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The 30 Best Gifts for New Yorkers, According to Someone Who Was Born & Raised There

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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 ring in holiday cheer. 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 (seriously, have you seen the price for a monthly metro card??!), it's always the presents that were given a little 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 has just moved to the city, we found 30 gifts for New Yorkers that won't garner an unimpressed look by the recipient.

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gifts for new yorkers homesick candle
Homesick

Best Housewarming Gift

1. Homesick New York City Candle

Homesick

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 go too realistic with the scent.)

gifts for new yorkers yankees varsity jacket
Fanatics

Best for Sports Fanatics

2. New York Yankees Pro Standard Varsity Jacket

Fanatics

Win or lose, no one is as passionate about sports teams as New Yorkers. The NY 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 bomber jacket for those chilly days in the city. They'll definitely be rocking it with pride at the next home game.

seamless gift card ny gift guide
Seamless

Best for *the* Takeout Friend

3. Seamless Gift Card

Seamless

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

gifts for new yorkers brandon blackwood handbag
Brandon Blackwood

Best for Trendsetters

4. Brandon Blackwood Arlen Mesh Top Handle Bag

Brandon Blackwood

You can't walk the streets, attend brunches or scroll through IG, without seeing a statement bag in tow. Small handbags are in, and any that show off a colorful statement like this Brandon Blackwood item, is a must-have for the trendsetter in your life. Its all-mesh construction will have people doing a double look. Bonus: You’ll be supporting a New York-based fashion brand.

gifts for new yorkers chelsea market cookbook
Amazon

Forget takeout or heading out for dinner (especially when the weather is not in your favor). Instead, gift mom with a cookbook inspired by one of New York's iconic food halls. If you've ever walked through Chelsea Market, you know there are a bunch of eateries to try out—from seafood to dessert. This cookbook has 100 (yes, 100) recipes for her to whip up, so she doesn't have to make the trip. From Sarabeth's famous tomato soup to Buddakan's glazed pork belly, family dinners just got a whole lot better.

gifts for new yorkers broadway show
Bruce Glikas/Contributor/Getty Images

Best for the Whole Family

6. A Broadway Ticket

Moulin Rogue

Surprise the whole family with tickets to a musical, play or off-Broadway performance. You might find luck snagging good seats to Hamilton, Moulin Rouge! The Musical or Wicked that will make the theater fan super impressed.

gifts for new yorkers saks cashmere gloves
Saks Fifth Avenue

Best for Heavy Texters

7. Saks Fifth Avenue Collection Touch Tech Cashmere Gloves

Saks Fifth Avenue

NY winters can be brutal. Big sis will thank you later when you buy these touch-tech cashmere gloves for her. This pair (from the Saks Fifth Avenue Collection) are both warm and functional: Pure cashmere and the ability to text without freezing your fingertips off? Sounds like a win-win to us.

gifts for new yorkers art print
Etsy

Best for Decor Aficionados

8. New York City Print Poster

Etsy

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 the popular ones and spark a night filled with reminiscing the craziest NYC stories.

gifts for new yorkers plant parent set
The Sill

Best for Plant Parents

9. Plant Parent Set

The Sill

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. You can choose between three to seven 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 gifter started.

gifts for new yorkers bx writers anthology
Amazon

Best for Book Lovers

10. Bx Writers Anthology Vol. 1

Amazon

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 author states, "We write from the fire, flames, and fumes we inherited from the Bronx, that instead of destroying us, built and raised us."

gifts for new yorkers brooklinen
Brooklinen

Best for Lunch Break Nappers

11. Brooklinen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle

Brooklinen

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 her snuggling into her sheets and forgetting about all the noise outside of her window.

gifts for new yorkers uber gift card
Amazon

Best for Late Travelers

12. Uber Gift Card

Uber

Look, a subway ride is way cheaper than a cab ride. But if the trains are delayed (again) and baby bro is running late, give him a back up option he'll definitely appreciate. An Uber gift card can assure that he'll get to his destination quicker. (Now, when it comes to New York traffic, we can't help you on that front.)

gifts for new yorkers crosswords set
New York Times

Best for Word Gamers

13. Mini Crossword Books With Pencil Set

New York Times

You always catch dad completing the crossword in The Times, so it only makes sense to occupy his morning activity with two New York Times mini crossword books (that each holds 150 puzzles to last him 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 he'll always be prepared to tackle the clues of the day.

gifts for new yorkers the milk bar sampler
Milk Bar

Best for the Sweet Tooth

14. The Milk Bar Sampler

Milk Bar

New York has the best pizza, bagels and you guessed it, dessert. Milk Bar is one of many sweet spots we enjoy grabbing a cookie (or two) in the city. Satisfy their sweet tooth with a sampler featuring the dessert company's top sellers. The pack includes 3-pack birthday truffles, 3-pack 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.

