By the end of your New York vacation, we are pretty sure you want to take something home to your friends and family. The city has many iconic souvenirs, like those I heart New York t-shirts and hoodies, baseball hats, snow globs, and keychains. However, sometimes we want to surprise those back home with something more original that captures the essence of all that is New York.
So, to help you avoid the cheesy gifts, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best and most unique souvenirs from New York. From vintage books to classic jewelry and – of course – foodie gifts, we’re sure you’ll find something friends and family will love.
Food Souvenirs From New York
Everything Bagel Seasoning
Everything Seasoned bagel is a must-try when in New York, so why not bring that experience back home with you? Gladly, some of the bagel lords in the city have decided to bless us, mortals, with a packaged seasoning of an everything bagel. So bake some bagels, pack on the seasoning, add some cream cheese, and lox and you can enjoy one of New York’s most famous foods in the comfort of your own home.
Kitchenware From Bloomingdales
The Food Section at Bloomingdales is a foodie paradise. You can find classic and unique kitchenware from some of the best-known brands in the world. From cocktails mixers to a new spatula, there is something small for everyone. Plus, you get to walk away with the famous “little brown bag,” which can also be part of the gift.
Dried Goods From Archestratus
Archestratus is a food store in Greenpoint known for having some of the city’s best souvenirs for food lovers. Purchase a vintage cookbook or some Italian roasted coffee. They even have a holiday set, mixing some of their most popular goodies.
The store also has a lot of fresh and unique products for you to savor, like housemade arancini and fresh salads. Discover unique brands of olive oils, smoked mussels, bergamot marmalade, or books by Laurie Colwin. Carry it all on the store’s tote bag, and surprise everyone at home with unique foodie souvenirs.
Food Market Delicacies
New York is the ideal city for those who want to take a gastronomic voyage under one single roof. The city has some of the most diverse food markets in the entire world, and many of those sell original and authentic food products. Browse places like Essex Market, Chelsea Market, and many others, to find unique gifts to bring back home.
You will travel back home with something delicious and completely innovative. You can find charming teas from small producers, roasted coffee, and jars of jam, pepper, or chutney. Cooking gear and various other food-related gifts can be found in these markets as well.
Insider’s Tip: Our list of NYC’s top 15 food markets will keep you busy exploring the city for days!
Unique NYC Souvenirs
New York Art Museum Souvenirs
In New York, art museums are a vital part of the city culture, so a souvenir from one of them is a great way to bring home a piece of your trip. The MoMa has an eclectic design store, where you can find some of the most bizarre and unique gifts imaginable. Books that turn into a reading light or ice trays that are shaped to fit the whisky glass and create individual ice cubes are just some examples. The MET also has fantastic gifts, including art history books, figurines, and other fun souvenirs that capture the city’s artistic essence.
Books from NYC Bookstores
Books serve hundreds of different purposes. Yes, you can read them, but they can also work as fantastic decor for your home and even take part in an improvised nightstand. Regardless of its use, a book is an intimate souvenir to gift somebody. In New York, dozens of book stores sell original and unique books, and you will surely find something that speaks to the person you want to surprise.
There are classic books about the city, and stores specializing in comic books or cookbooks. There is even a book store specializing in Pickles, where you can purchase a jar along with your reading material.
New York Souvenir Ideas (When Space is Limited)
The LEGO Store at the Rockefeller Center is basically a New York City landmark. This makes taking home a LEGO set a creative way to remember the city. You’ll find LEGO Exclusives, hard-to-find products and plenty of inspiration for your next LEGO build.
Tiffany & Co Jewelry
Ever since Breakfast at Tiffany’s came out in 1961, its flagship store has been a must-see stop for fashionistas and movie fans alike. And the Tiffany & Co Jewelry brand has become synonymous with New York. If you want to surprise someone special and let them know you were thinking about them while in the city, a Tiffany & Co bracelet, necklace, or ring is the perfect gift. The little light-blue box represents something much bigger than a simple piece of jewelry – it represents love, luxury, and New York.
Tote bags are part of the hipster fashion of New York, and they can be the ideal, casual souvenir. There are hundreds of different designs to pick from. You can go for the simplest of supermarket bags or boutique store ones. What matters is that they all carry indistinguishable styles and are practical for carrying groceries or books. You can even get an “I heart New York” one, just for the sake of the sentence.
Camila has lived in New York for over six years. Writing about food, drinks, and travel, she has moved around the city gathering tales, flavors, and restaurant recommendations for her fellow explorers. A lover of bars and baos, Camila can introduce you to the most famous and best-kept secrets of New York!