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Top 10 Chicago Shopping Areas

By Editorial Staff

A list of the top ten chicago shopping areasContributed by Paul Seaburn, Top 10 Guru

Chicago is called the Windy City because of the strong breezes blowing in from Lake Michigan, but at least it has plenty of great shopping areas for these winds to push you towards.

From the North side to the South side, you’ve got a better chance of finding your way to world class shops than the Cubs have of finding their way to the World Series. So if you’re planning a trip to the Second City, be sure to check out these wonderful Chicago shopping areas.

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10. Street Markets and Antique Fairs

A list of the top ten chicago shopping areas

Chicago is a great city for street markets, especially during the summer when markets pop up along neighborhood streets to accompany great local food and indie bands. Check out the Chicago street fair guide to plan your weekend bargain hunting for handmade jewelry, etsy-style clothing and artsy craftsy fare. Another great stable of Chicago antiquing – and heaven for vintage clothing and decor collectors – is the Randolph Street Market which has world-class vendors lining the streets at 1350 West Randolph. Chicagoans are hearty types, so bundle up and expect a crowd of savvy bargain seekers.

9. Jewelers’ Row

A list of the top ten chicago shopping areas

East of State Street is Chicago’s historic Jewelers’ Row area of fine jewelry stores. The first jewelry store in the two blocks on Wabash Street in the downtown Loop opened in 1912 and it still is home to jewelers from around the world.

8. State Street

A list of the top ten chicago shopping areas

State Street was Chicago’s first shopping district, hosting seven of the largest department stores. While you can still find Sears and Macy’s (formerly Marshall Field’s), State Street is better known today for shops selling designer clothes at bargain prices. Fast food restaurants complete the economical trip down State Street.

7. Southport Avenue

A list of the top ten chicago shopping areas

For a laid-back Chicago shopping trip, visit Southport Avenue a few blocks from the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field. Hip clothing stores with trendy T-shirts and designer jeans are mixed in with trendy cafes and an independent film theater.

6. Lincoln Park & Lakeview

A list of the top ten chicago shopping areas

For older teen and young adult shoppers, the Lincoln Park and Lakeview areas has shops catering to young singles. Clothing and shoe boutiques featuring punk and rebellious styles, used and comic book stores and edgy gift shops are located amongst the apartments in this area made up of Lincoln Avenue, Clark Street and Broadway.

5. River North

A list of the top ten chicago shopping areas

A few blocks west of the Magnificent Mile is River North, an urban residential area filled with popular restaurants and a large selection of shops featuring home furnishings and interior design resources. Look for art galleries, stores offering fine antiques and Merchandise Mart, the world’s largest commercial building that is home to wholesale design showrooms.

4. Wicker Park/Bucktown

A list of the top ten chicago shopping areas

The artsy bohemian shopping section of Chicago has to be the Wicker Park/Bucktown area at the intersection of North, Damen and Milwaukee Avenues just northwest of downtown Chicago. Old neighborhood stores offering discount furniture are still nestled among the newer antique furniture shops, off-the-wall clothing boutiques and eclectic art galleries. Wicker Park/Bucktown is not for mall shoppers but for those looking for the offbeat and unusual.

3. Armitage Avenue

A list of the top ten chicago shopping areas

Armitage Avenue is a beautiful shopping area in an historic section of Chicago’s North Side. Between Halsted Street and Racine Avenue, Armitage has shops and boutiques catering to the sophisticated, young professional crowd. Clothing boutiques, home décor stores, gift shops and beauty supply store make it a paradise for women shoppers.

2. Oak Street

A list of the top ten chicago shopping areas

Just off the Magnificent Mile is Oak Street, the avenue of affluence in Chicago shopping. Fine jewelry, designer fashions, classic furnishings and beautiful works of art are just some of the things you’ll find on Chicago’s lane of luxury. High end hotels and restaurants complement the rich shopping experience of Oak Street.

1. The Magnificent Mile

A list of the top ten chicago shopping areas

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North Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to the Chicago River earns the name “Magnificent Mile” by being a mile long and filled with magnificent stores and malls from end-to-end and street-to-sky. In just eight blocks you’ll find over 460 stores covering all price ranges, 200 restaurants and more than 50 hotels to rest at in between. Wear comfortable shoes or better yet, treat yourself to a new pair and walk a mile in them.


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