Chicago is one of the most amazing places that you can visit in the US. You will find that there is so much history to learn about here and that dining and other kinds of experiences are very special. If you love shopping, you will also be able to have a great time here as Chicago is a prime shopping destination. From boutique stores to shopping malls and department stores, there is something for everyone when it comes to shopping in Chicago. Knowing where to head for the kind of shopping in Chicago that you like best can help you to plan your trip with ease.
The first thing that you need to do when you are figuring out your shopping plans is to make sure that your luggage is safe and secure. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage facility in Chicago to make it easier to enjoy your day. Downtown Chicago is not a great place to be lugging around bags and you will have a lot more fun taking advantage of this Chicago shopping guide if you have your hands free.
Once your bags are stored, you will be ready to head out and find the right discount outlet malls, boutique shopping spots, and more!
Best Shopping Locations in Chicago
From the Magnificent Mile to more humble shopping in Hyde Park, there is something for everyone in Chicago when it comes to shopping. There is a shopping district for everyone in this city and you can even find amazing shopping in this city for kids. Head to Michigan Avenue with your small kids, or enjoy varied shopping at Maxwell Street Market. There are so many places to have fun shopping in this city that you could easily spend the entire trip engaging in retail therapy.
The Magnificent Mile
This is the premier shopping location in Chicago, and Chicago's Magnificent Mile is a lot like New York's Fifth Avenue. The Magnificent Mile area is given this name because it is a mile-long section of North Michigan Avenue that stretches between Oak Street and the Chicago River.
If you want to pick up designer items from brands like Bulgari, Prada, and Ferragamo, these are just some of the designer boutiques that you can drop in at along this route. This is also a great area to head for some of the best street food in Chicago, as well as lots of interesting billboards. This is one of the most iconic parts of the city and even if you do not want to buy designer clothing or accessories, you need to at least head here to check it out.
This is one of the cultural centers of the city and it is nestled in the older part of Chicago. Hyde Park is an excellent place to find used bookstores, vintage clothing stores, and even fun little junk shops. This area is very close to the University of Chicago and you will love that the specialty shops here are more geared toward young people and scholars.
This is a fun shopping district to visit for a more homey and peaceful experience and you will save money here as well. It can be really hard to leave this part of the city without shopping bags holding some unique older books, some local wares, or a really fun vintage jacket or other clothing item. You can also head here to check out antiques if you are interested in this kind of shopping in Chicago.
Michigan Ave is the right place to head if you want to enjoy a mix of shopping experiences. You will have access to The Disney Store here as well as Dylan's Candy and some boutique stores like Burberry. Michigan Avenue is also the right place to take younger girls in your group since the American Girl Doll Store is located on this street as well. This is a great option when shopping with small children as many of the 460 shops along the street are aimed at kids.
Michigan Ave is one of the places that people think of heading to first when they come into the city via Union Station, but you do not have to head to this part of the city first if you don't want to. This area is easy to get to from other parts of the city, so don't worry about making a last-minute decision to come here to shop. It's not difficult to learn how to get around Chicago, so Michigan Avenue is a great location to head to for shopping in Chicago with little kids, and Michigan Ave is easy to access if you don't have a strict itinerary. Just squeeze it in when you can.
The Shops at North Bridge offer you access to some major anchor stores that you are probably familiar with, like Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. You will also be able to enjoy White House Black Market, and some good quick dining stops like Panda Express and California Pizza Kitchen.
There are 50 stores here to enjoy and 20 restaurants, so this can be the right choice if you love a mainstream mall. This is a good place to head with teens who are ready to enjoy their own shopping time at some of their favorite stores. North Bridge is one of the bigger malls in the city, and it offers a wide array of really nice stores to check out for shoppers with many different preferences.
