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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 17 great gifts for New Yorkers—including the most perpetually unimpressed city dwellers.

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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.)

Buy it ($34)

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2. Seamless Gift Card

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

Buy it (from $10)

gifts for new yorkers serving new york
Xvision/Serving New York

3. A New York Cookbook

We’ve all spent more time cooking at home this year but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ve gotten any better at it. Serving New York features more than 45 easy, pantry-friendly recipes from NYC’s best restaurants, including Olmsted, Momofuku, King, Charlie Bird, Llama Inn, the NoMad, and more. Plus, 100 percent of the profits go to ROAR (Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants) x Robin Hood’s restaurant relief fund, providing cash assistance to NYC restaurant workers. More chefs and cookbooks that we love: 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.

Saks Fifth Avenue


This pair luxe gloves from the Saks Fifth Avenue Collection are both warm and functional: Pure cashmere and the ability to text without freezing your fingertips off.

The Sill

5. 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? This holiday cactus arrives in a nursery grow pot nestled inside your choice of red or white ceramic planter.

Buy it ($58)

6. 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.

Buy it (from $50)

Lockwood Shop

7. A Crossword Bundle

We love Lockwood, the Astoria shop that’s chock full of great gift ideas. Take this crossword bundle, for example. The book is oversized, lays flat and filled with 50 brain-busters perfect for keeping you occupied indoors during the next couple of months. This package also includes two Fatty Sundays pretzel packs that are made right here at home, plus three mini pencils topped with erasers.

Buy it ($40)

8. I Left My Heart in NYC Unframed Poster

Gift this one to your friend who left the city this year but still misses it. It’s made from thick material (so it won’t rip) and is available in multiple dimensions. (Note: frame not included.)

Buy it (from $15)

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9. 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 at Amazon

RELATED: 40 Books to Gift Everyone on Your List This Year

10. Noise-Canceling Headphones

Because it turns out that WFH with a roommate/partner/cat is damn near impossible. A wireless Bluetooth-enabled pair of headphones should do the trick.

$70 at Amazon

11. Marathon Map Hydration Bottle

Remind runner friends to stay hydrated with this stainless steel bottle that has a leak-proof screw-on cap and will keep drinks cold for 24 hours. Bonus: It also keeps hot drinks warm for up to 12.

Buy it ($36)


We love our city but she’s not exactly squeaky-clean. Enter this high-tech air purifier. You can take our word for it, or you can read through the more than 15,000 positive 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.

$90 at Amazon

whitney museum nyc
Alphotographic/Getty Images

13. Museum Membership

Your friends have spent the last eight months watching way too much Netflix and these important institutions need our help now more than ever. Help your friends reacquaint themselves with the cultural world 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.

718 Heat Factory

14. 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).

Buy it (from $7)

nyc food gifts levain

15. An Iconic NYC Foodie Care Package

You would normally go to your favorite NYC restaurant/bakery/coffee shop with your closest friends to catch up before the holidays, but this year? Not so much. Instead, ship a quintessential NYC treat to loved ones to show them that you’re thinking of them. Whether it’s cookies from Levain Bakery or pastrami from Katz Deli, these iconic treats are sure to, um, go down a treat. (And let’s just hope that they return the favor.)

16. JG Melon Print

We can’t get enough of these chic matchbook prints of our favorite NYC restaurants including JG Melon, Le Cou Cou, Balthazar and Charlie Bird. (Psst: You can even find matchbook prints from some friends we’ve lost like Spotted Pig.)

Buy it ($165)

Exit 9

17. Diner Cup

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

Buy it ($15)

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