Best gift shops: Long Island City

Find out where to shop for gifts in this Queens neighborhood.

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Slovak-Czech Varieties

Slovak-Czech Varieties Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

Critics' picks

Slovak-Czech Varieties

  • Price band: 2/4

A miscellany of glass bibelots, wooden toys and industrial-looking housewares round out this ethnic department store’s oddball offerings. A jaunt through its aisles feels like a visit to an old-world shop, via Czech board games ($25–$30) and retro calendars of Slovakian mountain ranges ($8). Electrical-outlet converters ($3) and vanilla-scented air fresheners patterned after Slovak currency ($3) make fun prevoyage mementos for anyone jonesing to visit Eastern Europe.

  1. 10-59 Jackson Ave, (between 49th and 50th Aves)
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More shops for gifts in Long Island City, Queens

LIC: Living

  • Price band: 2/4

Neighbors-turned-business-partners Rebekah Witzke and Jillian Tangen open this lifestyle boutique, featuring eco-friendly women’s clothing ($68–$250), accessories for both guys and gals ($40–$185) and noteworthy household items ($3–$195). Home goods, including Tocca candles ($38–$42) and Rice retro aprons ($32), rest inside a 1940s vintage cabinet. Must-have bar essentials include Izola flasks ($24) etched with catchy phrases such as "The hell with work" and "To my health," and Thomas Paul nautical coasters (four for $22). Ladies can pick up Container layered frocks ($148) and ruffled cardis ($145), while guys will love Southlane minimalist watches ($135) and Toms Wayfayer-style shades ($88).

  1. 5-35 51st Ave, between Vernon Blvd and 5th St
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Underpenny

  • Price band: 1/4

Antique aficionado Sung Park, who also owns nearby deli Paris Health (49-11 Vernon Boulevard between 49th and 50th Aves, Long Island City, Queens; no phone), accomplished a long-term dream of sharing his mid-19th-century cast-iron pieces with New York by opening this museum-shop. While everything found on the right side of the small space is for viewing only (penny banks, trivets, wood planes), the miscellanea on the left is for sale. Start your own collection by picking up a pocket-size checkers board ($10) or a cash register from the 1940s ($275).

  1. 10-13 50th Ave , between Vernon Blvd and Jackson Ave
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Matted LIC

  • Price band: 2/4

Though retail may seem like an afterthought at this concept shop (which is both a gallery and a custom-framing/gift shop) there’s plenty of things to spend dough on. Owner Donna Drimer fills the space with contemporary art from local painters and photographers (for six-week exhibits), allowing her to show off the store’s vast selection of framing supplies. In addition to earthy, handmade goods (pottery, glassware, wooden boxes, soaps and our favorite, a wallet fashioned from recycled candy wrappers, $25–$38), you can snag quirkier items, such as Jishaku ($22), a board game involving magnetic stones.

  1. 46-36 Vernon Blvd , between 46th Rd and 47th Ave
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Slovak-Czech Varieties

  • Price band: 2/4

A miscellany of glass bibelots, wooden toys and industrial-looking housewares round out this ethnic department store’s oddball offerings. A jaunt through its aisles feels like a visit to an old-world shop, via Czech board games ($25–$30) and retro calendars of Slovakian mountain ranges ($8). Electrical-outlet converters ($3) and vanilla-scented air fresheners patterned after Slovak currency ($3) make fun prevoyage mementos for anyone jonesing to visit Eastern Europe.

  1. 10-59 Jackson Ave, between 49th and 50th Aves
More info

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