christmas.

14. Bellocq

Fancy a brew? The head to Bellocq Tea Atelier, where delicious hand-crafted organic tea and herbal blends are on sale, as well as expertly crafted, perfumed candles inspired by the company’s teas. A tea connoisseur’s dream store.

15. Saturdays NYC

New York and surf-ware doesn’t automatically spring to mind. However this store has grown somewhat of a cult following for those looking to adopt the style of this uber cool tribe. As well as a brimming collection of apparel and footwear, the store touts an excellent array of artworks, books, magazines and coffee.

16. Flight Club

For those with a penchant for sneakers, Flight Club is a definite must. With a huge selection of brands such as Adidas, Vans, Air Jordan’s and Nike, the store offers new, vintage, as well as rare footwear that’d knock your socks off.

17. Artist and Fleas

A hipster’s paradise, Artist and Fleas is a community driven marketplace with locations in Williamsburg and Chelsea Market where artists, designers and collectors gather each weekend. With new vendors each week as well as DJs spinning beats, guest entertainers and unique market events, don’t expect the same experience twice.

18. What Goes Around Comes Around

Purveyors of pre-loved designer vintage, What Goes Around Comes Around has amassed a legion of followers to its doors including Adele and Rihanna, thanks to its much coveted selection of luxurious threads from Chanel, Celine and Gucci – to name but a few.

19. Aedes de Venustas

Looking for a scent like no other? Then look no further than Aedes. Offering a cacophony of scents from home fragrances and incense to perfume and even pet deodorant… a trip here offers the chance to not breath a foul smell again.

20. B&H

A place where professional photographers from around the world have favoured for years, this huge flagship store is not just a one stop shop for photography and video, but also houses all sorts of technology such as computers, Pro Audio and mobile devices. The perfect destination for any tech aficionado.

So, you’ve booked your flight and you’ve got your shopping list sorted. Now it’s time to find a hotel. We may be called Cheapflights, but we’re also pretty good at finding you great-value hotel deals. Whether it’s a boutique stay in Chelsea, a budget hotel in Brooklyn or a room with a view (of Times Square) we can help…

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About the author

Aideen ShannonAn Irish born writer living in London with a penchant for burgers, music festivals and spontaneous adventures. Happiest when enjoyed all at once.

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