If you love to shop, you’re going to love Brooklyn. Shopping there is a totally different experience from going to Fifth Avenue or Manhattan. One thing people remember about Brooklyn is that it always changes, which means that every visit there is a whole new experience altogether. This kind of unpredictability, however, can be confusing if you don’t know your way around. Here’s a quick guide to help keep yourself from getting lost, especially if you’re looking for something in particular.
Exploring the Neighborhoods
But first, it’s important to remember that exploring is half the fun of shopping in Brooklyn and the best way to do this is to visit the little stores found in the city’s many neighborhoods. Brooklyn can be a big place though, so you’ll want to start at places like Park Slope, Fort Greene, Cobbie Hill, Williamsburg, and Prospect Heights. Other than that, you can take the roads less traveled and make your way to any of the other neighborhoods there. You might take some interest in the Irish stores within Bay Ridge and the food stalls and restaurants situated along Ocean Avenue.
Fans of vintage goods will want to go to Williamsburg, which is riddled with shops that deal with everything vintage. More importantly, you’ll want to catch the Brooklyn Flea, which is famous for its antiques, though they don’t sell them cheap. Aside from that, there are a lot of flea markets in Brooklyn as well. For other antiques you’ll want to look for the furniture stores along Atlantic Avenue as well as the ones near Smith and Nevins.
If you want to go for the national brands like Best Buy, Macy’s Target, Aeropostale, and Victoria Secret, they’re all conveniently located at the Atlantic Center and the rest of the Brooklyn malls. As you would expect, they offer great selections of mid-priced and even discounted goods for sale.
New York is known for its walkers, which is why the sneakers is everyone’s choice of shoes. If you’re in the market for a pair, you’ll find the trendiest sneaker stores at the malls, especially the ones at Fulton Mall. The hipsters have their place to just at Williamsburg.
You can also go to IKEA, which is pretty accessible via a bus, ferry, or car from Manhattan to the Red Hook neighborhood. Meanwhile, Downtown Brooklyn is home to a shopping center called City Point as well as a Century 21 and Target. Since 2017, there’s also been a huge food hall put up there.
Specialty Stores and CraftsBrooklyn does have a very lively market environment. In fact, people will find the Brooklyn Flea every week selling second hand and vintage goods as well as a wide variety of farm to table products. There’s also an innovative market called DeKalb Market whose stores are inside gigantic shipping containers that open for most of the year. These are all on top of all the other flea markets in Brooklyn.
If there’s one time of the year that Brooklyn’s markets are at their finest that would be the month of December when the holidays bring markets all over. They show up in schools, plazas, concert halls, and other public places where they can set up shop.
There are other markets that open only during certain seasons as well. For instance, an African marketplace called the BAM Dance Africa opens in Fort Greene brings in thousands of shoppers every year. There’s also the Brooklyn Book Festival which is hosted annually as a way to showcase Brooklyn’s vibrant reading and writing culture.
In Park Slope along Fifth Avenue are shops for women and children’s clothing and some stores for furniture. You can find more in Carroll Gardens along Smith and Court streets as well. If you go to Williamsburg, there are hipster clothes being sold as Bedford and Grand Avenues along with a lot of accessories. Some African imports can be found in Fort Greene at Fulton Street. Some children’s clothing and accessories are also found along Fifth Avenue by Sunset Park.
Clothing that are on the more conservative side such as wigs, hats, long coats, and dresses can be found in the Jewish neighborhood, Borough Park. The stores are closed on Saturdays though, so go there on other days.
Handmade and Local ProductsIn Brooklyn you can find Etsy, a very popular online market as well as a number of neighborhood stores that sell uniquely designed or handmade clothing and other accessories like jewelry. There are some locally made household items like pots and pillows as well. The clothes here are designed by artists within the Etsy network.
If you’re interested in more products like these, you can go back to Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Williamsburg, Prospect Heights, and Park Slope. You can also find local sculptors, artists, and painters doing their work at the annual Waterfront Artists Coalition, which takes place in Bushwick.
If you want ethnic food, you might want to consider the Middle Eastern cuisine of Sahadi’s emporium along Atlantic Avenue just off Clinton Street. You might also like the authentic Russian dishes at the M&I Supermarket along Brighton Beach Avenue.
For some Polish kielbasa and bread, you’ll want to check out Manhattan Avenue. Meanwhile, there’s Italian food pretty much anywhere in Brooklyn, although you’ll want to visit the meat markets and pastry shops along 13th Avenue as well as those in Dkyer Heights. Some Norweian food stores can be found along Bay Ridge as well.
Finally, a couple of Pakistani and halal restaurants are found in Coney Island Avenue together with some places that offer Caribbean fare. You’ll also find a couple of Irish and African restaurants there.
Lastly for specialty food shops, DUMBO, Williamsburg, and Park Slope have very popular bakeries such as Steve’s Key Lime Pie and Baked. There are also some organic food and meat markets there.
Honestly, this shopping list is never going to be exhaustive. But hopefully you can make your way around Brooklyn and find whatever it is that you’re looking for in shopping heaven.