A potent concentration of famous retailers around Michigan Avenue and neighborhoods bursting with one-of-a-kind stores combine to make Chicago a shopper's paradise. Michigan Avenue's legendary Magnificent Mile lures thousands of avid shoppers every week. How often can you find Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barneys New York within walking distance of one another? In recent years State Street has regained some of its former glory as well, with discount department stores sharing prime real estate with trendier clothing boutiques and the Block 37 retail development.

Neighborhood shopping areas, like fun-but-sophisticated Lincoln Park, eclectic Lakeview, and the hipster haven of Wicker Park/Bucktown, offer countless independent stores that cater to every desire, whether Prairie tyle furniture, cowboy boots, or outsider art. And there are countless smaller shopping enclaves within these neighborhoods that have concentrated clusters of antiques stores, home-furnishings shops, high-end boutiques, and other specialty stores. Those averse to paying retail won't have to venture far to unearth bargains on everything from fine jewelry to business attire. When it comes to shopping, this is one city that has it all.

Be forewarned that a steep 9.5% sales tax is added to all purchases in the city except groceries and prescription drugs. Neighborhood shops on the North Side, especially those in Wicker Park and Bucktown, tend to open late—around 11 or noon. Most stores, particularly those on North Michigan Avenue and the North Side, are open on Sunday, although this varies by type of business (galleries, for example, are often closed on Monday); where applicable, more information is provided at the beginning of each category.

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  • 1. Chicago Architecture Foundation ArchiCenter Shop & Tour Center

    Loop | Gifts/Souvenirs

    Daniel Burnham's 1904 Santa Fe Building is a fitting home for the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Chock-full of architecture-related books...Read More

  • 2. Accent Chicago

    Near North | Gifts/Souvenirs

    Pop into Accent Chicago for locally inspired gifts that range from prints of vintage Chicago Transit Authority posters to mugs adorned with...Read More

  • 3. Enjoy

    Far Northwest Side | Gifts/Souvenirs

    Calling itself an "urban general store," this welcoming Lincoln Square shop stocks a wide selection of greeting cards, cute kids' clothes, toys...Read More

  • 4. Gallimaufry Gallery

    Lincoln Square | Gifts/Souvenirs

    Browse the tightly packed selection of greeting cards, wood carvings, jewelry, and incense in this eclectic little shop. ...Read More

  • 5. Garrett Popcorn

    Near North | Gifts/Souvenirs

    Bring home a tub of Chicago's famous popcorn instead of a giant pencil or T-shirt, and you'll score major points. Lines can be long, but trust...Read More

  • 6. Illinois Artisans Shop

    Loop | Gifts/Souvenirs

    Run by the Illinois State Museum, this shop culls the best jewelry, ceramics, glass, and dolls from craftspeople around the state and sells...Read More

  • 7. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Store

    Near North | Gifts/Souvenirs

    This outstanding museum gift shop has out-of-the-ordinary decorative accessories, tableware, and jewelry, as well as a superb collection of...Read More

  • 8. Museum Shop at the Art Institute of Chicago

    Loop | Gifts/Souvenirs

    Museum reproductions in the form of jewelry, posters, and Frank Lloyd Wright–inspired decorative accessories, as well as books and toys, fill...Read More

  • 9. Neighborly

    Far North | Gifts/Souvenirs

    Living up to its name, Neighborly focuses on ethically sourced, independently made home goods and gifts with a local vibe. ...Read More

  • 10. Spertus Shop

    South Loop | Gifts/Souvenirs

    Come here for modern Jewish must-haves, like Moses action figures and Jonathan Adler yarmulkes. There's also more traditional holiday ware,...Read More

  • 11. Blue Chicago Store

    River North | Gifts/Souvenirs

    This shrine to music sells a variety of Blue Chicago–related souvenirs, from CDs and T-shirts to posters and books. ...Read More

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