The best NYC-themed gifts for everyone on your list
It’s always fun to show a little hometown pride, but this year, New York really deserves it. Whether you want to give your out-of-town family member a memento of your city or get something personal for a local friend, these NYC-themed gifts are sure to please. From cute subway merch to puzzles of your favorite landmarks to all the best books, this guide has a little something for everyone.
All of these products have been hand-selected by team 6sqft. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these affiliate links. All prices reflect those at the time of publishing.
FOR THE DIE-HARD NEW YORKER
|New York Public Library Vintage Postcard Puzzle
$20 at the NYPL StoreThis 1,000-piece puzzle of one of the city’s most famous landmarks is exclusive to NYPL.Photo courtesy of NYPL
|Art Hiding in New York: An Illustrated Guide to the City’s Secret Masterpieces by Lori Zimmer
$15.85 on AmazonIn this gorgeously illustrated book, author Lori Zimmer highlights 100 hidden-in-plain-sight and surprising spots across the city and explores the unique history of the art and the artists behind them.
|The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Game
$29.99 on AmazonFor that cocky New Yorker who thinks they can do a better job captioning the New Yorker cartoons.
|NYC Skyline Chess
$120 on Uncommon GoodsFollowing the Premier of “The Queen’s Gambit,” chess set sales in the U.S. rose by a whopping 125%. If you’ve got a budding prodigy in your circle, consider this popular NYC set.
|Original artwork from a local artist
Prices vary on Society6Society6 was founded as a way to give emerging artists a platform to sell their work. Eleven years after its founding, they now work with 300,000+ independent artists from 160+ countries, from painters and illustrators to pattern designers and photographers. They’re best known for their prints–you can select your size, framed or unframed, and more–and this year, they’ve put together a list of art done by NYC artists.If you’re willing to splurge a bit, Saatchi Art has also curated a collection with NYC- and Brooklyn-based artists.Image of “Rooftop Show” Art Print by Noah MacMillan, courtesy of Society6
FOR THE HISTORY BUFF
|“Old Houses are Magical Places” Unisex Lightweight Crewneck
$46 on Cheap Old HousesThe wildly popular Instagram account that showcases historic homes for sale for under $100,000 (and is becoming a show on HGTV!) has tons of cute merch for your friend who’s just dying to live in a 19th-century brownstone.Photo courtesy of Cheap Old Houses
|The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
$19.95 on AmazonThis historical fiction novel toggles between 1913, where it tells the story of the family living in the secret New York Public Library apartment, to the 1990s, where we meet the woman heading up one of the library’s special collections. See how their lives and stories intersect while exploring old New York and the inner workings of NYC’s most famous library.Photo courtesy of NYPL
|Atlas Obscura gift card
$25-$300Atlas Obscura explores the world’s most wondrous places and foods, sharing stories about hidden places, incredible history, scientific marvels, and gastronomical wonders. For that special someone who cant get enough of their content, consider a gift card for one of their interactive shows or courses. Related ideas are Atlas Obscura’s two books–An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden and 2nd Edition: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders–as well as their super-fun Atlas Obscura Page-A-Day Calendar.Photo collage courtesy of Atlas Obscura
FOR THE BROOKLYNITE
|Cobble Hill by Cecily von Ziegesar
$18.57 on AmazonFrom the author of the Gossip Girl series comes this much-anticipated novel that chronicles a year in the life of four families in this upscale Brooklyn neighborhood.
