Ahh the holidays—time for bells that jingle, flavored frappuccinos, Kate's Paperie gift wrap, and… oh sh*t, grabbing the perfect gift for everyone in your (extended) family. We know that navigating the city's overcrowded stores, overeager patrons, and overwhelming stock of merchandise is almost as hard as explaining to your mother, boyfriend, or in-laws why you've arrived for the party empty-handed. Luckily, we're here to let you take a deep breath (or a swig of egg-nog) with our very convenient gifting lifesaver. Yes, we've got New York's ultimate shopping guide right here. Our key to holiday-shopping ease is all about focus—we've narrowed down our browsing to two neighborhoods where you can easily dominate all your buys in one fell swoop. Voilà—we guarantee our all-encompassing tour of the East Village and Nolita will fulfill your gifting needs in just one day. Plus, we've included all the pit-stops you need on the way—we're talking extra-caffeinated coffee, small bites, and, yup, even a place to sneak off for a stiff one when those shopping bags start weighing you down.
Click through for our amazing attack-plan to get your holiday shopping done in a New York minute. Our key to holiday-shopping ease is all about focus — we've narrowed down our browsing to two neighborhoods where you can easily dominate all your buys in one fell swoop. Voilà — we guarantee our all-encompassing tour of the East Village and Nolita will fulfill all of your gifting needs in just one day. Plus, we've included all the pit-stops you need on the way — we're talking extra-caffeinated coffee, small bites, and yup, even a place to sneak off for a stiff one when those shopping bags start weighing you down.
Odin New York: To kick things off, we're giving a nod to the guys at one of our favorite local men's boutiques. Pick up something for your brother, father, or special someone with great gift options ranging from this vintage plaid button down, for $189, to this smaller Commes des Garçons, sherbet peppermint series parfum, for $43.
Odin New York, 328 East 11th Street (Between 1st and 2nd avenues); 212-475-0666.
Porto Rico: With all the shopping ahead, you're going to need a morning jolt. Head to Porto Rico for some serious fresh-ground coffee, daily specials, and iced coffees that'll have you buzzing. There's no place to sit, but with all of the gifts on your to-do list, there's no time to take a load off — yet.
Porto Rico, 40 Saint Marks Place (at 2nd Avenue); 212- 533-1982.
Duo: Mixing great vintage finds with delicate jewelry, Duo is a definite go-to for gifting yourself and others, all year long. The beautiful perfumes and simple layout make the shopping experience just a little bit more pleasant, and that goes a long way. Pick up a timeless bag or hand-made necklace and have everyone asking "where did you get that?"
Duo, 337 East 9th Street (between 1st and 2nd avenues); 212-777-7044.
Elsa: When it comes to unique cocktails in a chic atmosphere, nothing beats the East Village's Elsa. Stop by for some memorable midday libations in an all-white nook. Or, if the shopping tour's really got you itching for something stronger, try their absinthe drips...but they might put you out of commission for a bit. Don't say we didn't warn you.
Elsa, 217 East 3rd Street (at Avenue B); 917-882-7395.
Babel Fair: On the outskirts of the chic Nolita neighborhood, Babel Fair is one of those boutiques you enter not needing anything, and leave wanting everything. Whether you're into small stocking stuffers like these $5 friendship bracelets or a unique clap camera for $69, the range of well-curated clothes and fun knickknacks will have you stopping in every time you pass by.
Babel Fair; 260 Elizabeth Street (between East Houston and Prince streets); 646-360-3685.
Love, Adorned: Okay, so Love, Adorned may be more of a window-shopping stop on this journey but it's just up the street, and believe us, the price tags are worth it. And besides, with all of this buying for others, you deserve a little eye-candy, right? Swoon at the beautiful and rare jewelry or pick up oddities like this reclaimed apothecary bottle of matches for $25, or the green pearl jasmine travel candle for $15.
Love, Adorned, 269 Elizabeth Street (between Houston and Prince streets); 212- 431-5683.
Tacombi at Fonda Nolita: By now, you probably need a bite to eat, and it's much deserved. Swing by Tacombi for some insanely delicious (and cheap!) fish tacos, tostadas, and spiked horchata. Just remember your cash for this one!
Tacombi at Fonda Nolita, 267 Elizabeth Street (between Houston and Prince streets); 917- 727-0179.
Haus Interior: Unlucky with buying so far? Fear not — interior decor gifts don't require guessing the right size and can fit many personalities. From these fun silver antler hooks, for $45, to the Fredericks and Mae Olive Oil lamps, for $64, the range of merch can add pop to any room or holiday party.
Haus Interior, 250 Elizabeth Street (between Houston and Prince streets); 212- 741-0455.
McNally Jackson: A good coffee table book, well-written novel, or intricately designed magazine make great gifts, and are often under-estimated. Pick up something historical for your dad, a cookbook for your favorite foodie, or a journal for anyone to fill in himself. This independent bookseller is a staple of the neighborhood, and no matter how tired you are after a long day of shopping, we promise you, you'll lose yourself in the amazing selection of glossy photography books, poetry chapbooks, and more.
McNally Jackson, 52 Prince Street (between Mulberry St & Lafayette St); 212- 274-1160.
Photographed by Tracy Wang