Best gift shops: Williamsburg

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

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson
Treehouse Brooklyn

RECOMMENDED: 100 best gift shops in New York

Critics' picks

A&G Merch

Critics' pick

Sleek sofas and haute household goods line the walls at this haven for hip urban apartment dwellers. The spacious shop is an offshoot of Billyburg design mecca The Future Perfect (founder David Alhadeff is the “A” in A&G’s name; the “G” is for co-founder Jill Goldhand), hence the überstylish pieces you’ll find—like small, modular items named after Brooklyn nabes, the brand’s plush Bedford lounges ($1,599) and trendy Red Hook dining sets (table $769, chair $219, bench $319). A&G also offers more affordable, quirky items, like toast-shaped coasters ($12) and wall-mounted bottle openers ($9), ideal for home decorators on a budget.

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Williamsburg

Abode New York

Find sleek styles, bold colors and cool graphics in Tony Wong’s contemporary housewares shop. Nothing here is clunky or unwieldy, and most of the items fit just right in small apartments. Look for that perfect pop of color in Abode’s many bowls, serving trays, linens, bedding and rugs from eco-friendly brands like Goldiehome, Paper Cloud and Teroforma.

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Williamsburg

Catbird

Critics' pick

Rony Vardi opened her teeny accessories boutique in 2006 as a companion to the larger, clothing-focused outpost of Catbird on Metropolitan Avenue. Though that store closed in 2009, the girly, white-walled Bedford branch is still going strong, offering a carefully curated selection of jewelry, accessories, home goods and more. “I consider it my life’s work,” explains Vardi of her quest to find pieces by new or little-known—but amazing—designers. In addition to sourcing items by Kings County jewelry artisans like Bittersweets NY and Flotsam & Jetsam, Vardi also designs a house line featuring delicate rings and pendants fashioned after letters of the alphabet, seahorses or the great state of New Jersey.

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Williamsburg

Hickoree’s Hard Goods

Critics' pick

Brothers Emil and Sandy Corsillo launched their e-commerce site, Hickoree’s Hard Goods, in June 2009, featuring a small selection of ties and scarves. One of the best-selling brands on the site was Emil’s own tie line, the Hill-Side, which became so popular (it was even picked up by J.Crew) that the brothers decided they should open a brick-and-mortar store. After a well-received Williamsburg pop-up during the 2009 Christmas season, Sandy quit his job in finance, and the duo channeled all of their energy into opening a Brooklyn storefront. With products ranging from seed packets ($2–$2.25) and Slinkies ($6–$9) to Levi’s vintage jeans ($260–$295), Sandy says he wants customers to feel as if they’re “going into a supermarket and grabbing watermelon seeds while their mom shops.” To create that general-store effect, products hang on a giant pegboard to replicate the front page of the website, while knickknacks such as slingshots ($21), Silly Putty ($2) and toy airplanes ($2–$4) are displayed by the register. Along with the Hill-Side printed skinny ties ($76–$90), Hickoree’s offers Heritage Leather Company top-handle bags ($37–$170), store-brand baseball caps ($48) and Sierra Designs short parkas ($350).

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Williamsburg

Huitzilli

Since spring break in Cancún is not looking likely this year, pick up a souvenir from owner Emily Cantrell’s travels to Mexico instead. Cantrell sources intricate silver jewelry ($20–$200), Mexican wedding shirts and peasant dresses ($54–$98), leather sandals ($25) and popular lucha libre masks ($15–$45) direct from individual artisans. Everything’s handmade and comes with a card detailing the who, where and how of its creation. Beats the hell out of a shot glass.

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Williamsburg

Task

Critics' pick

A former vintage shop owner, costume designer and stylist, Anne Seally uses her discerning eye to stock her boutique with a constantly rotating inventory of season-less items. You’ll find unique home goods, women’s apparel and children’s clothing and toys, such as woodland moth ornaments ($11), Megan Park floral-print skirts ($395), and hand painted cherry blossom glasses ($15). Consider Task any holiday’s secret weapon.

Read more
Williamsburg

Treehouse Brooklyn

Shopping at Siri Wilson’s shop is sort of like rummaging through a very cool granny’s attic: Antique scarves are piled in baskets, hand-stitched T-shirts sit on tables, craft supplies fill shelves and oodles of traffic-stopping baubles are clustered by the register. The shop showcases work by more than 60 designers, most of whom live and work in Brooklyn. Do-it-yourselfers also stop by to pick up hand-spun yarn and vintage craft kits; you can also browse the library of crafting books (sorry, no borrowing) and take a class in embroidery, crochet, jewelry making or decoupage.

