Upper East Side Shops

Shop neighborhood
972 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side
The French Embassy has pulled off a wonderful coup in bringing this gem-like French bookstore and reading room to Fifth Avenue. Named after the ethereal character from Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, the Jacques Garcia-designed (who else?) space is beautifully decked-out with comfy leather couches for cuddling up with a novel, and a gleaming constellation fresco on the ceiling of the two-storey space. The only French bookstore of its kind in the city, it’s a gift to New York—in one of the few remaining Stanford White-designed Beaux Arts buildings, no less.
Upper East Side
BK Antiques
306 E. 61st St., 2nd Fl., Upper East Side
Led by Barbara Kirshbaum, who has been on more than 120 buying trips to Europe and Asia, BK Antiques carries furniture, lighting, accessories, original artwork, and silver from the 18th-, 19th-, and early 20th-century. BK Antiques also has an exclusive collection of limited editions: high-end desk accessories; a series of small “drinks” tables in wood, iron, and stone; oak console tables; barstools; wastebaskets and custom iron and wood benches.
Upper East Side
Blue Tree
1283 Madison Ave., Upper East Side
Phoebe Cates and Lisa Matlin's boutique is pretty great: Downstairs, you’ll find really beautiful jewelry and a great assortment of toys, including hand-painted Russian dolls and Keith Haring dominoes. Upstairs, you'll find clothes from little known designers, especially for the neighborhood, like Ally Capellino handbags and Yoshi Kondo dresses. It's not surprising it's a hit on the Upper East Side, as it brings uniqueness and discovery back to a neighborhood that’s generally dominated by big brands.
Upper East Side
Creel and Gow
131 E. 70th St., Upper East Side
Jamie Creel and Christopher Gow are serious collectors who spend much of their time traveling the world sourcing far-flung objects for their townhouse shop. We go just to see the wacky and elegant displays that mix coral and taxidermy, Suzani textiles and kitschy South African ceramics. It’s a real mix with prices to match, and if you’re looking for a truly offbeat gift—like say, a hand-blown glass hammer and nails—chances are you’ll find it here.
Upper East Side
De Vera (Closed)
26 E. 81st St., Upper East Side
At this veritable treasure chest, black walls highlight cabinets chock full of objects chosen solely for their beauty, whether they be modern French ceramics from Tse et Tse, rare jewels, or 15th-century religious effigies. It's all the work of owner Federico de Vera who travels around the globe hand-picking and then arranging every single item for his two Manhattan stores. Nothing comes with a label, but should you want the backstory on any object, the staff are expert antiquarians and design connoisseurs. The other location is in Soho.
Upper East Side
FD Gallery
26 E. 80th St., Upper East Side
This gorgeous estate jewelry shop looks more like an exceptionally appointed apartment than a store and has more than earned its name: the collection of estate jewelry spanning every era and every designer (Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels are the biggies) is nothing if not museum-worthy. Rare treasure hunters in particular flock to FD as it’s one of the few U.S. distributors of JAR. Also worth noting are the vintage accessories by Chanel and Hermes and photography by Man Ray, Richard Avedon, and more.
Upper East Side
18 E. 69th St., Upper East Side
Young proprietor Clare Distenfeld (she's in her twenties), opened up this exquisitely outfitted Deco townhouse in 2012. While space is tight, she brings together an impeccable edit of men's, women's, and kid's clothing plus gorgeous jewelry, shoes, bags, and home goods. The mix of names we already love in ready-to-wear (Carven, Acne, Preen) plus the stream of unknowns she continually introduces make this a pretty great new addition to the neighborhood's shopping scene.
Upper East Side
1266 Third Ave., Upper East Side
Over the past few years, this lingerie boutique has grown and opened up several shops all over the city. It turns out there was a real hole in the marketplace when it came to lingerie: A place where you can find pretty lingerie that you don't feel silly wearing everyday, which means a tasteful mix of brands like Bordelle, Stella McCartney, Cosabella, and Princesse Tam-Tam, in both basic nudes and bright colors. There's also a location in Union Square and Soho.
Upper East Side
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