The best shops in the West Village

The best shops in the West Village include designer flagships, quirky independent boutiques and America’s oldest apothecary

Photograph: Mark Von Holden
Sisley Paris

The West Village stretch of Bleecker Street may have morphed into a mini Madison Avenue, but non-chain stores still give the neighborhood that downtown-cool charm. From indie beauty-supply stores to quaint gift shops, our guide to the best shops in the West Village points you to our local favorites for fashion as well as one-offs selling everything from books to glow-in-the-dark graffiti paint. In case you accidently spend too much money on vintage dresses and U.K. jewels, there are plenty of places to grab cheap eats in the ‘hood, once the shopping fatigue sets in.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the West Village

Best shops in the West Village

AC Gears

This shop is like Toys “R” Us for adults. The futuristic space offers the newest electronics, cool gadgets and fun tchotchkes from around the world. Explore the headphones selection by trying on one of the high-end brands, like the popular Zumreed line that comes in a range of punchy colors ($40–$60). Check out the best-selling Bandai Gun o’Clock ($90), an alarm clock with a pop-up target and toy gun—so when that dreaded sound goes off in the wee hours of the morning, just reach for the gun and shoot the damn thing. More playful items include limited-edition Mimobot Star Wars–themed memory drives ($46), Kikkerland robot pencil sharpeners ($13) and disappearing glow-in-the-dark graffiti paint from Suck UK ($66).

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West Village

Aedes de Venustas

You’ll be transported to Paris once you step inside this opulent bath-and-body shop. Rich burgundy carpets, gilded wallpaper, a gloriously huge chandelier and a mahogany desk that serves as the checkout area set the stage for the luxurious fragrances ($50–$300), candles ($20–$400), lotions, and soaps from brands like Diptyque and Annick Goutal. Curiosity cabinets house many of the store’s exclusives—the West Village outpost is the only location in the country to sell several items, including candles by Les Secrets Ladurée Paris.

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West Village

Albertine

Thanks to a ceramic birdbath in the window and pink Louis XIV–style chairs and birdcages adorning the shop, Albertine is a fitting setting for a tea party—and carries what you could wear to one. Owner Kyung Lee designs the house line, Delphine, which covers both bespoke and off-the-rack clothing. Shoes and dresses by Rachel Comey, Bodkin, Apiece Apart and CFDA nominee Gary Graham also fill the slim shop. Right next door is sister store Abertine General, the jewelry outpost that carries a mix of new and antique baubles. A generous fireplace, gilded frames displaying necklaces, and a glass cabinet housing a typewriter and stuffed bird lend the store an antique feel.

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West Village

Anine Bing

Danish model and designer Anine Bing launched her label in 2012, lending her boho sensibilities to a casual range of women’s apparel and accessories. Her first shop opened last year in L.A., and the brand recently expanded to include this West Village outpost. Shop high-waist skinny jeans ($199) and oversize army jackets ($349) at the minimalist boutique, where you’ll also find breezy scoop-neck tanks ($69) and lace-trimmed dresses ($199). Looking to blow your tax return? Head straight for the cropped leather moto jackets ($1,099) and studded leather ankle boots ($699).

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CAP Beauty

Looking to adopt a clean, organic beauty routine? Barely a year old, the new all-natural wellness Web store has already gained a cult following, but just last month, the brand opened its first brick-and-mortar in the West Village. Inside you’ll find that indie skin-care lines such as Jiva-Apoha and In Fiore outnumber brands like Tata Harper, RMS Beauty and Earth Tu Face. Plus CAP is launching its own product line, starting with the Captivator, a flower remedy mist, which rolls out this spring.

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Castor & Pollux

Boutique owner Kerrilynn Pamer sleuths out such breakout stars as Macedonian-born Risto Bimbiloski and Caron Callahan. Unusual accessories are a constant feature—look for exquisitely handcrafted Reece Hudson lambskin bags by recent Parsons graduate Reece Solomon, and delicate gold-and-gem jewelry from Katie Finn’s Elizabeth Street. Expect new, smart separates from the stylish downtown crowd’s favorite clothing labels, including Acne, Vena Cava, Tucker, Risto and Richard Chai Love. Cosmetics by Lipstick Queen and RGB nail polish provide the finishing touches.

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West Village

C.O. Bigelow Chemists

Established in 1838, Bigelow is the oldest apothecary in America. Its simply packaged, appealingly old-school line of toiletries includes such tried-and-true favorites as Mentha Lip Shine, Barber Cologne Elixir Red No. 1584 and Lemon Body Cream. The spacious, chandelier-lit store is packed with natural remedies, organic skin-care products and drugstore essentials—and they still fill prescriptions.

