Best shops in Long Island City for vintage, local fashion and more
The best shops in Long Island City offer an eclectic mix of locally designed clothing, bric-a-brac and gifts.
Long Island City may not be a retail mecca, but a smattering of interesting shops sell everything from indie streetwear to vintage curios. Here’s our guide to the best shops in the neighborhood. And while you’re in this part of Queens, check out the best shops in Astoria too.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Long Island City, Queens, New York
Owner Adriana Ron fosters a high-end aesthetic while keeping prices at $150 or less. Look out for Astoria designer Laura Makla’s fluid tops and dresses made from hand-painted silk scarves ($68–$84), and architectural, versatile pieces by Blank New York, a label started by a pair of FIT grads ($75–$100). Local jewelry lines include Holy Harlot: earrings, cuffs and necklaces incorporating exotic skins and chains ($72–$150) by a former L.A.M.B. designer.
- 47-38 Vernon Blvd, (between 47th Rd and 48th Ave)
Hipsters and drag queens will be giddy over the selection at this 27-year-old thrift shop, which is run by sisters Ann Caporusso and Tishie Dooling (who inherited the space from their mother). Admire the window display, which is updated weekly with Caporusso’s newest finds, or browse the interior for grandpa-chic housewares, including a porcelain cookie jar ($40) and a set of novelty salt-and-pepper shakers ($8). Then venture to the back, where you’ll find an abundance of
- 47-28 Vernon Blvd , (at 47th Rd)
- Price band: 1/4
- Critics choice
Frustrated by the sparse streetwear options in his neighborhood, Queens resident Mark Garcia brought his favorite local brands together in this cozy boutique, art gallery and design studio. Inspired by gritty NYC storefronts from the ’80s and ’90s that posed as dry cleaners but hosted illegal activities, Garcia decorated the space with vintage sewing machines and T-shirts hanging in plastic dry-cleaner bags (leading some potential customers to mistakenly drop by with their
- 45-03 Broadway , (between 45th and 46th Sts)
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
- 46-36 Vernon Blvd , (between 46th Rd and 47th Ave)
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.
- 10-59 Jackson Ave, (between 49th and 50th Aves)
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
- 10-13 50th Ave , (between Vernon Blvd and Jackson Ave )