From left: House of Kellogg; Schimdt's Candy; Peace & Riot
Facts are facts: New York City is absolutely jam-packed with talented human beings. Some are born here, while others come from across the country (and the world) to share their skills and passions with us. This holiday season, support top-notch local artisans who give this city its special flavor. To help you narrow it down, we checked in with some of the best locally owned shops across the five boroughs—and are bringing you options for everyone on your list.
307 E. 9th St., East Village, Manhattan
SHW is an exceptional local jewelry shop, featuring an in-house line that uses ethically sourced materials like sustainably mined and reclaimed precious stones as well as recycled metals. Their design aesthetic tends toward the minimalist, making use of negative space and simple curves, and is absolutely gender neutral. But SHW doesn’t just stick to the jewelry case; they also feature handcrafted pieces by local ceramicists, including Marge Lurie, Dina Nur Satti (Nur Ceramics) and Forrest Lewinger (Workaday Handmade).
36-12 34th Ave., Astoria, Queens
Queens is among the most diverse places in the world, and Side B—the brick-and-mortar shop that houses the Golden Lab Bookshop—honors the voices of this multicultural borough by offering an impressive selection of literature written by folks from a wide range of backgrounds. While you can search for the perfect book to gift this holiday season, you can instead opt for the BIPOC Mystery Box. Just choose the recipient’s age group and offer any other details that might help the thoughtful team at Side B make the best selection possible. Your giftee will enjoy a box full of books, stickers, bookmarks and personalized recommendations.
868 Hunts Point Ave., Hunts Point, Bronx
This delightful café is a celebration of hip-hop culture and the Hunts Point community. Owned and operated by neighborhood native Majora Carter, this spot always has great events (talks, release parties, open mics)—not to mention seriously tasty passion fruit mimosas. For seasonal gifting, you can’t go wrong with Boogie Down Grind : their boom box design adds a big dose of Bronx cool to everything from insulated water bottles to throw pillows, while their La Bronx sweatshirt brings serious streetwear style.
65 Bond St., Boerum Hill, Brooklyn
House of Kellogg offers an over-the-top explosion of kitschy trinkets, eyebrow-raising T-shirts and prints, and outrageous jewelry as well as thoughtfully curated, one-of-a-kind vintage pieces. Their online store is worth a visit, but for the full (and most colorful) experience it’s worth stopping by the Boerum Hill storefront. Because who wouldn’t love a pair of martini pants?
44 Grand St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Geometry Gardens is a welcome oasis in the center of hectic Williamsburg. In addition to vibrant plant life (which we definitely recommend for holiday presents), they offer a range of great gifting items, including hand balms, stationery, puzzles and vintage posters. Owner Mehiko Kono points in particular to the Nyamata baskets: these hand-dyed planters are crafted by artisans in Gitarama, Rwanda, and incorporate the subtly fragrant sweetgrass, which smells a bit like vanilla. Aside from making excellent plant pots, they can serve as holders for keys, pens and other household items.
401-403 Tompkins Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
This inviting space in historic Bed-Stuy is full of ideal gifts for kids and grown-ups. The younger set will enjoy everything from genuinely cool STEM-oriented toys to Jean-Michel Basquiat picture books, but this spot is even more of a wonderland for kids at heart, who can nerd out on gorgeous kitchen tools and gadgets plus cool decor items. The house-brand candles are a standout: hand poured in Brooklyn, they’re made of a coconut and soy wax blend, and are remarkably long-burning.
94-15 Jamaica Ave., Woodhaven, Queens
Walking into this classic candy shop—a Woodhaven staple since 1925, with its mosaic tile, antique display cases and polished wooden shelves—feels like stepping a century into the past. Owned and operated by Margie Schmidt, the welcoming granddaughter of the original proprietor, Schmidt’s Candy continues all the important traditions established by her grandfather: using the same high-quality ingredients, not to mention his original copper kettle and marble worktables. Go for a DIY custom assortment full of chocolate-covered caramels, cremes, marshmallows and butter crunches, or keep it simple with a box of assorted truffles. (There are some great sugar-free options too.)
249 W. 13th St., West Village, Manhattan
If you’re trying to shop for an oenophile this year, look no further than MCF Rare Wines. You don’t have to know one single thing about wine to find a foolproof gift here: the folks behind the counter here are extremely knowledgeable and incredibly helpful, no matter your price range. The rare wine collection is remarkable and full of giftable bottles—but they also have a plug-and-play “gift” option: just tell them your budget, they’ll select something awesome for your recipient and you can take all the credit.
60 Van Duzer St., Tompkinsville, Staten Island
For a devotee of craft beer or simply someone who is Staten Island strong, curate a gift basket of Kills Boro Brewing Company faves like Protect Ya’ Czech (a dry-finish Czech lager) and the Calamari, a pilsner with notes of amarillo that nods to the Italian American community in the borough. Before making your selection, have a seat at Craft House, the on-site brewpub, and order a tasting flight to get a better sense of what works best to gift. Round out your present with branded Kills Boro merch in the form of tees, crewnecks and zip-up hoodies.