When most travelers think of shopping in Chicago, their mind goes immediately to Magnificent Mile. However, another shopping destination in the city is quickly growing in popularity.
Magnificent Mile has long been the destination in Chicago that fashionistas and shop-til-you-drop types have flocked to; simultaneously, numerous fine dining outlets and five-star hotels have cropped up along the busy street. It’s entirely possible to visit the great city of Chicago and stay, eat and play only on Magnificent Mile.
However, it’s thoroughly worth it to get off this stretch of road, especially if it’s shopping that you’re in the market for. Chicago has many up-and-coming neighborhoods that are infused with youthful and diverse populations that are bringing boutique offerings to locals and travelers alike. One such neighborhood where you can find stellar shopping options is Hyde Park.
Bonne Sante has been a Hyde Park staple for approximately three decades. The local favorite is definitely worth a stop for visitors, too, though. Bonne Sante specializes in all things “health,” so you’re sure to find all your favorite high-end brands of specialty snacks, beauty products and other health-related items. Don’t be scared off by the sticker shock — you’re paying for quality at this boutique.
1512 East 53rd Street
Hyde Park Records
Music lovers paying a visit to the Windy City need to stop by Hyde Park Records. This small store has been selling records and music in other forms to aficionados for decades. There’s a reason why it’s done so well. Maybe the enthusiastic staff and lineup of events help? You can find a mix of genres among the vinyl, but the store especially focuses on hip-hop, blues, R&B and soul. If you’re lucky, you’ll arrive at the record store at the same time as a famous musician or DJ.
1377 East 53rd Street
Toys et Cetera
Travelers with children may enjoy a stop by Toys et Cetera. The boutique toy store has been lauded as the best in Chicago. It got its start in the 1970s, as the founder looked for better toys for her children and found none. Now, her store sells only the best educational, developmentally sound and culturally sensitive toys that can be sourced from master craftsmen and producers around the world.
1502 East 55th Street
57th Street Books
All Chicagoans know that 57th Street Books is a Hyde Park must-visit. While somewhat large, the basement store that sits beneath an apartment building still manages to be somehow cozy. The book store offers a variety of genres, with a nice emphasis on local authors and children’s books. You can find author signings on the right days, if you’re lucky.
1301 East 57th Street
Akira Hyde Park
If it’s fashion you’re looking for, then look no further than Akira. This shop is known for its effortless blend of both fashionable trends and affordability. Definitely check out the shoe section while you’re there, if you still have room in your budget after perusing the extensive women’s section. Beyond the Akira brand, you can find labels like Champion, Adidas, Levi’s, Puma, Reebok, Timberland and Tommy Hilfiger.
1539 East 53rd Street
The Silver Room
The Silver Room is a Chicago institution, offering a mix of locally- and internationally-sourced handmade goods and music. No matter what you’re into, you’ll find something to match your tastes here. The Silver Room is known as much for its events as it is its goods, though. From tango classes to pop ups, DJ sessions to an annual block party, check The Silver Room’s community calendar before your Chicago visit, to see what you could and should add to your itinerary.
1506 East 53rd Street
Next door to The Silver Room you’ll find Dearborn Denim, a brand that hand makes all of its jeans right there in Chicago. This super-hip and trendy clothing boutique not only offers jeans, though. You can find other apparel as well, including fun t-shirts, jackets, dresses and accessories. Brands include local Chicago businesses and you never know what you’re going to find in-store.
1504 East 53rd Street
Sir & Madame
A husband-and-wife team created this luxury lifestyle boutique and clothing brand in 2007. Expect elevated, casual pieces designed with urban living in mind. Items for sale range from accessories and t-shirts, to footwear and apothecary products. Alongside custom items, you’ll find some favs from brands such as Versace and Alex Carter.
5225 South Harper Court
A lifestyle brand established in 2012, Divinity Seven, also known as D7, creates trendily designed products that then go toward benefiting causes that matter to the founder, including “societal ills” such as poverty, homelessness and hunger. Ready-to-wear apparel includes a selection of flat-brim hats, t-shirts and jackets, among other items.
1457 East 53rd Street
By Holly Riddle