While many have long thought of New York or L.A. as the top shopping destinations in the United States, Chicago is itself home to some of the most exclusive luxury stores in the entire country. From the eclectic mix of haute couture and fast fashion on Michigan Avenue to the high-end boutiques of Oak Street to the fun and funky offerings in Wicker Park, you can find a shopping district to suit every budget and style.
For those who love that ideal combination of window shopping and actual shopping, the Magnificent Mile is an excellent destination. If you have the budget to pick up a few things at Burberry, Tiffany’s, or Brooks Brothers, then you’ll have the opportunity. Or, if Zara, Gap, LOFT, and Forever 21 are more your price point, you can scope those out, too. Those who have fine taste and an even finer wallet will enjoy the Oak Street shopping experience. Located at the top of the Magnificent Mile in the luxe Gold Coast neighborhood, you’ll find Barney’s, Harry Winston, and several European boutiques. Then, of course, the Loop is an unbeatable shopping destination with some of the most iconic malls and shops in the whole city.
Lincoln Park is also home to a fun shopping area in Armitage Street; there are a number of delicious dining options in the same region, too. Likewise, Wells Street in Old Town is home to a wide selection of chain stores and dining options ranging from a few craft beer bars to some of the best tacos in the city. If you’re willing to venture further out of the conventional tourist areas in Chicago, you’ll also find that Division Street in Wicker Park and Damen and Milwaukee Avenues in Bucktown are filled with quirky shops ranging from used records to indie clothing labels.
Here’s an overview of the top shopping neighborhoods in Chicago, as well as some of the signature stores and malls to look out for.
In the Loop:
Marshall Field’s: Now a large Macy’s, this historic building has long been home to top shopping in Chicago. You can find everything from housewares to designer purses to fashion here.
Jeweler’s Row: Located on South Wabash and East Madison, this area is filled with jewelry stores that offer high quality products at generously discounted prices.
State Street: This section of the Loop is filled with popular chain destinations that visitors will recognize from home. Top stores include Target, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, Saks OFF 5th, DSW, and TJ Maxx.
On North Michigan / Magnificent Mile:
Water Tower Place: This 8-level mall features dozens of top shops across multiple price points and several restaurants. You can find the American Girl Place here, as well as another Macy’s, an Adidas Store, Victoria’s Secret, and more.
900 North Michigan: Home to a few more luxury shops than Water Tower Place, this recently renovated mall features seven floors of high-end options like kate spade new york, Michael Kors, Gucci, Kendra Scott, and a large Bloomingdale’s.
Chicago Place: Another luxury shopping destination, this mall is anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue. Other options found here include Prada, Gucci, and dozens of small boutiques. You can also find some nice dining options here, too.
The Shops at North Bridge: This mall is located on the southern part of Michigan Avenue almost near the water. The landmark store here is a four-story Nordstrom, but you can also find a number of popular chain stores.
Oak Street: Located at the top of Michigan Avenue, this posh shopping destination features unique European boutiques as well as recognizable luxury retail giants like Harry Winston. Other popular designer shops include Vince, Rebecca Minkoff, and CH Carolina Herrera.
Wicker Park: This up-and-coming neighborhood features a selection of independent shops that sell everything from distinctive clothing to used records and housewares. It’s also an excellent dining neighborhood and is worth spending an afternoon exploring.
Old Town: With the Piper’s Alley Mall at the top of Wells Street and a number of other fun boutiques dotted along the street further south, you can find clothing, housewares, and jewelry, and even a spice shop here.
Lincoln Park: Check out Armitage, Halsted, and Webster Streets for a wide selection of shopping options. You can find practically everything here, including clothing, shoes, accessories, home goods, gifts, and even presents for your beloved pet.
Andersonville: A very eclectic shopping area, here you’ll find a number of ethnic souvenir options from the neighborhood’s Swedish heritage as well as several nice boutique options with stationary, clothing, housewares, candles, and more.