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Shocking: New Yorkers are notoriously hard to shop for because A) we have unreasonably high standards and B) we have zero space for superfluous stuff. Challenge accepted: We’ve found 15 gifts that are guaranteed to be a hit with New Yorkers—even the most perpetually unimpressed city dwellers. 

RELATED: 25 Wines to Gift a Wine Snob (Starting at $20)


1. Homesick New York City Candle

This stylish, hand-poured number boasts 60 to 80 hours of burn time and notes of “spring days in Central Park, fine department stores and concrete.” (This is one time we’re thankful they didn’t go too realistic.)

Amazon ($30)

nyc gift guide cookbooks1
Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

2. A New York Cookbook

Know someone who’s resolving to cook more this year? Get them inspired with recipes from the minds behind some of our favorite NYC restaurants: Ivan Orkin of Ivan Ramen, Einat Admony of Balaboosta and Taïm, Angie Mar of the Beatrice Inn and Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park. We’ll also throw in a memoir (with recipes) from the prolific Jean-Georges Vongerichten and a new cookbook from our favorite Insta-famous Brooklyn cook, Alison Roman.


3. Brooklinen Voucher

We all know “the city that never sleeps” is a myth. Give your favorite in-need-of-a-nap Gothamite some luxe new bedding from the cult-fave local brand.

Brooklinen (from $100)

whitney museum nyc
Alphotographic/Getty Images

4. Museum Membership

FOMO is rampant here, and so is FONBCE (fear of not being cultured enough). Help your friends ease the affliction with a membership to the Whitney, the New Museum, MoMA, the Brooklyn Museum, the Met, the Museum of the Moving Image…you get the idea.


5. Noise-Canceling Headphones

A wireless Bluetooth-enabled pair will block out loud subway talkers and overly chatty coworkers alike.

$70 on Amazon



6. A Booklover’s Guide to New York by Cleo Le-Tan

Instead of getting your bibliophile bestie another novel (which, let’s face it, she’s probably already read), treat her to this gorgeous coffee-table book. Cleo Le-Tan chronicles the city’s many libraries, bookstores and other literary haunts, with illustrations by her late father (and New Yorker cover artist), Pierre Le-Tan.

$27 on Amazon


7. Seamless Gift Card

You know what? Forget everything else on the list. This is the perfect gift. 

Seamless (from $10) 

RELATED: 9 Seasonal Pop-Up Bars Where You Can Have Your Holiday Spirit and Drink It Too


8. Hot Dog Rattle

For the newest member of your New York fam. (Bonus: It’s organic!)

Piccoliny ($22)

Vanessa Lianne Jewelry

9. A Custom Signet Ring

Personalized with the characters of your choosing, whether that’s “QNS” or “WTF.”

Vanessa Lianne Jewelry (from $98)

Johannes Schmitt-Tegge/picture alliance via Getty Images

10. A Lyft Gift Card

For your coworker who lives a 20-minute hike from the nearest train. (Hey, if you can save him one hellish commute, that’s something…)

Lyft (from $10) 

718 Heat Factory

11. Local Hot Sauce

Got a friend who puts hot sauce on everything? Keep her pantry (or purse) stocked with a bottle from this homegrown brand, available in two varieties: the green Herbal Alchemy (punched up with cilantro, parsley and turmeric) or the red Sweet Heat (subtly tropical with mango and pineapple).

718 Heat Factory (from $7)

Courtesy of Sundays

12. A Mani-Pedi Credit

For that hyper-busy friend who needs a reminder to take a moment for herself, some much-needed pampering at a luxe salon (like Sundays, one of our faves) is just what the doctor ordered.

Sundays (from $25)

Exit 9

13. Diner Cup

Now any cup of coffee you drink can be the world’s best cup of coffee.

Exit 9 ($15)

RELATED: 20 Awesome Secret Santa Gifts Under $20

Elodie Saracco/Getty Images

14. A Bagel-Making Class

Yes, you can get a solid sesame with chive cream cheese on pretty much every corner, but your baking-obsessed pal would jump at the chance to make her own. Sign her up to learn from the pros at the International Culinary Center.

International Culinary Center ($195)


15. Some new plants

You know at least one person who’s turned their apartment into a makeshift greenhouse—why not give them what they want?

Plantshed (from $15)

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