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Discover NYC – Your Guide to Indie Businesses

Discover the local, independent businesses that are the heart and soul of NYC in Shoot New York City’s guide to the best of indie New York!

Discover the real NYC in Shoot New York City’s Discover Guide

I love the independent businesses in New York, they are the heart and soul of the city! In this section you will find bookstores, cafés, restaurants, arts & crafts markets and more. This is an ongoing project to list the best of indie New York so visit often to discover the real New York City. Experience the hidden gems and places that New Yorkers frequent. For more information on many of NYC’s vibrant neighborhoods, have a read of my Neighborhood Guides. I am not compensated for writing these reviews and I'm only writing about the places that I like.

Sadly, far too many of these unique, independent businesses close every year. When I learn of one closing I will move it to the category Vanishing NYC. They may be gone but they’ll never be forgotten!


Ray's Candy Store, East Village, Manhattan

Ray’s Candy is a fabulous little store. It opened its doors in 1974! Very few businesses in the East Village can make that claim. Ray is an Iranian immigrant who paid $30,000 for the space. He became a US citizen in 2011.

It would be easy to pass by Ray’s and not notice it if you’re looking across the street at the mural of Joe Strummer. But it is definitely worth going in and trying their fried Oreo cookies, egg creams and Belgian fries to name a few.

Ray’s has been featured by Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown as well as many books and films. Do make a point of checking out Ray’s and you can also read up about his history as well.

Ray’s Candy Store - 113 Avenue A near St Mark’s Place

Ray's Candy