NYC Guide: My 10 Favorite Shops

1. John Derian (East Village) might be my favorite design store of all time. His signature decoupage plates and paperweights feature flowers, frogs, ships and gorgeous typography, and the shop feels like an elegant aunt’s Parisian apartment, filled with striped rugs, scented candles, cheeky art books, woodblock prints and colorful quilts. You’ll feel transported and inspired.

2. Eataly (Flatiron). Mario Batali and friends opened this enormous Italian market with a focus on fresh, quality food. Prepare to have your mind blown by the rows upon rows of pasta, vegetables and crusty bread. New York Magazine affectionately says it’s not so much a market as “a circus, with lots of food.” Come explore and, of course, stay for lunch. (Tip: Avoid the pre-dinner rush, it’s a madhouse!)

3. Haus Interior (Nolita). This home shop feels part-Diane-Keaton-movie, part Swedish-design-blog. It’s easy to envision the prettiest dinner party ever, once you see the linen napkins, striped aprons and numbered plates; and their rope doorstop would be lovely in a bedroom, don’t you think?

4. Madewell (Soho). Affectionately nicknamed “J. Crew’s little sister,” Madewell masters cool downtown style. I love their on-trend pieces, like flirty dresses, silk blouses, and the perfect leather sandals.

5. A.P.C. (Soho). This Parisian brand sells what French girls really do wear: shirtdresses, cape coats and ballet flats. All you need is the accent. (P.S. I’m wearing one of their dresses here.)

Just Scandinavian (Tribeca) carries bright, cheerful, street-from-Stockholm Joseph Frank fabrics–on pillows, sofas and chairs. You’ll smile just walking in the door.

7. Steven Alan (Tribeca). Alex sheepishly jokes that we look like we stepped out of a Steven Alan catalog (and maybe he’s right:). But it’s easy to live in the New York designer’s flannel shirts and cotton dresses; even though they’re a splurge, they’re the clothes you’ll always have at the front of your closet. His pieces make you feel both comfortable and pretty. (Tip: He has five stores in NYC, but the Tribeca one is the biggest.)

8. Brook Farm General Store (Williamsburg). This bright home store stocks “the ingredients of an ideally wholesome, happy home,” raves the New York Times–such as wooden honey dippers, beeswax candles and rubber duckies.

9. Catbird (Williamsburg). Despite the shop’s teeny tiny size, you’ll find lots of delicate jewelry (remember this heart ring?), letterpress stationery and locally made soaps. If you’re a girl, you’ll like it here. :)

10. Moon River Chattel (Williamsburg). Stepping into this home-and-garden store makes you feel like you live in a tiny countryside town, where you grow vegetables, cook Sunday dinners for your friends and serve cheese on wooden boards. I love the whole vibe and the beautifully curated wares. (P.S. Toby got his beloved piggy here!)

A few more to look out for: The Brooklyn Flea is the raddest flea market ever, and Kiosk has an awesome concept. As for food stores, Murray’s Cheese and Mast Brothers Chocolate are both delicious. And head’s up: Two Polarn O. Pyret children’s stores are opening in Manhattan this winter!

My lovelies, what stores do you go to in New York? Do you shop a lot on vacations?

(Top image graphic design by HipHipGinGin for Cup of Jo. Photos by New York Magazine, the NYTimes, the Luxurist, Lonny, Lucia, the Scout and the stores themselves.)

  1. I’m coming to NY in November and find this list very inspiring. Thanks so much :)
    Love from Belgium x

  2. CMX says...

    I have to agree with NY resident- this list, while it includes great stores, is extremely limiting and exclusionary. What’s the point of living in New York with all its diversity and culture if we just limit ourselves to neighborhoods and establishments frequented by people who are just like us (in appearance, interests, and class)? I think it’s time we expanded our perspective to include those frequently excluded from the mainstream image of “trendy” New York.

  3. I love shopping on vacation and adore this list. I always visit the beautiful Santa Maria Novella store when I visit NYC. Heaven.

