Skip to main content

Williamsburg, Brooklyn is one of the coolest neighborhoods in all of New York City. If you’re planning a visit and want to know where to shop, you’re in luck. We’ve roamed the streets to find the best, most whimsical and interesting shops right now. Here’s our insider’s guide to the best luxury retail shopping in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

despite what you may have heard, luxury retail shopping is still alive in new york city

Shopping in New York is not what is used to be. Too many treasured boutiques have either become banks, national-chain pharmacies or Blank Street Coffee stores. Ugh!

Even worse, two years post-pandemic, on some of our favorite streets there are still rows of dusty storefronts, making us crazy with longing for the vibrant blocks we once loved (looking at you, Madison Avenue in Midtown).

Thankfully, there’s Brooklyn.

Now, the borough of Brooklyn obviously covers a lot of ground. Unless you have all day and are powered by an endless drip of caffeine, no one really shops their way through the entire borough, from Williamsburg over to Dumbo, then crisscrossing to Cobble Hill and Park Slope.

But if you’ve got a solid afternoon- and we do mean afternoon, because hardly any of these shops open before 11:00A – then take yourself to Williamsburg for some of the best boutique shopping in New York. You’ll find women’s and men’s clothing, housewares and vintage finds galore. And when hunger and thirst strike, you’re in the middle of one of the best foodie neighborhoods in the city.

where to go for luxury shopping in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Photo Credit: Pamela Thomas-Graham

Insider’s Guide to the Best Shopping in Williamsburg

We put on our best walking shoes and embarked on a field trip to find the most creative and special indie boutiques that make Williamsburg such a perfect shopping destination.

How to get there

First things first: what’s the best way to get to Williamsburg? The most popular route is to take the L train to Bedford Avenue, the central hub of Williamsburg. There will be plenty of boutiques that will compete for your attention the minute you come above ground.

If you’re really looking to make an experience out of the afternoon, though, we’re big fans of the New York Ferry system.

You can board at 90th Street, 34th Street or Wall Street in Manhattan, and enjoy a scenic boat ride with wonderful city views along the way. There are even gourmet refreshment offerings on board. And fares are astonishingly reasonable.

If you opt for the ferry, get off at the South Williamsburg stop.

The Warby Parker store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Photo Credit: Pamela Thomas-Graham

high-end international and regional brands

As Williamsburg gentrifies and new luxury housing comes onto the market, high-end retailers and direct-to-consumer brands have taken note. Arrayed along North 6th Street, you’ll find chic local outposts of Patagonia, Warby Parker, Glossier, D.S. & Durga, Le Labo and many more.

Happily, the vibe is local neighborhood, not outdoor mall. Many of the facades boast street art that makes them feel more organically part of Williamsburg and its creative class. If you’re a fan of any of these names, their outposts in Williamsburg are stunning retail settings in which to indulge and explore your favorites.

For the rest of this report, though, we’re going to focus on boutiques that exist only in Williamsburg (or that have only a handful of stores nationally, with one here). Because that’s when the real magic begins.

Contemporary Apparel 

Sadly, since we first published this piece pre-COVID, Bird – the anchor of one of our most beloved shopping blocks in Williamsburg – has shuttered its doors. But never fear. There are still many noteworthy boutiques to achieve that effortlessly cool look so endemic to Brooklyn creatives.

1. anne willi

Anne Willi is a French boutique on Grand Street that carries simple and elegant wardrobe staples. The tailoring is top-notch and her pants and dress shirts are easy to wear. But it’s the subtle details that she incorporates that make each piece unique and elevated. Prices for sweaters, dresses and pants are in the $200-$300 range. Think sexy librarian, design exec or aspiring novelist.

2. 7115 by Szeki

7115 by Szeki is a New York-based brand founded by designer Szeki Chan that specializes in styles for grown-ups with an edge. If you’re looking for the antidote to skinny jeans, this is the spot. Their winter knit collection is gorgeous.

