Best (Non–Mag Mile) Shopping Street

Milwaukee Avenue (Wicker Park)About five years ago, Wicker Parkers grumbled about the arrival of national chain stores they feared would ruin the gritty...
 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
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Photograph: Erica GannettEskell - Milwaukee Ave
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Photograph: Erica GannettEskell - Milwaukee Ave
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Photograph: EricaUna Mae's - Milwaukee Ave
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Photograph: Erica GannettUna Mae's - Milwaukee Ave
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Photograph: Erica GannettUna Mae's - Milwaukee Ave
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Photograph: Erica GannettMilwaukee Ave
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Photograph: Erica GannettMilwaukee Ave
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Photograph: Erica GannettMilwaukee Ave
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Photograph: Erica GannettMilwaukee Ave
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Photograph: Erica GannettMilwaukee Ave
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Photograph: Erica GannettMilwaukee Ave
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Photograph: Erica GannettInterior of Una Mae's
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Milwaukee Avenue (Wicker Park)
About five years ago, Wicker Parkers grumbled about the arrival of national chain stores they feared would ruin the gritty heart and soul of the neighborhood’s shopping and cultural scene. Well, those stores did open (Marc Jacobs, Urban Outfitters, Club Monaco…the list goes on), but right by their side are those indie boutiques that give Wicker Park its cred, from Eskell and Una Mae’s to Mildblend and Myopic Books. Plus, as opposed to shopping on the Mag Mile, where rest stops are about as exciting as Big Bowl or as expensive as RL, the West Side shopping strip offers take-and-go vegan (Native Foods Cafe), high-end Greek (Taxim) and customizable soft serve (iCream) when you need a sugar rush to keep on trekking. Milwaukee Avenue between North Avenue and Division Street.—Jessica Herman

Other nominees Armitage Avenue (Lincoln Park), Clark Street (Andersonville), Damen Avenue (Bucktown), Oak Street (Gold Coast)

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