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Best gift shops: Midtown East

Henri Bendel

Critics' picks

Henri Bendel

While the merchandise (a mix of high-end and diffusion designer clothes, accessories and big-brand cosmetics) and prices are comparable to those of other upscale stores, the goods at Bendel’s somehow seem more desirable in this opulent atmosphere, and those darling brown-striped shopping bags don’t hurt either.

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Midtown West

New York Transit Museum Store

This MTA gift shop is loaded with funky subway-themed gifts, including mini trains, number 6 line T-shirts and stuffed bears printed with New York City maps. There's also a nice collection of children's books about our city's favorite mode of transportation—the subway.

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Midtown East

The Shop at Scandinavia House

Much chicer than the average museum gift shop, this boutique tucked inside Scandinavia House is an unexpected place for sourcing the perfect present. A mecca of home design, jewelry, beauty loot, clothing and shoes from Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the store is divided into two sections: At the front, look for giftable items like Design House Stockholm tea mugs ($25), Bjork & Berries all-natural face and body products ($16–$48), and Skyline Series die-cut greeting cards ($5). Past a café in the back you’ll find a large selection of jewelry and accessories, including women’s silver Skagen watches ($125–$275), Sami handmade leather, pewter and silver bracelets ($150–$225) and Tretorn sneakers and rain boots ($55–$90). We especially love of-the-moment Dala wooden clogs ($95–$135) and colorful, graphic-print Marimekko pillows ($100–$115).

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Murray Hill

United Nations Gift Center


The security to get into this global boutique may be stricter than that to board an international flight, but once you’re safely ensconced you’ll have access to a wealth of products, all organized by country. Each display houses its nation’s claim to fame, like Victorian-style garnet jewelry ($40–$400) from the Czech Republic, Technicolor hand-blown glass vases ($33) from Poland and flamenco dancer figurines ($104) from Spain. Brand names have no significance to Hanaa Shoukry, the enthusiastic director of purchasing and merchandise, who hand-selects each item based on history, tradition and culture.

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Lenox Hill