Last updated: July 2018
It’s hard to go to New York without buying anything. Whether it’s a souvenir, something that would be cheaper than back home, or just an offbeat purchase, nobody leaves the Big Apple without some kind of memento of their trip.
A tacky (or non-tacky) souvenir
New York vendors have plenty of tacky souvenirs, from plastic statue of liberties, to NYPD t-shirts, to fridge magnets, you name it.
An “I Love New York” t-shirt is probably the quintessential New York souvenir, and probably the best that you can buy. It’ll fit into your suitcase easily, it’s cheap, and there’s a chance you might wear it. Even if you don’t wear it out, it’s perfect for wearing in bed or at the gym.
A good, useful souvenir that’s not tacky is a tote bag from a NYC institution like a museum or famous business. They’re usually only a couple of dollars each and, unlike many other souvenirs, you’ll actually get some use out of them.
New York is a shopaholic’s dream, particularly when it comes to designer clothing, and many people travel to the Big Apple just to shop.
Be sure to visit iconic department stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, both of which are New York institutions. Macy’s has 10 and a half floors, and stocks everything from clothing to furniture to food.
International shoppers should head straight to the Macy’s visitor centre: show your passport and they’ll give you a 10% off card.
Then there’s 5th avenue, which is home to stores like Tiffany’s, Cartier, and Armani, as well as one of the largest Apple stores. Of course, because this is the city that never sleppers, Apple Fifth Avenue is open 24 hours per day.
New York has plenty of designer outlets like Century 21, Bloomingdale’s Outlet, and Saks off Fifth. Here, you’ll find designer clothes, handbags, shoes, and accessories – all with hefty discounts.
Aside from cheap Californian wine, it can be hard (and expensive) to get your hands on American wine outside of America. This is especially true if you live in Europe, and even more so if you live in a wine-producing country like France, Spain, or Italy.
Look out for wines from Washington, Oregon, Napa, and New York’s own, Finger Lakes. These are some of America’s best wine regions, and a great place to start your tasting.
Aside from shopping and to see attractions like the Statue of Liberty or Brooklyn Bridge, another reason that people come to New York is to eat. New York is a dream for foodies, offering everything from cheap pizza slices to high-end, Michelin star meals.
Many New York restaurants have cookbooks, as you eat your way around the city, there’s a good chance that you might eat at a restaurant that has its own cookbook.
There West Village restaurant, Annisa, which has produced the cookbook Cooking Without Borders. Eleven Madison Park has a cookbook of the same name, while Cronut inventor, Dominique Ansel, who runs Dominique Ansel Kitchen and Dominique Ansel bakery has a book called The Secret Recipes.
If you’re visit any of these restaurants, you can pick one up, or you could head to one of New York’s many specialist cookbook stores. Kitchen Arts & Letters on 1435 Lexington Ave is one of the most famous, and stocks more than 12,000 different cookbooks. You’ll be lucky if you leave with just one!
Did you buy anything typical (or non typical) in New York? Let us know how your trip went by leaving a comment below.