175 Ways to Love Chicago: My 5 Go-To Shopping Spots

Sally recommends Girl & The Goat in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood.

Image courtesy of Girl & The Goat

Thanks to world-class art, cross-continental fashions, vintage treasures and more, Chicago is a shopper’s dream come true. Let Sally Schwartz, founder of Randolph Street Market, guide you through her favorite spots for shopping, dining and treasure hunting so you too can bliss out as you buy.

Sally SchwartzFall in love with the gritty glam of the West Loop. This area feels raw and strong from the merging of three lanes of history—from the meatpacking industry and labor movement to today’s incredibly diverse, world-class art scene. You’ll be wowed by galleries like Linda Warren, McCormick and Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. Check out the monthly Randolph Street Market here, too. For the best food in the city, dine at Girl & The Goat, Blackbird, The Publican and Grant Achatz’s ventures Next and Aviary. Be sure to stop in at nouvelle coffee house La Colombe, where they roast amazing coffee!

Explore unique, cross-cultural, upscale shops in Hyde Park and browse the shelves of this South Side neighborhood’s many bookstores. You can find antique and limited edition books at Powell’s Bookstore, 57th Street Books, the Seminary Co-Op at the University of Chicago, and, especially, O’Gara & Wilson, Ltd. After that, head over to Istria Café inside the Hyde Park Art Center for some delish gelato and organic teas.

Find fabrics on Devon Avenue, Roosevelt Road and Maxwell Street. For fabric shopping in the city, you can’t beat Fishman’s Fabrics and Vogue Fabrics or the many stores on Devon Avenue. Grab a quick lunch just north of Roosevelt Road at Manny’s Cafeteria and Deli, and you’ll need your clothes altered shortly after.

Go antiquing in Edgewater. You can find awesome vintage furniture, house wares and high quality costume jewelry at Broadway Antique Market. This building has wonderful terra cotta on the outside and a whole world of vintage inside. Discover treasures from 75 vendors underneath one roof!

Spend a lazy day strolling, shopping and eating along Armitage Avenue and the Sheffield garden district in Lincoln Park. You’ll find pockets of pretty, little European specialty shops featuring one-off’s like handbags, fashions from France, high-end baby goods and more. As you walk by the historic renovations on Armitage Avenue, stop in the original Cynthia Rowley store, Art Effect, Paper Source and Lori’s Designer Shoes. On Webster Avenue, hit up Furla Handbags and Nancy Krause Floral Design & Garden Antiques. Make John’s Place your go-to for lunch, and grab some delicious cupcakes next door at Sweet Mandy B’s.

Sally Schwartz creates bountiful markets through her event company Paint Me a Party/Image Pilots, such as Randolph Street Market, Chicago Antique Market and Modern Vintage Chicago. To hear more from her, check out her hilarious blog.

This post is part of the 175 Ways to Love Chicago project (view more posts here), which features the perspectives of 35 unique Chicagoans. Presented by the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, in celebration of Chicago’s upcoming 175th birthday on March 4, 2012. http://www.explorechicago.org

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