The Shopaholic

Everyone knows that New York has a reputation for being one of the best cities for shopping in the world, and we can confirm that it lives up to it. But in a city so vast, with so many different districts, where does one begin? First of all, prox... more

Everyone knows that New York has a reputation for being one of the best cities for shopping in the world, and we can confirm that it lives up to it. But in a city so vast, with so many different districts, where does one begin? First of all, proximity is key, which means that staying in Midtown or SoHo is probably your best bet if shopping is at the top of your to-do list. On Madison and Fifth Avenues, from about 42nd Street up to 80th Street, you can find the longest stretch of the hottest stores in the entire city: Yves Saint Laurent, Pucci, Gucci, Fendi, Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman, Barney’s, Ralph Lauren, Juicy Couture, H&M, Zara, and Tom Ford, just to name a few. On this stretch you can also find cool places to hang out for a while, like Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station, and Central Park. In SoHo, the best shopping area stretches from (east to west) Bowery to Thompson St., and (north to south) Bleecker St. to Broome St. There you can find everything from Bloomingdale’s to Calypso (whimsical, gorgeous clothing and furnishings) to Pearl River Mart (Asian housewares and gifts), and there are also a phenomenal number of great restaurants and bars. If you have a... more

Everyone knows that New York has a reputation for being one of the best cities for shopping in the world, and we can confirm that it lives up to it. But in a city so vast, with so many different districts, where does one begin?

First of all, proximity is key, which means that staying in Midtown or SoHo is probably your best bet if shopping is at the top of your to-do list. On Madison and Fifth Avenues, from about 42nd Street up to 80th Street, you can find the longest stretch of the hottest stores in the entire city: Yves Saint Laurent, Pucci, Gucci, Fendi, Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman, Barney’s, Ralph Lauren, Juicy Couture, H&M, Zara, and Tom Ford, just to name a few. On this stretch you can also find cool places to hang out for a while, like Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station, and Central Park.

In SoHo, the best shopping area stretches from (east to west) Bowery to Thompson St., and (north to south) Bleecker St. to Broome St. There you can find everything from Bloomingdale’s to Calypso (whimsical, gorgeous clothing and furnishings) to Pearl River Mart (Asian housewares and gifts), and there are also a phenomenal number of great restaurants and bars. If you have a bit of time (and money) to spare, do yourself a favor and stop by Balthazar for dinner…and definitely order dessert.

The little boutiques that line Mulberry, Mott and Elizabeth Streets—this area referred to as NoLita—are perhaps the best in the entire city and are perfect if you’re shopping for eclectic accessories, a cute sundress, or an unusual pair of boots. Spring Street, Prince Street, and Broadway are huge favorites of the European tourist set because they not only provide great shopping, but lovely ambiance as well. SoHo is the final reminder of the days when New York had narrow, cobble-stoned streets and gorgeous, old-school architecture, so it’s a feast for the eyes and for the shopaholic inside you.

You can check out our hotel guide to find the best rates and locations, as well as the best shops, so that you can pick the perfect area for your tastes. On the other hand, if your main concern isn’t where to find the shops, but where to find the cheapest deals, your best bet is to check out stores like Century 21, Loehmann’s, and Daffy's, three perennial NYC favorites for under-priced designer clothes. These spots are your best bet if you live for Dolce and Gabbana but not the $3000 price tag. Our spies tell us that their recent purchases at these discount havens include a Rebecca Taylor corset top for $50, a Marni dress for $150, and a Marc Jacobs purple wool coat for $275…so you get the idea.

In New York there’s an eclectic mix of shops that are perfect for people who want to complete a look that no one else can find. Stores like Oak, Dangerous Mathematicians, and Opening Ceremony are the best bets for interesting an unusual clothes and accessories that you’ll have trouble finding anywhere else. Both feature designers from around the world, and Opening Ceremony even goes so far as to showcase designers from a different country every year.

Now, we’re well aware that in every group of tourists there are those who love to shop and those who don’t…but are unfortunately made to tag along. If you fall into the latter category, you needn’t worry because there’s so much to do and see along the way from shop to shop. Our Arts & Attractions, guided tours and specific
tags for top attractions can all help you stay entertained while your mom/sister/wife/whatever gets their fashion fix.

NYC department store staples Barney’s and Bergdorf Goodman each provide shoppers and their accomplices with an excellent restaurant to provide a bit of fuel to keep you going (or distract while you wait for your fellow shoppers to finish up). Fred’s at Barney’s features American and Italian cuisine (try the Chicken Soup!) and BG at Bergdorf Goodman is fabulously decorated and delicious.

And finally, if you’re short on time or you just like to be efficient and get everything at once, you should check out some of New York’s famous department stores. The top three that we haven’t already mentioned are Bloomingdales, Macy's, and Saks Fifth Avenue. There you’ll be able to find everything from bags to boots to sunglasses to furnishings and everything in between. Happy hunting!


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