10 Legendary Chicago Shops You Must Visit at Least Once
Let’s go window shopping
Everyone knows that Chicago has the best restaurants. But our shops aren’t too shabby, either. From the downtown department store every tourist has to visit (you know the one), to tucked-away boutiques that are known worldwide, here are the stores that put Chicago shopping on the map.
Yes, she’s styled Michelle Obama. But beyond that, Ikram Goldman has long been a champion of emerging design talent, and she outfits all of her clients in edgy looks from designers like Erdem, Delpozo and Rochas. Plus, the store itself--all sleek, glossy and red--is a work of art.
15 E. Huron St.; 312-587-1000 or ikram.com
With no signage and no window display, this is like a speakeasy for high fashion. Inside, it quickly becomes clear why Blake is one of the region’s most touted shops (well, for the very fashion-forward and flush with cash, anyway). The store carries women’s fashion from the likes of The Row and Saint Laurent.
212 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-202-0047
Open since 1997, this boutique pretty much put Bucktown on the shopping map. Laid out like a gallery, the store showcases an artful selection of clothing, accessories and art from Japanese, European and American designers. There’s also a newish section for men.
2108 N. Damen Ave.; 773-278-6150 or robinrichman.com
This European-style apothecary opened in Lincoln Square in 1875. Since the beginning, the shop has offered a rich selection of herbal remedies for common ailments; it also has fragrances, candles, cosmetics and delightfully odd toothbrushes. P.S.: Apart from the Lincoln Avenue location, there’s a mini outpost in the Palmer House Hilton Hotel.
4167 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-989-0900 or merzapothecary.com
Alcala’s Western Wear
This quirky and wonderful shop is marked with the silhouette of a braying horse. Inside, you’ll find rows and rows of cowboy boots in alligator skin, snakeskin and more. And if you’re in the market for a fringed leather jacket, it has those, too.
1733 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-226-0152 or alcalas.com
Macy’s on State Street
Though it hasn’t been called Marshall Field's for a long time, the flagship building on State Street has kept its rich local traditions intact. You can still pick up Field’s classic Frango mints; the Walnut Room still serves the best chicken potpie in town; and the store windows are a must-see every holiday season. Some things never change.
111 N. State St.; 312-781-1000 or macys.com
The racks here are hung with cocktail dresses, wedding gowns and furs from the 1920s to the 1980s. There’s also a gorgeous selection of handbags (think beaded purses from 1940s France) and jewelry. Celebrity vintage fans even stake the store’s site out for unique finds.
900 N. Michigan Ave., Level 3; 312-888-9149 or lulusvintagestore.com
Heritage Bicycles General Store
In the sun-filled café, freelancers sip strong coffee and snack on locally made pastries. Further back, there’s a retail area stocking American-made helmets, T-shirts, bags and even jewelry made out of bicycle parts. And in the back garage, mechanics put the finishing touches on those handcrafted, made-in-Chicago bikes. Oh, just BTW: Beyoncé has one.
2959 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-245-3005 or heritagebicycles.com
With three local outposts, the indie record shop has been around since 1989. The store is heralded for its vast selection and reasonable prices--plus, it’ll buy your old records if you’re looking to unload.
This 60,000-square-foot warehouse is brimming with one-of-a-kind items. Whether you’re looking for an Art Deco bar from the 1930s, an Italian foosball table or light fixtures made from Tibetan bells, you’re covered.
1840 W. Hubbard St.; 312-733-0098 or salvageone.com