As a native New Yorker, I roll my eyes at the superficial gifts geared toward us. The ‘I Love New York’ T-shirts and yellow cab decor doesn't exactly get me giddy. See, we are notoriously hard to shop for because A) we have unreasonably high standards and B) we have zero space for superfluous stuff. And while cash sounds like the perfect gift for New Yorkers (have you seen the price for a monthly metro card?!), it's always the presents that were given a bit more thought that we cherish the most. So, whether you're shopping for your sister who has lived in one of the five boroughs her whole life or a coworker who just moved to the city, we found 30 gifts for New Yorkers that won't leave them unimpressed.
The 30 Best Gifts for New Yorkers, According to Someone Who Was Born & Raised There
No 'I Love NY' T-shirts here
PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.
Best Gifts for New Yorkers at a Glance
How We Chose the Best Gifts for New Yorkers
I've been a New Yorker my entire life, and as someone who was born and bred here, I can safely say that New York natives value efficiency—even in our gifts. Whether it's stylish snow boots for weathering our notoriously harsh winters, an Uber gift card when the trains are delayed or a sweet treat from our favorite bakery, we hand-selected each gift for every type of New Yorker.
- Top Notes: apple peel, nutmeg, clove
- Mid Notes: cinnamon, pumpkin, hay
- Base Notes: fresh water, musk
- 60-80 minutes burn time
- Natural soy wax
Whether they're making the big move to NYC or haven't lived there in years, one whiff of this scented candle will be the perfect housewarming gift to keep the bustling city alive in any setting. This chic, hand-poured number boasts 60 to 80 hours of burn time and contains notes of “spring days in Central Park, fine department stores and concrete.” (And this is one time we’re thankful they didn’t get too realistic with the scent.)
Best for Sports Fanatics
- Size Range: S to 4XL
- Official licensed gear
- Reversible jacket
- 100 percent polyester
Win or lose, no one is as passionate about sports teams as New Yorkers. The Yankees (or Mets) hat is a staple in the city, but let's face it, your sports fanatic friend probably already has a whole collection. So, surprise them with their very own reversible faux leather jacket for those chilly days in the city. They'll definitely be rocking it with pride at the next home game.
Best for Foodies
- Comes in 4-, 8- and 12-pack
- Packed in cellophane bags and hand-tied blue ribbons
- Includes chocolate chip walnut, dark chocolate chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and dark chocolate peanut butter chip
Even though New York City's legendary bake shop just launched its first-ever vegan and gluten-free cookies, they'll love a delivery of the TikTok- and New Yorker-approved Signature Cookie Assortment, which includes the shop's original flavors: chocolate chip walnut, dark chocolate chocolate chip, dark chocolate peanut butter chip and oatmeal raisin. Not to mention, the cookies themselves are some of the gooiest and chunkiest around, so it's no wonder New Yorkers are obsessed.
Best for Trendsetters
- Made in Italy
- Crafted in leather
- Removeable and adjustable shoulder straps
- Comes in 15 shades
Silver & Riley
You can't walk the streets of New York without seeing many a statement bag in tow. And ICYMI, small handbags are in right now —which Silver & Riley has covered. Crafted in soft leather, it comes in a variety of shades that represent NYC neighborhoods including Cobble Hill, Tribeca and Astoria. Bonus: You'll be supporting a New York-based fashion brand with your gift.
Best for the Home Chef
5. Devour NYC: A Cookbook by Greg Remmey and Rebecca West-Remmey
- Comes in hardcover or Kindle version
- Includes photography of authors/top chefs
- Features 50+ recipes
- Offers appetizers, entrees and dessert options
From the cronut to the rainbow bagel, the culinary minds of the Big Apple are always whipping up new (and interesting) food combos. Some of them are so popular that they require hours of waiting in line to get a taste, which most of us don't have the time for. Enter this cookbook, filled with over 50 recipes that include the city's craziest creations. From a mac & cheese burger to funfetti cookie cakes, your giftee can enjoy NYC's finest right from the comforts of their own kitchen.
Best for the Friend Who Always Orders In
- Can buy gift cards in bulk
- Available in digital or physical format
- No expiration date
- Can order through website or app
You know what? Forget everything else on the list. This is the perfect gift for the busy New Yorker. Truly, there is nothing better than having dinner from your favorite local restaurant delivered to your door after a long day at work. (FYI, there's no expiration date.)
Best for the Whole Family
- There are currently 46 Broadway shows
- Tickets start at $52
Surprise the whole family with tickets to a musical, play or off-Broadway performance. You might just find luck snagging prime seats to the biggest shows like Hamilton, Moulin Rouge! The Musical or Wicked, which will impress the theater fan in your life.
Best for Decor Aficionados
- Ships from New York
- Features 88 NYC graphics
- 18 x 24 inches
We always have to display at least one art piece inspired by our city. Now, the regular old scenic pic of the Empire State Building or the Brooklyn Bridge is fine, but for a poster that is guaranteed to become a conversation starter in your bestie's apartment, opt for something a little more original. This Etsy find is an ode to the five boroughs with notable symbols like the Met, the Staten Island Ferry and yes, the caution sign to warn you about rats. All their guests will spend hours trying to point out their favorite spots and reminiscing about their craziest NYC stories.
