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New York shopping: Critics' picks

Discover the best of NYC shopping, style, fashion, home and beauty, as chosen by Time Out New York's editors.

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Eataly
  • Shopping
  • Grocery stores
  • Flatiron
  • price 2 of 4

This massive food and drink complex from Oscar Farinetti is the largest Italian market in the world. The New York flagship takes inspiration from the first Eataly location, which opened in Torino, Italy, in 2007. The Eataly NYC Flatiron location sprawls 48,000-square-feet and is a maze of awe-inspiring aisle after aisle filled with hard-to-find, high-quality Italian produce and products, fresh counters, cafés and restaurants. It's a chance for New Yorkers to educate their tastebuds on the nuances of Italy's 20 regions.

AuH20 Thriftique
  • Shopping
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

After graduating from NYU in 2006, Milwaukee native Kate Goldwater opened this funky shop, featuring a curated selection of vintage and thrift clothing ($5–$25) and accessories ($3–$30) that are easy on the eyes and the wallet. Most pieces inside are $30 or less and her finds are perfectly on-trend, which means you’ll find plenty of ’80s and ’90s pieces right now.  

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  • Shopping
  • Markets and fairs
  • Flatiron

The iconic open-air Chelsea flea, brought back from the dead by the team behind  Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea, showcases 40 veteran vendors selling mostly historic collectibles. If you love eclectic costume jewelry, quirky furniture, midcentury art and ceramics, records, antiques and art, and more, you’ll spend hours combing for treasure here. Plus, you'll now be able to grab a rewarding snack on the way out from various Smorgasburg food vendors that will soon be revealed. 

Beacon’s Closet
  • Shopping
  • Thrift stores
  • Greenwich Village
  • price 1 of 4

As big fans of this treasure trove of modern and vintage finds, we’re ecstatic that Brooklyn mainstay Beacon’s Closet (which has stores in Williamsburg and Park Slope) opened up shop in Manhattan. The simple space is adorned with three large chandeliers crafted from buttons by engineer Doug Newton and features one wall covered in dark, floral wallpaper. Although it’s half the size of the nearly 5,000-square-foot Williamsburg location, the Manhattan storefront boasts plentiful racks packed with retired closet duds consigned by locals, many of whom are trendy college kids from nearby schools. You’ll likely come across designer goods such as a Christian Dior cropped blazer ($25) or a Marc Jacobs men’s corduroy jacket ($30), although castaways from chains like H&M and Charlotte Russe are also in the mix. The store is abundant in one-of-a-kind accessories, including funky United Nude orange-and-red checkered booties ($50), but also stocks simpler shoes such as guys’ Gourmet red suede sneakers ($18). Drop by and exchange your own gently worn, in-season clothes for 35 percent of the resale value in cash, or 55 percent of store credit for your next purchase.

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Cure Thrift Shop
  • Shopping
  • Thrift stores
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

The first floor of this respected thrift shop is devoted to jewelry cases, vintage furniture, and such curios as an old cash register and used sewing machine (both in working order). Head to the clean basement room to scour the racks for coats, skirts and jeans, priced to move at $35; or plop down on a cushioned bench to try on the shoes, organized on red bookshelves. The well-edited stock is in impeccable condition and sourced solely by donation—Cure donates all its proceeds to the Diabetes Research Institute. Check back twice a year for the shop’s whatever-you-can-fit-in-this-bag-that-costs-just-$15 sales.  

Chelsea Market | New York, NY
  • Shopping
  • Shopping centers
  • Chelsea
  • price 1 of 4

Everything you need to know about visiting Chelsea Market (75 Ninth Ave, New York, NY 10011). The former home of the National Biscuit Company is a hot spot for foodies and shopping addicts. Primarily known for its wide-range of eateries, Chelsea Market is hands-down one of New York’s most notable food halls boasting more than 35 vendors. Whether you’ve got a hankering for a steaming-hot cup of lobster bisque, perfectly aged cheese or a strong and smooth shot of espresso, Chelsea Market has you covered. Aside from finger-lickin’ fare and sweet merchandise, the attraction offers historical charms such as the market’s iconic fountain, which was crafted using discarded drill bits and exposed pipe from the former Nabisco factory.   The grub: Mexican food lovers, rejoice! Chelsea Market is home to one of the best taco joints in the city: Los Tacos No.1. Next time you’re craving crepes, hit Bar Suzette for its French onion soup-inspired creation or opt for a sweet, Nutella and fruit-filled pancake. Seafood worshippers will go nuts inside The Lobster Place—a wholesale and retail fish market, which serves fresh and prepared meals like lobster roll and sushi. When you need to oblige your sweet tooth, hit the pint-sized Doughnuttery stand for mouth-watering bite-sized desserts. (You can watch the doughnuts come fresh off the conveyor belt and choose your own toppings.) The market also reps great restaurants like a rustic, classy spot called The Tippler.   The shops: Chelsea Market is a

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  • Shopping

The best holiday markets are right here in NYC—full of both the holiday spirit and the most unique gifts out there. While fancy Christmas window displays may entice you, NYC's holiday markets often include ice skating, tree and menorah lightings, great food vendors, and fun holiday activities. Shopping for the perfect gift doesn't have to be stressful, make it fun at these holiday markets. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Christmas in New York

Buffalo Exchange
  • Shopping
  • Consignment store
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

Want cash back without having to charge up a storm on your credit card? Bring your unwanted garb to the East Village outpost of this popular buy-sell-trade clothing shop and leave with padded pockets. The best part is that they won’t turn up their noses at Forever 21—all brands are welcome. Score a pair of 7 for All Mankind jeans for $25, current-season Manolo Blahniks for $250 or unload some designer goods for major dough.

