Find the Perfect Last Minute Gift for Your Valentine

Vosges Haut Chocolat has convenient locations on the Mag Mile, at O'Hare Airport, and in Lincoln Park.

We know, sometimes Valentine’s Day can sneak up on you. To help you out, we’ve put together a handy list of places downtown, in the neighborhoods–even at O’Hare Airport–where you can pick up the perfect gourmet chocolates, flowers, or gift to make your loved one’s day a little sweeter!

Pick up Gourmet Chocolates. Chicago is a town known not only for its deep-dish pizza, but for its remarkably refined sweet tooth.

Try Vosges Haut-chocolat for a selection of both traditional truffles and twists on confectionery classics–their collections of Chocolate and Chilies or of Bacon and Chocolate are sure to add a little heat or smoke to your Valentine’s Day. Finally, for the girl or guy who enjoys a bit of bling, the Hip Hop Truffle Collection of champagne-infused bon-bons topped with edible gold leaf is the way to go. Vosges has boutiques in Lincoln Park’s Armitage Avenue, on the Mag Mile in the Northbridge Mall, and at O’Hare Airport, but you can also find their products at a variety of fine grocers, hotels, and retailers in the Chicagoland area.

In the Loop, pick up sweets from locally-owned vendors like City Caramels, Sweet Miss Givings, or Delightful Pastries at Chicago’s Downtown Farmstand. They can also help you put together a custom gift-basket for the foodie in your life.

In Chicago’s Ashburn neighborhood, try Cupid Candies. Husband and wife, Paul and Pauline Stefanos have been manufacturing and selling chocolates in Chicago since 1936, and have even manufactured Chicago’s famous Frango Mints. Purchase their treats, the pecan and caramel infused Giant Chocolate Tortoise, or the appropriately named Cupid Turks, at Cupid Candies shops and floral boutiques in the Chicagoland area.

Cooking at home, but looking for the perfect dessert? Visit Bom Bon Cake Gallery in Pilsen for mini versions of their famous tres leches cakes, fruit-laden mini tarts, and more.

Pick Up a Bouquet of Flowers. There’s still time. For an alternative to the cellophane-wrapped carnations you can pick up in the grocery check out lane, try Fleur in Logan Square for a large selection of gorgeous, fragrant flowers. According to their blog, they’re still taking orders for bouquets and are staying open until 7pm on Valentine’s DayAsrai Garden in nearby Wicker Park offers flowers of all shapes, sizes, and smells, plus interesting and unique gifts you can pair with your posies. The Blossom Boys in Beverly have flowers, yes, but they also carry many fair trade items and edibles. At Flor Del Monte (Pilsen) you’ll be wowed by the charm and elegance of their selections.

Make your present last with a special card or gift. Our Valentine’s Day guide to locally crafted jewelry is a great place to start your search for the perfect gift. At Bucktown’s RR 1 pick up unique stationary, perfumes, or bath products. Bonus: they gift wrap. At Inkling in Lakeview has a sea of clever and cute cards, unique jewelry, soy candles, and unique art and prints; many of their products are hand-crafted by local artists. In Washington Park,  Aromatic Synsation can create a scent that is customized for your Valentine. Try Komoda in Humboldt Park for quirky stationary, gifts, soaps, jewelry and much more.

For the Person Who’s Not Into Cupids and Hearts, Discover the Perfect Alternative Gift. Not into doilies and cupids? Try making your sweetie’s heart beat faster with a dose of fine coffee (or a coffee-themed gift) from Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea in the Loop and Lakeview, Metropolis Coffee Company in Edgewater, or the artsy Star Lounge Coffee Bar in Humboldt Park – just a few of the standout small-batch Chicago bean roasters. Want to say I Love You with the perfect song, or discover music suitable for slow dances in your living room? Try Laurie’s Planet of Sound in Lincoln Square or Beverly Records in Beverly. Is your Valentine a kid at heart? Elicit a giggle with something from the shelves and bins at Uncle Fun in Lakeview, where we’ve found everything from Michael Jackson keyrings and WWF paraphanalia, to whoopie cushions and kitschy gag gifts. Whatever you find, you’ll be able to laugh together all night long.

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