Shopping in Chicago: sweet spots abound all around town



Chicago has department stores a la Macy's, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Saks offering sprawling floors of inventory as well as plenty of independently owned shops stocking the uncommon while sporting a ton of heart and personality. 

Visitors and locals adore shopping along the Magnificent Mile and Water Tower Place (as evidenced by the throngs no matter the weather) because, honestly, it's all there from Uniqlo to Tiffany, American Girl Place  in Water Tower Place to an Amazon Pop-up Store in The Shops at North Bridge. You can stroll and window shop outdoors and pop into one of the indoor malls like 900 N. Michigan Shops for a breather from icy winds or thick-as-pea-soup humidity in the summer. Attracting tons of international tourists, Michigan Avenue is perfect for people watching, too. Those shopping according to Gywneth's goop, may want to take a turn just a tad west for Oak Street's couture and class.

Like many urban downtown areas, State Street had it's tacky era but we're gleeful to report that the Great Street is back teeming with with college students and their fave shops like American Apparel and Urban Outfitters. Macy's, ensconced in our beloved Marshall Field's building, is a testament to the rich history of American department stores, and don't miss Block 37  with its eclectic mix of retail and dining in a five-story shopping mall.

Chicagoans love their neighborhoods and the indie retailers lining Wicker Park, Bucktown, Andersonville, Edgewater, Lincoln Square and others. Take a water taxi to Chinatown for great eats and shops offering inexpensive imported treasures. 

The suburbs beckon with an impressive designer outlet mall is in suburban Rosemont, next to O'Hare, and one of the largest indoor malls in the country, Woodfield Mall, lies just a little further northwest in suburban Schaumburg.


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Schaumburg


Every imaginable national clothing store chain is inside this massive, indoor mall, one of the largest in the United States. You'll find everything from Claire's Boutique to Coach, plus kiosks inviting customers to sample new products. Nearly 30...  Read More


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Andersonville


During the 19th century immigrant Swedish farmers began to move north from the center of the city into what was then considered a suburb of Chicago. By the 20th century, the entire commercial strip was dominated by Swedish businesses and today...  Read More




Chicago's gallery district in the River North neighborhood is just a few blocks from Michigan Avenue and if you're shopping for original art, this is your bliss among the former warehouses turned exhibition spaces. If the creme de la creme of...  Read More


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State Street


Like many urban downtown areas, State Street had it's sad, downtrodden days but the Great Street is back teeming street musicians and college students and their favorite shops like American Apparel, Puma, Sephora, Forever 21 and Urban...  Read More




Fashion Outlets of Chicago offers more than 130 designer outlets, high-end amenities and a contemporary art collection. The Rosemont mall is anchored by Bloomingdale's The Outlet Store, Forever 21, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Nordstrom Rack and...  Read More




There's more than shopping at Water Tower Place, an eight-level shopping center located at the northern tip of the Magnificent Mile. In addition to 104 stores, there are myriad dining options, a theater that is part of Broadway in Chicago and...  Read More


Lincoln Square/Ravenswood
Photo courtesy of Sandra Dib


European ambiance, cobblestone streets and quaint storefronts make Lincoln Square (and the Ravenswood corridor) an appealing outing for shopping, dining, drinking and discovery. Home to the Old Town School of Folk Music where you can catch a...  Read More


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Gold Coast
Oak Street


If words like Prada, Hermes, Tory Burch, Armani and Jimmy Choo increase your pulse rate, Oak Street should be your shopping destination in Chicago. High-end shops, from international couture houses to local boutiques, adorn the one block...  Read More


Once the purview of Nelson Algren, Wicker Park has been disparaged as "hipster central" but take it from someone who grew up in the 'hoods pre gentrification - this is way cooler - and safer. Snag an Eastwood hat, Inspired by classic Americana...  Read More


Apple, Nike, Cole Haan, Uniqlo, Crate & Barrel, Burberry, Neiman Marcus, and Tiffany & Co. all call the famous shopping stretch home. On the north end of the strip is Water Tower Place and the 900 North Michigan Shops, with stores like...  Read More


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Meet Jacky Runice

Born in Bucktown when bulletproof was a home safety choice and not a coffee order, Jacky Runice has been knocking around Chicago as a professional print, online and broadcast journalist and...  More About Jacky

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