Shopping & Services

  • Best T-Shirts

    Metropolis Vintage Apparel

    Wish you still had that concert T-shirt from your favorite band? You might just find it again at this East Village shop. Nothing makes a cotton tee softer than years of use, and these shirts have been thrashed to perfection. Chloë Sevigny, Julian Casablancas, and Kim Gordon have all been spotted browsing the racks here, which are stuffed with shirts… More >>
  • Best Video Store

    Video Free Brooklyn

    Customers were in a panic this spring when it looked as though their beloved Cobble Hill video store would close. Would they finally have to get that much-delayed Netflix account? Not so fast. Aaron Hillis--editor of GreenCine Daily and film critic for the Voice, among other publications--along with his wife, Jennifer, stepped in to save the day. They purchased the… More >>
  • Best Cruelty-Free Cosmetics

    Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

    After seeing The Hunger Games, what adventurous soul couldn't stop thinking about the wild lip colors (pale blue! lavender!) worn by Effie Trinket, Katniss's eccentric adviser? Thankfully, you don't have to live in the future to find them. The company behind Effie's memorable look has just opened its first shop—a clean, sleek Lower East Side space with exposed brick walls.… More >>
  • Best Musical Instrument Store

    Main Drag Music

    So you've just moved to Williamsburg, you've seen all the cool kids carrying their instruments to band practice, and you wonder to yourself: Maybe I could be in a band! What's your next move? A trip to Main Drag Music, of course. Here, the friendly and knowledgeable staff (which includes co-owner and drum specialist John Fell, formerly of bands Heroine… More >>
  • Best Hair Salon

    Arté Salon

    You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars to be treated like a VIP in a New York hair salon. You just need the number for our 2012 Best of NYC pick. It offers expert haircuts, starting at $80, from stylists trained at such prestigious establishments as Vidal Sassoon and Toni & Guy, plus the kinds of perks you'd expect… More >>
  • Best Furniture Store

    Brooklyn Reclamation

    Like your furniture to be eco-friendly, stylish, and full of character? Our favorite furniture store this year specializes in reclaimed, recycled, and repurposed furnishings, plus every piece has a story to tell. Or, in some cases, two or three stories. For instance, on one recent visit, we found an industrial coffee table with—get ready—its top made from the dinged wood… More >>
  • Best Antiques


    Have a few hours to spare? Then step right up to this wonderfully cluttered antiques shop, where, with a little patience, treasures can be discovered in every musty nook and cranny. Jam-packed with wooden tables and chairs, wall clocks, iron coatracks, taxidermy, vintage clothing, weathered American flags, bell jars galore, and all manner of oddities from the past (anyone need… More >>
  • Best Pet-Supply Shop

    Whiskers Holistic Pet Care

    A sign on the door boasts that the "Dogfather" will "make your pet problems sleep with the fishes." Indeed, all day long, desperate pet owners who have found that traditional veterinary medicine hasn't worked bring their furry companions to this shop for a session with its owner, who dispenses advice on organic raw foods and homeopathic remedies. Phil Klein and… More >>
  • Best Jewelry Store

    A Thousand Picnics

    For ladies in the know, it used to be that you'd have to hunt flea markets, craft fairs, and boutiques for the offbeat jewelry of Erica Bradbury, the designer behind Species by the Thousands. But this spring, fans of her brass and bronze treasures rejoiced when she finally opened her own shop with the equally hip accessories team of Phoebe… More >>
  • Best Boutique

    End of Century

    Enter the Rivington Street space. Check out the clothing on the left and the artwork on the right, and you'll begin to wonder: Is this a shop or a gallery? The answer: both. Its owners merged their passions for art and fashion in order to showcase both their favorite local artists as well as emerging and established designers together in… More >>
  • Best Bookstore


    Wander through the spacious bookstore, with dads pushing babies in strollers and shoppers lounging on a sofa under the skylight, and you'd never guess this place started out at a cozy 600 square feet when it opened in 1981. After Henry Zook and Mary Gannett purchased the flower shop next door in 1996 and converted the greenhouse in back into… More >>
  • Best Vintage Shop

