If you see someone taking a drag off a vape pen and roll your eyes, it’s time to stop judging: Whether converting based on doctor’s orders or as a way to break bad habits and adopt a healthier vice, vaping devotees often call it a life-changing decision. The owners and store managers we spoke to are knowledgeable, approachable and passionate about their lifestyle, running stores that range from well-stocked retail to lounge. The best part: Not all e-juice contains nicotine, so it’s a hobby even nonsmokers can enjoy. We ranked our favorite shops and have included new store openings like VapeYa's. So if you're looking for some great shopping in NYC to pick up some new gear or discover your signature flavor, check out these vape shops.
The best vape shops
Lifelong and/or heavy cigarette smokers: This shop is what you need to quit if you’ve been told to but don’t know where to start. While it might take a little patience to get the combo best suited for your needs, the ultra-knowledgeable staffers we spoke to were able to recommend the perfect device and e-juice to replace popular brands such as Marlboro Lights, Camel Lights and American Spirits. While some fruity flavors in the store’s Bonvape juice line mimic blue slushies and Juicy Fruit gum, it’s all made in an FDA registered lab and tested for harmful ingredients and impurities. Expect to feel welcome here, whether you’re 21 or older than 70.
Vape novices and veterans alike will appreciate the selection at this clean, organized shop, which boasts more than 250 flavors and 50 lines—the most extensive selection of any we visited. And while candy flavors tend to be among the most popular, be sure to ask for the cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a legal way to get the calming, sativa-like effects of medicinal marijuana without the psychotropic effects. Hardware prices are generally cheaper, since they match online price listings; firefighters, police, active military and first responders enjoy a 20 percent discount. Opened August 1; TONY readers get a 20 percent discount on e-juice until November 1.
Need more than sheer willpower to kick cigs for good? The staff at VapeYa, the city’s newest vape shop, will videotape you turning over your last pack; since their soft opening on October 4, all 15 people who made the pledge haven’t picked up a cigarette since. The knowledgeable staff and owner Jordy Trachtenberg—a former 2 1/2 pack per day smoker who switched to vaping and never looked back—are reason enough to visit; the loungy feel of the shop (barlike counter, neon accents, DJ booth in the back) could make this your new happy-hour/late-night stop. Grand opening: October 25
If you’re in the area and your phone and e-cig both run out of juice (!), this shop is a life saver: Customers can charge both while they vape for free. While the shop itself is on the smaller side and more retail than lounge, customers are encouraged to ask to taste new juice flavors. Our favorite was Over the Moon by NicQuid—a new berry-flavored formula that tastes exactly like a liquid Firecracker Popsicle.
While their Soho location has a wider hardware selection, Henley’s Gramercy location, open since January, caters to neighborhood residents as well as parents who are looking for a secondhand smoke-free nicotine solution. Twentysomething students from SVA and Baruch also stop by to hang out at the bar while enjoying free Wi-Fi, artwork and music. Many of the Henley’s patrons are repeat customers, and it’s easy to see why: They host frequent events like burlesque and comedy shows that cost nothing to attend.
With the most locations of any shop listed, Beyond Vape’s Brooklyn location has been open for almost two years, attracting everyone from lawyers to punk rockers and electricians bonding over vape culture and their newfound hobby. You’ll be rewarded for being a proud customer: Instagram and Yelp check-ins earn you 10% off, house juices are always buy two get one free, and you can earn up to $300 in rewards, good for any item in the store. The artwork on the walls was spray-painted by a local artist, and visitors are always encouraged to lounge; scary movies will be screened on Spooky Sundays after-hours in October. Be sure to sample their current best-selling flavors like Looper—a vaporized version of Fruit Loops and milk—and Vixen’s Kiss, a sweet and tart raspberry, strawberry and blackberry blend.
This shop moved from Broadway to a fun, relaxing, more comfortable spot on 23rd Avenue in March. Run by former smokers eager to educate doubters about the safety and benefits of vaping, all products and juices are 100 percent authentic. Customers range from beginners looking for a healthier alternative to cigarettes or hookah, intermediate users looking for better flavors and efficient devices that produce more vapor, and advanced devotees looking for customized devices. Their large juice selection will help make cigarettes a distant memory: Stop by for Crème de la Crème Grand Reserve by Phillip Rocke, a decadent mocha hazelnut espresso blend aged in oak barrels available only three times each year.