Pip Cummings, one of the editors of  the bestselling Holiday Goddess Handbag Guide to New York, reveals her downtown go-to places in Nolita. When you need a little side of inspiration with your retail therapy, Pip recommends Elizabeth Street, Manhattan – between Prince and Houston.

If you only have an hour or so for a spot of shopping, try Nolita; a compact and quaint neighbourhood, just to the east of SoHo and north of Little Italy (hence its name). As ‘No’ of ‘Lita’ as you can get – without crossing Houston and ending up in the East Village – is my favourite block of shops, bars and cafes. Many times I’ve repaired to this corner of town for a glass of wine, a bookshop browse and inspiration from some beautifully curated small shops.

MURAL BY LITTLE ANNIE, 15 Prince Street (corner of Elizabeth)

It’s nice to know where you can find a cheery backdrop that says “New York”, without needing to feature a yellow cab, the subway or a big, grey skyscraper. Ask someone to snap your picture against this rainbow vision of Manhattan, painted by Little Annie on the wall of the Quality Mending Company.

 LE LABO, 233 Elizabeth Street

Beautiful oils in Le Labo (Pip Cummings)

As the name Le Labo suggests, this tiny store is the manufacturing hub for a range of oil-based perfumes, created on demand. Pressed metal walls, scoured wooden floors and artfully arranged specimen drawers plus a vintage typewriter conspire to create an atmosphere of old-timey industry. Choose from twelve fragrances, plus the New York City signature scent, Tubereuse 40 – only available here – as well as a range of scented candles.

 METAL POINTUS, 235 Elizabeth St

Elizabeth Street hosts the only location for this “edgy metal” designer outside of Paris. If you like your jewellery of the “statement” variety, you will find one or more covetable items here, all plated in aged silver or bronze.

 ALBANESE MEATS & POULTRY, 238 Elizabeth Street

A classic New York butcher (Pip Cummings)

It’s unlikely you’ll simultaneously require a new fragrance and a rack of lamb, so let’s put this one down to putting a smile on your face or another photo opportunity. Operating in this location since 1923, this family-run business is still in the safe hands of master butcher Moe Albanese, whose mother Mary worked here until her death in 2002 at the age of 97. Do pop in – you know how a butcher loves a chat!

 IVANA HELSINKI, 251 Elizabeth Street

Paola Suhonen, the uber-creative artist behind clothing-label Ivana Helsinki, hails from Finland but currently resides in LA, attending film school. Those cool credentials and hypersensitive aesthetics are reflected in her shop fit-out, which includes comfy sofas and two turntables with a selection of vintage records, from Elvis to the Velvet Underground. She describes her customers as “the ones whom love moonlit fields, pirates, dark forests, crummy motels, champagne states of drunkenness, fragile butterflies, passionate relationships, cowboys and guardian angels.” Expect floaty, romantic dresses and rustic knits, including hand knits from Lapland.

 CONDOR, 259 Elizabeth Street

SoHo (monochrome, sculptural, innovative) meets the Southwest (arrows, feathers, earth tones and native American beadwork) in this small but perfectly formed collection of designers, including Mara Hoffman, the Handsome, Aiko, Wackerhaus and Theory. Handbags, jewellery and home wares complete the selection. Visit the website here.

 LOVE ADORNED, 269 Elizabeth Street

If you only have time for one stop, this is it – Love Adorned. More like a mini museum or a gallery, this beautifully curated store never fails to delight. Estate and contemporary jewellery sits happily with beautifully packaged candles and soaps; ceramics decorated with fine line drawings of flora and fauna; hand-inked articulated paper dolls; skulls and hearts carved from gemstones; vintage kilim pouches and elaborately beaded snake sculptures by Huichol artisans.

 AREA I.D., 262 Elizabeth Street

Crammed into this small shop is a carefully edited selection of furniture from the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s; sculptural lamps, sleek side tables, coloured glassware and funky armchairs – much of it from Europe. The store also sells reproductions. It’s not for bargain hunters but it is great for getting ideas and for seeing just how far mid-century designers were prepared to push the boundaries. Animal lovers beware: there are also a lot of fur scatter cushions flung around.


Aesop, 232 Elizabeth Street

Haus Interior, 250 Elizabeth Street

Manhattan Portage, 258 Elizabeth Street

Tory Burch, 257 Elizabeth Street


Bar Bossa, 232 Elizabeth Street

Jo’s wine bar, 264 Elizabeth Street (www.josnyc.com)

Café Habana, 17 Prince Street (www.cafehabana.com)

Tacombi, 267 Elizabeth Street


McNally Jackson bookstore, 52 Prince Street

Jacques brasserie and 1534 cocktail lounge, 20 Prince Street

Dinosaur Designs, 211 Elizabeth Street

Erica Weiner jewellery, 173 Elizabeth Street

Wine Therapy, 171 Elizabeth Street

Lost Wax Studio, 171 Elizabeth Street.


The 4 or 6 to Spring Street, and walk north; the B, D, F or M to Broadway-Lafayette and walk east; the N or R to Prince Street and walk east; the F to 2nd Ave and walk west or the J to Bowery and walk north.









Holiday Goddess Editors

About Holiday Goddess Editors

Holiday Goddess. Travel for Less.