Best for Plant Parents
- Choose between 3, 5 or 7 houseplants
- Plant picks change seasonally
- Pots ranges from 2.5 to 6 inches
- Free shipping
You know at least one person who’s turned their apartment into a makeshift greenhouse, so why not give them what they want? Support their green thumb with a set entirely dedicated to plant parents from The Sill. You can choose between three and five houseplants (depending how many green friends they really need). Regardless, they can expect a variety of sizes and types of low-maintenance plants in their box. Plus, they all include their own nursery pot to get your giftee started.
Best for Book Lovers
10. BX Writers Anthology Vol. 1 by Josue Caceres
- Has 334 pages
- Published in December 2019
If your partner is always nose-deep into a great read on the subway, they'll love immersing themselves in this collection of poems written by local writers. The 334-page book features various NYC poets detailing their experiences of living in New York City, especially the Bronx. As the anthology's editor writes, "We write from the fire, flames, and fumes we inherited from the Bronx, that instead of destroying us, built and raised us."
Best for Lunch Break Nappers
- Size ranges: twins to cali king
- Comes in 13 colors and patterns
- 100 percent cotton
- Comes with a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, a duvet cover and four pillowcases
We all know “the city that never sleeps” is a myth. Give your favorite in-need-of-a-nap Gothamite some new bedding from the cult-fave local brand. The Luxe Hardcore sheet bundle includes one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, one duvet cover and four pillowcases. The 480 thread count will have them snuggling into their sheets and forgetting about all the noise outside of their window.
Best for Late Travelers
12. Uber Gift Card
- Can be delivered via email or text message
- Amount ranges from $25 to $100
Look, a subway ride is way cheaper than a cab ride. But if the trains are delayed (again) and they're running late, give a commuter a backup option they'll definitely appreciate. An Uber gift card can assure that they'll get to their destination quicker. (Now, when it comes to New York traffic, we can't help you on that front.)
Best for Word Gamers
- Includes 150 mini puzzles
- Comes with seven pencils and a canvas bag
New York Times
You always catch them completing the crossword in The Times, so it only makes sense to occupy their morning activity with two New York Times mini crossword books (that each holds 150 puzzles to last them until the next holiday). The set also comes with a crossword-inspired canvas bag and seven pencils (marked with each day of the week) so they'll always be prepared to tackle the clues of the day.
Best for the Sweet Tooth
- Comes with milk bar pie, six truffles and six assortment of cookies
- Packaged in a windowed tin
New York has the best pizza, bagels and you guessed it, dessert. Milk Bar is one of our favorite spots to grab a cookie (or two) in the city. Satisfy their sweet tooth with a sampler featuring the dessert company's top sellers. The pack includes a three-pack of birthday truffles, a three-pack of chocolate truffles, a Milk Bar pie slice and six assorted cookies. We can't promise they'll share with you, but it'll definitely put a smile on their face.
Best for Coffee Drinkers
15. Coffee Shop Gift Card
- Some gift cards can start at $5
- Can get a physical or digital card
While we'll roll our eyes when out-of-towners ask us to pronounce "coffee," we can't deny how much we love the stuff. A nice gift card to their favorite coffeeshop (that's right around the corner from their apartment) will make commuting anywhere easier to manage. A few of our favorites include Culture Espresso, Kinship Coffee and Sweetleaf.
Best for Couples
- Includes 50 challenges that range from $0 to $50
- Time and money guide is provided for each challenge
The Adventure Challenge
Their date nights just got an upgrade, because this adventure book has 50 ways for them to make even more memories with their significant other. All they have to do is scratch off a challenge and reveal fun activities like recreating their grandparents' first date, baking an apple pie blindfolded or making a memory box together. The book also encourages them to take a picture and write down a few sentences to mark the memory, so that they can look back on it for years to come.
Best for Roommates
- Features a quiet and aware mode
- Has 22 hours of battery life
- Comes in three colors
- Includes audio cable
It turns out working from home with a roommate/partner/cat can be damn near impossible, but a pair of wireless, Bluetooth-enabled headphones can really help. This Bose set comes with two modes: 'quiet' mode for a full noise-cancelling experience and 'aware' mode to still hear a bit of the outside world while listening to a Spotify playlist. Psst, the headphones have 22 hours of battery life.
Best for Runners
- 32 ounces
- Wide-mouth water bottle
Remind the friend who loves to run by the Hudson to stay hydrated with this chic water bottle. It has a leak-proof screw-on cap, plus a striking design of The New Yorker illustration done by Cari Vander Yacht that represents our diverse city. While the runner is keeping track of their PR, this bottle can keep 32 ounces of some good 'ol H20.
