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10 Foolproof New York City Souvenir Ideas (Local’s Guide)

Looking for the best souvenirs from NYC? This local has you covered. I’ve called the Big Apple home for 10+ years and have expertly honed in a list of the best New York City souvenirs for friends and family. I wanted to share my personal list of the best NYC souvenir ideas to help you spend less time shopping and more time exploring. I’m not one for small talk, so let’s get to it!

Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (10 Best Neighborhoods & 3 to Avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.


The Best Souvenirs From New York City

(Table of Contents)


Woman walking in Soho with NYC Tote

The Classic New York City Tote

Confession time, folks. I currently own 15 totes and more than half of them are NYC-themed. I love a good tote and use them often. From grocery shopping to running errands, I’m always on the lookout for a new tote to add to my collection (we only have one planet, right?).

Out of town visitors often make comments about how cute some of the totes are, so I started giving them out as souvenirs. Turns out they’re a big hit! Based on the reception received, I’m surprised I didn’t think of this NYC souvenir idea earlier! If helpful, this exact tote is, by far, the most complimented tote I own.


Best NYC Souvenir Ideas, we are happy to serve you mug

Crowd-Pleasing NYC Souvenir Idea: Ceramic Coffee Cup

Know anybody that doesn’t start the morning with a cup of coffee or tea? Me either. Which is why this iconic mug is one of the best practical souvenirs from New York City for friends. You’ve probably seen this exact cup in movies and shows, it makes frequent appearances in NYC-based movies and shows.


Best souvenirs New York City
Pretty City New York | Best New York City Souvenirs

For the Die-Hard New Yorker: Pretty City New York

If you have someone that’s hard to shop for but loves New York, I suggest picking up one of the best photo books of New York City. This book is chock-full of inspirational and charming photos, making it a thoughtful souvenir from New York City that is sure to impress.

The reason I consider this a foolproof souvenir from NYC is because I’ve come across this gift in people’s homes after they visit me. My sister keeps it in her office and my friend uses it as a coffee table book, always within sight.


Best NYC Souvenirs for Kids: Legos

How many cities have an entire toy store dedicated to LEGOs? If you’re visiting New York City with a kids then swinging by the LEGO Flagship store is non-negotiable. Think impressive life-sized LEGO creations and fascinating decor.

The store is located in the heart of Midtown, right across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, making it an easy stop while exploring the Big Apple. In terms of best New York City souvenirs for kids, I suggest picking up this EPIC Lego set of the NYC skyline.

You might enjoy reading: 15 Exciting New York City Toy Stores For All Ages


New York City Souvenirs

Fun NYC-Themed Luggage Tag

This is one of those practical souvenirs from New York City that I keep reaching for without realizing. NYC’s yellow taxi and metrocard are some of most recognizable items from the Big Apple and every time I catch a glimpse of this sturdy luggage tag, I’m always reminded of home.


Best NYC Souvenir Ideas, Yankees Cap

The Classic Yankees Baseball Cap

When you visit NYC, it’s inevitable that you’ll see thousands of NY Yankees baseball caps bopping around. The reason? You can find them for sale on almost every tourist hub in NYC — Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, etc. and they’re usually very affordable.

The best part? These popular NYC souvenirs are not reserved for tourists, I own three myself. The Yankees ball cap is synonymous with the Big Apple and I’ve seen them worn all over the world. To that end, what better way to remember your trip to NYC than with the most classic souvenir from New York City.


best souvenirs NYC
New York City in Stride
Best books about NYC

Cute Book Idea: New York City in Stride

New York City in Stride is yet another beautiful book about the Big Apple. Full of stunning illustrations and helpful descriptions of cool places in NYC, this is one of my favorite books to keep around the house. I enjoy perusing the pages when I have free time and find myself reaching for it before heading somewhere new. You can pick up a copy of New York City in Stride here.


Edible Souvenirs from New York City

Personally speaking, there’s nothing I love more than an edible souvenir from New York City (one of the best food cities in the world!). My classics are the hearty cookies from Levain Bakery and the chocolate babka from Breads Bakery. These souvenirs are also well received by my family and friends and they often request them on subsequent visits, which probably tells you everything you need to know.

Edible souvenirs from NYC

Stamps from Casey’s Rubber Stamps

A unique New York City souvenir that is sure to evoke good memories of your trip is an iconic stamp from Casey’s Rubber Stamps. This small business in the East Village has been running for more than 40 years and is filled with floor to ceiling shelves of custom handmade stamps.

Casey’s also offers to make custom stamps, which means you can commission a stamp you’ve had your heart set on but haven’t found. I have a manhole cover stamp and although I can’t say it serves a daily purpose, it still never fails to bring me joy. 

Best NYC souvenirs
The impressive stamp collection at Casey’s Rubber Stamps

Best NYC Souvenirs for Coworkers: Statue of Liberty or Taxi

You probably have at least one coworker that loves New York City as much as you do, right? Well, why not pick up a simple souvenir from New York to share with them. It’s a tiny effort that will make them feel special without costing an arm and a leg.

