Exploring Chicago’s unique neighborhoods is so much fun! Each has its own character, just waiting to be discovered.
If historic landmarks, public parks and architecture are the backbone of a neighborhood, local businesses are the heart. Whether you’re looking for a day of shopping somewhere new, or debating which neighborhood to call your home, browsing indie-retail is a great way to get a feel for an area. Maybe you’ll even make some new friends by chatting with shopkeepers who love sharing stories about their neighborhoods.
Here’s a handy guide to my favorite local shopping strolls in Chicago, along with nearby apartments that would be ideal for anyone who loves living close to the coolest merchants in town.
#1: Lincoln Park
The Best Spots to Shop in Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park is my favorite Chicago neighborhood to shop in. You can find a great mix of mom-and-pop shops as well as popular national brands. To get started, hit up these three areas in the neighborhood:
- Armitage Avenue: From Halsted Street to Sheffield Avenue
- Clark Street: From Belden Avenue to Wellington Avenue
- Halsted Avenue: From Armitage Avenue to Webster Avenue
Favorite Local Shops in Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park is a treasure trove of small businesses. Here are a few of my favorite spots to shop small:
All She Wrote
- 825 W. Armitage Avenue
- Shop All She Wrote for custom stationery, personalized gifts, home goods and more
The Tie Bar
- 918 W. Armitage Avenue
- Ties and menswear accessories boutique
- 934 W. Armitage Avenue
- Women ‘s fashion, jewelry and gifts
- 1007 W. Armitage Avenue
- Shop Laundi Vidni‘s custom leather bags and goods made in Chicago
Alice and Wonder
- 956 W. Webster Street
- Trendy fashions for women + Chicago-inspired graphic t-shirts
Steve Quick Jeweler
- 2471 N. Clark Street
- Eclectic jewelry and custom-designed engagement rings
The Best Apartments Near Lincoln Park Shopping
If you’re looking to rent an apartment in Lincoln Park, and being close to shopping is important to you, I have four suggestions:
Elevate Lincoln Park
Located in the Wrightwood community in Lincoln Park, this modern mid-rise apartment building is close to shopping and has great outdoor spaces to relax in.
This mega-complex is in the heart of Lincoln Park. Its two towers offer residents great views and modern finishes.
Near everything Lincoln Park has to offer, Park View apartments has a great rooftop deck that overlooks the neighborhood’s namesake park.
This luxury apartment building has a great bonus – it’s close to great shopping in Lincoln Park and Old Town too.
#2: West Town
The Best Spots to Shop in West Town
Chicago’s West Town neighborhood – including Wicker Park – is bursting with the cutest shops. Take a spin around and hit up these four spots to find the best hot spots:
- Milwaukee Avenue: From Western Avenue to Grand Avenue
- Division Street: From Milwaukee Ave. to Leavitt Street
- Damen Avenue: From Armitage Avenue to Chicago Avenue
- Chicago Avenue: From Milwaukee Avenue to Western Avenue
Favorite Local Shops in West Town
From clothing boutiques to bookstores to plant shops, you’ll find everything you never knew you always needed.
- 1730 W. Division Street
- Eclectic women’s clothing and accessories
- 1943 W. Division Street
- Artisanal craft boutique, showcasing over 25 local artists
- 1643 N. Damen Avenue
- Independent women’s clothing boutique
- 1854 W. North Avenue
- Indie bookstore specializing in offbeat titles, graphic novels, and various oddities
Aeslin Pup Hub
- 1812 W. Chicago Avenue
- 1448 W. Chicago Avenue
- 1904 N. Milwaukee Avenue
- Local all-natural pet supply retail store plus dog daycare, boarding and grooming
- 745 N. Damen Avenue
- Lush garden, floral, and home goods
- 1433 W. Chicago Avenue
- Vintage clothing, shoes, jewelry, home decor, kitchen wares, and curiosities
April 7s Custom Framing
- 766 N. Milwaukee Avenue
- Custom framing services and unconventional ideas for art decor
South Loop Loft
- 685 N. Milwaukee Avenue
- Exceptional collection of 20th century furniture and decor, including high-end imports from around the world
The Best Apartments Near West Town Shopping
Wicker Park isn’t just a fun neighborhood to shop in; it’s a favorite place for renters to call home, too. Check out these three apartments buildings in the middle of the action:
Wicker Park Connection
Located right in the action on Division Street, this modern apartment building is close to fun shops in Wicker Park, plus some of my favorite restaurants. And even though I love shopping small, having a Target right next door is pretty amazing too!
If you’re drawn to Wicker Park’s cool vintage shops, you’ve got to check out The Milwood apartments. The hipster vibe and historic building make this the coolest apartment building in West Town.
