Guide to Shopping in Chicago

Chicago shopping street

high-street shopping ©DiscoverDuPage/Flickr

One of America’s most celebrated cities, Chicago is the place where skyscrapers, jazz and deep-dish pizza meet. But leaving jazz bands and gangster stories aside, Chicago is also a fabulous shopping destination.

Actually, shopping is so great in Chicago, that the city even has its own shopping festival. There is something in Windy City for any category of shoppers, from bargain-hunters to those looking for luxury items and designer brands. This short guide to shopping in Chicago looks at the most popular shopping areas in Chicago, as well as few of the city’s best kept shopping secrets:

The Magnificent Mile

Another unique feature of Chicago is that a considerable number of its shops, boutiques and department stores are aligned along a few streets, which form together what most Chicago shoppers know as the Magnificent Mile. A large portion of Michigan Avenue is thus known as the Magnificent Mile, starting from Chicago River and ending all the way in Oak Street. Here you fill find anything from big department stores to designer boutiques and even some electronics and furniture shops.

Michigan Avenue

Magnificent Mile ©neighborhoodsorg/Flickr

Chicago Malls

There are numerous malls in Chicago, some of which are ultra central (such as Water Tower Place or Atrium), but most of which are to be found in Chicago’s suburbs. For high street shopping outside downtown Chicago, you can try any of the following popular Chicago Malls: Gurnee Mills, Yorktown Center and Woodfield Mall.  Bargain-hunters should not miss Aurora Chicago Premium Outlets, where they can choose between dozens of American and international brands, and unbeatable discounts.

downtown Chicago

Chicago mall ©ttarasiuk/Flickr

And for the real shopaholics…

True shopaholics will be delighted to know that Chicago is home to an impressive number of boutiques and local designer stores that can be found nowhere in the United States. But unlike the big multi-storey outlets and malls, these are a little more difficult to find.

Chicago shopping street

high street shopping ©DiscoverDuPage/Flickr

Lincoln Park is one of Chicago’s most exclusive neighborhoods and also a prime luxury and boutique shopping destination. The shopping here is fabulous, and the atmosphere very different from that of the Magnificent Mile or the big shopping centers. The coquette boutiques in Lincoln Park offer everything from local designer brands to unique, hand-made accessories and it is the perfect place to obtain that red carpet look that you have always craved for.

Wicker Park is where many of Chicago’s artists and creative professional live, so the stores here seem to suit eccentric tastes of its inhabitants. You’ll find a number of boutiques, but also few art galleries and a very nice collection of middle-priced cafes and restaurants.


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