  4. Anna ( of Green Gable) I totally agree with you, as much as I love NYC born and raised in Queens NY. These days fashion, beauty and style in general comes in all types of price ranges and good products as well. I’ve been doing hair and makeup for over 15 years now and I know some awesome finds for beauty and fashion come from other place i.n NYC There are so very many great finds if people would get over a bridge once and a while there truley are somethings that will simply suprise you in the other boroughs if some would think outside the box (or should I say the City) I could almost bet you’d find exactly what you were looking for or even better and with much better pricing as well. So I encourage my Manhattan Bound upper East siders to just give it a try, who knows you may just like it.

  5. Oh my goodness I have the sudden urge to get on a plane to NYC and go shopping right now! Love these guides!

  6. Great guide… and I looove APC ! Their short dresses are so versatile (casual or dressed up and good for all seasons)
    Joanna if you come to Paris you must go to the APC Stock : everything from the last seasons is half off ! Good thing as it is a bit pricey…

  7. wow, that haus interior store looks amazing! noted for the next time i’m in nyc!

  8. Great list. Haven’t been to most of them. ABC Carpet and Home is always fun. And I’m a fan of the boutiques on 7th Ave in Park Slope. But really, it’s all about the Brooklyn Flea!!!

  9. How about Fish Eddy’s for beautiful dishes?! And across the street to ABC Carpet and Home to browse? (also rumor has it the most authentic Santa Claus can be found at ABC during Christmastime). Love these guides!

  10. Beth says...

    Because of this post my fiance and I decided to elope in New York next October. I live in Illinois and have only been to New York once so this was very informative. Thanks for the great ideas for hotels, food and shopping. We are stealing ideas right from your list! I even found my engagement ring on one of your older post(s). I can’t thank you enough!

  11. Want to go to NYC to shoppppp! With money, that I win on the lottery!!

  12. Adding some of these to my “go see” list… my last two trips to NYC have been with “newbies” so I spent more time sightseeing the regulars than checking out my list locations… I like Fish’s Eddy (near ABC Home and Carpet) and Tinsel Trading Company. Was not as impressed with Dylan’s Candy Bar after having read so much about it. Would love to hear about favorite haunts for shopping from other NYC readers!

  13. A very valuable list especially first time visitors of New York City. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Anthropologie, I love everything in this store!

  15. Lauren says...

    Polarn O. Pyret is beloved here in Norway. Swedish-designed supreme quality. Fresh colors and prints and they can take a beating from active kids. We can’t do without their softshell wind stopper jackets. Perfect all Fall, warm Winter days, and all Spring.

  16. Eataly was my crack for a while…we lived nearby and I went at least 3 times a week. My printer is a few blocks away so I’d always find a reason to go. I love that you can just drink wine and walk around and shop too! amazing.

    as for the shopping, this list is so great. another favorite of mine is a little boutique called Wink. there’s one in soho and also one on the upper east I think. I love to shop downtown but it’s always so crowded with tourists. I enjoy shopping uptown when ever I’m up there bc there are so many great little shops and they tend to be not as packed. I have a few favorite thrift shops too: Angel Shop on w. 19th (across from west elm), housing works on 23rd between lex and 3rd or lex and park, i forget, and finally Vintage on 3rd Avenue between 23rd and 22nd. I went a few times a week bc they were in my neighborhood and always had such beautiful things – every week there was something new!

    you should do a shopping guide for kids too! there are so many sweet clothing shops for the babies (as I’m sure you know:)

  17. Anonymous says...

    I love John Derian, too!

  18. These are fabulous recommendations! Another favorite of mine in New York is Lee’s Art Shop in Midtown near Carnegie Hall.

  19. Anonymous says...

    Tis is an absolutely amazing guide. I am going to every one of these places when I get to NY next year. Wonderful!

  20. farmer girl says...


  21. This is great! I come from a state with ZERO sales tax though, so it’s always hard for me to get out and shop in places like NY or Chicago.
    However, I’d love to hear about where to go for some fabulous vintage finds!

  22. These are really pretty amazing city guides, I have a feeling the hotels are going to blow up especially. Thanks for info.