gifts for new yorkers the adventure challenge
The Adventure Challenge

Best for Couples

15. The Adventures Challenge Couples Edition

The Adventure Challenge

Date nights just got an upgrade, so no more wasting time on what to do. This adventure book is giving you 50 ways to make even more memories with your significant other. How? Scratch off a challenge and reveal fun activities like recreating your grandparents' first date, bake an apple pie blindfolded or make a memory box together. The book also encourages you to take a picture and write down a few sentences to mark the memory, so that you can look back on it for years to come.

gifts for new yorkers coffee
Westend61/Getty Images

Best for Coffee Drinkers

16. Coffee Gift 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 coffee shop (that's right around the corner of their apartment) will make commuting anywhere easier to manage. A few of our favorites include Culture Espresso, Kinship Coffee and Sweetleaf.

gifts for new yorkers bose headphones
Amazon

Because it turns out that WFH with a roommate/partner/cat is damn near impossible. A wireless Bluetooth-enabled pair should do the trick. These noise-canceling headphones have a dual-microphone system so that you have clear sound coming in and minimal interference from the outside world. Plus, it has Alexa built-in, so you can ask for access to your music and/or info with a touch of a button.

nyc gift guide nyc runners nalgene water bottle
Only NY

Best for Runners

18. NYC Runners Nalgene Water Bottle

Only NY

Remind the friend that loves to run by the Hudson and prepare for their local 5K to stay hydrated with this chic Nalgene bottle. It has a leak-proof screw-on cap, plus a striking design with landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge in the background. While they're keeping track of their PB, this bottle can keep 32 ounces of some good 'ol H20.

gifts for new yorkers levoit air purifer
Amazon

Best for Pet Owners

19. Levoit Air Purifer

Levoit

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 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.

whitney museum nyc
Alphotographic/Getty Images

Best for Art Buffs

20. Museum Membership

Your friends have spent the last 18 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.

gifts for new yorkers 718 heat hot sauce
Uncommon Goods

Best for Risk Takers

21. Local Hot Sauce

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) or the red Sweet Heat (subtly tropical with mango and pineapple).

gifts for new yorkers russ and daughters
Goldbelly

Best for Foodies

22. New York Brunch Care Package

Russ & Daughters

Ship a quintessential NYC treat to loved ones to show them that you’re thinking of them. Whether it’s cookies from Levain Bakery, pastrami from Katz Deli, or even a whole brunch box set from Russ & Daughters, they'll definitely have their bellies full of great goodies.

gifts for new yorkers tote bag
Monsterrat

Best for Commuters

23. Late Night Tote

Monsterrat

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 (aka "Late Nights & Bodegas & Drunk Texts) screams the city life.

gifts for new yorkers coffee ceramic cup
Amazon

Best for Native New Yorkers

24. Diner Cup

Amazon

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.

gifts for new yorkers mta might take awhile t shirt
Etsy

Best Coworker Gift

25. MTA “Might Take Awhile” T-Shirt

Etsy

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. 

gifts for new yorkers baked by melissa zodiac cupcakes
Baked By Melissa

Best for the Astrology Fan

26. Baked By Melissa Zodiac Cupcakes

Baked By Melissa

Your bestie spews out your daily horoscope before you’ve even said good morning, so you know she’ll appreciate this sweet gesture…literally. Baked By Melissa, the NYC-based cupcake company, has launched 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. 

gifts for new yorkers new york or nowhere dad hat
New York or Nowhere

Best for the NYFW Stan

27. New York or Nowhere Waverly Herringbone Dad Hat

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 your fashion forward friend’s mind. The iconic 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. 

gifts for new yorkers a fun interactive event
The Washington Post/Contributor/Getty Images

Best for Kids

28. A Fun Interactive Event Ticket

Sloomoo Institute

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 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. 

gifts for new yorkers nyc skyline chess set
Uncommon Goods

Best for the Chess Pro

29. NYC Skyline Chess

Uncommon Goods

If you always catch your uncle starting a friendly game down in Union Square, he’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. The next time there’s a family gathering, whip out this luxury set to play or have on display for everyone to admire.

gifts for new yorkers kate spade dashing beauty taxi stud set
Kate Spade

Best for the Jewelry Collector

30. Kate Spade Dashing Beauty Taxi Stud Set

Kate Spade

Your sis has an impressive jewelry collection (and she never leaves the house without a pair of hoops), so add to her favorites with a New York-inspired set of earrings by Kate Spade. The trio features a heart, pretzel and taxi studs that she can wear alone or all together during a night out with her friends.