Best for Pet Owners
- Helps trap dust, pet dander and pollen
- Has quiet air technology
- Has 3-stage HEPA filtration
- Includes two night lights
We love our city, but she’s not exactly known for her cleaniless. Enter this high-tech air purifier. You can take our word for it, or you can read through the more than 34,000 five-star reviews. Either way, this clever device is highly praised for its quiet air technology, which means it can run all night without interrupting anyone’s sleep. It’s also super effective at filtering out pet dander for those with allergies.
Best for Risk Takers
- Herbal Alchemy: earthy notes, rich layers of peppers, apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion, tumeric and more
- Sweet Heat: tropical flavor, sweet notes, rich layers of mango, pineapple, raw sugar and more
718 Heat Factory
Got a friend who puts hot sauce on everything and doesn't fear anything that's spicy? Well, keep their pantry (or bag) stocked with a bottle from this homegrown brand, available in two varieties: the green Herbal Alchemy (punched up with cilantro, parsley and turmeric) and the red Sweet Heat (subtly tropical with mango and pineapple).
Best for Brunch Lovers
- Includes Nova smoked salmon, cream cheese, assorted bagels, chocolate babka, Private Blend coffee, Russ & Daughters mug
- Free shipping
- Can feed up to six people
Russ and Daughters
This gift goes to the friend who *loves* brunch. Whether they still live in NY or your schedules don't align to hang out regularly, you can ship them this quintessential NYC treat to show that you're thinking about them. This Russ & Daughters brunch box set includes a pound of Nova smoked salmon, a pound of plain cream cheese, six bagels (made fresh before shipping), one chocolate babka, a pound of Private Blend coffee and a ceramic mug.
Best for Commuters
- 100 percent cotton
- lightweight canvas tote
Montserrat New York
FYI, tote bags are essential for a New Yorker. You never know when you’ll pop into the supermarket after work, bump into a farmer's market or need somewhere to store your extra pair of shoes in case it rains. And the words written on the bag ("Late Nights & Bodegas & Drunk Texts") perfectly encapsulate city life.
Best for Native New Yorkers
24. Diner Cup
- Microwave safe
- Can hold 10 ounces
- It's ceramic
- It's 3.75 x 3.25 inches
If you were born and raised in NYC, you'll feel a wave of nostalgia for this coffee cup. While it's become a symbol of the past, you can cherish it forever. Now any cup of coffee you drink can be the world’s best cup of coffee. You're welcome.
Best Coworker Gift
- Comes in three colors
- Size ranges: S to 4XL
As New Yorkers, we’re allowed to poke fun at our unpredictable public transport system (so non-city folks don’t even try it). Exhibit A: this T-shirt about the MTA that reads “MTA: Might Take Awhile.” Any commuter will laugh because this hits too close to home.
Best for the Astrology Fan
- Has 12 options for every zodiac sign
- Comes with 25 assorted cupcakes
Baked by Melissa
Your bestie spews out your daily horoscope before you’ve even said good morning, so you know they’ll appreciate this sweet gesture. Baked by Melissa, the NYC-based cupcake company, has a 25-pack dedicated to each zodiac sign. The flavors are hand-selected by astrologer Aliza Kelly, so you can celebrate your BFFs sun, moon or rising sign with these adorable—and delicious—bites.
Best for the NYFW Stan
- Comes in four colors
- One size fits all
- 100 percent cotton
- Adjustable straps
New York or Nowhere
Look, we’ll be the first to scoff at wearing anything that’s flashy and says 'New York' all over. However, this dad hat just might change our mind. This lifestyle brand is all about offering stylish picks and taking pride in living in one of the most fashionable cities in the world (sorry, we don’t make the rules). Regardless of which color you choose, the cursive “New York or Nowhere” is a nice touch for any New Yorker in your life.
Best for Kids
- Check out websites for times/dates
- Most options are family-friendly
There are so many fun and interactive activities to try out with tiny humans in every borough, but you’ll definitely win brownie points for taking them to The Color Factory, Museum of Ice Cream, The Harry Potter Exhibition or the popular Sloomoo Institute. The latter offers the chance for kids to get slimed all over—so yeah, you should snag a ticket or gift card ASAP.
Best for the Chess Pro
- Crafted in acrylic, metal and cardboard
- The board is 16 x 16 inches
- Features Guggenheim, One World Trade, Empire State Building
If you always catch them starting a friendly game down in Union Square, they’ll be excited to have a new set to practice with at home. The chess pieces mimic iconic buildings around the Big Apple like the Freedom Tower, Empire State Building and the Guggenheim.
Best for NYC Winters
- Comes in 11 colors
- Has a rubber sole
- Size Ranges: 5 to 11
- Crafted with recycable Thermoball Eco insulation
The North Face
As every New Yorker knows, the winters are brutal, so gift your city dweller a pair of these puffer boots to make the months ahead a little better. They're crafted with ThermoBall eco insulation, which helps keep their toes warm and comfy. The fabric is also water-repellent (in case they step into one of those dreadful puddles on the streets) and stylish enough to complement any coat.
Want to know which buzzy products are *really* worth buying? Sign up for our shopping newsletter to uncover our favorite finds.