News & Politics

NYC: Where to Shop in New York City

Washington has some terrific stores, but there’s no variety like New York. Here are some favorite shops.

Former assistant editor Kim Forrest ( now lives in Manhattan.

Department Stores

Barneys New York, 660 Madison Ave.; 212-826-8900; Washington may have two new Barneys Co-ops, but there’s nothing like the original. You’ll find clothing from the likes of Lanvin, Balenciaga, and Dries van Noten. The men’s department is also a highlight.

Bloomingdale’s, 504 Broadway; 212-729-5900; Sure, we have Bloomie’s in Washington, but nothing like this new one in SoHo. It’s hipper and more affordable than other branches, but you’ll still find the brands you know and love.

Henri Bendel, 712 Fifth Ave.; 212-247-1100. Tweens shop side by side with grandmothers at this Fifth Avenue landmark. The first floor is full of beauty products, and the top floors hold everything from jeans to eveningwear, but check out the middle floors, where the unique jewelry, hair accessories, and handbags can’t be beat.

Great Deals

Century 21, 22 Cortlandt St.; 212-227-9092; Its motto is “New York’s best-kept secret,” but ask any New Yorkers where the best clothes bargains are: They’ll point you downtown—way downtown—to Century 21. Everything from designer jeans to couture suits is marked 25 to 75 percent off retail.

Pearl River, 477 Broadway; 212-431-4770; With everything from home furnishings to groceries to clothing, Pearl River is known as the first Chinese-American department store. With its Asian imports, this store gained popularity when its cheap-chic slippers became all the rage, but it has much more. Check out its selection of fans and fabrics.

Foodie Fun

Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave.; This 800-foot-long concourse is a gourmet mecca—everything from wine to sushi to kitchen supplies.

Kitchen Arts & Letters, 1435 Lexington Ave.; 212-876-5550; This is the country’s largest store devoted to food and wine books. If it’s a cookbook you’re after, this place is likely to have it—and a dozen more like it. Hours are irregular, so call first.

La Maison du Chocolat, 1018 Madison Ave.; 212-744-7117; For a sweet taste of Paris on the Upper East Side, indulge in this French chocolatier’s incredibly thick and rich hot chocolate. Or you can get it iced. To add to the guilt, order it with a bowl of whipped cream and a pastry or chocolate.

Murray’s Cheese, 254 Bleecker St.; 212-243-3289; Love cheese? You’ll find everything from Amanteigado from Portugal to Tête de Moine from Switzerland.

Pretty Baubles

The Clay Pot, 162 Seventh Ave., Brooklyn; 800-989-3579; In trendy Park Slope, the Clay Pot has pieces you won’t see anywhere else, like Alexis Bittar’s hot-pink flower pendant or BO J.C.’s luxurious pearl chandelier necklace.

Fragments, 116 Prince St., 212-334-9588; 997 Madison Ave., 212-537-5000; With delicate necklaces by KC Designs to dangly gemstone earrings by Dana Kellin, this jewelry store is popular with trendy teens and their moms.

Beauty Buys

The Bathroom, 94 Charles St.; 212-929-1449; This Soho store has everything from bath puppets for babies to specialty toothpastes. Products are from around the world.

C.O. Bigelow Chemists, 414 Sixth Ave.; 212-473-7324; This apothecary is the nation’s oldest. While you’ll find plenty of Bigelow’s own beauty supplies, you’ll also see products from Diptyque, Terax, and Biotherm.

For Trendsetters

Bird, 430 Seventh St., Brooklyn, 718-768-4940; 220 Smith St., 718-797-3774; This boutique in Park Slope and Cobble Hill has clothing from up-and-coming designers you’ve probably never heard of and famous names you probably have. Diane von Furstenberg, Clu, Nicole Farhi, and Vanessa Bruno are just some of the collections.

Flight 001, 96 Greenwich Ave.; 212-989-0001; Forget basic black. This luggage mecca has suitcases that will stand out on the baggage carousel—think leopard print or neon green. You’ll also find gadgets and books to make any trip fly by.

Not Just for Kids

American Girl Place, 609 Fifth Ave.; 877-247-5223; If you’re traveling with a little girl, you probably know about this store. Full of American Girl dolls, it has a cafe and a theater where fans of all ages (and their dolls) can watch a revue written by Broadway playwrights.

Dylan’s Candy Bar, 1101 Third Ave.; 646-735-0078; Created by Ralph Lauren’s daughter, Dylan, this shop is candy heaven for kids and grownups alike.