For an affordable NYC souvenir idea, I suggest a little Statue of Liberty figurine or an iconic yellow taxi toy car. It’s an easy souvenir to keep on a desk and doesn’t take up much space, making it an easy win-win.


New York Snow Globe

Now before all the millennials come after me saying snow globes are nothing but a relic of 90s sitcoms, allow me to introduce you to my mother. The first time I visited the city and asked what she wanted as a souvenir from NYC, without missing a beat, she asked for a snow globe.

I feel confident in saying somebody in your life would enjoy the nostalgia associated with this cheesy New York City souvenir idea. Worst case scenario you end up with a paper weight and that doesn’t sound too bad to me.


NBC Store NYC

Swag from the NBC Store

Gift shops in New York City are a dime a dozen but some shine brighter than others. On the basement floor of the Rockefeller Center you’ll find an NBC studios gift shop with has some of the best NYC souvenirs. You can sit on a mock set of the Today show and shop for all the traditional NYC-inspired merch. You’ll find trinkets of your favorite NBC shows like Friends and The Office.


unique New York City souvenirs

New York City T-Shirt

Aside from the typical I ❤️ New York shirt everyone thinks of as souvenirs there’s a plethora of wearable attire that pays homage to NYC. You can find shirts that have subway prints, photos of the Notorious B.I.G. or the Empire State Building in various shops across New York City.

My suggestion however would be to stop by Uniqlo and pick up a collab piece, which they release seasonally. My favorite collaboration to date was the one with Jason Polan, an artist who’s doodles captured the simple beauties of New York City. 


Custom New York Times Anniversary Book

There aren’t many brands quite as widely recognized as the New York Times and now you can have a piece of their history. NYT is offering an anniversary book in which you get to pick a date, then they will create a book containing all the published front pages on that anniversary from said date until the present.

It’s a great piece for a coffee table, office or bookshelf. Through the lens of the most iconic newspaper in the world, you’ll have daily access to the daily events that shape our world one year at a time.


Best souvenirs from New York City

Christmas Ornament

Want to be reminded of your visit to New York City on an annual basis? Look no further than this creative New York souvenir and pick up a beautiful Christmas ornament. If you’re not visiting during the holiday you can still find Christmas ornaments at museums and souvenir shops.

Speaking of Christmas, let’s talk about holiday markets and the best places to buy souvenirs in New York City.


Best Places to Buy New York City Souvenirs

It won’t take long to notice that Times Square is peppered with souvenir shops on every corner. And while these are great spots to buy souvenirs in New York City (especially when you’re in a pinch), I find them overwhelming.

Between the bright lights and thousands of nick-knacks vying for your attention, it’s hard to last longer than five minutes before feeling overstimulated. But don’t get me wrong, these stores are some of the best spots to get quick and cheap souvenirs from NYC, so they’re worth a visit when you’re in a bind.

However, if you have more time then I suggest going elsewhere. We wrote an entire article about the best gift shops in New York City, but here are five quick recommendations:

The Strand Bookstore

The Strand Bookstore has an entire section devoted to interesting souvenirs like mugs (I’ve had mine for 8 years), journals, key chains, totes and photo books. Not only will you find some of the best New York City souvenirs here, but you will also be visiting one of the most iconic bookstores in NYC. Hard not to love that.

The New York Transit Museum Store

The New York Transit Museum Store is an underrated gem and I’m hesitant to write about it because I want it to stay that way. But I’d be doing you a disservice by keeping it a secret because they sell some of the best souvenirs in New York City. Expect to find everything from epic subways maps, transit toys and other iconic metro-inspired garb.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store (The Met)

Admittedly, the New York City souvenirs sold at the Met store are more expensive than the other two options mentioned above, but if budget isn’t a concern — this store has you covered. You’ll find some of the most unique NYC souvenirs and gifts that are sure to delight your family and friends.

The MoMA Design Store

The MoMA Design Store is one of my favorite places to pick up NYC souvenirs, I especially love the location in SoHO. Like the souvenirs at the Met store, these won’t come cheap, but goodness, if budget isn’t a concern then you’re guaranteed to find some of the most interesting souvenirs from New York City.

Holiday Markets

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting NYC during the holidays (it’s magical, everyone should do this at lease once), then you’re in for a treat. There’s a plethora of great holiday markets that sell some of the best souvenirs in New York City and should not be missed!

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List of the Best New York City Souvenirs Ideas

  1. Yankees Cap
  2. The most iconic cup in NYC
  3. Statue of Liberty
  4. Lego set
  5. NYC-themed tote
  6. Metro card luggage tote
  7. Pretty City New York
  8. Cookies from Levain
  9. NYC Christmas ornament
  10. NYC snow globe
  11. NBC store merch
  12. NYC t-shirt
  13. New York Times Anniversary Book

Map of Where to Buy NYC Souvenirs


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Cheers!