Best Of Shopping & Services
Best Place to Live
In olden times, circa 1999, Manhattan friends used to sneer at the notion of a dinner invitation that required them to trek all the way out to Brooklyn. Now that those people have colonized the very borough they once despised, it's time for savvy New Yorkers to seek out any...
Best Public Restroom
Most of us working New Yorkers have arrived at the bleak, almost Zen acceptance that when we leave our apartments at the beginning of the day, we likely won't be back for another 10 to 12 hours. Books, laptops, lunches, sports equipment — it all comes with us. But the...
Best Photo Booth
MetroPCS Photo Booths
You can take all the selfies you want during the Nets game or concert you're taking in at Barclays Center, but nothing will compare to the high-quality photo you can shoot in one of the four MetroPCS Photo Booths therein. The booths function as phone-charging stations on their exteriors, but...
Newark Liberty International Airport
Unless you live in Queens, neither of New York City's two aerial entry points is all that appealing. JFK and LaGuardia, neither of which is known for its comfort or amenities (unless you're fortunate enough to be flying JetBlue out of its newish JFK terminal), will also cost you north...
Sugar Hill Harlem Inn
In a city packed with sleek high-rise hotels of the first order, the Sugar Hill Harlem Inn stands out for its sustained ability to offer just as regal an experience as the big guys do. At heart, this cozy home away from home is a true bed-and-breakfast, complete with common...
Best Sex Shop
A&J Lingerie and More
After the "birds and bees" talk, most families keep the topic of sex off the table. Not so for Ida and Jimi Bure, who run A&J Lingerie and More out of the second floor of a NoMad brownstone as a middle-aged-son/octogenarian-mother team. The front of the shop is Mom's territory,...
Good lingerie is not cheap, and cheap lingerie will give you rashes in unspeakable places. So when we talk about the best lingerie, we're talking about the stuff we're willing to shell out serious money on — lacy, strappy, delicate things that cannot be laundered with anything else, must be...
Best Bookstore for New Books
St. Mark's Bookshop
An East Village standard, St. Mark's Bookshop has weathered four different locations since its inception in 1977, and this latest one might be its greatest. Now nested in the historic First Houses building just steps off of Avenue A, St. Mark's is no longer anywhere near its namesake church. But...
Best Bookstore for Used Books
A world away from the taxis honking in Fourth Avenue traffic, Alabaster Bookshop is small and sepia-tinged, with crisscrosses of books that extend as far up as the ladders alongside the shelves can reach. The endearingly cluttered shop is peppered with figures: a gnome on the light switch, a butler...
Best Comic Book Store
Bergen Street Comics
Finally, a comic book shop with more books than toys lining the shelves. Don't get us wrong — Bergen Street Comics is kid-friendly, but it's kind of a unicorn among other purveyors of graphic lit: classy, contemporary, and predominantly geared toward adults. Tom and Amy Adams co-own the airy Park...
Best CD/Record Store
Rough Trade NYC
On this particular Sunday afternoon, scrawled in chalk behind one of the many rows of real-life vinyl albums, is a quote from Lou Reed: "I don't like nostalgia unless it's mine." Well, the nostalgia that's going on here is definitely ours. Rough Trade has been doling out the indie in...
Best Place to Buy Vinyl
Brooklyn Flea Record Fair
Two or three times a year, the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair brings together the city's best NYC labels and vendors of recorded music. The event takes place at Smorgasburg, the weekly food fair in Williamsburg, and is put on by Brooklyn Flea, a small-scale chain of weekend-only flea markets in...
Best Place to Buy a Musical Instrument
Main Drag Music
Williamsburg music mecca Main Drag Music is a veritable wonderland of vintage gear. Boutique effects pedals, weird old amps, drool-worthy guitars — throw in a friendly, knowledgeable staff and soundproofed audition rooms, and you've hit upon any music nerd's dream. Its repair shop and generous consignment policies are of particular...
Best Gift Shop
The average wait time to see a clerk at New York City's Marriage Bureau is 34 minutes or so, presumably providing any almost-married couple with a few minutes of mindful meditation to breathe deeply and contemplate their future together. The more spontaneous among us can spend our last single moments...
Best Antique Shop
For some, the joy of an antique shop is the hunt: ducking under towers of wobbly tables, rummaging for hours through drawers filled with grime-coated doodads and whatsits in order to find that single, shimmering thingamajig. Furnish Green is for the rest of us. Inside its bright, uncluttered, and high-ceilinged...
Best Furniture Store
Every Thing Goes Furniture
Unless you work for Goldman or some other financial institution hell-bent on the destruction of everything for the purpose of enriching the lives of a few hundred senior-level brokers, furniture shopping in New York City usually means either Ikea or Craigslist. But it doesn't have to! Enter Staten Island's Every...
