New York City’s Biggest and Best Shopping Hoods

Stop by these shopping hot spots for the best buys in the Big Apple

Credit: iStock

In a city bursting with retail stores, you’ll want to bring an empty suitcase on your vacay to NYC

If you’ve ever watched What Not To Wear, then you have a rough idea of the massive amount of retail stores in the Big Apple. From designer brands to little boutiques, there are seemingly countless amounts of stores on every corner.

But with so many choices, deciding which area to shop in can be overwhelming. BCLiving takes the guessing game out of shopping in New York City with a variety of retail hoods that are sure to lighten your wallet.

Credit: Laura Collins

Fifth Avenue

Since this is the classic shopping strip, it is one area you don’t want to miss. Housing all the world-class designers, Fifth Avenue is home to retailers like Bergdorf and Goodman, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany and Co. (breakfast at Tiffany’s, anyone?). These high-end stores deserve more than just a window shop. Take time to stroll in, admire the designs and pick up a few items to commemorate your New York trip.

Also along Fifth Avenue are Zara, Steve Madden and The Gap. Such a variety of price points means that Fifth Ave. will have something for all your travel companions.

Credit: Laura Collins

The Largest Macy’s

Spanning an entire city block, Macy’s is located on West 34th Street near the Empire State Building. If decide to visit, be prepared to spend an entire afternoon in this 10-and-a-half-level store.

Designers like Coach, Calvin Klein and Betsy Johnson are just a sample of what this retailer houses. You can find that lipstick shade you saw on the runway, pick up a new pair of shoes to go with that new dress, find your SO a new outfit and even grab that silverware you’ve been coveting.

If you find your energy is waning, there’s coffee and food located right inside the store. So grab that Starbucks latte, feed the kids some Ben and Jerry’s and you’ll have enough energy to tackle every level.

Credit: Laura Collins

Madison and Third Avenue

Madison Avenue and Third Avenue have an eclectic mix of high- and middle-end retailers. Shops like Anthropologie and J.Crew can be found along these strips, and they can sometimes be a little less crowded than Fifth.

Canada’s own Joe Fresh can be found on Madison Avenue, and the adorable Janie and Jack children’s store, along with Bloomingdale’s, is located on Third.

Also on Third is the famous Dylan’s Candy Bar. This two-storey candy shop has every type of sweet you can imagine, and will give you that extra little sugar rush to keep on shopping.

Credit: Laura Collins

Times Square

Not only is Times Square a fantastic place to tour at night, but it also has a lot to offer during the day. It’s pretty hard to find New Yorkers in this area, as it’s usually packed with tourists looking for cheaper retail stores.

If that’s what you’re looking for, then pop into retail stores like Aldo, Levi’s and American Eagle. There’s even a Hershey’s and M&M store right across from each other if you’re in need of a chocolate fix.

Times Square can be insanely busy, so you’ll probably only want to visit it once during your trip. Since most stores are open late, you can see the area all lit up at night and get some shopping done at the same time.

Credit: Laura Collins


Soho may look a little rundown, but it houses some beautiful stores and boutiques. You can find anything from clothing, like Jill Sander and Artisan de Luxe, to posh kitchen utensil and appliance stores like Sur la Table.

If you’re looking for those cheap “I Heart NY” T-shirts, a souvenir magnet or mug, then this is the area to be in. Be ready to haggle, as you can usually negotiate prices at these small, independent souvenir shops.

Little Italy is also right next door to Soho, and is a great place to stop for a delicious Italian lunch or dinner.

Credit: Laura Collins


This area is home to some of the greatest clothing and jewellery boutiques. A personal favourite, Catbird is located right in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and carries some of the most unique and delicate pieces. This little boutique is just that, little, so try to avoid the busy lunch hour.

Lavai Maria and Bird are two other boutiques that offer clothing and accessories that you just won’t find in Manhattan. Picking up a few pieces from these retailers is special because you know that when you return home no one else will ever have the same pieces as you.

Credit: Laura Collins

The Shops at Columbus Circle – Time Warner Center

If you’re caught in the middle of one of New York’s downpours, 1) get over it, you’re a Vancouverite; and 2), Time Warner Center is an indoor mall that carries various luxury brands to keep you shopping and out of the rain.

Stuart Weitzman and C.Wonder can be found alongside Montmartre, L’Occitane en Provence and Eileen Fisher. Featuring four floors and a variety of restaurants and bars, this mall will make you feel like a rainy day isn’t such a bad thing.

West 14th Street – Near the High Line

This area has a Gastown feel, with its cobblestone roads and red brick buildings. Alice + Olivia, Giorgio Armani and Diane Von Furstenberg line West 14th Street, making this a prime designer area.

There’s also The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and a frozen yogurt bar, Pinkberry, on the strip – two places New Yorkers frequent.

To make this area feel even more like home, you can stock up on all your luon and yoga mats at Vancouver’s own Lululemon.

If you have the time, walk along the High Line. An abandoned overhead railway track turned garden and walkway; you get a bit of a needed greenery injection, along with great views of the city streets and food vendors, such as the New York favourite People’s Pops.