A Guide to the Best NYC Souvenirs

Souvenirs are memories, and picking the right one is the best way to hold on to the memory that makes your trip special. There are tons of places in New York City to find souvenirs, like Times Square, along the Brooklyn Bridge and Canal Street.

November 29, 2023

NYC Souvenirs: A Local's Guide

Souvenirs are memories, and picking the right one is the best way to hold on to the memory that makes your trip special. There are tons of places in New York City to find souvenirs, like Times Square, along the Brooklyn Bridge and Canal Street. But here’s the secret: all of those locations have basic souvenirs. 

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If you’re looking for something beyond the standard mug, keychain or "I ♥ NY" shirt, this is the list for you. 

The Strand

Where: Various Locations

The Strand Bookstore is a must-see for book lovers in NYC, and it's a great spot to find unique souvenirs. There's a whole section at the front of the store with interesting keepsakes like pins, bookmarks, journals, keychains, zipper pouches, and tote bags (which you'll often see people carrying around Manhattan). You're sure to find something special to remember your trip to New York City, plus, you'll be supporting a fantastic independent bookstore.

The New York Transit Museum Store

Where: Brooklyn, FiDi, Grand Central Terminal

On the lookout for a unique souvenir from your New York City trip? Don't skip the New York Transit Museum Store. It's a hidden gem filled with MTA-inspired goodies, including wooden toy trains, clothes, tote bags, and subway maps printed on just about everything imaginable. The museum itself is also worth a look, it showcases exhibits on the history of New York City's subways, buses, and trains.

The Met Store

Where: The Upper East Side

While the New York City souvenirs available at the Met Store are pricier than you'd see at your average gift shop, this store has you covered if budget isn't a concern. Here, you'll discover some of the most unique NYC souvenirs and gifts that are sure to delight your family and friends. The store offers ever-changing collections inspired by the Museum's famous artworks, resulting in some of the most charming totes, pins, and apparel you'll ever come across.

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MoMA Design Store

Where: Midtown / 5th Avenue

For one-of-a-kind and stylish NYC souvenirs with an artistic flair, the MoMA Design Store is a must-visit. While the prices may be high like the Met Store, the selection of home goods, apparel, and accessories inspired by the museum's iconic collection is unmatched. From Keith Haring Chess Sets to Mondri Vases, you're sure to find something special for yourself or a loved one.

Holiday Markets

Where: Various Locations

Travelers coming to NYC during the holidays should be sure to check out the city’s many holiday markets for memorable souvenirs from local small businesses. The most popular markets in Manhattan are Bryant Park's Winter Village, the Union Square Holiday Market, and the Grand Central Holiday Fair.

At these markets, you'll discover a wide variety of souvenirs, including handmade crafts, artisanal foods, and holiday decorations. You can also find souvenirs featuring iconic NYC imagery, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Grand Slam Souvenirs

Where: Midtown / Times Square

The most classic New York City souvenir is the Yankee baseball cap. These hats are affordable, stylish, and worn by people all over the world. You can find Yankee hats for sale all over NYC, but one of the best places to buy them is Grand Slam NY in Times Square.

This store offers a wide variety of Yankee hats to choose from, along with other classic NYC souvenirs such as t-shirts, hoodies, and mugs. The prices at Grand Slam are also very competitive, especially considering the location, setting it apart from other midtown gift shops.

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Lego Store

Where: Midtown / 5th Avenue

If you're visiting New York City with kids or are simply a LEGO fan yourself, a trip to the LEGO Flagship Store is a must. This epic toy store is located in the heart of Midtown, right around the corner from Rockefeller Center, making it an easy stop to hit up after Top of the Rock.

Inside the store, you'll encounter impressive life-sized LEGO creations, NYC-themed decor, and a wide variety of LEGO sets for sale. The store even features a LEGO Minifigure Factory, where you can design and create your own unique LEGO Minifigure.

Shop At NBC Studios

Where: Midtown / Rockefeller Center

If you’re a fan of sitcoms and are looking for a memorable New York City souvenir, be sure to check out the NBC Studios Gift Shop on the bottom floor of Rockefeller Center. This store has everything you need to show your love for the Big Apple, from traditional NYC-inspired merch like t-shirts, hoodies, and mugs to trinkets of your favorite NBC shows like SNL, The Tonight Show, Friends, and The Office.

It's also a great excuse to pop into 30 Rock for any Peacock fans, there's even a mock set of the Today show where you can take a photo to commemorate your visit.

NYU / Colombia Bookstores

Where: NoHo / Harlem

Whether you're an alum or not, NYU and Columbia University swag are great souvenirs for anyone visiting New York City. You can find NYU gear at their shop right outside Washington Square Park, and Columbia gear at their shop on campus in Harlem.

Both shops have a wide variety of items to choose from, including hoodies, hats, t-shirts, and more. So whether you're looking for a unique and memorable souvenir or just want to rep the school, be sure to check out NYU or Columbia University swag on your next trip to New York City!

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Fishs Eddy

Where: Union Square

Fishs Eddy is a beloved housewares store in the Flatiron District that has been selling unique and affordable NYC souvenirs since 1986. Whether you're looking for vintage dishes and glassware, NYC-themed totes, mugs, prints, and dish towels, or even pieces from famous NYC spots like Junior's and Tavern on the Green, Fishs Eddy has you covered.

In addition to its vintage items, Fishs Eddy also has a range of new NYC-themed gifts, such as bags, mugs, prints, and dish towels. Their popular "Cawfee" mug is a local favorite, and it makes a great souvenir for coffee lovers.

But what really sets Fishs Eddy apart is its hidden gem: a historic tableware museum, only accessible to the public during 10-minute tours every Saturday evening. This museum is a must-see for travelers who love diving into local history and culture.

H&H Bagels

Where: Midtown / Near Penn Station

If you're looking for an edible souvenir from New York City, look no further than the bagel. Bagels are a staple of New York cuisine, and there's no better way to bring back a taste of the city than with a dozen fresh bagels from one of the city's many famous bagel shops.

H&H Bagels is a great option for travelers, as it's located in a central location near Penn Station. The shop offers a wide variety of bagel flavors, as well as cream cheese spreads and other toppings. They will even package your bagels in a nice little box to make them easy to transport.

Side note: Although most New Yorkers will agree bagels are best eaten fresh (and untoasted), they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you cut them in half beforehand, reheating is as easy as popping the halves in a toaster.

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