Maxwell Street Market
This is a really interesting place to shop because you will be able to look for antiques, clothing, locally made items, tools, and much more here. This is one of the best places to head for affordable shopping in Chicago, but it is also one of the most unique locations to shop in the whole city. This area of Chicago will remind you of shopping in Europe or other countries, complete with the option to bargain for your purchases! You will also have access to wares that are made by hand which can be really nice if you want to break free from big box store purchases and pick up some interesting souvenirs.
Rather like the The Magnificent Mile, this area of Chicago offers you fashionable shopping at lots of name brand locations. Chicago's Magnificent Mile is more focused on designer boutiques and State Street offers a mix of designer stores and local sellers. This is also a really great place to head during the holiday season for some fun shopping at the small businesses in this area.
This is one of the most famous parts of the city for shopping in Chicago and State Street is worth a visit even if you are not shopping during your trip for something specific.
Oak Street is a newer shopping destination in the city and you will be able to head here for lots of clothing shopping options. This is a contemporary and glamorous location that offers a lot of great shopping for women's clothing and accessories. This is also a really beautiful shopping location that is very pleasant to visit even if you yourself are not looking for women's clothing.
You will be close to Michigan Ave here as well, so you can combine your shopping trips to these two shopping district locations if you wish. Oak Street and Michigan Avenue can take up most of your day if you want to spend quite a few hours enjoying all the stores on offer in this part of the city.
Lincoln Park is a more down-to-earth shopping area and you will love the charming facades and feeling that this older part of the city offers you. There are trendy locations like Lush, Benefit, Aesop, and L'Occitane. You can even find a Warby Parker store here if you have ever wanted to try the glasses that you may have heard about on your favorite podcast.
Lincoln Park is an all-ages friendly shopping location but it will probably delight teens and young people most of all. This is one of the most fun new locations in the city to head for some shopping and you will also be close to Armitage Avenue that offers more of the same kinds of shopping outlets.
Little India and The Polish Village
If you have ever wanted to buy a sari or show for some really beautiful Indian wares, you will want to head to the Little India part of the city. There are also amazing Polish sellers in the Polish Village area and you can branch out from here to enjoy shopping for Swedish things in the Andersonville area.
These unique market locations are also really close to Antique Row which is very interesting even if you are not looking for any furniture during your trip. Antique Row in Chicago is quite long, so you can find all kinds of really delightful old items here that are worth a gander even if antiquing is not your first go-to shopping choice.
This hip area of the city is known for really excellent food, fun little coffee shops, and neat little secondhand stores. Wicker Park offers its own unique boutiques and experiences and the youthful and trendy vibe here is hard to find anywhere else in the city. This is one of the up and coming neighborhoods in the city and there is a real sense of fun and friendly energy in this part of town.
You might want to come here just for a coffee and a snack, but you should also check out the little discount stores and independent boutiques that are scattered throughout the Wicker Park area when you drop in. This is a very different shopping experience than what you are offered in the luxury boutiques in the center of town, but you will not regret dropping by Wicker Park just to take in the fun atmosphere and vibe.
Another thrifty shopping area in the city, this location is also near the Ukrainian Village and East Village shopping areas. You can wander through this area to enjoy thrift shops, local booths with handmade wares, antiquing, and funky stores with their own unique personality. This is also a really fun place to shop when the Christmas season arrives. There is an outdoor market that crops up during the holiday season and you will have lots of fun here snacking on food vendors' offerings and buying cute Christmas gifts and decor that have been made with love by local craftsmen.
There is so much about shopping in Chicago that is really rewarding and enjoyable. From fancy boutique locations to small and trendy thrift stores, there is so much to do and see when you head out on a shopping adventure in this city. There are outdoor markets to enjoy during the holiday season as well as food truck vendors to visit as you are looking for the right gifts, souvenirs, and antiques.
You can easily wander from one shopping location to another in the heart of Chicago and there are so many museums and art exhibits to see that you will never be bored even when you are not shopping. Make sure that you have planned to take advantage of the days when these exhibits are free and that you plan to attend outdoor markets when they show up on the weekends.