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Greenwich Village

Considerosity

Gift-giving is a whole lot easier with this cozy West Village boutique, whose selection of pretty, tasteful items—ranging from handmade jewelry ($30–$150) to artisanal home goods ($15–$50)—offers something for every hostess, birthday girl and bride-to-be. Reclaimed-wood shelving showcases Julie Nolan’s brass-disc pendants featuring astrological constellations ($45) and Coatt’s Morse-code necklaces that spell out LOVE, PEACE and FRIEND in gold-filled dots and dashes ($36). Considerosity also specializes in items that are practical (S’well colorful stainless-steel water bottles, $35), thoughtful (West Third Brand daily affirmation wish candles, $16) and just plain delicious (Macaron Café macaron gift boxes, $14–$49).

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West Village

Darling

Head first to this West Village outpost to find a flirty spring dress on a budget, and it’ll likely be your last stop (we recommend scanning the racks for locally made frocks by Kisses by Darling and Raquelle ($128–$328). Fresh flowers displayed throughout match the sunny disposition of the staff. Tables and chairs bordered by ivy-covered walls make for the perfect rest stop for shopping buddies (even four-legged ones) when the backyard garden isn’t being used for vintage sales in the summer. Other dresses range from $98 to $398 and tops cost $50 to $225, with the average vintage necklace ringing in at $58.

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West Village

Flat 128

Owner Liz DuBois fell so in love with London while living there in her twenties that she opened a store devoted to U.K. products. The cozy shop features light blue walls and a vintage-marble fireplace, and is stocked with stationery ($5–$105), jewelry ($40–$1,300) and leather goods ($72–$895) from brands such as Smith/Grey and Yunus & Eliza. Shop unique finds, including Alona gold-studded cuffs ($252), Comfort Station silver ampersand-shaped earrings ($82) and Lost Property of London leather clutches ($90).

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West Village

Kikkerland

Founder Jan van der Lande collaborated with Kevin Brynan, owner of now-closed gift shop Mxyplyzyk, in creating the first store for the design company, which has been churning out must-have utilitarian gadgets for the past 20 years. NYC designer Jan Habraken and his team at FormNation (formnation.com) created the Peg-Board walls displaying goods ($2–$500) from Kikkerland and local brands such as Confetti System and Tattly. Look for Chris Collicott calendar boxes ($20) and Casey Schneider glass stones ($13) that water your plants over the course of three to four days, as well as Kikkerland rechargeable lanterns ($35) and fish-shaped flasks ($30).

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West Village

Odin

The Norse god Odin is often portrayed sporting an eye patch and an array of shabby robes to complement his dour, bearded visage. That may have been fashionable in medieval Scandinavia, but to make it in NYC, he’d have to pick up some Robert Geller, Rag & Bone or Comme des Garçons from this upscale men’s boutique bearing his name. Tasteful masculine jewelry and dapper shoes are also available to those with a healthy cash flow.

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West Village

OHWOW Book Club

Underground in more ways than one (the shop is below street level, and it’s as indie as they come), this Laundromat turned reading room is a project to come from Aaron “A-Ron the Downtown Don” Bondaroff. OHWOW, the publishing company that he co-founded two years ago with Al Moran, prints books displaying work by his artist friends: Scott Campbell, Phil Frost, Neckface and Terence Koh. The bookstore-showroom is the first spot to carry all of OHWOW’s publications under a single roof, and those craving color, inspiration or simply a place to talk art can do so sans snobbery.

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West Village

Sisley Paris

This French brand is family-owned, so expect a homey feel at its new West Village outpost. Unwind in the Parisian-flavored space, discuss your skin-care needs with on-site experts and shop high-end beauty products, such as the "So Intense" volumizing mascara ($67). The store houses a spa “cabine” and private makeup room so you can splurge on a full facial (60mins $200) and get a free makeup application.

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Teich Design

Husband and wife Allison and JJ McGowan opened the second branch of their mom-and-pop boutique to balance out the big-name chain stores inhabiting the West Village. In addition to the bags that made Teich’s original East Village shop popular (such as vintage-inspired lambskin clutches, $125), the new space offers exclusive products made by other local labels, including Studio DuArte, Noli Noli and Grass & Clovers. The space is eco-friendly with recycled-rubber floors, salvaged-wood shelves and walls painted with nontoxic paint.

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West Village

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