|Vintage-Inspired Food Ornaments
$42 for a set of three on Food52Historically, Brooklyn has been home to a large Italian-American community, which means the borough has tons of old-school Italian delis. And what’s more synonymous with that than cheese?!Photography by Julia Gartland & Ty Mecham
|Handmade Color Drip Mug
$34 each or $129 for a set of 4 on Food52These cheerful mugs remind us of an abstract skyline or stretch of rowhouses. Plus, they’re handcrafted by Wilcoxson Brooklyn Ceramics from recycled porcelain clay.Photography by Julia Gartland for Food52
|Brooklyn Slate Cheese Boards
From $29The co-founder of this Red Hook-based company was inspired by a visit to the upstate slate quarry that her grandfather founded in 1946. Using unused slate remnants, they create beautiful cheese boards and accessories that are a favorite among top chefs for their durability and style.Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Slate
FOR THE FABULOUS FEMALE
|Certificate of Recognition from the NYC Municipal Archives
FreeIf you’re really looking for something unique, this could be a perfect idea. WomensActivism.NYC, an open, crowdsourced digital archive commemorating the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in the U.S., is gathering stories of women change-makers, known and unknown, that will be maintained forever by the NYC Municipal Archives. The “Gift A Story” program allows you to write the story of a special woman in your life and post it on the site. Then, download and personalize an attractive official certificate to give as a gift.Image courtesy of NYC Municipal Archives
|Holy Cannoli, Yellow Gold Charm
$118 from Catbird JewelryNew Yorkers love a good Italian bakery, and how cute is this cannoli charm? Plus, it’s made by Brooklyn-based jewelry studio Catbird. There’s also a bagel version.Image courtesy of Catbird Jewelry
FOR THE DRINK LOVER
|Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer-Making Kit
From $15You’ve probably seen these locally made beer-making kits at years past holiday markets, but they’re still a great gift for the beer-lover in your life. We love the fun collaboration kits including those created with Brooklyn-based Evil Twin Brewing, Stillwater Artisanal, and BrewDog.Image courtesy of Brooklyn Brew Shop
|Urban Map Glass
$16 each on Uncommon GoodsGet the whiskey lover in your life a set of these sophisticated etched glasses.
|Neighborwoods Map Coasters
$36 for a set of four on Uncommon GoodsThose scotch glasses sure would look good on a set of these coasters, that come in Brooklyn or Manhattan prints.
This Industry City sake brewery is the first in New York City and one of only 15 in the country. If you’re over sending wine as a gift, consider their $65 holiday bundle. It comes with homemade Japanese sake granola, sake-kasu rice cookies, a bottle of Junmai Ginjo Namazake (Number Fourteen) and Junmai Namazake (Blue Door).
Image courtesy of Brookyn Kura
FOR THE TRANSIT NERD
|You are #1 mug
$14.95 at the NY Transit Museum StoreDoes that special someone commute via the 1 train? This adorable mug from the Transit Museum is the perfect token of your affection.Photo courtesy of New York Transit Museum
|Subway Map Face Mask
$13.50 at the NY Transit Museum StoreLet your recipient show their transit-nerd pride with this playful face mask from the Transit Museum.Photo courtesy of New York Transit Museum
|How To Wear a Mask Tee
$22 at the NY Transit Museum StoreHelp spread the word with this on-message t-shirt.Photo courtesy of New York Transit Museum
|Subway: The Curiosities, Secrets, and Unofficial History of the New York City Transit System Hardcover by John E. Morris
$26.49 on AmazonThis beautiful tome to the subway would make a great coffee table book, but it’s also the perfect gift for any NYC history or transit buff, as it’s full of gorgeous vintage images and tons of fascinating facts.
|Citi Bike Membership
$149For the biker in your life, Citi Bike is offering $30 off annual memberships until December 6.Photo courtesy of Citi Bike
$17.95 at the NY Transit Museum StoreGet the little ones interested in NYC history early with this super-cute puzzle of Grand Central’s famous ceiling.Photo courtesy of New York Transit Museum
|Christmas in New York Felt Ornaments
$36-$60 on Food52You won’t have to worry about the little one breaking these adorable, fair-trade ornaments. They’re all handcrafted in Kathmandu, Nepal, by women artisans.Photography by Rocky Luten & Ty Mecham for Food52
|City Skyline Wooden Block Set
$29.99 on AmazonFor your little budding architect, this eight-piece wooden block set includes famous landmarks like the Freedom Tower, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center, Statue of Liberty, Madison Square Park Building, Citicorp Tower, and a yellow taxi.
|The New York Times Little Holiday Book of Mini Crosswords
$9.99 on Amazon
|Homesick, New York Scented Candle
$34 on Amazon
|Reusable grocery bag with zippered top
$10.95 on Amazon
|New York Public Library Tray
$12 at the NYPL StorePhoto courtesy of NYPL
|Mini Brownstone Pin
$14 at Cheap Old HousesPhoto courtesy of Cheap Old Houses
|catstudio New York City dish towel
$20 on Amazon
|Geode State Ornament
$18 on Uncommon Goods
For more gift ideas, check out 6sqft’s other 2020 holiday gift guides: