clock menu more-arrow no yes

14 Places To Buy International, Indie, and Hard-To-Find Magazines

View as Map

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.

Bored of your magazine reading routine? With all the same titles on sale at most newsstands, bodegas, and Duane Reades, it's easy to forget that there's more to the magazine world than the dozen or so glossies we see all the time.

Expand your horizons—Manhattan is home to several shops that are filled with publications you've yet to thumb through, both from faraway lands and the good ol' USA. After the jump, check out our map of our favorite magazine shops around the city. While some of them double as cafés or "tobacco accessories" stores we've vetted these spots for their magazine-worthiness. Did we leave off your favorite place? Let us know in the comments section.—Laura Gurfein


Read More

1. Around The World

Copy Link
148 W 37th St
New York, NY 10018
This shop, which boasts its selection of fashion publications, is nestled in the heart of the Garment District. You can also order international editions of well-known names like Vogue and GQ, or some hard-to-find domestic mags, through their online shop. [Photo]

2. Magazine Cafe

Copy Link
15 W 37th St
New York, NY 10018
(212) 391-2004
Visit Website
"Magazine Cafe was founded to keep the art of magazine reading alive," according to its website. Because, alas, you can't download every single mag in existence on to your tablet. But you can likely scoop them up here or on their online store. [Photo]

3. Universal News Cafe

Copy Link
50 W 23rd St
New York, NY 10010
(212) 647-1761
Visit Website
This location is just one of the nine outlets Universal News has around Manhattan. This bright, high-ceiling shop is a good spot to pick up breakfast and an international fashion mag on your way to Madison Square Park. [Photo]

4. Union Square Magazine Shop

Copy Link
44 Union Sq. E
New York, NY 10003
(212) 598-9406
It seems that magazines and smoking go well together—right next door is the Union Square Smoke Shop. Publications here are well organized on a central wall, though not all of the fashion magazines are grouped together here. But we doubt you'll have a hard time finding what you need. [Photo: Laura Gurfein]

5. The Tobacco Store

Copy Link
108 University Pl.
New York, NY 10003
(212) 807-1540
Don't let the name (or the glass pipes of various hues in the window) fool you—this shop's got a good selection of fashion magazines stacked on the floor, plus other labeled categories like French, Italian, and Art & Design on a long wall. They do live up to their name, however, with a back wall lined with cigars. [Photo: Laura Gurfein]

6. Nicky Smoke & Magazine

Copy Link
462 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011
212-255-9175
Though there isn't an awning denoting the name of this shop, you'll surely be attracted to the rows of magazines in the window that represent just a small selection of their offerings. The staff here reminds you that this isn't a library—there's signs posted discouraging patrons from reading before purchase. [Photo by Laura Gurfein

7. Casa Magazines

Copy Link
(212) 645-1197
Like a micro-sized studio apartment, Casa Magazine is all about the organization. This West Village shop maximizes its teeny shop with hidden storage areas for back issues, and the staff knows where to find everything you're looking for. [Photo: Laura Gurfein]

8. Parsley & Sage

Copy Link
73 7th Ave S
New York, NY 10014
(212) 691-7960
No, this is not a trendy new Italian restaurant in the West Village. Tucked among chic eateries and upscale stores is this little gem of a magazine shop. They also sell some cute postcards that would make great fridge decorations. [Photo: Laura Gurfein]

9. Gem Spa

Copy Link
131 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 995-1866
From the outside, this looks like a typical touristy St. Mark's shop, with hat and sunglass stands underneath its yellow awning. But inside, you'll get your pick of hard-to-find magazine titles. And don't forget to pick up an egg cream, supposedly the best in the city. [Photo: Laura Gurfein]

10. Ink

Copy Link
(212) 420-6030
This East Village shop is great for finding back-issues of publications, which are usually stacked on neat piles on the floor. Perfect for if you missed your favorite celebrity on a cover of a foreign edition. [Photo: Laura Gurfein]

11. BJ Magazines

Copy Link
200 Varick St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 367-9705
"If you're looking for that one unique publication you saw once but can't remember the name...BJ probably has it," wrote one Yelp reviewer. "Very helpful staff," added another. It's also roomier than some other places on this list. [Photo]

12. Soho News International‎

Copy Link
186 Prince St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 941-0833
Fashionably located across from The Dutch restaurant, this shop goes way beyond your basic magazine needs. Aside from their extensive selection, you can also pick up toiletries and laundry detergent here. [Photo by Laura Gurfein]

13. Lafayette Smoke Shop

Copy Link
63 Spring St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 226-3475
Don't be fooled by the name—this Soho shop has a lot of international and hard-to-find titles stashed away in here. But, you can also be fooled by the name—you can find good cigars here as well. [Photo]

