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6 New York Flea Markets You Need to Check Out

Image via Flickr by Shinya

Image via Flickr by Shinya

New York – the city that never sleeps. Global icon of art, culture, fashion and finance. The biggest of apples, until GM really takes off. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

It hardly needs recommending – as previously pointed out, it should be compulsory to visit New York at least once in a lifetime. There’s so much for the modern traveller to see, do and experience in New York that the mind boggles. Otters. Frankincense. Marzipan. See what I mean?

But if you’re looking for a little slice of alternative cake, you might want to consider including in your New York itinerary some of the lesser known local hotspots guaranteed to satisfy those curio cravings.

Nestled in New York’s bustling bosom there are plenty of quirky flea markets brimming with vintage bargains, retro rarities and offbeat ornaments. Here are six top treasure troves worth scavenging.

1. Sugar Hill Market

Where: Harlem
When: Sundays, 1:00pm – 6:00pm
Great for: Local arts and crafts

Welcome to Uptown’s favourite local indoor and outdoor market. Cosy and overflowing with unique items crafted by passionate local artisans, it brings everything together in one place, from speciality jams to handmade fashion. What it lacks in size it makes up for in eye candy – oh, and real candy too.

READ ALSO: Visiting the 9/11 Memorial Museum in NYC: All You Need to Know

2. Bushwick Flea Market

Where: Brooklyn
When: Wednesdays, 11:00am – 7:00pm | Saturdays & Sundays, 10:00am – 6:00pm
Great for: Antique, vintage and retro bargains

Roll up, roll up! There are plenty of things to do in NYC, but this is a real find. Come rain or shine, this outdoor market in trendy Brooklyn gets up and running, with a little of everything you could wish for. Great bargains on antique, vintage and retro items, to be found one block from the Jefferson L Train stop. And if you need a little refreshment while you’re there, why not drop into the highly rated Owl Juice smoothie bar across the street?

TIP TIME: Are you arriving to New York before your check-in time? Or maybe you have a few hours before your flight after you check out? Don’t drag around your luggage! Leave it at one of LuggageHero luggage storage shops around New York and go treasure hunting at the flea markets!

3. Artists and Fleas

Where: Brooklyn
When: Saturdays & Sundays, 10:00am – 7:00pm
Great for: Hipsters

Artists and Fleas – a hipster’s heaven. Located in a former warehouse space and boasting a dazzling array of high and low-end treasures, it has become something of a hub for talented artists, makers and designers showcasing inventive items. I bet you never knew you needed speciality beard oil? Well, perhaps you should think about it. Oh – and there’s a live DJ spinning tunes all day too. Nice.

4. Hester Street Fair

Where: Lower Eastside
When: Saturdays, 11:00am – 6:00pm
Great for: Food and live music

Good eats, good music and good vibes – all to be found at Hester Street fair. This is not your typical street market, but a more relaxed atmosphere, great for spending a lazy, sunny Saturday. There are plenty of benches dotted around, and even a comfy seating lounge with heat lamps, where you can gather with friends and enjoy a delicious ‘eggette’ – that’s a Hong Kong-style egg cake cone with ice cream, by the way.

5. Chelsea Flea Market

Where: Chelsea, Manhattan
When: Saturdays & Sundays, 6:30am – 6:00pm
Great for: Extra special antiques

Over to Manhattan. Chelsea Flea Market is up there with the best – it’s one of the finest places you can go to seek out collectibles, clothing, and special antique items. You can find it nestled in a large parking lot flanked by towering buildings, waiting patiently for collectors of all creeds to pass through. Its vendors are just what you would expect – funny, quirky, great storytellers – and the food isn’t bad either. Bag of phumplings and some bubble tea, anyone?

READ ALSO: The Ideal 4 Days in New York Itinerary

6. The Market NYC

Where: Manhattan and Brooklyn
When: Wednesdays – Fridays, 12:00pm – 8:00pm | Saturdays, 11:00am – 9:00pm | Sundays, 12:00pm – 8:00pm
Great for: Jewelry and gifts

Last but not least, we have The Market NYC, a market known primarily for its creativity. A hive of young artists and designers selling their wares, this place is buzzing all year round. The market was established to help support and promote young talent in 2002, and it’s certainly doing just that. It’s a particularly good one for gifts, selling lots of lovely handmade bits and pieces, such as artisan soaps, candles, lamps and unusual jewelry. Christmas flea for your Christmas tree? No? Go on… embrace the terrible pun. Embrace it.  Life is short.

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.