Best Place to Decorate Your Entire Apartment
Way back in 2008, the Voice awarded Pearl River "Best Place to Buy Gifts on a Budget." In 2012 we upped the ante to "Best Chinatown Kitsch Superstore." But as the years go by and Pearl River's might remains unchallenged, it's time to call this place what it is: one...
Best Thrift Shop
Dusty Rose Vintage
This is Brooklyn's best-kept vintage secret, which is saying a lot. But there's really nothing else in town like Dusty Rose Vintage. The 2,000-square-foot warehouse in Greenpoint is packed to the rafters with bins of pre-sorted vintage duds. There's a bin for denim jackets, a bin for maxi dresses, a...
Best Place for a Grown-Up's Birthday Party
Staten Island Yankees
It's your birthday, dammit, so don't give in to that impulse to name a generic, largish bar as a celebratory gathering place and call it good enough. Do something memorable that'll make you feel young again: Take the Staten Island ferry (free, and you can booze aboard) to a Staten...
Best Place for a Kid's Birthday Party
Brooklyn Bridge Park
You don't need to go to Chuck E. Cheese's for your kid's birthday. Nor do you need to rent a bouncy castle and a petting-zoo pony and a bunch of furniture and throw a Kardashian-level do that'll be the talk of the kindergarten clique. Here's what you can, and should,...
Best Stationery Store
Brooklyn Art Library
The circulation desk at the Brooklyn Art Library looks more like a candy store, its surface cluttered with big glass bowls filled with bright-red pencil sharpeners you might mistake for packs of bubblegum, colorful rubber erasers, and pens that could just as easily be Pocky Sticks. The shelves are chock-full...
Best Game Shop
Twenty Sided Store
Like any thriving board-, card-, and RPG-game shop, Williamsburg's Twenty Sided Store houses a strong stock of imaginative goodness: European-style family and strategy games like Settlers of Catan and Agricola; grittier dice-and-death pleasures like Descent and Eldritch Horror; war games and miniatures and RPG tomes and everything you need to...
Best Toy Store
Stationery Toy World
Yes, your kids might balk at the thought of a toy store that's also half stationery shop: What's fun about school supplies? But for 28 years the crew at Stationery Toy World has demonstrated that much of the purest fun comes where those categories overlap. Here's aisle after aisle doublestuffed...
Best Art Supply Store
New York Central Art Supply
After Pearl Paint on Canal Street was shuttered this past spring, some New Yorkers were devastated. Where to go for cheap canvas? Great paint? Quirky gifts for that art-professor aunt we don't talk to enough? Fortunately, we didn't have to turn to a corporate giant — as cheap and well-stocked...
Best Hardware Store
Saifee Hardware & Garden
On the busy corner of First Avenue and 7th Street, Saifee Hardware & Garden plies its unique brand of genius: neatly fitting approximately 14 kabillion indispensable items into its tiny environs. The clowns-in-a–Volkswagen Beetle version of a hardware store, Saifee stocks tools, paints, electrical and plumbing supplies, locks, keys, housewares,...
Best Leather Repair
Modern Leather Goods
"Not bad, huh?" says Tony Pecorella, owner, president, and, right now, the guy behind the counter at Modern Leather Goods, as he hands over a supple black leather bag from Smythson of Bond Street ("Over 125 Years of British Luxury"). The beautiful bag was missing a chrome rivet that kept...
Best Garden Center
Urban Garden Center
East Harlem's 20,000-square-foot Urban Garden Center is nicely situated, quite literally, on Park Avenue: on a median separating the north- and south-bound lanes sheltered by the Metro North train tracks. Inside, all the accoutrements one would expect from a well-stocked garden center — organic fertilizer, orchids, succulents, herbs, an impressive...
Best Pet Store
PS9 Pet Supplies
Owing to the higher-end goods they stock, places like PS9 Pet Supplies used to be called "specialty" pet stores. Now, thankfully, we can just call 'em pet stores. That doesn't make PS9 any less special, however. The staff that keeps things purring inside this narrow Williamsburg storefront is knowledgeable, attentive,...
Best Bike Shop
Your relationship with your neighborhood bike shop is one forged over time, cultivated only after you begin to trust that you're getting good advice on your purchases and not being taken for a ride — save, perhaps, for maybe a test spin on a cycle you're eyeing. It's easy to...
Best Sporting Goods Store
In an age when independent sporting-goods stores are nearly as rare as 1909 Honus Wagner baseball cards, Paragon Sports is, well, a paragon. Founded a year before the American Tobacco Company printed up its first Wagner T206, it has been serving the city ever since, stocking everything from tennis racquets...
Best Skateboard Shop
Skateboarding is the perfect form of transportation for New York City. There are hardly any hills, and you can tuck your board under an arm when you're on the subway, so you're not the jerk with the bike hogging all the space at rush hour. Plus, in a pinch, a...