3. narcisse

If you’re in the mood for love…or lust, check out Narcisse – a lingerie and sensual gift store. It carries elegant everyday undergarments from brands like Eberjey, Stella McCartney and Simone Perele. But most people come here for the more racy and edgy brands like Bordelle, Bluebella, and Lonely. And there are plenty of adult toys from all the buzzy brands.

4. kai d utility

Kai D Utility on Grand Street feels like a step back in time. The store is all about handsome, slow fashion created in small batches by artisans who work from historical references, use high quality fabrics and time-honored tailoring techniques.

Vintage Shopping

The vintage shopping scene is thriving in Williamsburg. Here are 4 great shops to visit.

1. About Glamour

About Glamour is a unique multi-retail space with an art gallery. It’s our go-to for the vast selection of vintage apparel from Japanese designers, as well as Japanese stationery goods.

2. Antoinette

There’s a little bit of everything at Antoinette, a small, charming boutique on Grand Street where every single piece of clothing is cleaned and steamed before hitting the floor. The result is a relevant and well-organized collection that makes vintage shopping a pleasure- especially if you’re not one who loves to dig through racks.

3. Le Grand Strip

On the other end of the spectrum is vintage shop Le Grand Strip, also on Grand Street. Peering into the windows and seeing the store’s bold, turn-of-the century boudoir-inspired space, you’ll know exactly what’s in store. Funky, glamorous and joyful are three words that come to mind. The French-born owner leans towards costume-inspired 1950’s-1980’s outfits and accessories. And 1920’s lingerie.

4. The Attic

Sometimes, shopping vintage can be intimidating. Not so at the The Attic, an open and friendly store on Grand Street where the great quality finds are offered at easy prices. The clothing is well-organized which is key because they cover everything from basic denim and tees to sequin dresses and fur jackets.

jewelry, home and pets

For a delightful and gracious living space, as well as unique jewelry offerings, there are at least four Williamsburg boutiques that hit a home run with their quietly lovely wares.

1. Showfields

This store on Kent Avenue is large enough to qualify as a department store. But the brands and products on offer are so unusual that it feels like a fantastic boutique that channels the spirit of the long-departed and still-missed Collette in Paris. Structured to emulate a six-room home, including a dining room, foyer, lounge, outdoor courtyard and kids’ area.

2. LoveThyBeast

LoveThyBeast, originally based in the East Village, moved to North 5th Street in Williamsburg last year. We read that Greenpoint and Williamsburg are home to three times as many dogs as the citywide average in New York – so bring your pup along when you visit and you’ll be pleasantly surprised (there are several doggie cafes in the neighborhood, including a new outpost of Boris & Horton).

3. Leif

Leif is an inviting boutique selling an assortment of textiles, ceramics, and kitchen/table goods that are artful and original.

4. Scosha

This eclectic little jewelry and accessories shop is like an adult version of a candy store. The sweet, dainty pieces are all handmade – a “colorful and creative combustion of Art meets Artifact.” There’s also well-curated bath and beauty products that are perfect for yourself or for any gifting needs.

when you’re ready for a break . . .

Be sure to refuel in the middle of (or at the end of) all the shopping. If you’re in need of a coffee, head to Devocion a soaring industrial space with exposed brick walls and huge skylight, serving the freshest Colombian coffee, straight from the campo.

The “it” bakery of the moment is Bakerie on Wyeth – a lovely, charming shop with a few seats for dining in, every time we’ve passed it there has been a line – exactly what one wants in a bakery.

For something more substantial, we love Two Hands, a chic sandwich shop on Kent Street near Domino Park. And Isla & Co on West 12th Street, adjacent to the courtyard of the ever-so-chic William Vale Hotel.

The Insider’s Guide to the Best Shopping in Williamsburg

We had a grand old time shopping in Williamsburg. And best of all, there are no feelings of buyer’s remorse, because shopping local counts as a good deed, right? Have fun out there, dear reader.

Julie Murphy

Julie began her career in fashion as a design intern at 3.1 Phillip Lim after graduating from Parsons School of Design. As the fashion editor at Dandelion Chandelier, she brings over a decade of experience as a designer and marketing creative to cover trends and styling.