    No. 6 Store

    Like shopping in your most fashion-forward friend's closet, this laid-back, sophisticated boutique provides you with only the best pieces that vintage-collector Morgan Yakus and stylist Karin Bereson have found on their worldwide trips. In business since 2005, their No. 6 Store—New York's best vintage shop—offers a mix of high-end designers, such as Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel, along with more… More >>
  • Best Eyewear

    Fabulous Fanny's

    Forget contact lenses: There's a New York eyewear boutique that'll make you glad you don't have 20/20 vision. Its selection of vintage frames and sunglasses at incredible prices (many for under $100) has made the place the go-to spot for fashion trendsetters for more than a decade. And finding the right frames for your face couldn't be simpler thanks to… More >>
  • Best Stationery Store

    Brooklyn Art Library

    It might just be the quintessential North Williamsburg institution. Half-store, half-library, it's an oasis for anyone sorely missing the bygone days when writing and design were done the hard way and getting ink on your hands was still a thing. Purveyor of wholly unnecessary but irresistibly romantic vintage stationery and drawing utensils, this shop keeps a rotating stock of artistic… More >>
  • Best Lingerie

    Brooklyn Fox Lingerie

    We're talking the classy kind of lingerie, folks: no hot pink or neon leopard print here—for the most part. Delicate is the order of the day at this tiny but luxurious boutique, with its predominantly lacy collection of vintage-inspired finer things—which includes all manner of deliciously anachronistic garters, slips, and nightgowns. But this store's buyers also have a knack for… More >>
  • Best Coffee Accessories

    Oren's Daily Roast

    Sure, half the stuff here looks like something you're supposed to cook meth in. Take the industrial-size, beaker-shaped Chemex brewer—we might be more than a little suspicious if we saw this on someone's kitchen counter. For more than 20 years, this place has been known to Upper East Side residents for serving a cup of joe that's surely more caffeinated… More >>
  • Best Gift Shop


    We never thought we'd spend money on something this weird looking. But before we knew it, we had an Oreocereus celsianus growing in our apartment. Yes, the mini cactus pots at this Brooklyn store are kind of adorable in a mysterious, anthropomorphic sort of way. The entirely organic gift shop nurses them on site, plus offers a variety of other… More >>
  • Best Shoe Store

    Shoe Market

    This little bodega of footwear packs such a kick that we had to "best" it for the second year in a row. And where do we even begin? With its rotating roster of sales on names like Toms, Clarks, and Minnetonka? With the uncanny fact that whenever this unpretentious shop stocks a design, it seems to pop up in other… More >>
  • Best Gallery Store

    The Hole Shop

    A Dave Schubert portrait of a sloppy makeout session, anyone? Bijoux Altamirano's vision of two naked women playing vampires? Perhaps a hash pipe shaped like a jolly lawn gnome? We know where to buy them. The whitewashed storefront is easy to pass by, and the space is the size of a luxury closet, but we've picked it for best gallery… More >>
  • Best Garden Center

    Jungle Design

    We're not sure why more garden stores aren't actual gardens, because the concept can work so well. Like it does for this Williamsburg lot, which is now a lush green space, home to the retail portion of a landscape and garden-design service. Drawing from a background in the antiques industry, its owner built this environmentally conscious business using reclaimed and… More >>
  • Best Jeans for Men

    Blue in Green

    "Every six months, make a trip to the beach. It's better if the day is windy. Put on the pants, and wade into the ocean waist deep." Those are the recommended-care instructions for the raw denim at our pick for best men's jeans store. It sounds more like a pagan ritual than a way to wash clothes. But this is… More >>
  • Best Kitchen-Supply Store

    Bowery Kitchen Supplies

    We came in asking for "one of those serving-rack things that keeps tacos intact"—nobody likes a poorly structured taco. Amazingly, this place knew exactly what we were talking about and had it in stock. When it's not helping us reduce taco-related mess, this kingpin of kitchen stores is conquering requests big and small, like helping hostesses locate the right type… More >>
  • Best Chinatown Kitsch Superstore

