• Best Gadget Store: B & H. The top place on the East Coast to get deep discounts on cameras, TVs, computers, and other electronics. And because 50% of their sales are now online, service has gotten much less rushed. The salespeople are real experts. 
  • Best Department Store: Bloomingdales. A mix of pricey, and slightly less pricey clothing, homewares, cosmetics, and more, all in a festive store where new goods come in each week.
  • Best Bargain Department Store: Century 21 (multiple locations). Come early on weekdays to avoid the crowds at this wild designer-markdown emporium.
  • Best Vintage Store: Beacon’s Closet (multipal locations). A minichain with several stores in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan stocking some of the best, most affordable clothing in town.
  • Best Clothing Shopping Zone: SoHo, NoHo, and Nolita. Three neighborhoods together create the best single area for roaming and shopping among the newest, trendiest boutiques.
  • Best Bookstore: The Strand. This local legend is worth a visit for the staggering "18 miles of books"—new and used titles at up to 85% off the list price.
  • Best Old-World Sweets Store: Economy Candy. All of the goodies you loved as a kid, in a densely packed candy store. It also carries excellent dried fruits and nuts if you're feeling virtuous.
  • Best Beauty Store: C. O. Bigelow. The motto here—“If you can’t get it anywhere else, try Bigelow’s”—is right on the money. This 162-year-old apothecary (the oldest in the nation) carries the brands you can’t find anywhere, plus its own excellent house label of personal-care products.
  • Best Old-World Jewish Food Store: Russ & Daughters. This smoked-fish purveyor has been a mainstay on the Lower East Side since 1914 (or 1908, if you count its push-cart days). As with DiPalo’s, the Russ family has been in charge since the beginning.
  • Best Homewares Store: ABC Carpet & Home. This magical (and pricey) two-building emporium is legendary, and it deserves to be: It’s the ultimate home fashions and furnishings store, with everything from zillion-thread-count sheets to enchanting children’s furniture.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.