Be honest, how good are you really at gift shopping? Something tells us that you’re a little tired and a lot ashamed of always gifting your friends and family with the same kind of souvenirs, regardless of the place that you were lucky enough to visit. We’re not judging, we know what it’s like to go out with the best intentions and still bring back the most unoriginal gifts in the shop. Gift shopping can be overwhelming. Especially in a city as fascinating as New York. No key chain, magnet, or shot glass can sum up the essence of the Big Apple. Because we know the feeling, we thought we’d help you out in the process by suggesting a few ideas to shake things up and avoid at all costs typical touristy gifts. 


Records

Mark our words. You can never go wrong with vinyl. Besides being a nice opportunity to explore some New York city’s most iconic record stores, you’ll be sure to please any music lover with a record.  A/ It’s something you’ll have spent time looking for, digging through old records, trying to find the perfect fit for the person it is destined to. B/ It’s truly vintage and as such, it never gets old. Also the sound quality on a vinyl…There’s just something special about it. Trust us on this one, bringing back a record is like gifting someone with a piece of New York.

Where to shop?
Fifth Avenue Record Shop

439 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215


Food

View this post on Instagram

Bialy o'clock #afternoonsnack

A post shared by Hot Bread Kitchen (@hotbreadkitchen) on

Obviously don’t try to bring back any perishable goods. On top of putting your health at risk, you’d be sure to get in trouble with customs. That being said there are tons of stuff that you can still pack in your suitcase. If it can be stored in a pantry, you’re good to go. Now when it comes to choosing, you’re free to evaluate which products would please you and your family and/or friends the most. The goal is to only get stuff that you won’t find in your country or at least would have trouble finding. If I had a dollar for each time I’ve heard someone say they regret not bringing back some food or ingredient from their last trip, I’d probably be rich by now. Granted, that “someone” might be me. But still.

Whether you like sweet or savory treats better, your options are as endless as the supermarket alleys. You should have in mind that anything you’ll find there can probably be found anywhere in the US and isn’t therefore very typical of New York. For food with a more NYC vibe, let us recommend black and white cookies from William Greenberg Desserts and babka cake from Breads Bakery. Though bagels are always a good choice,  try something different with bialys, bagels’ just as delicious cousins. Because they don’t have a hole, you’ll be happy to know that they handle being transported much better. Hot Bread Kitchen is said to make some the best in the city.


Where to shop?
 William Greenberg Desserts

Madison Ave, New York, NY 10028

Breads Bakery

18 E 16th Street, New York, NY 10003

Hot Bread Kitchen

630 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206,


Vintage clothes and objects

Don’t leave New York without exploring at least one flea market. Our favorite one to explore is the Brooklyn Flea. Open April through October each year, it’s a place where denim overall with virgin Marie’s picture on them are paired with hamburger phones and plenty other 1980’s knick-knacks. On a sunny day, you’d be surprised to see just how long you’ll find yourself wandering through the alleys of this market cherished by Brooklynites. Another reason why we love this place: you can also find a dozen stands that sell delicious fresh food. This market takes place on Saturdays in Williamsburg and Sundays in DUMBO.

Where to shop?
The Williamsburg Hotel

(Saturdays from 11 am–6 pm)

Under the Manhattan Bridge, at Pearl Plaza

(Sundays from 10 am–5 pm)


Local arts and crafts

Lucky for you, New York is home to the dozens of artisan markets full of to support local artists: bring back handmade craft, food, or artworks. Though we appreciate market vibes our favorite place to shop for crafts is a little shop called Warm. This family Business gathers a nice selection of hard to find craftsmanship brands and capsule collections. You’ll find some great pottery plates there. If gastronomy is your passion, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy Jono Pandolfi’s creations. This talented potter and his team have created unique dinnerware for renowned Chefs all around the city. Their elegant plates can be ordered online but if you have time while in New York, go visit their studio over in Union City, New Jersey (only 20 minutes away from Manhattan and easily accessible by Path train or bus). On the first Friday of every month, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Jono and his crew open their location to the public. On top of witnessing some talented potters at work, you can purchase overstock from restaurant orders.

Where to shop?
Warmny

181 Mott St, NY 10012

Jono Pandolfi Studio

600 Palisade Ave., #105
Union City, NJ, 07087