Best grocery store
1299 Second Ave.
For more than 30 years, Grace’s has been serving up top breads, meats and cheeses to discerning Upper East Side shoppers. In recent years the store has expanded its offerings, with a move to a bigger location adding a dining counter, espresso bar and more prepared foods. So you can shop, eat on the spot or pick up something to go all in one place.
There’s a reason this Upper West Side mainstay is synonymous the world over with quintessential New York City food. From high-quality deli meats to decadent sweets, it’s a go-to for regular grocery needs and makes special occasions extra special. Your kitchen wouldn’t be complete without one of its branded mugs, either.
494 Broome St.
Sunrise Mart has been bringing a taste of Japan to New York City for more than 30 years, with locations of the specialty market in SoHo, as well as the East Village, midtown and the owners’ year-old Japan Village in Brooklyn. Stock your pantry with products straight from Japan, shop fresh produce like yuzu and and pick up daily-made bento boxes.
Best museum gift shop
MUSEUM OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
1220 Fifth Ave.
If a good embodies the spirit or iconography of the city, you can likely find it in the museum's sprawling gift shop. Think skyscraper salt and pepper shakers, pigeon pins, “cawfee” mugs and water tower kits. It’s the perfect spot to pick up something for the homesick New Yorker in your life - or add a touch of home to your walls, shelves or outfit.
AMERICAN FOLK ART MUSEUM
2 Lincoln Square
Sport a necklace or pair of earrings from the museum’s gift shop, and you’ll likely get a “Where did you get that?” Unique jewelry unlike anything you’d find in fast fashion are just some of the artful items on offer. Best sellers include butterfly brooches, handmade porcelain cups and felt ornaments.
MOMA DESIGN STORE
81 Spring St.
The MoMA Design Store’s stock is as carefully curated as the walls of the contemporary museum; products must meet a set of eight criteria to make it onto the shelves. Shop the selection of games, tech decor, jewelry, books, furniture and more at the museum’s bi-level Soho outpost.
Best flower shop
1379 Madison Ave.
The roots of this family-owned Upper East Side florist date back to 1929. It has a special interest in orchids, including mini, double and triple. The shop also offers arrangements for any occasion and caters to events like weddings. It has maintained relationships with customers for decades, who return for the fresh flowers and beautiful arrangements. Same-day delivery is available in Manhattan.
209 West 96th St.
The Upper West Side flagship of this decades-old florist features several floors devoted to the cultivation of flowers and plants. There’s a giant pottery collection on one, and even a rooftop greenhouse to develop indoor and outdoor plants year round. The accommodating shop can help with any occasion, from events like weddings to anniversary arrangements to finding a new desk mate.
VENUS ET FLEUR
185 Greenwich St.
These are the gifts that truly keep on giving. The downtown shop, located in Westfield World Trade Center, crafts specially-preserved Ecuadorian roses that can last up to a whole year (with proper care). The shop is big on presentation, too, with the luxe, enduring roses displayed in your choice of a clear case or Parisian-style hat box.
Best candy store
THE SWEET SHOP NYC
404 East 73rd St.
This Upper East Side spot draws lines for its homemade goodies like chocolate-covered marshmallows and caramel bites. More than 60 different candies are available by the jarful, with trips to “Licorice Lane,” “Sour City” and “Gummy Town.” That’s not all - flavors from OddFellows Ice Cream Co., Il Laboratorio del Gelato and more are also on the menu.
1870 Broadway, unit B
It’s all about the gag at this over-the-top chain, known for its novelty creations like giant candy (such as an actual kid-size Sour Patch Kid) and cultural references (there’s a take on “Saturday Night Live’s” “Schweddy Balls”). There’s also, of course, plenty of bulk candy to take by the bagful, available in pretty much any type of sweet you can think of.
89 Christopher St.
Licorice lovers will find plenty of kindred spirits at this stark-white West Village candy store, which is chock full of Scandinavian sweets. The premium candy is free of high fructose corn syrup, trans fats and GMOs. In addition to candy, you can shop a selection of Scandinavian decor, like patterned bowls to store your haul in.
1209 Lexington Ave.
There are Warby Parkers all over the city, but the Upper East Side location stands out for its charming details. Housed in a former drugstore, the shop retains those retro details, from the signage out front to using pneumatic tubes to move glasses between floors. There are two eye exam stations on site, if you need a new prescription, as well as books and reading nooks to peruse them in.
ANNE & VALENTIN
248 Columbus Ave.
The French brand’s three Manhattan locations include the Upper West Side, where you can find its bold, well-designed frames in striking shapes and colors. It also has a kid’s line, for the littlest tastemakers. The opticians are hands-on in helping you find the perfect frame, and repairs can be done on-site if the need ever arises. Everything from the modern decor to the lighting is carefully considered to round out the shopping experience.
75 Ninth Ave.
Stylish New Yorkers have been sporting Moscot’s frames since 1915; today’s “Originals” collection even includes styles from as far back as the 1930s. Moscot’s four NYC locations include its newest outpost inside the Chelsea Market, stocked with its own eyewear and opticians. The shop has a wide selection of frame styles, with experts on hand to help you find the best fit for your mug.
Best wine shop
SHERRY-LEHMANN WINE & SPIRITS
505 Park Ave.
This year the Upper East Side shop celebrates 85 years being in the wine and liquor business. Over that time, it’s grown its inventory to more than 6,000 items, with knowledgeable staff on hand to guide you through that dizzying selection. Fans of Bordeaux flock here, and it’s a go-to for Champagne. The shop regularly hosts public tastings; currently it’s in the midst of its 25 Days of Bubbly, introducing a different producer each day.
AMSTERDAM WINE CO.
271 Amsterdam Ave.
This modest shop packs a punch, with a well-curated selection offering something for both wine novices and connoisseurs alike. Shoppers applaud the store’s reasonable prices (there’s an entire section devoted to wines $15 and under). Liquor seekers will also find some craft spirits on hand, spotlighting the owners’ favorite whiskeys and gins.
CHAMBERS STREET WINES
148 Chambers St.
Natural wine may be all the rage as of late, but this Tribeca seller has been specializing in the stuff since 2001. It’s an authority on wines the world over, and the staff is always good for recommendations - so don’t be afraid to ask. Follow along on Instagram to see what’s new in stock.