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Published November 28, 2023

The Ultimate Gift Guide for The New Yorker in Your Life

Your essential gift guide for every type of New Yorker. 🎁🗽

by New York Bucket List

 

Finding the perfect gift is an art—the best gifts are meaningful, personal, and useful—and it can be hard to find all that in one gift, especially during the holidays when you have a running list of people to buy for.

If you’re shopping for a New Yorker, you’re in luck...and even if you aren’t, you’re still in luck because NYC has no shortage of places to find unique gift ideas. Need a gift for your eight-year-old niece? Check. A gift for your new-ish situationship? Check. Your friend who moved to LA and misses NYC? Check. A last-minute gift because your online order got stolen from your apartment lobby? Also, check. We’ve got it all and more in our curated gift guide made especially for New Yorkers!


The Best Gifts for New Yorkers

Foodie Gifts

This category is for the friend whose Instagram feed is made up primarily of ramen bowls and slo-mo cheese pulls. NYC has no shortage of gifts for the foodie in your life—from classic New York baked goods to cooking and mixology classes, you have options.

  • Black & White cookies from William Greenberg (they even come in holiday colors) or a package of Levain’s chocolate peppermint cookies for everyone on your list with a sweet tooth.

  • For the friend who loves to cook, grab a basket of Rao’s pasta and sauces to elevate their dinners at home.

  • A night of Wine and Chocolate Tasting at Belle Marie—perfect for romantic partners, BFFs, or even as a gift to yourself.

  • Chelsea Market Baskets curates the best of NYC food goodies and puts them together in unique (and very giftable) baskets.

  • Cooking classes to learn how to make everything from dumplings to gnocchi to sushi and more.

  • A chocolate babka from Zabar’s for a slam-dunk hostess gift, or Zabar’s Gift Baskets with options like smoked fish, sweets only, and NYC-themed.

  • Faux Food Candles from New York's John Derian Company are a fun twist on traditional food gifts.
  • Send a dozen H&H bagels with cream cheese to the person on your list who moved away from NYC and misses their fave bagel shop. Also great for your office pals!

Spa & Wellness Gifts

For the person on your shopping list who could use some rest and relaxation, a day at the spa or an aromatic candle goes a long way. Perfect for roommates, moms, and maybe your high-strung friends who work on Wall Street and need to take some PTO.

  • Passes to an Immersive Yoga Class at a LES nightclub.

  • A luxury bathrobe from Revival New York—as seen in The Plaza, W Hotels, and 11 Howard.
  • A restorative spa session at naturopathica with a tea ceremony, massage, mindfulness, and more.

  • An immersive sound bath (with breathwork and meditation) to escape the sounds of the city for a few hours.

  • A subscription box from Brooklyn-based Apotheke to make their home a haven with candles, soaps, lotions, and reed diffusers.

Art & Culture Gifts

NYC is one of the best cities for art, so these gift ideas are great for New Yorkers eager to explore or pretty much anyone even mildly into art, culture, and design.

 

Adventure & Experience Gifts

If you’re looking for something a little more out of the box (literally), gift an experience. We all know the last thing a New Yorker needs is more stuff to take up room in their already tiny apartments anyway. 

  • Want to be crowned favorite aunt/uncle/parent/adult in a child’s life? Send them to Harry Potter: The Exhibition, and plan to go with them, because it’s just as much fun for adults.

  • Broadway tickets—this is New York, after all.

  • Book someone a sailing tour around Manhattan. With everything from brunch to jazz to holiday-themed and more, you’re sure to score major brownie points with this one.

  • Tickets to a Comedy Show or concert so you can laugh or jam out together.
  • If you really want to blow someone away, gift them a Helicopter tour. It’s almost guaranteed to make the top of the “best gift I’ve ever gotten” list.

  • For the Rachel or Monica in your life, gift tickets to The Friends Experience and let them live out their 90s/2000s NYC dreams.
  • Tickets to Edge so they can get the best views of NYC from the tallest open-air deck in the city.

  • An escape from the city for some winter fun like skiing or Snow Tubing at Mountain Creek.

 

Miscellaneous: Where to Find Unique Gifts in NYC

If you’re still stumped, it’s too late to order something from Amazon, or you need to find some epic stocking stuffers, do things the old-fashioned way, and check out one of the city’s many unique retailers. We’ve got a few options for the best places to find a variety of gifts in New York below. 

  • Exit 9 offers a huge assortment of plushies, candles, hair accessories, mittens, t-shirts, and more—you could probably buy for everyone on your list here.

  • The NYC Transit Museum and the Museum of the City of New York both offer awesome items any New Yorker will appreciate. Think metro card socks, subway map playing cards, and iconic NYC landmark building blocks.

  • The Modern Chemist is a chain of pharmacies in Brooklyn (and now on the LES), but you’ll find much more than cough drops, including puzzles, stationery, beauty products, and more.

  • Fishs Eddy is a NYC institution specializing in dishes and kitchenware. Pick up all sorts of unique mugs, plates, platters, and more.

  • John Derian is a design lover's dream packed with home decor, one-of-a-kind ornaments, cozy blankets, and the like.

  • Another iconic NYC shop, Pearl River Mart offers an extensive collection of Asian goods, including a curated selection of teas, dishes, sauces, and apparel.

  • Pink Olive is stocked with whimsical gifts for every age and has a special NYC collection that includes everything from baby toys to coffee table books.

 

EXPLORE MORE:
All The Can't-Miss Holiday Tree Lightings in NYC
The Santa Clauses' Winter Wonderland at Pier 17
NYC's Holiday Nostalgia Trains Return for The Season

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