NYC’s Fifth Avenue is known as a shopaholics’ mecca, but sometimes, we really just want a shopping mall. It’s that self-contained center where you can find all the best clothing stores and take care of a shopping list of all sorts of odds and ends in one shot. Luckily, New York and nearby New Jersey have some of the best locales to fit that bill. You can go to a single building, buy everything things you need at stores and the best outlets, then hit up a plush-seated multiplex for the best movies—because if there’s one thing the suburbs does better than NYC, it’s shopping malls.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to shopping in NYC
Shopping malls worth going to near NYC
If you’ve ever been shopping in New Jersey, you’ve had this debate: Paramus Park or Garden State Plaza? The winner is clear once you look at the list of stores—GSP is the biggest mall in New Jersey with more than 300 stores, restaurants and even an IMAX movie theater. With that much going on, you’ll barely notice the swarms of high schoolers.
This mall has a Ferris wheel in the food court. If that’s not enough to sell it, we don’t know what to tell you. Wait, actually, we do: It also has an ice skating rink, a bowling alley, a Dave & Buster’s...oh yeah, and four floors of stores where you can shop until you get lost, which you most definitely will.
The 780,000 square feet of this Bronx mall include more than 100 stores and more escalators than even M.C. Escher could handle. Check it out, and immerse yourself in consumerist comfort without abandoning the five boroughs for the burbs.
In New York City, stores like Target are publicly rejected in favor of vintage clothing outfitters, but it’s nice to know you can find still access to a wide selection at reasonable prices right here in Queens (yes, it has a Target.)
This spot includes a DMV, so the next time you need to renew your driver’s license, you can also buy a candle from Bath & Body Works or a winter-proof layer from Burlington Coat Factory (or both. It’ll be a long wait.)
This three-story mall houses the four pillars of department stores—JC Penney, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Sears—all under one roof. And don’t forget that apparel in NJ is tax-free, making this a first-rate place to revamp your entire wardrobe.
The high-end roster at this mall includes Michael Kors, Burberry and a lot more. It also includes dining options like Seasons 52 and the Capital Grill—although if you’re going to a mall, eating at chain restaurants and fast food joints is a necessity.
Take a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry to get to this mall. It’s in the midst of a massive renovation that will add 12 new restaurants, a parking garage and a whole new wing of shops, but right now you can still go to its Greenmarket to take your pick of locally produced (and often organic) nourishment.
If you want to go shopping in New Jersey on a Sunday, you need to go to this mall. (The Paramus ones are closed due to blue laws.) It’s one of the easiest to get to from NYC, with buses running directly from Port Authority, and its four massive renovations since its opening in 1969 mean it has everything from the original Sears to an app to help you navigate.
For a city dweller, it’s hard to beat a mall that’s adjacent to three subway lines. Stop by this new mall, built in 2003, for luxury brands and actually good restaurants like Per Se. There’s also a sprawling Whole Foods, so grab some groceries then head across the street for a picnic in Central Park.
With a well-manicured lawn and bright-white neoclassical architecture, this mall looks more like a state capitol building than a shopping center. If you like trendy cupcakes but also want to hit up Forever 21 yet still have your whole excursion feel luxe AF, this should be your go-to.