  23. I am loving this series! It is very helpful for two people that will be heading to New York! I have a question though…the hubs and I are coming down for a week to celebrate the new year NYC style. So what would you reccomend for the winter time?! We live in Houston and rarely get a very cold winter much less snow but we also don’t need/want to be walking around in the freezing cold the whole day. We have been to NYC quite a few times but always around August so this will be the first time experience the cccooollllddd weather!lol

  24. My favorite shops are le labo for perfume…the mister & I both sport their beautiful scents. Classic Kicks for sneakers. LOVE John Derian..we have a few decoupage pieces that I’ve been collecting, timeless! thanks for the other tips!

  25. The Brook Farm General Store looks just gorgeous!!! :) x

  26. on a recent visit to nyc to visit a friend (who ended up having to work 3/4 of the days i was there…which meant exploring on my own), i stumbled into artists & fleas on my way to the williamsburg brooklyn flea market on a sunday. i found it to be magnificent, to say the least.

    it is at 70 north 7th street in williamsburg. worth a visit on a saturday or sunday!

  27. Every time I drop in to your site, I find something magnificent. Fantastic!

  28. Anonymous says...

    Ah! I recognized the great bold prints on Polarn O. Pyret’s website. I was in this store in Iceland over the summer and their baby/kid clothes are lovely!

    Where will they be located? Must send my baby’s grandparents there to spoil him since they live in NYC.

  29. Love it! We share a lot of faves! Have you checked out Duo and Pas de Deux in the EV, Joanna? @kidsgazette, equivalent picks for Paris would be:
    Claudie Pierlot (great women’s clothing), comptoir des cotonniers (more cool French girl wear), merce and the muse & coutume (fab but not french owned coffee shops), merci (a beyond stylish home goods store — I left with the greatest Liberty print covered notebook), the Bon marche is a classic, and of course, APC is in Paris too. I’m sure there are about a million other amazing spots I’m not thinking of but these are some of my best.

  30. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to find someone who seems to have my exact same taste, but is maybe a bit more filled in on Manhattan (I’m a Brooklyn girl). These are great.

  31. YY more more more. I am addicted to these posts lol
    thrift stores?

  32. Well golly…after reading all of your NYC guides I think I need to start saving my pennies for another trip to your beautiful city! Thanks for all the great advice!

  33. This is fantastic!!! I LOVE that you’ve done this series!
    xox alison

  34. Merci for the tips . I want to come back to NYC just to check . I can’t wait

  35. Anonymous says...

    Meant to say the same *amount* of luggage in my last comment. Sorry!

  36. Anonymous says...

    I don’t shop a lot on vacations. I am that rare person who comes home with the same out of luggage as I left with! I guess that’s good for the pocketbook. Your list makes me want to shop though!!

  37. Ahh! I want to visit NYC so much now.

  38. Wow oh wow. Thanks so much! I’ve been studying Madewell for a while now, definitely think I will have to pay a visit when I am in NY!

  39. Once again Joanna, you’ve nailed it! I just moved to Williamsburg two weeks ago and I’m so excited to have so many great shops and restaurants in my neighborhood! I’ll definitely be checking out all the ones you recommended. xoxo

  40. I love this guide! I find myself checking back often to see if a new one is up. Lovely shops too–they sound great and look amazing! I’m firmly planted in the Midwest but loving the NYC pics as an imaginary afternoon getaway :)

  41. This makes me want to move to NYC even though I’m in Philly and thinknig of moving to the Midwest. Love this round up!

  42. Wish I was going to New York, but Im going to France soon. Does anybody know something simmilar about Paris?

  43. LOVE all these!! love adorned (the new one on elizabeth) is also AMAZING…dreamy store.

  44. oh, yes, angela, purlsoho is AMAZING. sooooo many gorgeous fabrics. makes me wish i could sew. :)

  45. LOVE THIS LIST!!! you have outdone yourself, ms. goddard.

  46. ooooOOooooooh. Seriously, this series is breaking my heart after just getting back from NYC last week! Someone else recommended Eataly, wish I’d gone.

    Wish I’d gone to Catbird, there was another really cute little jewellery shop on Court Street in Cobble Hill, I think it was called Given?

    I definitely shop on holiday, it’s more fun because you’re relaxed and things seem more sparkly when you’re away from home.


  47. Madewell has some really great stuff! thanks for sharing!!

  48. Thaaaaaanks so much Joanna for all these great posts about NY! I’ve never been to NY, but I’m saving to go there next May or so. I will most definitely use your tips!