Read more
Williamsburg

Whisk

Critics' pick

If Julia Child were alive, we suspect she’d coo with pleasure over this brightly lit, well-stocked kitchen store (and not just because they sell aprons with her friendly visage screenprinted on them). Both cooking novices and seasoned chefs will find an abundance of supplies to keep a kitchen running smoothly, including essential pieces like quality pots by Le Creuset and Calphalon; knives by J.A. Zwilling Henckels; and quirky items you didn’t even know you needed, like a salt shaker shaped like a dove.

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Williamsburg

More shops for gifts in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Artists & Fleas

Critics' pick

A rotating selection of around 30 vendors, including local craftspeople and artists, sets up shop in a warehouse every weekend. The browsable mix includes everything from original T-shirts and handmade jewelry to Lauren C. Pratt’s reconditioned vintage Boyfriendbags, decorated with song lyrics and poetry.

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Williamsburg

Space Ninety 8

Urban Outfitters opened Space 15 Twenty in Los Angeles a couple of years ago, and Space Ninety 8 in Brooklyn is the latest outpot in the company's address-as-name brand extension. The multi-floor market features products you'd find at any Urban Outfitters (moderately-priced men's and women's clothing, jewelry, home-decor goods), plus an expanded record shop and a gallery space that features pop-up shops. The Market Space, located on the first floor, is home to handcrafted, one-of-a-kind pieces—many created in New York. And when you need to take a break from all the shopping, there's The Gorbals, a restaurant and bar from Chef Ilan Hall that occupies part of the third floor and the rooftop.

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Williamsburg

Rose Red & Lavender

Married couple Kimberly and Enrique Sevilla have been helping urbanites spruce up their living spaces since 2008, offering indoor-friendly air plants ($2–$10) that flourish without soil and hanging ferns encased in globes of moss ($30) from their bright blue shop. The focus here is on greenery, and plants such as temperate bonsai trees ($35–$50) abound in the store’s neighboring outdoor space, where the Sevillas churn out floral arrangements ($50–$300) daily. There’s also a smattering of small gifts, including sterling-silver lockets ($150) containing petite ecosystems and glass teapot vases ($18) that can also be used for serving Tea Beyond floral-infused tea ($12). Weekly classes, including one on how to make ice cream using lavender and roses ($35), will change the way you think about working with flowers.

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Williamsburg

A&G Merch

Critics' pick

Sleek sofas and haute household goods line the walls at this haven for hip urban apartment dwellers. The spacious shop is an offshoot of Billyburg design mecca The Future Perfect (founder David Alhadeff is the “A” in A&G’s name; the “G” is for co-founder Jill Goldhand), hence the überstylish pieces you’ll find—like small, modular items named after Brooklyn nabes, the brand’s plush Bedford lounges ($1,599) and trendy Red Hook dining sets (table $769, chair $219, bench $319). A&G also offers more affordable, quirky items, like toast-shaped coasters ($12) and wall-mounted bottle openers ($9), ideal for home decorators on a budget.

Read more
Williamsburg

Catbird

Critics' pick

Rony Vardi's jewelry and accessories shop is a cult fave among Williamsburg shoppers. The boutique is filled with a well-edited selection of timeless and trendy pieces by contemporary designers such as Digy + Iona, Bittersweets NY and Polly Wales. In addition to the cool indie designers, the shop has sells items from its popular in-house brand.

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Williamsburg

Shag Brooklyn

Samantha Bard and Ashley Montgomery-Pulido’s shop boasts a top-rate selection of toys, including wood and marble dildos, plus hats, jewelry, home goods, fine art and even vagina doorknobs, cast from real vajayjays. (Coming soon: cock knockers!)

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Williamsburg

Sprout Home

Founder Tara Heibel tapped employee Tassy de Give to open this New York branch of her Chicago store in 2007. Weiss ceramic planters ($10–$100) hang from the ceiling of the sprawling, well-lit shop, where locals convene for free classes on creating floral arrangements (materials $50–$300). Even if you’re not DIY savvy, you can still leave with something equally charming, such as Tesoros stainless-steel cups hand-painted with floral accents ($36), Seletti porcelain milk-carton vases ($17) and hanging glass globe terrariums ($14–$19). To bring a piece of nature indoors, head to Sprout’s neighboring floral shop, where arrangements start at $50 and can incorporate anything from French tulips to seasonal branches.

