clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Driely S.
Driely S.

Hey, Four-Eyes! Where to Buy Glasses in NYC

View as Map
Driely S.

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Having flashbacks to the dreaded "four-eyes" chant in elementary school just by looking at this headline? Banish that memory forever. Aside from being the most necessary accessory for a lot of us out there, glasses have been embraced by the fashion world, and by New York in particular—the amount of trendy eyewear shops that have opened in recent years is staggering. Below, find 17 of the city's best shops for eyeglasses, from single-brand boutiques to old-school optician shops.

Read More

Warby Parker

Copy Link
The newest location of the previously online-only brand is also its most beautiful. The two-story former drugstore boasts two eye exam stations, a reading nook, and tons of original details. [Photo: Driely S.]

SEE Eyewear

Copy Link
See’s new Boerum Hill location offers Brooklynites frames that are a bit louder than Warby Parker’s, but at not too much more of the cost. [Photo]

Oliver Peoples

Copy Link
One of the city’s best uptown eyewear options, Oliver Peoples’ Madison Avenue location includes a huge array of styles that toe the line between on-trend and too-trendy. Look out for the brand’s sought-after collaborations, which have included everyone from Rodarte to Balmain. [Photo]

Selima Optique

Copy Link
The mini-chain has locations in LA, Paris, and New York, but it’s the Soho one that's closest to French-born owner Selima Salaun, who lives in the neighborhood (which isn't far away from the funky Bond Street outpost). Frames, which tend to have both French and Japanese influences, are mostly in the $300 range. [Photo]

Italia Independent

Copy Link
The Italian (duh) eyewear brand’s first and only US store (opened this November) includes look-at-me styles like velvet, denim, and glittery frames, as well as a collab with the Blonde Salad blogger Chiara Ferragni. Bonus: There’s a mini Fiat 500 parked inside the store. [Photo]

Anne et Valentin

Copy Link
After opening near the Bowery two years ago, the French brand made its Brooklyn debut last month. Known for unabashedly bold frames, Anne et Valentin's newest store also provides plenty of cozy seating that'll likely induce apartment envy. [Photo]

Surreal Eyewear

Copy Link
As one of the West Village’s best eyewear boutiques, Surreal carries new and vintage frames from lesser-known international brands you won’t find elsewhere, as well as its own house label. Those looking to differentiate themselves from the Warby Parker-ed masses can even work with the staff to design a custom pair. [Photo]

Fabulous Fanny's

Copy Link
The iconic eyewear shop that New Yorkers frequently flock to for funky sunglasses also has a huge selection of vintage frames that are suitable for regular eyeglasses. Have a deep-dive into the drawers here to find a pair that'll cause double-takes on the sidewalks. [Photo]

Anthony Aiden Opticians

Copy Link
When this East Village boutique first opened in 1989, it was widely considered one of the first stores in the city to bring an element of fashion to glasses. And 26 years later, it's still serving the neighborhood with frame styles that creep to the edge of too cool—not to mention keeping up a good window display. [Photo]

Silver Lining Opticians

Copy Link
Co-founded by a vintage eyewear collector, Silver Lining has been serving Soho with hard-to-find frames since 2005. If you're looking for a different mix of designers (ever heard of Masunaga, Barton Perreira, or Andy Wolf?) make Thompson Street your first stop. [Photo]

Morgenthal Frederics

Copy Link
Come to the corner of Spring and West Broadway if you're not sure whether you want to go high-end or more budget-friendly—at least budget-friendly in terms of frames. The staff here is great at helping you narrow down styles based on your face shape and wearing preferences, and they have a major sale going through the end of February, too. [Photo]
The popular Los Angeles-based eyewear shop only just made its way to our city in recent months, and the celeb-favored frames are right at home in 900 square feet on Lafayette Street, adding to Soho's already incredible existing range of eyeglasses shops. [Photo]
The Lower East Side store has been a cool-kid staple for a century, and it just celebrated its 100th anniversary this year with an all-new vintage-inspired collection. Most frames stay under $300 and reference styles that wouldn’t look out of place when the store originally opened. [Photo]

Devonshire Optical

Copy Link
Fitting customers since 1984, the Greenwich Village shop has a thing for rimless frames, but also stocks a variety of stainless steel styles, as well as classic options by brands like Oliver Peoples and Paul Smith. Make sure to check out their adventurous sunglasses section, which includes mirrored shades by Coco and Breezy and architectural Kuboraum designs. [Photo]
This German eyewear brand offers unisex frames in its modern-industrial Crosby Street shop. Prices start at $400 and go up to $2,000 (excluding prescription lenses), so consider these investment glasses. Look out for the label’s frequent collaborations—current guest designers include Maison Margiela and Damir Doma. [Photo]

Facial Index

Copy Link
The Japanese-based shop, established here in 2000, only carries its own lines of handcrafted frames that can get a little pricey for the average shopper, but the number on the tag is offset by the cool factor you earn just by wearing them. [Photo]

The Monocle Order

Copy Link
This Williamsburg optical shop specializes in vintage frames and eyewear by independent labels like RVS, Illesteva, and Westward Leaning. The space is clean and minimal, and glasses are displayed so that they appear to be floating in front of an exposed brick wall. [Photo]

Warby Parker

The newest location of the previously online-only brand is also its most beautiful. The two-story former drugstore boasts two eye exam stations, a reading nook, and tons of original details. [Photo: Driely S.]