Best Tattoo Shop
Wooster Street Social Club
Even after all the ink that has been spilled into bodies over the past several decades, a tattoo remains stubbornly indicative that the bearer is a badass. Of course, that doesn't mean a tattooee-to-be must seek out some grimy fellow named Rusty who wields a needle to match. Far from...
Best Clothing Store for Men
The soul of New York City menswear is versatility. Ours is a gritty city, sweaty and grimy, on the move down long sidewalks, stuffed in subway cars, crammed shoulder to shoulder into dive bars and brunch spots and coffee shops with Wi-Fi. Ours is also a chic city, the capital...
Best Clothing Store for Women
BOC New York
Want to look like one of those cool New York girls who doesn't have to try to look cool? Small but carefully stocked, BOC New York on the Upper West Side is the place for you. If you're prepared to drop a little dough on some serious basics, you can't...
Best Clothing Store for Kids
It's both refreshing and a little creepy to happen upon a children's clothing line that you'd want to wear yourself — every little impeccably paired outfit of it. Makié is the place to dress your kids if you want your kids to look like tiny, dignified adults. The color palette...
Best Used-Clothing Store
Used-clothing stores fall into two rough categories: the kind where you spend hours digging, only to emerge grimy and exhausted with one or two treasures, and the kind where after 20 minutes you start nervously checking your bank balance because you know you're about to embark on a very serious...
Best Vintage Clothing Store
Saori Kuno is more than a storeowner. She's a curator. To form the compendium of vintage selections at Rabbits, she has searched far and wide. "My clothes come from all over — I source from Europe, Japan, all over the U.S.," she explains. "I research everything in order keep up...
Best Shoe Store
"Is this shoe blue or gray?" you'd be forgiven if you asked at the Kith store at Broadway and Bleecker — the royal-blue neon that spells out "Kith" tints the three display walls of this downtown sneaker studio. Even the most Instagram-addicted sneakerhead will marvel at the curated selection lining...
Best Barber Shop
Rafael's Barber Shop
Rafael's Barber Shop is about a five-minute walk from either the First Avenue L or the Astor Place 6 stop in the East Village, and even if you don't live near it, it begs to be a destination, if only for the consistency among its rotating cast of barbers, from...
Best Place to Get a Fade and a Shave
Nelson's Barber Shop
Walk into Nelson's Barber Shop and you might hear men discussing the Cavaliers' LeBron James signing or Eric Garner's death-by-chokehold or violence at Rikers Island or Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" video. The place is never short on debate, and as the conversation winds from one topic to the next, you'll find...
Species by the Thousands
This tiny shop is bewitching. Literally. As in: It sells books on witchcraft, candles, incense, crystals, and basically the whole prop closet from The Craft. The urban-pagan motif makes for an enchanting atmosphere — handcrafted dreamcatchers, feathers, and planters are suspended from the ceiling — but the real draw of...
Best Nail Salon
Jay Nails is a favorite of Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell. According to Jay Nails, anyway, and why doubt them? Jay has two locations, located, in an only-in–New York way, about five minutes away from one another. Both provide excellent service, limited wait times, and a clean environment...
Best Perfume Shop
Bond No. 9
If you want to smell Chinatown, you could walk downtown toward the end of Bowery — or stop by Bond No. 9 to inhale the far more pleasant Chinatown perfume, with its hints of cardamom, gardenia, and peach blossoms. The decade-young brand, named after its flagship boutique's address, offers scents...
Best Eyebrow Threading
If you've disembarked from the L at Bedford Avenue, you've probably seen him: the ruddy-cheeked guy handing out "Amazing Eyebrows" postcards. You may well have thrown one away — frayed images of the model with henna on her back resurface all over the streets of North Williamsburg. The thing is,...
Best Wedding Venue That Won't Freak Out Your Elderly Relatives
The Green Building
It's a tale as old as time: Two young professionals who've moved to Brooklyn meet through an internet start-up/installation art project/adult kickball league, fall in love. Before they know it, they're scrambling to plan a wedding ceremony that doesn't resemble the Bushwick warehouse party on Girls. The Green Building provides...
Best Bridal Shop
Stone Fox Bride
Maintaining a balance between the unique and the traditional is a tough task. Fortunately for boho-chic brides-to-be, Stone Fox Bride is here to help. The gowns displayed in the sunny showroom would be right at home in Stevie Nicks's dressing room circa 1977, the veils and crowns just as crafty...
Best Bra Boutique
Your first impression upon entering Bradelis, a quaint bra boutique in the Flatiron, might be: Wow, my own private boudoir! Your second thought might be: Damn, these bras are expensive! And yes, that is the case; prices range from about $70 to $150. However, once you try one on (with...
Best Place to Drink and Do Laundry
The Wash House
Dread laundry day no more. It's a novel concept, but also entirely practical, and frankly, we're surprised no one had thought of it before now. But this past March The Wash House made it happen: a bar that'll do your laundry for you while you relax and have a drink...