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Williamsburg

ID

Critics' pick

Co-owner Phurbu “Chimmey” Tsamchoe (Perma, Norbu) thinks New York men are too limited when it comes to shopping: It’s either high-end chic or H&M. Enter her latest venture, ID, which she hopes will provide local boys with a shopping middle ground. The sparse, cement-floored store focuses on hard-to-find international labels, and the exotic threads share shelf space with goods by local designers, and of course there are a few big names (Fred Perry, Penguin, Alternative Apparel, etc.)

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Williamsburg

Task

Critics' pick

A former vintage shop owner, costume designer and stylist, Anne Seally uses her discerning eye to stock her boutique with a constantly rotating inventory of season-less items. You’ll find unique home goods, women’s apparel and children’s clothing and toys, such as woodland moth ornaments ($11), Megan Park floral-print skirts ($395), and hand painted cherry blossom glasses ($15). Consider Task any holiday’s secret weapon.

Read more
Williamsburg

CB I Hate Perfume

All perfumes in this quaint Brooklyn shop are blended and bottled by hand on the premises. Pick up a bottle of “To See a Flower” ($60 for 15ml) from the store’s popular Experience Series, designed to help create and radiate new noteworthy experiences. Also available are an assortment of travel-size bottles for when you’re on the go ($10–$21 for 2ml).

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Williamsburg

BARC Shelter & BQE Pet Supply

You’ll leave this straightforward supply store feeling good that your purchase helped animals in need: All proceeds fund the adjoining Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition, which has been taking in strays since 1987. Those who own pets with special needs should make a beeline here for over-the-counter prescriptions, Dogswell Happy Hips chicken sticks designed to soothe the aching joints of senior canines ($9), as well as a selection of plush Wilson doughnut beds ($25–$46). If you love your mutt, but are stumped as to what breed he is, pick up a BioPet DNA test ($65), swab his mouth and send it into the lab for evaluation; within two weeks, results will arrive in the mail. Mystery solved!

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Williamsburg

Hickoree’s Hard Goods

Critics' pick

Brothers Emil and Sandy Corsillo launched their e-commerce site, Hickoree’s Hard Goods, in June 2009, featuring a small selection of ties and scarves. One of the best-selling brands on the site was Emil’s own tie line, the Hill-Side, which became so popular (it was even picked up by J.Crew) that the brothers decided they should open a brick-and-mortar store. After a well-received Williamsburg pop-up during the 2009 Christmas season, Sandy quit his job in finance, and the duo channeled all of their energy into opening a Brooklyn storefront. With products ranging from seed packets ($2–$2.25) and Slinkies ($6–$9) to Levi’s vintage jeans ($260–$295), Sandy says he wants customers to feel as if they’re “going into a supermarket and grabbing watermelon seeds while their mom shops.” To create that general-store effect, products hang on a giant pegboard to replicate the front page of the website, while knickknacks such as slingshots ($21), Silly Putty ($2) and toy airplanes ($2–$4) are displayed by the register. Along with the Hill-Side printed skinny ties ($76–$90), Hickoree’s offers Heritage Leather Company top-handle bags ($37–$170), store-brand baseball caps ($48) and Sierra Designs short parkas ($350).

Read more
Williamsburg

Miniminimarket

Critics' pick

Erika Vala and Dana Schwister opened their first boutique in 1999 inside the Williamsburg MiniMall, a former girdle factory. Thirteen years later, they still operate one of the last original shops left in the building, and their clothing and accessories stand the test of time in an evolving neighborhood. You’ll find plenty of affordable and trendy items, ranging from MinkPink floral minidresses ($80) to Cheap Monday button-front rompers ($60) and Funktional open-weave sweaters ($120). Basics such as Levi’s skinny jeans ($55) and graphic tees for men and women ($28–$52) are folded on one side of the store, while Maja woven backpacks ($62), By Boe gold bow hoop earrings ($90) and Soludos striped espadrille flats ($38) are scattered throughout.

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Williamsburg

Whisk

Critics' pick

If Julia Child were alive, we suspect she’d coo with pleasure over this brightly lit, well-stocked kitchen store (and not just because they sell aprons with her friendly visage screenprinted on them). Both cooking novices and seasoned chefs will find an abundance of supplies to keep a kitchen running smoothly, including essential pieces like quality pots by Le Creuset and Calphalon; knives by J.A. Zwilling Henckels; and quirky items you didn’t even know you needed, like a salt shaker shaped like a dove.