SEE Eyewear

See’s new Boerum Hill location offers Brooklynites frames that are a bit louder than Warby Parker’s, but at not too much more of the cost. [Photo]

Oliver Peoples

One of the city’s best uptown eyewear options, Oliver Peoples’ Madison Avenue location includes a huge array of styles that toe the line between on-trend and too-trendy. Look out for the brand’s sought-after collaborations, which have included everyone from Rodarte to Balmain. [Photo]

Selima Optique

The mini-chain has locations in LA, Paris, and New York, but it’s the Soho one that's closest to French-born owner Selima Salaun, who lives in the neighborhood (which isn't far away from the funky Bond Street outpost). Frames, which tend to have both French and Japanese influences, are mostly in the $300 range. [Photo]

Italia Independent

The Italian (duh) eyewear brand’s first and only US store (opened this November) includes look-at-me styles like velvet, denim, and glittery frames, as well as a collab with the Blonde Salad blogger Chiara Ferragni. Bonus: There’s a mini Fiat 500 parked inside the store. [Photo]

Anne et Valentin

After opening near the Bowery two years ago, the French brand made its Brooklyn debut last month. Known for unabashedly bold frames, Anne et Valentin's newest store also provides plenty of cozy seating that'll likely induce apartment envy. [Photo]

Surreal Eyewear

As one of the West Village’s best eyewear boutiques, Surreal carries new and vintage frames from lesser-known international brands you won’t find elsewhere, as well as its own house label. Those looking to differentiate themselves from the Warby Parker-ed masses can even work with the staff to design a custom pair. [Photo]

Fabulous Fanny's

The iconic eyewear shop that New Yorkers frequently flock to for funky sunglasses also has a huge selection of vintage frames that are suitable for regular eyeglasses. Have a deep-dive into the drawers here to find a pair that'll cause double-takes on the sidewalks. [Photo]

Anthony Aiden Opticians

When this East Village boutique first opened in 1989, it was widely considered one of the first stores in the city to bring an element of fashion to glasses. And 26 years later, it's still serving the neighborhood with frame styles that creep to the edge of too cool—not to mention keeping up a good window display. [Photo]

Silver Lining Opticians

Co-founded by a vintage eyewear collector, Silver Lining has been serving Soho with hard-to-find frames since 2005. If you're looking for a different mix of designers (ever heard of Masunaga, Barton Perreira, or Andy Wolf?) make Thompson Street your first stop. [Photo]

Morgenthal Frederics

Come to the corner of Spring and West Broadway if you're not sure whether you want to go high-end or more budget-friendly—at least budget-friendly in terms of frames. The staff here is great at helping you narrow down styles based on your face shape and wearing preferences, and they have a major sale going through the end of February, too. [Photo]

Dita

The popular Los Angeles-based eyewear shop only just made its way to our city in recent months, and the celeb-favored frames are right at home in 900 square feet on Lafayette Street, adding to Soho's already incredible existing range of eyeglasses shops. [Photo]

MOSCOT

The Lower East Side store has been a cool-kid staple for a century, and it just celebrated its 100th anniversary this year with an all-new vintage-inspired collection. Most frames stay under $300 and reference styles that wouldn’t look out of place when the store originally opened. [Photo]

Devonshire Optical

Fitting customers since 1984, the Greenwich Village shop has a thing for rimless frames, but also stocks a variety of stainless steel styles, as well as classic options by brands like Oliver Peoples and Paul Smith. Make sure to check out their adventurous sunglasses section, which includes mirrored shades by Coco and Breezy and architectural Kuboraum designs. [Photo]

Mykita

This German eyewear brand offers unisex frames in its modern-industrial Crosby Street shop. Prices start at $400 and go up to $2,000 (excluding prescription lenses), so consider these investment glasses. Look out for the label’s frequent collaborations—current guest designers include Maison Margiela and Damir Doma. [Photo]

Facial Index

The Japanese-based shop, established here in 2000, only carries its own lines of handcrafted frames that can get a little pricey for the average shopper, but the number on the tag is offset by the cool factor you earn just by wearing them. [Photo]

The Monocle Order

This Williamsburg optical shop specializes in vintage frames and eyewear by independent labels like RVS, Illesteva, and Westward Leaning. The space is clean and minimal, and glasses are displayed so that they appear to be floating in front of an exposed brick wall. [Photo]