New York City merch may seem like something just for tourists, but those who live in the city know that a certain restaurant baseball cap or grocery store T-shirt can carry some real prestige. At the top of that prestige ladder are pieces from beloved closed, or soon-to-close, institutions — carrying, say, a Dean & Deluca tote or wearing a shirt from Café Loup demonstrates a certain city know-all. That said: Merch is generally not something you buy for yourself. If you’re eyeing that Scarr’s T-shirt while you wait in line to order, you’re more than likely going to just grab a slice and get going — making it an ideal gift for the NYC obsessive on your list. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite pieces, with something for everyone from your Morgan Library–loving dad to your Dimes-regular sister.
A crewneck that would make a fun gift for the art lover on your list, and that will look even better once it’s broken in.
And if the art lover prefers MoMA, try this bright long-sleeve tee, which was created to coincide with the museum’s recent reopening.
The vintage design on this Natural History Museum tote makes it look like something you stole from your cool aunt’s Upper West Side apartment.
An elegant baseball cap from one of the most elegant places in New York.
Only NY teamed up with the Brooklyn Museum to make merch inspired by the museum’s exhibition posters and memorabilia. The text on this mug draws from a retro “An Evening at the Brooklyn Museum” pamphlet.
An ideal small gift for the person who has been on multiple Tenement Museum tours.
A regal companion for your desk.
Scarr’s Pizza hats and T-shirts are currently sold out, so snag this pen before it’s too late.
A gift for your favorite Dimes Square denizen.
As far as white-tablecloth New York restaurant merch goes, it’s hard to top the Tribeca staple’s baseball cap.
So the ice-cream fiend in your life can take Mister Softee(’s face) with them to the beach.
For the one who loves shrimp cocktail.
For the one who loves ribs.
Stay dry in the rain with this umbrella from the 92-year-old Theater District spot.
A beanie for the Danny Bowien devotee on your list.
And a T-shirt for the pizza fanatic. (Joe’s Pizza on Carmine Street has T-shirts, too, but for those you’ll have to stop by the shop to pick one up.)
Or, if you’d rather cut to the chase, gift them an order of pizza from Di Fara — “the Holy Grail of classic New York–style pizza” — and save them the trek to Midwood.
Some Junior’s mugs to go with that cheesecake you can order online, boasting the generous tagline, “All you want, as you want it.”
Pastrami on rye not included (though you could, in fact, buy them some pastrami — Katz’s ships).
A hat to keep you warm from the old-school Yorkville purveyor of German meats.
This sweet Russ & Daughters kids’ T-shirt has gift-for-a-grandchild written all over it.
Affordable Asian home-goods store Pearl River Mart seemed like it was going the way of Dean & Deluca and Barneys about three years ago — but fortunately reopened in Tribeca in 2016. All the more reason to gift this cheery-red mug from the store.
A Dave’s New York sweatshirt for the coolest kid you know (and we’ll take one for ourselves in XL).
The oldest apothecary in America, which happens to be in the West Village, recently launched their own merch, and we’re into this fairly discreet black baseball cap.
A cute T-shirt for your piano-prodigy niece.
A T-shirt from the St. Bernard’s School’s “Old Boys Store,” where you can also buy a mouse pad and a beer stein.
The perfect gift for the Saarinen enthusiast (or general airport-lounge enthusiast) on your list.
The New York Transit Museum shop’s iconic shirts, for the G train (or M, or Q, or any of the city’s 27 lines) loyalist.
For the upstate or Connecticut commuter, an oven mitt from the Transit Museum’s new “MNR Hot Stuff” collection.
Your dog may not be able to direct traffic, but this neon coat seems weirdly practical for nighttime walks.