Read more
Williamsburg

Monk Vintage Thrift Shop

Dig and ye shall find: The booty at this crazy-packed vintage store includes 1960s–1990s options for both guys and girls, plus a considerable costume jewelry and funky housewares selection.

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Williamsburg

Treehouse Brooklyn

Shopping at Siri Wilson’s shop is sort of like rummaging through a very cool granny’s attic: Antique scarves are piled in baskets, hand-stitched T-shirts sit on tables, craft supplies fill shelves and oodles of traffic-stopping baubles are clustered by the register. The shop showcases work by more than 60 designers, most of whom live and work in Brooklyn. Do-it-yourselfers also stop by to pick up hand-spun yarn and vintage craft kits; you can also browse the library of crafting books (sorry, no borrowing) and take a class in embroidery, crochet, jewelry making or decoupage.

Read more
Williamsburg

Abode New York

Find sleek styles, bold colors and cool graphics in Tony Wong’s contemporary housewares shop. Nothing here is clunky or unwieldy, and most of the items fit just right in small apartments. Look for that perfect pop of color in Abode’s many bowls, serving trays, linens, bedding and rugs from eco-friendly brands like Goldiehome, Paper Cloud and Teroforma.

Read more
Williamsburg

Hollander & Lexer

Critics' pick

With its gothic black-painted walls and ancestral portraits, H&L sets the tone for its old world-with-a-twist wares. Own-label items and other lines sold have the same old-fashioned air of integrity, such as Engineered Garments, which interprets classic U.S. workwear. Don’t overlook the highly original, sometimes macabre accessories and gifts, nor the apothecary section.

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Williamsburg

ABC 99 Cents Plus

This funky variety store is crammed with everything from hardware to kitty litter, and includes an impressive array of pots, plates and gold-rimmed champagne flutes ($10 for six).

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Williamsburg

Honey

Williamsburg was shockingly devoid of classy sex shops before Honey opened in the summer of 2009; owner Cindy Yip helped her sister run the Vancouver-based store for nearly a decade before opening her own. “The concept is the same,” she says. “[We offer] lingerie and toys in a safe environment; it’s comfortable and fun.” Peruse the wall of sex toys at the back of the store, which includes both inexpensive and luxury options (we’re fond of Jimmyjane’s sleek Little Chroma vibrator, $125); if that’s too porno-crazy for your Puritan blood, you can stock up on love notes from the small selection of letterpress cards, like one that says “XXXOOO” by May Day Studio near the front of the shop.

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Williamsburg

Spacecraft

Critics' pick

Our favorite part of summer camp was always arts and crafts, and this cozy Williamsburg studio evokes all the memories of that carefree time. Centered around one large handcrafted wood table are barrels of brushes, boxes of beads, overflowing cabinets of markers, crayons, tools, clay, and anything else you need to create that one-of-a-kind handmade item. The menu of daily walk-in projects ($10 to $45) includes sculpture from beeswax, beading, printmaking, and decorating shirts, bags, cards and skateboards, to name a few. If you’re looking for something a bit more advanced than lanyard and painting, choose a weekly workshop or a three- to six-week course ($100 to $350) taught by local artists. The space is also available for hosting parties, showers and special events.

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Williamsburg

Junk

This pair of vintage shops hawks affordable furniture, dishes, books, art, clothing and accessories—if you have the time to look. Sift through more than 5,000 square feet of merch to uncover treasures.

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Williamsburg

Old Made

Standing out in the Williamsburg vintage scene isn’t easy, but Old Made owners Leah Adams-Kroll and Frances Pezik have done just that by turning their loftlike boutique into a concert hall, art gallery and record shop. Shopping-wise, the store is packed with vintage dresses for as little as $30, houndstooth blazers, European board games and old-school typewriters.

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Williamsburg

Brooklynski

Since moving their shop from Greenpoint to Williamsburg, husband-and-wife team Basia Grocholski and Douglas Friedmutter have three times as much space to show off their stock of handmade gifts. The shelves, lined with the work of more than 30 mostly local designers and artists, offer well-designed jewelry, home accessories and a small selection of CDs from local musicians.

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Williamsburg

Huitzilli

Since spring break in Cancún is not looking likely this year, pick up a souvenir from owner Emily Cantrell’s travels to Mexico instead. Cantrell sources intricate silver jewelry ($20–$200), Mexican wedding shirts and peasant dresses ($54–$98), leather sandals ($25) and popular lucha libre masks ($15–$45) direct from individual artisans. Everything’s handmade and comes with a card detailing the who, where and how of its creation. Beats the hell out of a shot glass.

Read more
Williamsburg

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