Whether you start your holiday shopping with millions of other Americans on Black Friday or you wait until the very last nanosecond, you’re bound to score extra brownie points by giving gifts made right here in New York City.
The independent businesses in our boroughs are numerous and diverse, with offerings ranging from coffees to candles to coats for the dog. To support your community — and make your friends and families happy and proud — check out our picks below for the best of local gift-giving.
- H.S Chocolate Company, East Harlem, Manhattan
This boutique chocolate company, operating out of Hot Bread Kitchen Incubator, offers a variety of classic chocolate confections, each hand-rolled using local ingredients. Impress a friend with a few of their deliciously unique pumpkin spice candy bars or a box of dipped chocomels.
- Joseph Shalhoub & Son, Inc., Prospect Park, Brooklyn
This 100 year-old Lebanese bakery-turned-fruit roll factory produces Joray’s Fruit Rolls, stretchy sheets of pressed fruit otherwise known as “shoe leather.” The idea of the Joray Fruit Rolls evolved from Lebanese confection in which a paste is made from dried apricots. Not surprisingly, apricot is Joray’s best flavor.
- Josephine’s Feast!, Astoria, Queens
Josephine’s Feast! sells seasonal, artisinally-made jams, jellies, marmalades and chutneys — each made with fruit from sustainable family farmers in Long Island and upstate New York. A jar of Heirloom Apple Butter with Gingerbread Spice is a lovely host gift to bring along to holiday parties.
- Rick’s Picks, Lower East Side, Manhattan
Rick’s Picks makes 14 varieties of pickles including pickled beets and green tomatoes. CEO Rick Field works with farmers from the Union Square Greenmarket for local and fresh vegetables, which are then home-canned with no preservatives. Rick’s Mean Beans make a great Bloody Mary garnish at a holiday brunch!
- Kings County Jerky Co., East Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Kings County Jerky uses pasture-raised, grass-fed beef from local farms and all-natural spice blends. The company makes three eclectic flavors in their Brooklyn storefront: original, Korean and orange-ginger. A 3-pack makes a great stocking-stuffer.
- Brooklyn Salsa Company, Bushwick, Brooklyn
The Brooklyn Salsa Co. sources fresh veggies from local farmers and rooftop gardeners. The imaginative salsas are like sauces to be used on more than just chips or tacos. Foodies will appreciate the-5-Boroughs gift set, which includes original flavors named after NYC neighborhoods.
- Pindar Vineyard, North Fork, Long Island
A bottle of wine is an easy last-minute gift for any holiday gathering and can be particularly perfect when buying for someone you don’t know that well. Order a few bottles of Cuvée Rare Champagne from Pindar Winery for a celebratory gift that’s always ready-to-go.
- Dallis Bros. Coffee, Ozone Park, Queens
Dallis Bros. Coffee opened nearly 100 years ago when two brothers started selling coffee by horse-drawn wagon. Today, the micro-roastery is still delivering coffee to cafés throughout the boroughs (although they’ve finally entered the modern era of automobiles). The Ellis Island Blend will suit all palettes, pleasing occasional coffee drinkers and coffee snobs alike.
- Brooklyn Brewery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Certainly no gift can top the simplicity of a 6-pack of great-tasting beer. Try the Brooklyn Brewery’s award-winning Black Chocolate Stout, one of the brewery’s flavorful seasonal offerings.
- Heavy Leather NYC, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Heavy Leather NYC is a custom guitar-strap company run by Rachel Becker. Becker stitches, studs and be-dazzles high-quality leather straps to give guitars a unique touch. Browse the already-constructed straps online or order something personalized for the musician in your life.
- Urban Cricket, Union Square, Manhattan
Urban Cricket, a T-shirt and tote company, was started by a pair of roommates inspired by the sounds of garbage trucks at night. The duo illustrates and hand-prints their designs, which are then sold from a small table in Union Square. Make gift-giving easy by getting a great tee for everyone.
- Corrente Handbags, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn
This independent handbag company out of Brooklyn makes fashion-forward and practical totes, satchels and wallets. Corrente uses materials sourced from local businesses — excepting, of course, for the high-quality Italian leather. The company is currently fundraising on Kickstarter to complete their holiday handbag collection.
- Jillery by Jill Fagin, Greenwich Village, Manhattan
When her career as a stylist went south, Jill Fagin revived her high school hobby: designing jewelry for her friends. Today, Fagin’s one-of a-kind pieces are hand-crafted at her storefront on East 1oth Street. Her whimsical and elegant designs are made mostly of aluminum so they’re lightweight and upkeep free.
PRESENTS FOR YOUR POOCH
- Buttercup Paw-Tisserie, Woodside, Queens
Buttercup Paw-Tisserie is an all-natural dog bakery specializing in gourmet canine treats that are hand-rolled and baked on site with no added salt, sugar or preservatives. Indulge your pooch with an adorable gingerbread-man biscuit made with real peanut butter and carob.
- Wraprascal Dog Coats, Staten Island
Wraprascal makes superior-quality and stylish dog clothing perfect for New York’s unpredictable winter weather. Order your canine companion a cute and cozy nylon snowsuit, vinyl rain coat or terry cloth bathrobe.
DÉCOR AND MORE
- Mainland Media, Bronx
Mainland Media produces unique Bronx-themed memorabilia including posters, mugs and magnets. The Bronx-pride souvenirs are either designed in-house or reproduced in collaboration with local artists. Check out the From The Bronx online store for gift ideas.
- Astoria Market, Queens
Operating out of Astoria’s historic Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, the Astoria market showcases the work of local artists, bakers and designers. The market is open every Sunday in the main hall of the beer garden so if you’ve stopped by for a brew, now you can shop from a selection local artisans.
This video features one of the local jewelry makers at the Astoria Market in Queens. Video by Markets of New York City.
- Susan’s Beeswax Candles, Union Square, Manhattan
Unlike paraffin, beeswax candles are 100 percent natural with a honeycombed texture that looks elegant and has a longer burn time. Susan’s cinnamon and pine-scented holiday candles are a great gift for anyone. Stop by the Union Square Holiday Market to pick one up.
- Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook by Christina Tosi, available online
Milk Bar, a funky East Village Bakery that’s an offshoot of David Chang’s Momofuku, is known for its dairy-packed deserts. Now you can recreate their signature compost cookies or pretzel ice cream pie with this recipe book by head pastry chef Christina Tosi.
- The Meatball Shop Cookbook by Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow, available online
The chefs from The Meatball Shop in the Lower East Side reveal their meaty recipes in their first cookbook. From Signature Beef to Jambalaya, cook up a batch of balls for your next holiday party. Also included are 20 sauce recipes plus all their sides and salads.