Canal Street, New York

Canal Street, New York

Back in the 1980s, this street in NYC was the place to go for electronics, as every month Popular Electronics would publish DIY plans for hobbyist projects, and if one took those down to Canal Street, one could find all the components. Over time, the electronics shops faded out and were replaced with industrial plastics and consumer good knock-offs like handbags, fragrances, jewelry, watches, and designer fashions – all made China and brought via container ships.

It's still a fun place to shop, with street vendors hawking coconut drinks, durian fruit, and vegetables, homemade noodles, and other Chinese specialties lining pretty much the entire south side sidewalk as far as the Manhattan Bridge. Also, virtually every doorway leads to a store, and there are some wonderful, exotic shops for handmade Asian ceramics here, but also a good number of (cash-only) small shops with many more typical souvenirs, at only a fraction of the price you would pay in Times Square. Since they hate seeing people walk away empty-handed, vendors will always bargain and there are some good deals to be found.

At 200 Canal St, the NEW KAM MAN Supermarket (9:30am–7pm) offers 3 floors of Chinese grocery; Asian pottery; teapots; cast iron teapots; woks; rice cookers; handheld and decorative fans; chopsticks; traditional Chinese patterns of china; Japanese-style lunch boxes; cosmetics; loose and packaged teas; herbs; herbal medications and ointments. The upper level has been renovated to house an extensive Hello Kitty stationery; trinkets; sauce holders; sake bottles and cups; bags; blankets; lunch boxes; jewelry; wallets, etc., plus Japanese cosmetics and skincare.

There are also hundreds of exotic restaurants on Canal Street, and on nearby streets: mostly Cantonese, but also many others. Some of these can be authentic and/or VERY good. Usually, the prices at these eateries are reasonable for the quality of food they serve.

Tip:
Don't mind the weird whispers for backroom watches and handbags. If you're looking for a knockoff of a $1200 bag that is hit or miss close to real or totally cheap, this is your place for the low low price of about $20-$150. Again, haggling is taken to the extreme here and strange between-alley deals are happening all over the place. There's nothing intrisically dangerous about this – it's just a different world.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in New York. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Canal Street on Map

Sight Name: Canal Street
Sight Location: New York, USA (See walking tours in New York)
Sight Type: Shopping
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in New York, New York

Create Your Own Walk in New York

Create Your Own Walk in New York

Creating your own self-guided walk in New York is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Manhattan Architecture Walking Tour

Manhattan Architecture Walking Tour

The skyscraper, which has shaped Manhattan's distinctive skyline, has been closely associated with New York City’s identity since the end of the 19th century. Despite the Great Depression, some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers were completed in Manhattan during the 1930s, including numerous Art Deco masterpieces that are still part of the city's skyline – most notably the Empire...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Grand Central Station to Union Square

Grand Central Station to Union Square

Despite being smaller than almost everything around it, including the humongous MetLife Building that dwarfs it from behind, the Grand Central Terminal is just so gorgeous and palatial-looking that it still manages to be the centerpiece of the whole East Side of Midtown Manhattan. Passing from here to Union Square, our self-guided tour is bound to introduce you to some of New York City’s most...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
NYC's Chinatown and Little Italy Walking Tour

NYC's Chinatown and Little Italy Walking Tour

New York's Little Italy and Chinatown were places that attracted Italian and Chinese immigrants in the late 1800s, with densely packed ethnic communities having grown around them, as they brought their customs, food and language. In the 1960s, however, right around the time that Italians stopped coming to the city in large numbers, Chinese immigrants did the opposite, hence why Little Italy...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Times Square to Central Park

Times Square to Central Park

A leisurely self-guided stroll from Times Square to Central Park will take you to some of NYC’s prominent locations, each worth visiting in their own right.

At 49th Street, Fifth Avenue lives up to its lofty reputation with the Rockefeller Center, one of the world’s biggest business and entertainment complexes, and a triumph of Art Deco architecture. Like the neighboring Times Square, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Manhattan Shopping Tour

Manhattan Shopping Tour

Midtown Manhattan is certainly the shopping hub for New York City, and the famed Fifth Avenue has long been synonymous with a shopper's paradise where you can find every kind of store imaginable, ranging from the affordable to ultra-fancy fashion brands and luxury goods. Whether it’s Prada, Tiffany or Bergdorf Goodman, these brands, among many others, symbolize wealth and social standing,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles
George Washington's New York

George Washington's New York

While not really a New York fan himself, George Washington held the city in high esteem, calling it “a post of infinite importance,” and is even credited with coining the term “New Yorker”. The scene of some of Washington’s greatest military trials and political triumphs, NYC is a home to several important sites associated with his life and career, such as Fraunces Tavern, Bowling Green,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


NYC Beer Tour

NYC Beer Tour

There are many great places to drink in New York City. Still, discerning connoisseurs are likely to find themselves awash in a sea of mediocre beer without first gaining a proper lay of the beer land. For those whose curiosity and taste buds urge them to venture beyond ubiquitious draft staples like...
Bar Tour of Lower East Side, New York City

Bar Tour of Lower East Side, New York City

The Lower East Side has been described the most livable neighborhood in NYC. Unique and dynamic, LES has boutique shops, cafes and restaurants alongside great bars and museums.In this historic neighborhood, residents strive to preserve its roots. Here, you can find young professionals who challenge...
NY Villages Best Tea and Coffee

NY Villages Best Tea and Coffee

This is a guide to the best tea and coffee shops and houses in the East, West, Washington Square and Greenwich Villages of Manhattan. None of these are chains, so tourists looking to avoid Starbucks can find sanctuary in this app. All of these run the gamut between W and E 14th Streets, and down 1st...
9 Best Drinking Places in Upper West Side, NY

9 Best Drinking Places in Upper West Side, NY

With “Bar Tour of the Upper West Side” sample a cross section from NYC’s great gamut of drinking establishments, including a Belgian Brasserie, a wine bar, Irish pubs, and one dive — just for fun! These spots offer something a little extra, like craft beers, inspirational artwork, a chance...
NYC Souvenir Guide: 15 Authentic New York City Products to Take Home

NYC Souvenir Guide: 15 Authentic New York City Products to Take Home

In keeping with the song, one might think that, if they can make it in New York City, they can make it anywhere. Well, not always... Some of the things made in New York City aren't made anywhere else, and you'll definitely want to try or keep at least some of them to prolong your NYC...