14. Bouwerie Iconic Magazine

Copy Link
215 Bowery
New York, NY 10002
(212) 420-1004
This shop, with its clean layout and great organization, just opened in the Lower East Side earlier this year. Their publication selection has more than just international versions of well-known mags—there's also a lot of smaller, domestic titles you've probably never heard of. [Photo]

1. Around The World

148 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018
This shop, which boasts its selection of fashion publications, is nestled in the heart of the Garment District. You can also order international editions of well-known names like Vogue and GQ, or some hard-to-find domestic mags, through their online shop. [Photo]
148 W 37th St
New York, NY 10018

2. Magazine Cafe

15 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018
"Magazine Cafe was founded to keep the art of magazine reading alive," according to its website. Because, alas, you can't download every single mag in existence on to your tablet. But you can likely scoop them up here or on their online store. [Photo]
15 W 37th St
New York, NY 10018

3. Universal News Cafe

50 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10010
This location is just one of the nine outlets Universal News has around Manhattan. This bright, high-ceiling shop is a good spot to pick up breakfast and an international fashion mag on your way to Madison Square Park. [Photo]
50 W 23rd St
New York, NY 10010

4. Union Square Magazine Shop

44 Union Sq. E, New York, NY 10003
It seems that magazines and smoking go well together—right next door is the Union Square Smoke Shop. Publications here are well organized on a central wall, though not all of the fashion magazines are grouped together here. But we doubt you'll have a hard time finding what you need. [Photo: Laura Gurfein]
44 Union Sq. E
New York, NY 10003

5. The Tobacco Store

108 University Pl., New York, NY 10003
Don't let the name (or the glass pipes of various hues in the window) fool you—this shop's got a good selection of fashion magazines stacked on the floor, plus other labeled categories like French, Italian, and Art & Design on a long wall. They do live up to their name, however, with a back wall lined with cigars. [Photo: Laura Gurfein]
108 University Pl.
New York, NY 10003

6. Nicky Smoke & Magazine

462 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10011
Though there isn't an awning denoting the name of this shop, you'll surely be attracted to the rows of magazines in the window that represent just a small selection of their offerings. The staff here reminds you that this isn't a library—there's signs posted discouraging patrons from reading before purchase. [Photo by Laura Gurfein
462 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011

7. Casa Magazines

22 8th Avenue New York, NY 10014
Like a micro-sized studio apartment, Casa Magazine is all about the organization. This West Village shop maximizes its teeny shop with hidden storage areas for back issues, and the staff knows where to find everything you're looking for. [Photo: Laura Gurfein]

8. Parsley & Sage

73 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014
No, this is not a trendy new Italian restaurant in the West Village. Tucked among chic eateries and upscale stores is this little gem of a magazine shop. They also sell some cute postcards that would make great fridge decorations. [Photo: Laura Gurfein]
73 7th Ave S
New York, NY 10014

9. Gem Spa

131 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
From the outside, this looks like a typical touristy St. Mark's shop, with hat and sunglass stands underneath its yellow awning. But inside, you'll get your pick of hard-to-find magazine titles. And don't forget to pick up an egg cream, supposedly the best in the city. [Photo: Laura Gurfein]
131 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003

10. Ink

66 Avenue A New York, NY 10009
This East Village shop is great for finding back-issues of publications, which are usually stacked on neat piles on the floor. Perfect for if you missed your favorite celebrity on a cover of a foreign edition. [Photo: Laura Gurfein]

11. BJ Magazines

200 Varick St, New York, NY 10014
"If you're looking for that one unique publication you saw once but can't remember the name...BJ probably has it," wrote one Yelp reviewer. "Very helpful staff," added another. It's also roomier than some other places on this list. [Photo]
200 Varick St
New York, NY 10014

12. Soho News International‎

186 Prince St, New York, NY 10012
Fashionably located across from The Dutch restaurant, this shop goes way beyond your basic magazine needs. Aside from their extensive selection, you can also pick up toiletries and laundry detergent here. [Photo by Laura Gurfein]
186 Prince St
New York, NY 10012

13. Lafayette Smoke Shop

63 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
Don't be fooled by the name—this Soho shop has a lot of international and hard-to-find titles stashed away in here. But, you can also be fooled by the name—you can find good cigars here as well. [Photo]
63 Spring St
New York, NY 10012

14. Bouwerie Iconic Magazine

215 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
This shop, with its clean layout and great organization, just opened in the Lower East Side earlier this year. Their publication selection has more than just international versions of well-known mags—there's also a lot of smaller, domestic titles you've probably never heard of. [Photo]
215 Bowery
New York, NY 10002