New York City is one of the world's top shopping cities, with everything from high fashion to thrift stores. Highlights include Manhattan - think designer flagships, cool boutiques, independent bookstores and food halls - and Brooklyn, where you'll find flea markets, edgy design stores and warehouses stocked with second-hand and vintage fashion. Figure out where to start with our ultimate guide to New York shopping.
All in One: Department Stores
New York is home to some of the most famous department stores in the world and, with everything under one roof, they're ideal if you're short on time or don't fancy pounding the streets for hours.
Macy's on 34th Street and Broadway is the oldest department store in the city. Originally a 19th-century dry goods store, today it spans an entire block. It's a great place to shop for mid-priced fashion and its shoe section is the world's largest. If you're travelling in spring, don't miss the Macy's Flower Show. From late November, after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the store unveils its elaborate Christmas window displays.
A higher-end option is Barneys in Chelsea, which stocks an array of designer goods, such as Balmain dresses, Hermès watches and Manolo Blahnik shoes. Saks Fifth Avenue is another department store known for luxury fashion, as well as homeware and beauty products.
Bloomingdale's on E.59th and Lexington Avenue is a contender for the best known store in New York. Fill up some of their recognisable brown bags with Space NK beauty products and Theory or Ted Baker clothes. There are also homeware and tech departments.
NYC Markets: Food Halls and Fashion Pop-Ups
Chelsea Market is one of the city's most popular food halls, representing a host of New York's many cultures and cuisines: adobada tacos at Los Tacos (some of the best in the city); Italian from Buon'Italia; vino from Chelsea Wine Vault; lobster at Lobster Place; and more from baked goods to sugary treats. Go early in the morning and preferably during the week when it's at its quietest.
Artists & Fleas has a branch at Chelsea Market and another in Soho, but the main event is in a Williamsburg warehouse. Over 75 vendors gather here each weekend, selling clothing, art and vintage goods.
With a range of pop-ups and permanent stalls, Canal Street Market is a trendy spot for browsing jewellery, ceramics, clothes and photography. There's a food hall, a little hang-out spot with seats and tables and free WiFi.
The biggest flea market in the city is Brooklyn Flea. On weekends in Industrial City, 150 vendors sell vintage homeware, old records, second-hand clothing and antiques.
Fashion Forever: Lux to Thrift
If there's one thing NY does better than most, it's fashion. Many designers have their flagships here. You'll find one of the largest Dolce & Gabbana stores, Tom Ford's Madison Avenue flagship, Tory Burch's first boutique, Valentino's largest flagship and Michael Kors' Fifth Avenue store, where his designs are notably cheaper than they are abroad.
The iconic Tiffany & Co. flagship store on Fifth Avenue has six floors of classic jewellery. Cartier is also on the same street, housing six storeys of glittering accessories.
Aside from mainstream designer fashion, the range of indie boutiques in New York is enough to keep you busy for days. In the Meatpacking District, In Support Of showcases eco-friendly fashion brands and donates a portion of its profits to charity. Over in Williamsburg, Bird is one of the city's coolest stores, selling brands like A.P.C. and Rachel Comey alongside its own collection. Streetwear and footwear store Kith, which was founded by sneaker-designer Ronnie Fieg, has branches in Soho and Brooklyn.
For vintage, 10 ft. Single by Stella Dallas is one of the city's top spots. Here you'll find old Levi's, varsity jackets and '50s dresses - and all for very reasonable prices. Beacon's Closet (try the Williamsburg warehouse branch) also sells lots of cheap vintage and second-hand clothes donated by Brooklyn's best-dressed. For high-end curated vintage collections, head to one of INA's four NY shops.
The Best of the Rest
Bookworms can spend hours browsing the oak shelves at Three Lives & Co. in the West Village, which opened in 1968 and is still one of the city's best bookstores. The nearby Idlewild Books is another great option, especially for travel enthusiasts.
For luxury homeware, visit Roman & Williams Guild in Soho, designers to various celebs including Gwyneth Paltrow. Find vintage and repurposed homeware (frames made of old barn-wood, lab beakers as vases) at Brooklyn Reclamation. Need some greenery in your home? The Sill sell houseplants in locally-made pots from their Lower East Side store.
Finally, pop into Russ & Daughters, a family-owned deli on the Lower East Side that has been selling herring here for over 100 years. Grab a bagel with smoked salmon, herring or fish roe.