Best Grocery Store
240 East 86th St.
For those still lamenting the closure of the Harlem Fairway at 125th Street, fear not: if you’re willing to switch your shopping neighborhood, there’s plenty to be found at this 86th Street location. It’s perhaps best known for high-quality prepared foods, but the produce selection is also fresh and extensive.
MILANO MARKET WEST SIDE
Milano is something of a local treasure. It’s rare these days to see a small New York deli-market that features a hot food counter as extensive as this one. Milano’s Italian specialties are all homemade daily in the store, and its enormous sandwiches are piled high with freshly made breaded eggplant and imported salame and cheeses. The store also sells imported Italian treats like aranciata and biscotti.
39 Third Ave.
The international chain sells both hot meals and an impressive array of pan-Asian groceries that can be hard to find elsewhere, plus a selection of fresh produce like persimmons and Asian eggplant. It also has a section with dishware, cosmetics, household cleaning products and more. Plus, they deliver: just go to the website above to order teriyaki chicken or tteokbokki straight to your house.
Best Museum Gift Shop
THE JEWISH MUSEUM
1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street
Toward the northern end of Museum Mile, this gift shop attached to the museum lobby has a comprehensive and well-curated array of gift items relating to Jewish art and culture. In addition to religious and ceremonial items, the shop offers books, art prints, home décor, wall ornaments and assorted knick-knacks. Ranging from humorous gifts to thoughtful art objects, there is something for everyone.
THE AMERICAN FOLK ART MUSEUM
2 Lincoln Square
Stop here for thoughtful, unpretentious crafts and gifts that reflect the aesthetics of the museum’s collection. The jewelry collection, in particular, is always worth a look.
WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART
99 Gansevoort Street
Like the museum itself, the Whitney’s gift shop is moderate in size but packed with wonders to explore. It’s organized in an open plan with a lovely view of the Hudson, and located on the ground level —the perfect finale after admiring the art on each of the Whitney’s five floors. Besides the expected selection of art books and postcards, it also sells oﬀbeat items like skateboard decks and printed shirts.
Best Flower Shop
145 East 72nd St.
Artsy Flora is known for its customer service, quick deliveries and personal touch. Its location near the cluster of hospitals on the UES (Lenox Hill, NY Presbyterian, HSS) makes it an ideal choice for sending an arrangement to a convalescing friend, loved one or coworker, but they also do elaborate floral arrangements for weddings and all manner of traditional bouquets.
FLOWERS BY VALLI
A classic neighborhood florist, Flowers by Valli does it all: custom arrangements for weddings, funerals and holidays. They also go beyond flowers, selling fruit baskets, candies, and home décor. The brick-and-mortar shop in Morningside Heights is cute and packed floor to ceiling with plants and flowers, but you can also order a wider selection of their items at flowersbyvallinyc.com.
52 Kenmare St.
This mom-and-pop florist has been around since 1968 and offers same day delivery in most neighborhoods within the five boroughs. They also offer a subscription service which sends flower arrangements regularly to an office or home. Business owner Al is known for going above and beyond for his customers, putting a personal touch into everything he does.
1209 Lexington Ave.
Housed in a former pharmacy, this branch of national retailer Warby Parker features two floors of eyeglass frames, including options for wide and narrow faces and low/high nose bridges. If you use their app, Warby Parker also oﬀers a try-it-on-at-home option through which customers can order multiple sets of frames to their house and try them on at their leisure.
94 Orchard St. (Downtown) and 188 Columbus Avenue (UWS)
The Moscot eyeglass dynasty dates back five generations to 1899, when Hyman Moscot began selling glasses from a pushcart. Today the chain boasts several Manhattan locations, including the Orchard Street store right near where the original pushcart set up shop. The Moscot family prides itself on a high quality in-person experience, making a visit to the brick-and-mortar store absolutely worth it. Another location is available on the Upper West Side.