One of the joys of travelling is buying things that will remind you of your vacation or trip. If you’re like us, you probably love buying local souvenirs and gifts for family and friends. And perhaps no American city can beat the Big Apple when it comes to what you can bring home as New York souvenirs. New York is one cool city, and there are excellent shops where you can do a bit of shopping.
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There are many reasons why you should visit New York City – and one reason is to shop. No wonder the phrase "Only in New York" has been coined for that very reason; shopping. We can only describe shopping in NYC as an adventure. Any trip to the Big Apple without at least one or two souvenirs from New York will be incomplete.
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Great New York Souvenirs Ideas
Amid the myriad of department stores, boutiques and custom stores that make New York City home, you can find gifts, souvenirs, and knickknacks that cannot be found elsewhere. Whether for yourself, for a family member or friend, NY has something fit for everybody.
Forget the too common T-shirt inscribed or printed with “I Love New York” or some shot glasses, instead, grab some souvenirs from New York that are assured of withstanding the test of time. Because some things are New York City-specific, you will want to keep them with you after leaving the Big Apple. That will, in some way, prolong your experience in NYC.
But how do you choose the right New York souvenirs? That brings us to our recommendations. We have scoured New York for souvenirs that not only celebrate the city's vibrancy, iconic landmarks and flavours but which are also guaranteed to remind you of the adventures and places visited.
The Statue of Liberty Figurine
The most visited place in New York is the Statue of Liberty. This historic statue is one of the City’s iconic landmarks and is often cast in miniature metal souvenirs and depicted in paintings. Coming home without a small replica of the Lady Liberty will leave people wondering if you even went to New York at all.
Talk of a New York City-specific item that’s easy to buy and carry home. We found them in most New York souvenirs or gift shops. Simply pick your preferred size or price range and you are good to go!
Trinkets from Museum of the City of New York
We love those memorable trinkets that remind us of places visited long after we are back home. When in the Big Apple, the Museum of the City of New York is the place to go for such. This institution celebrates the long history of this great city. Its gift shop is a favourite destination for those seeking unique tokens to remind them of NYC.
At this shop, you will be amazed by the vast collection of items that range from posters displaying city sceneries to artwork and jewellery plus NYC city-inspired clothing.
Imagine getting a New York Stock Market-themed tie if you are investment-oriented? Perhaps you want something more modest? Grab vintage New York postcards as they also make classic souvenirs from New York.
The Museum of Modern Art Souvenirs
We are not yet done with museums. Are you an art lover? Then the MoMA is a must-visit. Stock at this Museum is rotated regularly to include not only the latest but greatest pieces from the world of art. It also houses a great gift shop if you are looking for some unique New York souvenirs.
We found a dazzling collection of handcrafted holiday cards at this artistic gift shop that can make a great “Happy Holidays” gift from NYC. Other notables include artistic kitchenware, blown glass jewellery, and modern interior décor.
Try New York Flea Markets Gems
This is where you get everything, literally! Flea markets in New York are teeming with souvenirs and gifts inspirations. Flea markets are hip and very arty if you get what we mean. Based on the principle of a repurposed warehouse, a flea market brings together independent traders in their hundreds.
They offer all kinds of things: accessories, fashion, arts and crafts, and vintage furnishings just to name a few. Specifically, don’t miss the Brooklyn Flea Market. But remember, every year, it’s held at a different location in New York.
Carry Home New York’s Signature Scent
The smells of the Big Apple might not be what you want to remember when you get home. But why not get inspired by something you won’t want to forget? Get yourself a bottle of the local brand Bond No. 9. Each bottle is uniquely designed to pay homage to a different New York neighbourhood.
With assorted scents that range from Wall Street and Madison Square Park to the Hamptons and Hudson Yards, these are chic souvenirs worth bringing home as they bring the essence of the Big Apple with you.
Buy Assorted Broadway Merchandize
Everybody will agree with us when we say a visit to New York is incomplete without watching a Broadway show. In fact why not two or more shows? After the show, consider taking home the Playbill as the perfect New York souvenir. Try getting it autographed by a member of the cast and you have a winner!
You can also find other items at Broadway such as autographed posters, original cast soundtracks, stuffed animals, mugs, and many more. Want to relive your favourite Broadway show? Get the show DVD! You can also enjoy the show with someone who couldn’t join you in NY.
Save Your Metro Card
Your Metro Card will be the perfect New York souvenir. And by the way, you had better grab yours now as this is one souvenir that won’t probably be around for much longer. They will be faced-out soon. This will be the ideal artefact of your NY travels, of how you navigated your way through the subterranean maze of the City’s subway system.
It’s not just the Metro Card, there are several other little slips of plastics or paper you are likely to acquire in NY that could also qualify as great keepsakes. Did you board the Ellis Island Ferry? The tickets are worth saving too.
Come to think of it, these aren’t ubiquitous items like keychains or baseball caps. They are uniquely and exclusively yours, they tell your personal story of the New York City Adventure. What can make better NY souvenirs?
