Best shops near the Lower East Side-Second Ave subway station

Take the F train to these LES shops.

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  • Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

    Sheherazade

  • Photograph: Roxanna Marroquin

    Pixie Market

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Grit N' Glory

  • Photograph: Roxanna Marroquin

    Reed Space

  • Lower East Side Tenement Museum Shop

  • Photograph: Kaia Balcos

    By Robert James

  • MooShoes

  • Photograph: Roxanna Marroquin

    Some Odd Rubies

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Top Hat

Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

Sheherazade

Sheherazade

  • Critics choice

Moroccan-born owner Rachid Ouassil opened this Middle Eastern furniture, housewares and decor shop to mix his native culture with his New York clients’ contemporary taste. The space is filled with furniture, lighting, colorful textiles and large mirrors ($10–$5,000), all sourced from Syria, Turkey, Morocco and other Middle Eastern countries, as well as India. Ouassil even offers consulting services for shoppers looking for home design advice ($160/hour). On our last visit, we found gems such as Moroccan brass-framed mirrors decorated with orange henna ($595), velvet ikat throw pillows ($105) and metallic wall sconces ($295). 

  1. 121 Orchard St, (between Delancey and Rivington Sts)
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Pixie Market

  • Critics choice

This pint-size shop, a beloved indie staple of the Lower East Side, highlights independent designers like Sass and Bride, Stolen Girlfriends Club and Carin Wester: Head here if you’re in search of something übertrendy that guarantees a head turn: The stock shifts weekly, as owners Magda Pietrobelli and Gaelle Drevet rapidly change over their collection of hard-to-find pieces—items range from $20 to $300.  Currently covetable goods include Wonderment pink studded collars ($95), Jov daisy cutout shirts ($121) and Dual for Jeffrey Campbell floral shoes ($139).

  1. 100 Stanton St, (between Ludlow and Orchard Sts), 10002
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Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Makeup artist David Klasfeld founded this 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics line in 2004; this fall, the label opened its first flagship. The small shop, decorated with exposed brick and reclaimed wood-and-antique-metal display cases, has already accumulated a considerable downtown following: The extensive and affordable makeup brand ($8–$30) offers more than 30 shades of colorful nail polish ($8), 40-plus loose eye-shadow powders ($12) and a full panoply of facial products ranging from tinted moisturizers ($25) to airbrush foundations ($25). OCC’s most popular product, Lip Tar ($14), is made from hemp and peppermint oils, has a smooth matte finish, and comes in 36 different tints and shades. The store even offers makeup-application services ($75–$125) for special occasions.

  1. 174 Ludlow St, (between E Houston and Stanton Sts)
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Grit N' Glory

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Proprietors Emily Conley and Veronica Cano were inspired by American rock & roll and their mohawked adolescence in NYC when they opened this retro boutique last year. Allow the spirit of Pantera to fuel your shopping trip as you browse vintage unisex flannels ($40), Han Cholo metal pirate-skull rings ($200), Reason Brooklyn Bridge tees ($30) and One Teaspoon lace kimonos ($160). If you feel your energy flagging, grab a cup of Stumptown ($3–$5); there’s a coffeeshop inside, where you can punctuate your spree with a game of Monopoly or Jenga.

  1. 86 Orchard St, (between E Houston and Stanton Sts)
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The Reed Space

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Ten years ago, frustrated with the available outlets for getting his T-shirt designs to the public, Jeff Ng opened this small downtown menswear shop to showcase his street-ready brand, Staple Clothing. The shelves of colorful graphic T-shirts ($20–$36) are one of the main attractions, but dudes can also pick up sunglasses ($30–200), Pointer leather sneakers ($100–$120) and Staple Clothing pigeon hats ($45), the latter are perched atop a Ping-Pong display table.

