When it comes to large cities, it’s very hard to experience every single thing that they offer. With so many citizens, buildings and nooks and crannies, it can be daunting to see everything. And when it comes to the beautiful City of New York, it’s nigh impossible. Luckily, there are dozens of guides and ways to get the most out of The Big Apple. 

And as much as we love the big name booksellers (Strand Bookstore, Barnes & Noble), New York City’s greatest appeal is its mom & pop shops. This article in particular will focus on some of the best hidden and lesser known bookstores that offer the true sense of what it means to be a New York City bookstore. 


One of New York City’s greatest traits is its diversity. And what better way to embrace that diversity than by learning a new language? In Albertine, you’ll have access to countless books written in French and promoting the language. The store’s location is a bit unusual: at the back of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy on Fifth Avenue. If you’re looking to spend a few hours in a beautiful room with an eclectic mix of French books, then you’ll want to make a quick stop at Albertine.

Chartwell Booksellers

This bookstore, similar to Albertine, has an interesting quirk in the fact that it exclusively sells books related to Winston Churchill. That’s right, the former UK, World War II-era Prime Minister has his very own bookstore. Chartwell claims that it’s the only Churchill-exclusive bookseller. So if you’re looking to brush up on your Churchill history, then you should consider visiting Chartwell, if you can find it. The store is located deep within the privately-owned public space of the Blackrock-owned building on 55 East 52nd Street. It’s a bit tricky to find, so good luck.

Dashwood Books

If you’re looking for photo books then Dashwood has the answer. Founded in 2005 by David Strettell, former Culture Director of Magnum Photos, Dashwood might seem a bit less-than-enticing from the outside (a small store tucked underneath street level), but the store’s interior is actually very nice. Boasting some sleek and contemporary-looking shelves and a bevy of books along its walls, Dashwood is certainly a bookstore to offer an unconventional, but enjoyable, experience.