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Russ & Daughters
  • Shopping
  • Specialist food and drink
  • Lower East Side
  • price 1 of 4

Russ & Daughters has been serving lox, herring and other specialty foods since 1914, and its Super Heeb of horseradish cream cheese, wasabi-flavored roe and sublime whitefish salad form a holy trinity with an unholy name.

Daredevil Tattoo
  • Shopping
  • Tattoos and piercings
  • Chinatown
  • price 3 of 4

In 1997, when tattooing was legalized in New York after a 36-year ban, friends Michelle Myles and Brad Fink opened their first parlor, on the Lower East Side. The duo has made a name for itself by inking musicians such as Joan Jett and Boy George. This new locale is just seven blocks south of the original, and features pressed-tin ceilings and Art Deco–tiled floors. Drop in or make an appointment to get yourself stamped. Tattoos start at $100, with custom designs costing $200 per hour. Vegans will rejoice at the animal-free inks available.

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  • Shopping
  • Thrift stores
  • Greenwich Village
  • price 1 of 4

This NYC thrift shop has opened another location, which meshes perfectly with the Village aesthetic by offering on-trend, funky finds. The store features both vintage and new apparel, shoes, accessories and home goods, and it's organized with spaced-out, clearly labeled racks. The women’s section is filled with prom dresses, lingerie, blazers, designer bags and tops. On a recent visit, we discovered Salvatore Ferragamo loafers with silver buckles ($25), Kate Spade red kitten heels ($30) and thin rusty-gold bangles with Egyptian-like patterns ($4 each). While the gents’ section is smaller than the ladies’, there are designer duds to be had. Snag William Rast jeans ($25), J.Press tan lace-up loafers ($30) and a Jos. A. Bank beige houndstooth blazer ($25). The housewares selection has kitschy blue cat-shaped salt and pepper shakers ($3 each) and standard Keurig coffeemakers ($75). Roll through the streets of New York on your new Razor scooter ($30) or lie in bed writing your innermost thoughts in a Twilight journal featuring photos of the characters on the cover (four for $10). Before you head out the door, grab the Backstreet Boys’ "We’ve Got It Going On" CD single ($4), a Lucky Brand iPad case ($25) or the Office DVD board game ($8).

  • Shopping
  • Markets and fairs
  • Soho
  • price 1 of 4

This ever-changing marketplace in Soho offers a constantly evolving lineup of wares from artists and merchants. It's a great place to find a one-of-a-kind gift and to experience some amazing creativity. The marketplace has recently reopened for a series of weekend holiday pop-ups. Current seasonal merchants include Aliens of Brooklyn, Eat Records and Roots by Bella.

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Vintage Thrift Shop
  • Shopping
  • Consignment store
  • Gramercy
  • price 1 of 4

There’s a rotating mix of astoundingly well-preserved designer and nonvintage clothing here, as well as one-of-a-kind housewares, shoes and accessories. We’ve found vintage Yves Saint Laurent blouses for $12, striped skinny ties for $6 and a pair of classic Salvatore Ferragamo pumps with bows on them for $10. Pretty much everything is a find, but you still get that thrill-of-the-hunt feeling.

  • Shopping
  • Tattoos and piercings
  • Lower East Side
  • price 4 of 4

With a client list that includes stars such as Rihanna, Rita Ora and Cara Delevingne, 27-year-old tattoo artist Keith McCurdy—a.k.a. Bang Bang—opens his first parlor. The brightly lit space features five workstations, a private room, a backyard with black canvas seating and a painted plaid-wall art installation by David Pappaceno (davidpappaceno.com) and Darkcloud. Get inked (minimum $200; with Bang Bang $1,000) by top artists including Jon Mesa, El-E Mags, Liz Markov, Tye Harris, Shey Haf-Ded and Little Dragon.

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Crossroads Trading Company
  • Shopping
  • Consignment store
  • Williamsburg
  • price 2 of 4

Kings County thrifters, rejoice: Brooklyn has another clothing exchange filled to the brim with slightly worn sartorial treasures. Northern California’s Crossroads—already a West Coast mainstay—has migrated East and packed its first NYC shop with affordable clothing ($5–$300), shoes ($15–$150) and accessories ($15–$350), not to mention some serious designer-label scores. Merchandise turns over fast, but scour the no-frills space and you’ll find some good deals, like ladies’ suede chunky platform Jeffrey Campbell boots ($100) and men’s YSL leather sneakers ($55). In the clothing department, you might stumble upon a guy’s sleek zippered G-Star jacket ($50) or a Marc by Marc Jacobs smock dress with leather detailing ($125). And if you’re in the market to splurge, keep your eyes peeled for fashion holy-grail items such as a quilted Chanel handbag with chain straps ($800). You can also unload your own gently worn items for 35% of the resale value in cash or 50% in store credit.

