Whether you’re an NYC local or visiting the big apple for the holidays, there’s no shame in last-minute holiday shopping. As a matter of fact, shopping locally is arguably the best way to go about things when you’re crunched for time, letting you avoid shipping times and fees and allowing you to experience how magical the city is during the holidays.
As locals and area experts, our Brown Harris Stevens real estate agents are a great resource for where to find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts in NYC. Here are some of their suggestions:
Food and Baked Goods
“The Foodie in me loves Milano Market Westside. Holiday gift baskets with the finest cheeses, cookies and authentic Italian Panettone. In fact, Milano features a Holiday Panettone that this the best I've ever had! Panettone is an Italian Christmas tradition and the chocolate Panettone that Milano sells comes with its very own chocolate sauce, (on the side of course). Fiasconaro Nero Sublime Panettone with chocolate drops topped with wild strawberry jam and cocoa coating and chocolate spread.” – Maryann Johnson
Recommended by Serj Markarian, the store is known for its huge selection of wines, liquors & champagnes for all budgets. They offer "some of the best prices in the area," and the staff are known to be helpful in finding the perfect wine or liquor for various occasions. They also offer delivery service for larger orders!
"We have a fabulous bakery in Inwood. They make a variety of cakes, cookies, pastries and chocolates year-round, and always have something unique for the holidays at any given time. I bring their things to friends and family as gifts! I’ve traveled with a bag full of treats to LA and Seattle! " - RoseAnn Hermann
"If you need to bring something to a holiday party, check out this place that has great cookies. Also, this bakery is all into 2nd-chance employment for women only!" - Kim Hastie
Fashion and Jewelry
Recommended by Anna Kahn, this family-owned women’s clothing and accessory boutique has been open since 1982. The merchandise is elevated and elegant and the service and attention are superb. "I went to high school with the owner’s son!" she added.
This is Kim Hastie's go-to for unique, feminine jewelry and clothing.
“It is a thrift store selling secondhand clothing, furniture & homewares, with profits benefiting the NYC Opera. The quality of the merchandise is excellent, and they have items for every budget. They have a couple of storewide sales during the year with a theme. Last year, they had a Far East special sale with furniture and clothing from China. It was fantastic!" - Francisco Menendez
For fresh, modern, unique and high-quality jewelry, Serj Markarian goes to Marli New York. Marli started in New York 10 years ago, and its pieces have been worn by many A-list celebrities. The boutique is located at The Shops at Hudson Yards.
"The store is family owned and has been around since 1934. You can find exquisite gifts and handmade collectible items at their store on Park Ave. They offer gift registry and consultation, as well as white glove delivery service for large items." - Serj Markarian
Housewares and Home Décor
"There is a vast variety of home and kitchen goods in a pleasant atmosphere and with reasonable pricing. Everyone knows that Zabar’s is a destination for delicacies, but not everyone knows about their wonderful upstairs houseware department. " - Anna Kahn
Recommended by George DeMarco, The Happy Kangaroo started as a pop-up boutique and is now a permanent store on the UWS which has simple, elegant, and beautiful home décor by artisans whose art you will be proud to display.
"My favorite gift store to browse and find the perfect little (or big – i.e. expensive) gift for anyone on your list. Art, ceramics, jewelry, home accents, furniture, mirrors, lighting — it has a little of everything. Easy for an hour to slip by while looking through all the cool stuff." - George DeMarco
"The store specializes in handcrafted goods and has been in existence for over 150 years as part of the Women’s Exchange movement. It offers the best unique gifts, from baby clothes, to pottery, jewelry, and chocolates, and at this time of year is all decked out for the holidays. I have been volunteering there for years and sit on the board. I live in Brooklyn Heights and have met and become good friends with many people through the BWE." - Katriona Kearney
"I love this place because of the variety of unique and rare gifts that they have." - Scottie Cabrera
"They offer a great selection of unique cards and gifts." - Dale Irwin
"You can find some beautiful holiday gifts here for the home, or your best friend who loves jewelry and unique handbags." - Kim Hastie
"This is an annual holiday market with music by uptown’s favorite dj’s, food and great gifts by local makers and artisans. I find wonderful gifts here every year and I love keeping it local while enjoying a fun night out." - LeAnne Stella (Note: This market will run through December 16.)