Pearl River Mart, New York City
If you have a thing for Asian (and even if you don't) you'll love Pearl River. It's a kaleidoscope of clothing, kitchenware, lighting, food, home decor, furniture, toys, knickknacks and everything else you could imagine. And the stuff is really, really cheap. Really. Some of it is also really cheesy but all of it is big fun. This is THE place to pick up tchotchkes for the folks back home if NYC hotel and restaurant prices have done a number on your credit card. Give the website a go to check out the incredible inventory this mini-Chinatown jam-packs into its considerable space. Open 10 AM to 7:20 PM, including weekends and holidays.
What to buy: Slippers and soft shoes, kimono, silk jackets, scarves, chopsticks, purses. linens and toys are probably the most easily packed for the flight home. Tableware, window treatments, garden ornaments and lighting are probably better shipped or ordered from the website.
What to pay: How much can you stuff in your suitcase?
Two floors of Chinese goods and a tea room at the top. And, ta daa, clean bathrooms. Incidently, there are two entrances, yes it spans a whole block!. Be careful you don't go in one entrance and out the other, you'll get lost! And make sure you walk down a few more blocks to Canal Street to see the real Chinatown.
What to buy: You can get authentic Chinese candy and teas, inexpensive tea pots, all kinds of dishes and kitchenware, clothing.
What to pay: I found it to be more expensive than I had thought it would be but there are bargains to be had if you dig...especially on the lower floor.
This store has all kinds of items from China, from silly to serious. Some of the items are just "Made in China". One in particular that I had never seen anywhere else was a photo album that had a NYC subway map on its cover, a nice way to keep your NYC pics.
But there are loads of Chinese teapots, decorative lights, room dividers, clothes, bed linens, silk material, etc. A nice store to browse through.
Great store once located in Chinatown, has a new fresh look in Soho. Open 10 am to 720 pm
What to buy: All kinds of chinese department store items, also food items: bamboo blinds, paper lanterns, beaded slippers, fancy teapots, chopstick-and-rice-bowl sets, herbal remedies, asian snacks and edibles, cookware, jackets, magazines, books, lamps, and much much more
What to pay: Good prices for hip gifts and home staples
This is an excellent, bargain-rate place to shop for Asian kitsch. The bargains are to die for and the stuff doesn't fall apart after a day! I love hunting through Pearl River Mart. It's large, spacious, block to block, beautiful decor complimented with a zen like atmosphere. There's even a little tea cafe on the mezzanine where you can stop to sip some green tea. Excellent stop on the Broadway shopping spree!! :-) -Unfortunately, (though fortunate for some) there is an Old Navy next door that just ruins everything. I hate Old Navy.
Overall, this is an excellent place to pick up cool and interesting gifts for cheap!
What to buy: The teapot sets, fashion chopsticks, yan-yans (chocolate sticks), green tea, dieters tea, asian groceries, lipstick cases in Chinese silk, chinese dresses, chinese slippers (really popular in NY because they're cheap and simple and go with virtually everything, especially jeans), lamps, wall screens, room decorations, etc.
What to pay: Chopsticks are about $2, a teapot, anywhere from $10-50, Chinese floor screens, $100, tea, $2. Everything is relatively cheap, so have fun!
If you need something chinese, this is the place to find it. The shop itself calls it the first Chinese American department store.
I was thrilled when entering the store because there were so many beautiful and nice little things that you ever even knew excisted. I was looking for nice Mary Janes but unfortunately I didn't find my size at that time and so left empty handed.
This store is more fun than a barrel of monkeys and then some! Lots of very reasonably priced gift items to bring home, especially those embroidered and beaded silk slippers that are all the rage right now. I got a beautiful pair for only $14.00 US!
They had a huge selection of very cool asian rice-paper lamps of all sizes for cheap prices. Unfortunately, it is disappointing that a lot of the home decor stuff is difficult to pack if you're flying home on a plane. Don't forget to browse through the trendy asian-inspired clothing as well. They also have a tea cafe on the upper floor to rest your shopping-weary feet.
What to buy: Beaded slippers, asian-style clothing, paper and other novelties ( I got 13 foot paper flower party garlands for $3.95 each) tons of inexpensive, unique gift items
On Broadway a new Pearl River Department Store opent up in 2003. It is a fantastic shop to look around for all kinds of asian stuff, traditional clothing, paper lanterns, teapots, japanese and chinese pottery, incense, and a whole lot more. I used to like their old store, but this new one is very organized and clean.
It is a good place to find some gifts for a good price. There is still an older store in Chinatown, on 200 Grant Street which is a lot smaller.
What to buy: I can't say what to buy, there are so many interesting things for sale here. Don't buy food or drinks here, they will be more expensive than in the shops in Chinatown.
This store has all kinds of Chinese items: paper lanterns, slippers, pottery, paintbrushes, baskets, everything! When I'm in the area I never miss this place. You can spend quite a long time in here looking through all their stuff.
Their website is brand new so check it out for more info!
What to buy: I found the cricket cages interesting!
What to pay: Not that expensive.