This luxury apartment building is a popular one in West Town’s Bucktown. Close to shopping (including an Aldi grocery on the first floor!), residents absolutely rave about the staff and sense of community.
#3: West Loop
The Best Spots to Shop in the West Loop
The West Loop neighborhood might be best known for its restaurants, but the retail scene is booming too. There are three areas I like to hit up when the mood strikes to shop:
- Fulton Market: From Halsted Street to Aberdeen Street
- Randolph Street: From Halsted Street to Racine Avenue
- Madison Street: From Morgan Street to Racine Avenue
Favorite Local Shops in West Loop
The shopping scene in West Loop is sophisticated and leans more upscale. If you’re looking to splurge, this is the neighborhood to shop.
Morlen Sinoway Atelier
- 1052 W. Fulton Market
- Upscale interior design showroom offering furniture, lighting, jewelry and accessories
- 171 N. Sangamon Street
- High-end menswear and accessories
Alice and Ivory
- 1101 W. Randolph Street
- Bridal boutique featuring indie designers
- 1047 W. Madison Street
- Invitations and gift shop
- 309 N. Morgan Street
- Floral, plants, home decor and gifts
- 1152 W. Madison Street
- Men’s street gear, sports apparel, athletic footwear and hats
Cat and Mouse Games
- 1112 W. Madison Street
- Awesome assortment of games, puzzles, toys and children’s books
Open Books West Loop
- 651 W. Lake Street
- Beloved neighborhood used book store with over 50,000 books
The Best Apartments Near West Loop Shopping
West Loop is one of Chicago’s most popular neighborhoods to rent an apartment in. Constant growth and development mean it’s home to some pretty incredible new apartment buildings.
Just a block south of Restaurant Row, Union West Apartments are new and boast modern minimalist design that fits right into the neighborhood.
Right across the street from Union West, you’ll find Circa 922. This mid-rise apartment building in West Loop has lofts and traditional floor plans.
Community is at the heart of Porte Apartments. Spanning an entire city block, you’ll find more than 500 luxury apartments located just south of Fulton Market.
The Best Spot to Shop in Pilsen
If you’ve never explored shops in the Pilsen neighborhood, grab your wallet and get going! You’ll want to head to 18th Street, from Halsted Street to Wood Street.
Favorite Local Shops in Pilsen
Head to Pilsen for some of the coolest one-of-a-kind shops in Chicago:
- 1152 W 18th St.
- Eco-boutique of sustainable home goods, clothing, textiles, jewelry, plants, apothecary
Knee Deep Vintage
- 1219 W 18th Street
- Hip vintage clothing, housewares, and furniture
- 1523 W 18th Street
- Mexican gift shop with cultural arts and crafts, home decor, clothing, jewelry, showcases work by local artists
- 1808 S Allport Street
- New and used vinyl records
The Best Apartments Near Pilsen Shopping
Opened in 2021, The Rosie apartments are located on Pilsen’s northern border. These luxury apartments are drop-dead beautiful!
Just blocks north of 18th street shopping, The Otis is located in the rehabbed Otis Elevator Company. This warehouse-style building is Cool (yes, with a capital C!).
The Best Spot to Shop in Edgewater
Looking for a place to shop and explore that’s off the beaten path? Treat yourself to an afternoon in Edgewater. You’ll want to pop over to Clark Street, from Foster Avenue to Victoria Street.
Favorite Local Shops in Edgewater
Edgewater is such a fun community. Grab a bite to eat at Uvae, then wander in and out of my favorite small businesses:
Gethsemane Garden Center & Wild Pansy Gift Shop
- 5739 N. Clark St.
- Garden, greenhouse, plants, flowers, gardening gifts, outdoor furniture
- 5321 N Clark Street
- Quality footwear, family-owned shop since 1973
- 5634 N Clark Street
- Household items, decor, vintage goods, eclectic art, furniture, gifts
Cowboys and Astronauts
- 1478 W Summerdale Avenue
- Men’s clothing, lifestyle goods and gifts
The Best Apartments Near Edgewater Shopping
Did you know Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood was originally a summer resort town? It still has that small-town vibe and apartments for rent that match its historic roots.
Close to shopping, restaurants and the lakefront, The June is a small apartment building with modern features and amenities.
Just a block from The June, The Edison has an old school feel that’s been totally modernized.
This luxury building is just a couple blocks south of Edgewater, in Uptown, and offers up beautiful mid-century modern styled apartments.
If you are shopping for a new apartment, and aren’t sure which neighborhood has the kind of stores, restaurants and recreation that you like best, reach out to HotSpot Rentals today. Our team of experts would love to help you find the perfect apartment in your favorite Chicago neighborhood.