Harlem Edit: Where to Shop Uptown


Harlem is not a shopping destination the way 5th Avenue and Soho are when it comes to huge brand names. But nonetheless Harlem is a wonderful place to shop local talent. There are new shops popping up every year and I love stumbling across them. I make it my business to be a patron and shop in my own neighborhood as much as possible. There are a few staples you should definitely check out when visiting Harlem. Oh and if you missed it, you can check out Where to Eat in Harlem here. If it’s one thing I know how to do, and know how to do well it’s shopping and finding unique pieces. If you’re into rocking indie designers and maybe having something everyone who shops at Zara and H&M have, Harlem is where you can find that thing! Here’s where you can Shop Harlem!

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Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market is one of my favorite markets in Harlem. Over 20+ venders sell African crafts, clothes and my favorite, accessories. If you’re looking for the perfect bangle or unique earrings, this is where you need to be. I also really love their home goods and crafts for decor in my apartment. Think beautiful baskets that make perfect magazine holders or planters. Wooden bowls to your your dainty earrings and rings in. Drums that will add a little something special to that nook in your apartment and an array of fabrics that will leave you dizzy. Many of the vendors can whip you up a beautiful wrap skirt after you buy the fabric and put in an order. They size you on the spot! It’s definitely worth a visit.

Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market 52 W. 116th St

Calabar Imports is another favorite specialty store for African, Asian and South American home furnishings, jewelry, fashion, aromatherapy and gifts. They have a wonderful array of earrings and wrap skirts that I’m pretty obsessed with. I make sure to pop in every few months to check out what’s new in stock. You can always find a one of a kind gem at this store which has 3 locations.

2504 Frederick Douglass Blvd

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Photography by Rose Lazare

Location: 116th Street and Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market

Gueras Fatim Top | Rachel Comey Denim | Sole Society Sandals | Katerina Makriyianni Earrings | Piñata Tote


Sugar Hill Market is an awesome market I learned about video Instagram last year. I have been going once every few months since. It’s set inside of a brownstone on a quiet street and spans two levels. The brownstone is actually a museum La Maison d’Art which features artwork exhibits on the walls.  Local designers and business owners set up shop inside the brownstone and in the lovely space in the backyard and sell goods twice a month. One of favorite vendors is No 125 NYC with cool monogrammed t-shirts and bags. You can find everything at the market from home made candles, to printed dresses, to old print  photos of 80s supermodels, activist and singers, collectable magazines, tons of jewelry and the perfect summer hats. Sugar Hill Market often sets up shop at North End Market which is a new market in Washington Heights (which technically isn’t Harlem but hell its close enough! So check it out too!)

Sugar Hill Market 259 W. 132nd St

Flamekeepers Hat Club is a must for the most perfect hat you will probably ever own. They have it all! You will want to buy every hat in the place and wear it any chance you get. The hats are super high quality and the store itself is an experience you won’t ever forget.

Flamekeepers Hat Club 273 W. 121 St

Vibrant Beauty is one of my favorite new beauty & skincare shops in Harlem. I’ve been a hand full of times and never left empty handed. I got one of my all time favorite head wraps recently from Vibrant Beauty along with a new moisturizers and face exfoliant. They always have the best of the best beauty products from all over the world stocked on the gorgeous shelves. They also stock natural haircare products, some home made! The space is open, airy and inviting. I’ve had the chance on a few occasions to meet the owner Desiree Verdejo who is super knowledgeable on all the products and a true Harlem gem! Always a plus when I can support female black owned business!

220 Saint Nicolas Avenue

The Studio Museum of Harlem’s giftstore is another favorite store of mine that I like to check out for gifts. They have a large array of books, knick knacks, home goods, clothing and jewelry. I especially love their Black is Beautiful t-shirts. They also have the cutest little Studio Museum of Harlem totes that I love to use for weekend shopping trips. They only cost $5 and sometimes they give them away free with any purchase.

The Museum of Harlem Gift Store 144 W. 125th St.

Happy Shopping Beloveds and don’t forget to check out Where to Eat Uptown!



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  1. June 27, 2017 / 10:57 am

    I needed this guide to Harlem. I’ve definitely passed all these places but never really took the time to actually look around. Before I leave my city, I must attempt to see all of it’s hidden gems.

    • monroesteele
      June 27, 2017 / 11:15 am

      Ha ha, yes you gotta be a tourist in your own city! Harlem really does have a few gems.


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