Get the Unique Long Island Wine
If Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Merlot make your wine tasting buds go agog, New York is your place. Located 75 miles to the east of Manhattan is the 3rd largest grape growing area in America, Long Island. This region benefits from fertile soils and the coastal breeze suitable for grape growing.
For a memorable day trip, head to one of the many wineries and spend your day sampling the local wares. As you leave, grab a bottle or two to enjoy with friends back home.
Look for Specially Pressed Pennies
Perhaps looking for a souvenir that is uniquely New York? Then we got a unique idea. Could you be a collector of pressed pennies? Roaming through this City can be fun as you also search through the numerous penny pressing machines. You can find these machines at popular public attractions such as the Central Park Zoo, the Statue of Liberty, FAO Schwarz, and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
Even better; stop by the Yankee Stadium where you cannot miss the two machines that offer collectable pennies that are Yankee-themed.
Try Christmas Ornaments
We want to conclude our souvenirs from New York recommendations on a festive note, so to speak.
Many people associate the Big Apple with memories of Christmas, and for good reason. Many world-famous Christmas movies have been shot in New York and no wonder you get that special feeling of Christmas when travelling in this sprawling city during the snowy months of the year. Christmas ornaments are great souvenirs from NYC as they keep on reminding you of your trip.
Locally Made Crafts at Artists & Fleas
Looking for a one-of-a-kind creation? You will not get a better place to shop for that than Artists & Fleas. Launched in Williamsburg first, this multi-merchant New York marketplace has now grown to three locations with the opening of SoHo and Chelsea Market.
The diversity of available crafts found here is amazing and makes excellent New York souvenirs. It ranges from clutches with cheeky printed phrases to custom clocks designed from old hardcover books. The best part is that all these creations are the works of local designers and artisans.
Try NY Jewelry and Accessories
A girl's best friends are her jewels but her constant companions are her accessories. If you are looking to complete your wardrobe, let’s direct you to Times Square. This is home to great stores specializing in jewellery and accessories. In particular, check out the Mac Cosmetics store on Broadway Avenue.
In the same building with the Mac Cosmetics store, we found a popular spot that specializes in sunglasses from some of the biggest designers. If you are looking for that perfect summer accent, here you will find the latest creations from Chanel, Dior, and others.
While still at it, you may want to embrace the “Made in Brooklyn” culture at any of the many Williamsburg’s jewellery shops. In particular, we found great necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and stackable thin rings at Catbird. If ethical issues are a concern to you, these items are made using ethically sourced opals, diamonds, and other gems.
Books from New York Bookshops
You just cannot visit New York without exploring one of its numerous bookshops. If you are a bibliophile, you have plenty of options in New York. Here you will find NY institutions such as The Strand Bookstore on Broadway and Barnes & Nobles on Fifth Avenue.
No doubt the Strand in the East Village is the undisputed king of all the bookstores in this city. Since 1927, this institution has been run by a single-family and, you might not believe this, it has 18 miles of books. You will literally find whatever you want at the Strand, from the latest bestsellers to rare leather-bound editions.
Elsewhere in New York, there are many outlets dedicated to cookbooks, children’s books, art books, and rare editions. Don’t miss out on the numerous museum gift shops as they usually have excellently curated book selections where you can also get unique gift souvenirs from New York.
Get Some Crockery and Dishware Pieces
More of a classic today, but getting crockery at Fishs Eddy on Broadway is still a must if you are in New York. Well, you certainly won’t see any of those generic I love NY mugs at Fishs eddy but expect to find quirky and everyday home goods at affordable prices.
We found cups for morning coffee or tea, large glasses suitable for fresh fruit juices, Mason jars for your smoothies, and bowls for everything. To the mix, add tea napkins and towels ad infinitum. We are talking about everything you need for your table!
The Versatile Bagel Salt
New Yorkers are simply in love with their bagels when it comes to breakfast. These are made using the Everything Bagel Seasoning. You can use it sprinkle on your favourite snacks such as popcorn, grilled corn, burgers, fresh avocado toasts, and coleslaw.
If you love that bagel taste, then why not bring that special flavour of New York home? You can buy these unique souvenirs from New York at Fishs Eddy on 889 Broadway.
Can’t Forget New York Chocolates
Ladies, jewels may sparkle but chocolate is there for you always, literally body and soul. Handcrafted chocolaty treats await you in Big Apple. Try Nunu Chocolates in Brooklyn and you will never want to leave. Here single-origin cocoa beans are meticulously transformed into caramels, truffles, and ganaches.
A couple of exclusives from this boutique store include Cashew Caramel Bark and North Fork Potato Chips that are chocolate-covered. While there, why not treat yourself to a unique chocolate-themed glass of wine or craft beer?
Want the finest hot chocolate in New York? One place that grabs the honours is found in Flatiron District, the City Bakery. The thick, rich cups of hot chocolate can only be described as pure dark chocolate bars but in liquid form.
Hey, remember to bring some of these awesome treats home as New York souvenirs for your folks.