  1. 151 Orchard St , (between Rivington and Stanton Sts)
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The Tenement Museum Shop

  • Critics choice

The LES Tenement Museum, housed next door to a series of apartments that were home to nearly 7,000 working-class immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries, aims to offer a glimpse into the lives of those residents. The institution’s shop continues the mission by selling a mix of educational and playful knickknacks and memorabilia that retell the many stories of Manhattan’s Lower East Side—and show off some serious NYC pride. We’re especially fond of the New York Greek-diner mug ($13), a ceramic interpretation of the classic WE ARE HAPPY TO SERVE YOU cup, and the subway-map Mighty Wallet ($15).

  1. 103 Orchard St, (between Broome and Delancey Sts)
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By Robert James

  • Price band: 4/4

This 3,500-square-foot, three-story space produces all of the brand’s pieces in the U.S: The boutique resides on the street level and boasts 18-foot-high ceilings adorned with reclaimed wooden beams and barn-floorboard shelves to showcase the collection. The second-level mezzanine houses the namesake owner’s tailor shop, where alterations on BRJ products are free and weekend DJs perform on the weekends—there’s even a custom guitar shop on the top floor. Hip dudes with cash to burn will find plenty of dapper menswear featuring the designer’s clean lines and love of eco-friendly fabrics—pick up long-sleeved button-down chambray dress shirts ($168), graphic tees ($48) and tortoiseshell sunglasses ($60). If you’re looking for an upscale splurge, inquire about a bespoke suit ($1,200–$1,700). 

  1. 74 Orchard St, (between Broome and Grand Sts)
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MooShoes

Sisters Sara and Erica Kubersky opened their cruelty-free, vegan-owned business to sell affordable and animal-friendly footwear, wallets and handbags, plus tees, books and other ephemera. The walls of the 1,000-square-foot store are lined with more than 200 varieties of shoes from brands including Dansko, Dr. Martens and Olsen Haus. There are three small seating areas for customers to try on Vegetarian Shoes ballet flats ($90), Big Buddha lace-up wedges ($70) and Novacas two-tone oxfords ($130). The space often hosts events for shelters and other businesses in the animal-rights community.

  1. 78 Orchard St, (between Broome and Grand Sts)
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Some Odd Rubies

  • Critics choice

This stylish boutique has become a neighborhood go-to since 2003 for its one-of-a-kind repurposed clothes and accessories: Owners Summer Phoenix, Odessa Whitmire and Ruby Canner deconstruct and then reconstruct each piece to banish the awkward fits that can often come along with vintage wares, and to maintain the environmentally conscious component of purchasing preworn clothing. Browse the racks of fashion-forward, eco-friendly threads, hung from wooden rods: You’ll choose from awesome finds like black sequined harem pants ($425), a floral-lined double-breasted blazer ($385) and a velvet burnout jumpsuit ($325). Less pricey options include Emily Rothschild pinky rings ($145), Veronica Moore gold ID bracelets ($99) and SOR’s high-waisted wrap skirt ($154).

  1. 151 Ludlow St, (between Rivington and Stanton Sts)
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Top Hat

  • Critics choice

After launching Sweet Bella, an international wholesale company that specializes in eclectic accessories, stationery and bags, world traveler Nina Allen decided it was time to open her own retail space. Her small shop showcases Sweet Bella products as well as other quirky goods and knickknacks: Peep handmade wooden birdcall creations ($38–$50), hand-painted ceramic tiles ($22–$46), hand-embossed Venetian leather coin purses ($56–$90) and tons of paper products by Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa, including paper tote bags ($80–$100). 

  1. 245 Broome St, (between Ludlow and Orchard Sts)
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Users say

2 comments
Monica Williams
Monica Williams

I'm surprised you left off Pilgrim on Orchard Street. They are the best store on the Lower East Side. Specially curated, designed clothing made in NYC, great vintage designer jewelry, everything I love. It reminds me of shops in the Marais in Paris. They definitely should have been on this list. Just my opinion as a regular there. Monica