The Best Outdoor Markets in Manhattan
New York City is home to some fabulous outdoor markets. And as usual, a market in NYC is unlike those seen around the country! In addition to vintage and antique one-of-a-kind furniture, one can find gourmet foods, vintage fashions, as well as items handmade by local artists, photographers and jewelers. It’s not unusual to see celebs and fashion designers combing through the selection, looking for inspiration and unique pieces for their own wardrobe. By contrast, outside of New York, many “flea” markets are best known as places you can go to get second hand goods (often with a vintage feel and certain kind of charm), at exceptionally discounted prices. Very different than what you’ll find at these Manhattan markets!
Hell’s Kitchen Market
We love the slightly out of the way location of the Hell’s Kitchen Market, which is located in Hell’s Kitchen on 39th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues. Open every Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 5, this is a great option for an afternoon of shopping and perusing after a weekend brunch or a morning spent on the . Vendors offer goods ranging from high end fur coats, jewelry and leather bags, to more affordable vintage postcards and other ephemera. It’s location near the Garment District ensures a steady stream of those “in-the-know” from the fashion world, looking for inspiration (everything old is new again!).
You can also feel good about making a purchase here, as they give 25% of annual profits to Hell’s Kitchen Foundation, Inc., the non-profit that awards grants to Hell’s Kitchen artists to help them pursue their art projects while living in an increasingly expensive city.
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Grand Bazaar NYC
The Grand Bazaar NYC is located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and is famous for being Manhattan’s largest curated weekly market. Vendors are selected based on their history/ability to provide quality and unique items, and to create a balance across the various categories of items offered. The emphasis is on one-of-a-kind items created by local artists, designers, etc.
Every Sunday, you can search over 100 stalls of vintage and antique finds–including both the small (jewelry and photographs) to the large (furniture to grace your gorgeous Manhattan apartment, perhaps?), as well as the edible!
What I particularly love about this specific market is that they donate 100% of their profits to four local public schools, helping over 4,000 children, in addition to supporting NYC’s local artisans, micro-businesses, and entrepreneurs. So even if you have to shell out an arm and a leg for a vintage desk, at least you know it’s going to a great cause.
A Few Tips Before You Go:
- While most vendors at markets these days accept credit and debit cards, you’ll have a lot more room for negotiation if you’re willing to pay cash. So stop by an ATM before you go, so you can strike the best deal possible when you’re shopping!
- Carefully inspect items before you purchase. This may sound obvious, but even if you score a great deal on a vintage blazer, if it has a stain on it that’s been sitting there for decades, chances are your dry cleaner won’t be able to get it out, either. Hence, a waste of money no matter how good of a deal! Of course, the more creative of you may “fix” that with a patch for an eclectic look.
- Finally, have a list of specific holes to fill in your household or wardrobe as well as upcoming gifting opportunities. For example, I knew we needed a bedside table for our master, and during a trip to the flea market found the perfect vintage crate that fit our style and decor perfectly. It ended up being a great deal, and had much more charm than anything I could have picked up for the same price at a chain store.
- In terms of gifting opportunities, if you find a vintage Chanel scarf during your rummaging, but you yourself hate the idea of wearing scarves, remember it could be the perfect gift for your fashionista sister’s next birthday. And we’re willing to bet she’ll think you put a lot more time and thought into the gift than if you buy something off Amazon last minute!
What to Ask During an Apartment TourAre you checking out luxury apartments in New York City? Keep this list handy as you schedule those tours!
A few years back we shared our favorite Brooklyn outdoor markets, so if you’re looking for a full day trip, get your shopping bags ready!