    Pearl River Mart

    It's the place locals go when locals want to go to a really touristy souvenir shop. Situated a little south of the border between Soho and Chinatown, this three-floor megastore is tucked safely away from the sensory bombardment of Canal Street but stocks anything you might find on that notorious avenue and then some. For 40 years, the emporium has… More >>
  • Best Hats

    Cha Cha's House of Ill Repute

    This designer's ornate creations have graced the noggins of Justin Timberlake, Zoe Deschanel, Rihanna, and at least one Jonas Bro. It's not hard to see why. Her store's custom-fitted hats, each hand-blocked by the designer herself, make a statement to say the least, and all but demand a certain rock-star disposition from the wearer. Piecing them together from found vintage… More >>
  • Best Skateboard Shop

    Belief Skateshop

    It's surprising that for so long the many skaters who flock to Astoria Park had nowhere to shop in the area and had to rely on Manhattan for their sporting goods. But a set of twin brothers along with their lifelong friend noticed the lack of a skateboard shop in Astoria and opened up a store two years ago, one… More >>
  • Best Consignment Store

    Loveday 31

    Looking fashionably unique isn't as easy as it appears, especially if you're on a strict budget and don't enjoy the risk of buying flea-infested clothing. We're sort of hesitant to tell you about our secret gem, a women's vintage boutique with the most divine items from the '60s, '70s, and '80s. This Astoria shop has everything from belts, sunglasses, hats,… More >>
  • Best Deli Dude

    Jeff McDonald

    If we weren't lazy, perhaps we'd bring lunch to work every day like a normal person, but then where would we go on our much-needed break? There's a reason we take our lunch at the St. Mark's Market—actually, make that several reasons. For one, St. Mark's Market has everything you could possibly want to eat, from sushi to salads to,… More >>
  • Best Spa

    Deva Spa

    Soho is probably the least relaxing spot in New York. Annoying tourists, busy shoppers, the slew of cabs—you wouldn't think there's a serene cove in the neighborhood, but there is. It's a place that carries us away to a tropical seclusion all our own, so we're happy to name Deva Spa our best spa of 2012. Its "Total Devachan Experience"… More >>
  • Best Literary T-Shirts

    Out of Print

    You can show off your lit smarts by leafing through a book on the subway or trolling through any brick-and-mortar bookstore that still survives, but there's a better way to do it, and with some panache. You can wear it on your damn chest. How? Order it from Out of Print (established 2010, with apparel and totes printed in Brooklyn).… More >>
  • Best Florist


    In a city with endless things to buy, a certain calm comes over you when you walk into a store that's especially well curated. That's certainly true of our best florist: a boutique, gift shop, and gallery in Fort Greene. Located across the street from the Atlantic-Pacific Mall, this gem is a perfectly assembled mix of exotic flora (like bright-orange… More >>
  • Best More-Than-99-Cent Stores

    Big D Retail, Discount Mart

    Too grand for a 99-cent store, but still craving some bargains? Then get thee to a "value center," where there are lots of 99-cent items, but they're mixed in with marginally more expensive stuff to give you the sense that you might not be too embarrassed to be spotted there. One of the two best such places, Big D Retail,… More >>
  • Best Cheap Books

    Strand Book Store

    Remember books? Well, this long-running bookstore deals in new, used, rare, and out-of-print ones, but there's no need to necessarily go inside for them, except to pay for what you got on the outside. As lovers of fine literature—and even some trash—are aware, Strand Book Store has shelves upon shelves of extra-discounted books stationed all around its exterior. The prices… More >>
  • Best Reasonable Bike Shop

    Manhattan Bicycles Inc.

    Most sensible riders don't want to spend more money fixing up their bike than it cost to buy it in the first place. And we know a smallish, unglamorous but agreeable place in Hell's Kitchen where they're pretty quick and versatile, and some of your pocket dreams can really come true. You wheel your bike through the frighteningly narrow entrance… More >>
  • Best Rooftop Farm

    Brooklyn Grange

    Once upon a time, New York City was mostly farmland, but, of course, that's no more—except for a few outposts like these two plots of land that happen to be on building tops. It's here that five full-time workers (yes, they're NYC farmers) tend the crops. The elevated farm in Long Island City is about an acre large, while one… More >>
  • Best Steam Room

    Spa Castle

    There are more conveniently located places to sweat in New York City, of course, and some of them might have a more intimate, "authentic" feel. But it's hard to argue with all the amenities brought to bear by this massive palace of schvitz. Sure, there are downsides: It's in remote Queens, perched above the Whitestone Bridge. It's expensive: $35 to… More >>
  • Best Brew-Supply Store

    Bitter and Esters

    After long years when New York was inexplicably without a dedicated brew-supply store, Brooklyn's burgeoning fixation with artisanal DIY whatnots has recently corrected that deficiency with a number of good shops. The best of these is in Prospect Heights, a place that combines a well-stocked inventory of equipment and ingredients with a helpful staff and an ambitious education program. More… More >>
  • Best Concept Boutique


    When a friend first invited us to spend an hour shopping around this year's pick for best concept boutique, our initial Google search left us with a lot of questions. Describing itself, the place said it "has the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery, and sells things like a store." But, we wondered, isn't that kind… More >>
  • Best Barber

    Tomcats Barbershop

    In 2012, it seems a barbershop can't even make the short list for recognition if it's not handing out cold beers to customers when they walk in the door. A Greenpoint barbershop meets that delightful standard, but it has more practical claims to our "best" title as well. At $20 for a clipper job and $30 for a scissor cut,… More >>
  • Best Nursery

    Chelsea Garden Center

    The original site of the city's premier nursery is now blossoming as part of the High Line, and 30 years of real estate development have tossed this business from location to location. It has two branches—one on Manhattan's far west side, and another in Red Hook near the Fairway. But both locations of the Chelsea Garden Center have a stupefying… More >>
  • Best Farmers' Market

    Union Square Greenmarket

    It's the mother of all New York farmers' markets, both for longevity and sheer size. From its humble beginnings in 1976, it has grown to include as many as 140 sellers on its busiest days. Farms from as far away as the Berkshires and as close as the five boroughs bring the sort of seasonal fruits and vegetables you'd normally… More >>
  • Best Blow Job


    It's a scientific fact that blow-drying your own hair will never make it look as good as when someone else does it for you. Especially if that other person is a hair stylist. More specifically, a blow-drying guru at California-born Drybar, our winner for favorite blow job this year. You can't get a cut or a color at either of… More >>
  • Best Head Shop

    Topoo Village Gifts

    Maybe you're a freshman in college outfitting your dorm room. Maybe you're an elderly sort whose shaking hands recently knocked your venerable and beloved bong off the table to shatter on the floor. The point is, we all have need of a head shop now and then, a place to buy the tools we use to consume our perfectly legal… More >>
  • Best High-End Bicycle Shop

    Bicycle Habitat

    Serious cyclists have different needs than basic commuters and weekend hobbyists. A 34-year-old cycling institution in Soho recognized this and recently spun off a high-end shop a few storefronts from its main store. Here, you can find some serious performance equipment, ranging from the $18,000 Specialized/McLaren Venge to the more modest $2,200 Trek Madone. The focus at Bicycle Habitat is… More >>
  • Best Game Store

    Brooklyn Strategist

    If it wasn't entirely clear when Pong hit the streets, by the reign of Super Mario Brothers it was undeniable that computers were going to change the world of games forever. But even in the age of Mass Effect Three, there's still a dedicated constituency for a different kind of game, the kind played on a board, with cards, or… More >>
  • Best Bridal Shop


    It's perhaps the most important question one friend can ask another: Will you be my maid of honor? The subtext to that question includes: Will you throw my bridal shower, plan my bachelorette party, and get me to the church on time all while calming my every fear about marriage? Oh, and can you wear a peach taffeta gown? If… More >>
  • Best Liquor Store

    Warehouse Wines and Spirits

    In a city with so many places to go out for a drink, there are still times when you just want to booze comfortably at home. For those nights, you can't find a better store to stock up on intoxicating beverages than Warehouse Wines and Spirits. The selection is great—it's rare not to find what you're looking for—and the truly… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse

    The Queens Kickshaw

    Fighting with NYU students for a table at Think will do if you're desperate for a caffeine fix, but it's refreshing to enjoy a cup of something out of the ordinary in an unexpected place. Yes, you're going to have a bit of a trek to try our pick for best coffeehouse, but its rustic charm and the aficionados behind… More >>
  • Best Hardware Store

    Green Depot

    This past summer, we felt a little silly when the window air-conditioner we neglected to properly install leaked a gallon of water onto our parquet floor and caused it to swell and buckle. Lesson learned! Next time we think of cutting corners—or more likely, cut corners again and have to buy some flooring—we're going to Green Depot, our bid for… More >>
  • Best Brow Wax

    Boom Boom Brow Bar

    Think of all the famous figures who could have been saved from brow hell with a little expertise. Frida Kahlo, obviously, but also Tammy Faye Baker, and Mister Spock could have been the best-looking Vulcan to ever grace the Enterprise. Avoid the same fate yourself by paying a visit to Lauren Durino at Boom Boom Brow Bar for a tint… More >>
  • Best Art Supplies

    Utrecht Art Supplies

    "Do you have sky blue or lawn green?" a man asked an employee at our pick for best art supplies, while pointing at a large case of spray-paint cans with extra-tiny font. The salesperson promptly produced both colors. That's what we love about Utrecht Art Supplies: Hit its employees with any question, and they'll help you navigate the aisles to… More >>
  • Best Home Furnishings

    ABC Carpet & Home

    Pinterest is fun when you want to browse photos of luxurious, palatial homes and beautiful furniture without leaving the futon in your cramped studio apartment. But sometimes we want to get out there and see with our own eyes the $8,000 couch upholstered with old Anatolian grain sacks that we'd replace that sad futon with if we only had the… More >>
  • Best Toy Store

    Dinosaur Hill

    Admittedly, we thought this toy store would have a lot of dinosaurs. We spotted a few, but what really stands out in this 29-year-old East Village toy chest named Dinosaur Hill is the number of medieval-themed toys, our favorite being a Camelot finger-puppet set ($80) complete with a gold-lamé-covered dragon. That's close enough to a dino, right? Dinosaur Hill's contents… More >>
  • Best Shop Pet

    A.J. of Little King Jewelry

    It's the age-old love story: Man meets dog, falls in love, adopts dog, and makes Fido the unofficial mascot of the jewelry shop where the man works. In this case, the guy is Joey Perrotta. The dog is A.J., a scrappy mixed breed. And the store is Soho's Little King Jewelry. Perrotta saw A.J. walking with a volunteer from Animal… More >>
  • Best Used-CDs Shop

    Permanent Records

    Points go to our pick for best place to buy CDs based on its punny name alone. With its mismatched shelves and handmade signs denoting CDs sorted by band names, Permanent Records is a lovingly assembled, cozy neighborhood record shop where you can camp out for an hour or so and forget that Spotify exists. Most of the selection ranges… More >>
  • Best Baby Store


    The only thing we don't like about this shop's tot clothes is that they don't come in our own size. We wish we could fit into that adorable tee covered in rabbits wearing bow ties. Or a thing that appears to be a mix of a button-down collared shirt and cardigan, dubbed a "cardishirtagan." Babesta specializes in hip kids clothing… More >>
  • Best Comic Book Store

    Midtown Comics

    Our nomination for best comic book store receives another superlative as well: nerdiest tourist trap. Venture into the heart of Times Square and up a narrow flight of stairs to Midtown Comics, and you're going to run into some tourists, but don't let that scare you off. Here are the hard numbers: three locations packed with comics, graphic novels, and… More >>