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Monk Vintage Thrift Shop
  • Shopping
  • Thrift stores
  • Williamsburg
  • price 1 of 4

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.

Strand Book Store
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Shopping
  • Bookstores
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

Boasting 18 miles of books, the Strand has a mammoth collection of more than 2 million discount volumes, and the store is made all the more daunting by its chaotic, towering shelves and surly staff. Reviewer discounts are in the basement, while rare volumes lurk upstairs. If you spend enough time here you can find just about anything, from that out-of-print Victorian book on manners to the kitschiest of sci-fi pulp.

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  • Shopping
  • Womenswear
  • Williamsburg
  • price 2 of 4

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.

Grit n Glory
  • Shopping
  • Womenswear
  • Lower East Side
  • price 1 of 4

Shop owners Veronica Cano and Emily Conley (a.k.a. the women you’d want to recruit for your all-girl punk band) run one hell of a store, carrying edgy clothing like All the Best Boys muscle tees ($25), goth-glam home goods such as Anatomical Heart pillows ($45), and macabre loot like Ouija planchettes ($24). But the coolest part? There’s a tattoo parlor in the back. Megan Massacre, the star of TLC’s NY Ink, controls the inking operation (her expertise ranges from portraits to thorn-covered roses and incredibly detailed outdoor sceneries) and brings in new artists every week. Tattoos ($250–$400 per hour) are usually by appointment, but the flame-haired beauty does take walk-ins, so at least you can shop while you wait to get inked.

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Artists & Fleas - Chelsea Market
  • Shopping
  • Markets and fairs
  • Chelsea

In 2003, Artists & Fleas first opened in Williamsburg, but thanks to owners Amy Abrams and Ronen Glimer, you can shop awesome vendors in Manhattan's Chelsea Market. Just like the original location, this version of Artists & Fleas features goods that run the gamut from art and design to fashion and vintage. There are more than 30 independent designers hawking their goods everyday, so stop by to check out our personal favorites such as menswear brand Curated Basics, baubles from Brooklyn Charm and ready-to-wear designs by Avalove.  

  • Shopping
  • Thrift stores
  • Kips Bay
  • price 1 of 4

It's cool to donate your old duds and furniture to Housing Works, so the shelter-oriented charity's thrift stores are among the city's best. The prices aren't the lowest, but the stock is quality. If you're lucky, you can score designer pieces (in clothes and furnishings) you'd never be able to afford new. You just have to do a little rummaging.

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Vintage Thrift West
  • Shopping
  • Consignment store
  • West Village
  • price 2 of 4

Guilt-free shopping surfaces in the West Village with this nonprofit thrift shop’s second store (the original is in Gramercy). Both donate all proceeds to the United Jewish Council of the East Side (ujces.org), which works to preserve the Lower East Side community. Sift through men’s and women’s clothing ($30–$600) hanging from reclaimed pipe racks, and browse accessories ($15–$400) displayed in an original Tiffany jewelry case. We spotted accessories such as Versace ($60) and Pucci ($80) neckties, Fendi leather handbags ($95) and Givenchy platforms ($100). The threads pack the same designer punch, with 1990s Betsey Johnson grunge dresses ($120) and a ’70s Yves Saint Laurent patterned blouse ($175). An Etro military jacket ($165) and vintage Nick Cave concert tee ($65) are highlights for guys.

  • Shopping
  • Markets and fairs
  • Nolita

This flea reopened last month, and though the list of sellers at this under-the-radar market is small, the variety of budget-friendly finds is massive. Expect to see loot like dainty pendant necklaces ($30) from Cameo Sisters and graphic tees ($34) from Dangerous Breed. But you’ll want to revisit the flea each month to scope out new—and temporary—additions, like hats by Birdcage Beanies, before they’re gone by the end of the month.

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  • Shopping
  • Music and entertainment
  • Greenpoint
  • price 1 of 4

Set aside your Spotify playlists and scope out this homage to the once-lost art of vinyl. Academy Records’ Manhattan store in Chelsea carries a hearty supply of compact discs, but Greenpoint’s Annex focuses mostly on wax, offering everything from a self-titled Ginger Baker’s Air Force album from 1970 ($8) to newer sounds like Real Estate’s Days ($15). Shoppers lacking a record player can also pick up cheapie CDs from such bands as the Grateful Dead, while nostalgic audiophiles can take their time digging through discounted 45s (50¢–$2). The Annex also offers two listening stations for previewing older vinyl, and will buy your used records, provided they are in good condition (and not Broadway soundtracks).

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