Best places to shop for holidays gifts in Chicago

Ask almost anyone where to go shopping when you visit Chicago and you’ll likely be directed to the Magnificent Mile which does offer some great shopping if you’re in the market for national and international brands. However, if you want to get into the heart of Chicago’s retail scene, venture into Chicago’s neighborhoods where you’ll find loads of handmade and local finds that will make anyone on your Christmas shopping list thrilled to receive.

In the downtown area, head to the gift shops at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art where it will be easy to satisfy art and design buffs on your list. Just a few blocks west of the Mag Mile is P.O.S.H. best known for its vintage and hotel silverware finds. Wolfbait & BGirls stocks the goods of more than 250 local artisans and Rotofugi has won five Designer Toy Awards for Best Store.  

Chicago's markets, pop-up and permanent, hold one-of-a-kind treasures so consider Randolph Street Market, One of a Kind Holiday Show  and an interactive pop up at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel.

With so many name brand, designer and great independent stores offering local and handmade items, it’s easy to find something special for everyone on your Christmas list in Chicago.



P.O.S.H. is known for its extravagant Christmas displays and this year staff has created a romantic Christmas in Paris display that includes an assortment of glittering ornaments that capture the spirit of the holidays with a decidedly French...  Read More



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

Gold Coast


Helen Yi, the new MCA Director of Retail Experience, boasts over 20 years of experience in luxury fashion and presents a sophisticated perspective in the MCA Store. It's not intimidating but rather a giddy retail experience browsing unique...  Read More

Lincoln Park


Fans of vinyl figures will find Rotofugi a little slice of heaven with its diverse selection. Since opening up shop in a vintage Lincoln Park building in 2004, it has become one of the world's premier sellers of designer toys from artists all...  Read More

Randolph Street Market
Photo courtesy of Randolph Street Market


Located in Chicago's historic West Loop neighborhood, this shopping wonderland provides locals and visitors with over 125 vendors offering an eclectic mix of smartly priced antiques, vintage and modern goods, perfect for the gift-giving season....  Read More



A collection of art-inspired items is sold at the gift shops inside the world famous Art Institute of Chicago. There are two shops - one near the Michigan Avenue entrance and another at the Modern Wing's entrance on Monroe Street. Expect some...  Read More



If you can't find it here, it may not exist. The Magnificent Mile offers more than 460 retailers, major department stores; international luxury labels and designers; and three vertical shopping centers - 900 North Michigan Shops, The Shops at...  Read More



If mall and Michigan Ave. shopping are the last places you want to tackle this holiday season, get to this interactive shopping event that takes over two spaces within the Chicago Athletic Association hotel - the property's original gymnasium...  Read More



The female owned and operated independent Wolfbait & BGirls carries the work of more than 250 local designers which is pretty remarkable considering it's a tiny retail space. Local goods at reasonable prices include clothing, tees and...  Read More



The 18th annual One of a Kind Holiday Show is a refreshing alternative to traditional retail and is a fun place to find unique gifts for everyone on your holiday list. More than indie 600 artists from across North America bring their...  Read More


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