    ♥ Mandy (MENNEPEN)

  49. All these shops look amazing and so interesting! Madewell is one of my favorite places to shop too!

  50. Have you been to PurlSoho? I adore all their yarns and fabrics, especially the Liberty of London ones. They have an amazing array of colors and patterns to constantly inspire :)

  51. i absolutely ADORE your guides to NY city!!!!! Thank you so much for all these treasures and finds…it makes me want to hop on a plane right now and GO! Too bad I’m stick with exams and such. Much loves from Montreal!

  52. I instantly want to teleport myself to John Derian and Catbird. Each store looks like a slice of heaven.

  53. Anonymous says...

    @joanna – thanks for the comment, and sorry I missed the intro post!

  54. i love this nyc guide series so much.

  55. Eeks. Love shopping while on vacay. Love Madewell, but have been dying to check out Catbird and Steven Alan. Great picks!

  56. In a reversal of the usual “NYC trend that eventually finds its way to Toronto” – our local Joe Fresh is opening in NYC soon. This is a weird cheapy brand of clothing and shoes that I actually buy in my grocery store, because they are affiliated with Loblaws. Joe is Joe Mimram who was behind Alfred Sung’s Club Monaco brand. He is married to Kimberly Newport who has the Pink Tartan line. Check it out – I love to buy my cashmere blend socks there. I heard the US version is going to be a bit more upscale.

  57. yes, ithe Cup of Jo Guide to New York City is definitely not an overall guide — especially since i’m claustrophobic on subways, so i tend to stay (very) close to home:)

  58. nyc resident says...

    @Smith and Radcliffe – totally true, and I don’t think her choices are not good ones. I live in Manhattan and often have guests from other cities/countries, and going to Queens/Brooklyn especially is considered the norm now. My guide would definitely lean towards my neighborhood – but what love if there was a map included with these posts, or maybe an explanation that this is a very specific piece of manhattan she’s showcasing – that would be really useful.

  59. nycresident–thanks for your note! i agree, i’m definitely focusing on downtown spots, and there are SO many amazing places all over manhattan and in the boroughs.

    but this guide isn’t supposed to be on overall NYC guide (which would definitely take more than one week, haha!:) instead, this guide is just about where we hang out regularly, the restaurants we always go to,e tc. and since we live downtown, that’s where we hang out :) in my intro post, i explained that approach:

    but yes, everyone who’s reading — there are tons of other places to hang out, of course! you might check for a much bigger and more comprehensive guide, which has lots of great options. xoxo

  60. Very very nice pictures. Love the ones with the food.


  61. these pictures are making my mouth water for NYC shopping.

    someday, someday…


  62. NYC Resident, notice that Joanna is calling it the “Cup of Jo Guide to New York City,” not the “All-Intensive Exhaustive Guide to Everything New York City in All Five Boroughs.”

    Obviously you’re bound to have more picks that slant toward the neighborhood you live in, particularly when you’re trying to share things that are off the beaten path.

    Let’s face it: most tourists don’t have the time (or the desire) to leave Manhattan. Right or wrong, that’s how it is.


  63. I work down the block from Eataly! It’s heaven and I love to treat myself to treats from there. My boyfriend works for Mario Batali sometimes and says he is also a super nice guy, so I don’t mind patronizing his boomin biz!


  64. These are lovely! I can’t wait to visit and then go to each of these! Thanks so much for posting this!

  65. joss says...

    I’m loving all the new york post, i’m definitely going to new york soon.

  66. I LOVE Catbird. I have a few of their rings including my favourite one by Bianca Gomez – the rose gold seed ring. Their shop is truly magical:) Kisses, Joanna

  67. Now THIS is the one I’ve been waiting for! :)

  68. nyc resident says...

    the choices on all these guides are good, but as a long-time New Yorker, I wish you’d frame these guides not as a NYC guide but as a lower manhattan guide. Visitors are getting a limited view of NYC, and I’d hate for them to think that NYC = this area of manhattan – a wealthy couple of miles that make up SoHo, the west village and the occassional trip to williamsburg which has basically just become an extension of manhattan. The boroughs have amazing finds with more bang for their buck, or even just anything north of 14th street…Is there a subway guide coming up?