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Gather Home & Lifestyle
Photograph: Jaclyn Elizabeth Rivas Gather Home & Lifestyle

Find something for everyone at Chicago's best gift shops

Whether you need to find a wedding gift or grab something great for Mom's birthday, these stores can help

By Morgan Olsen

The best gift shops in Chicago give you plenty of options for anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, the holidays or "just because." Maybe you want to give the one you love a night out at one of Chicago's best fine dining spots or tickets to a Cubs game. But honestly, there's no better feeling than watching a friend or loved one unwrap that perfect gift. To take the stress out of browsing some of the city's best and newest stores, we compiled our favorite go-to gift shops, stocked with clever items for any budget that are sure to please. (And we won't tell anyone if that "gift" is just for yourself. Promise.)

Chicago's best gift shops

1. Komoda

Shopping Gifts and stationery River West/West Town

This ultra-charming shop stocks an eclectic collection of gifts you'd rather keep than give away. Some items are cool, some are silly, but all are sure to put a smile on your face. We found candles, jewelry, scarves, coasters, frames, bath and body products, the best greeting cards, a small, but wonderful collection of books and lots of other great stuff. Overwhelmed by the selection? Komoda employees are quick to make suggestions and will ensure you don't leave empty-handed.

Photograph: Nicole Radja

2. Art Effect

Shopping Womenswear Lincoln Park

It’s not surprising that this two-room hot spot has thrived in the finicky Lincoln Park neighborhood for more than 20 years. Bath and body products, vases, funky wine glass sets and tons of other presents for brides-to-be, moms-to-be and the hostess-who-has-everything can be found in the front room. 

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

3. Humboldt House Co.

Shopping Design and interiors Humboldt Park

This light-drenched escape is packed with cool vintage furniture and colorful rugs, but we're also digging the gift possibilities that line the shelves. Owner Claire Tibbs stocks a rad collection of local pottery, unique jewelry, candles and fragrances. Bonus: The ladies of Lost Girls Vintage recently moved into the back room of the store, where you can shop their curated selection of vintage clothing and accessories before you go. 

4. Foursided Card & Gift

Shopping Gifts and stationery Lake View

This Lakeview gift shop sells greeting cards, smart gifts for your hard-to-buy-for friends and cool framed prints. You'll also find a section with calendars, planners, frames and more. Or shop the store's merch online if you prefer to shop local in your pajamas.

Urban General Store
Courtesy Urban General Store

5. Enjoy: An Urban General Store

Shopping Gifts and stationery Lincoln Square

This Lincoln Square gift store has a strong focus on gag, humor and novelty gifts. You can't go wrong with classics like The Little Devil’s Trick of the Day gag set ($12), which includes a week’s worth of gags (think hand buzzer and whoopee cushion). Or, perhaps a friend or loved one will appreciate the gift of bacon toothpaste. You'll also find greeting cards, books, arts and crafts, and plenty of toys for kiddos.

6. The Fig Tree

Shopping Gifts and stationery West Loop

If you're short on time and don't know what to buy the host, bride or special someone, head straight to this quaint West Loop storefront. Touting a collection of hilarious cards, yummy-smelling candles, etched glassware and cutesy servingware, the Fig Tree will ensure your giftee feels very special.  

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

7. Hazel

Shopping Boutiques Lincoln Square

This Ravenswood store stocks a little bit of everything, for everyone and every budget. Find great gifts when it comes to men’s and women’s apparel, jewelry, accessories, greeting cards, stationery, housewares and even fresh flowers. It's a one-stop gift shop before any party or gathering.

8. Shop 1021

Shopping Gifts and stationery Logan Square

Owner Ann Kienzle first cornered the kids’ market in Logan Square with her sweet toy shop, Play. Then she expanded her repertoire, opening up this gift shop for grown-ups that features an eclectic (and extremely charming) selection of everything from coffee table books to cocktail accoutrements, home goods to greeting cards.


9. Virtu

Shopping Boutiques Bucktown

This longtime favorite charming lifestyle boutique sells jewelry, greeting cards, cookware, tableware and much more. Nearly all items in the shop have been made by hand, and many are from local designers. It's great spot to peruse if you're seeking a gift for someone who has everything.

Steel Petal Press
Photograph: Jennifer Kathryn Photography

10. Steel Petal Press

Shopping Gifts and stationery Logan Square

Artist Shayna Norwood started Steel Petal Press in Chicago after more than a decade of letterpress printing. Her printing and letterpress operation in the heart of Logan Square is also home to a bevy of great gift ideas, from quirky books to the perfect greeting cards. With custom letterpress work available, the adorable shop can also help clients tell their stories on wedding invitations, stationery, business cards or whatever they need. 


11. Hardscrabble Gifts

Shopping Gifts and stationery Bridgeport

Stop by this Bridgeport shop for locally made arts, crafts and personalized gifts like mugs, cups and tees made right in the store. Also check out its cool selection of Chicago-centric items, which make great gifts for locals and out-of-towners alike.

12. Gather Home + Lifestyle

Shopping Design and interiors Wicker Park

Owner Kristen Basilo has a keen eye for design, and the proof is in her stunningly minimalistic Wicker Park shop, which has "gathered" an impressive variety of products for both men and women, including home decor, cards, apothecary, leather goods and accessories, jewelry and books—all made by small, independent makers.


13. RR #1

Shopping Gifts and stationery East Village

Long a Ukrainian Village favorite, the quirky RR #1 sells a variety of gifts, including candles, cards, locally made jewelry, home decor and a lot of weird stuff for your weird friends. We love that the store is in an old pharmacy from the 1930s—and we really love the affordable prices and helpful salespeople.

Space 519
Photograph: Nicole Radja

14. Space 519

Shopping Boutiques Streeterville

Stop by this posh "general store" in the 900 Shops to find an artful collection of handpicked accessories, books, clothing, furniture and art. New items arrive weekly, and even some of the store's furniture and decorations are for sale, which is great, because you're going to want to buy everything.


15. Judy Maxwell Home

Shopping Gifts and stationery Old Town

This general store and art gallery has been selling trinkets and rarities since 2011. Its focus on beauty and practicality means a large stock of local and international commodities, including French home-spun linens, raw local honey and vintage lingerie. Bonus: You might even bump into actress Joan Cusack, who's said to own the store.

16. Elizabeth Grace

Shopping Gifts and stationery Lincoln Park

Located in a Lincoln Park brownstone, this charming shop offers a sophisticated and stylish collection of gifts and stationery, but it's best known as the go-to spot for discerning brides looking for custom invites. The store also has an eclectic jewelry selection from local artists and other great gifts, like Tokyomilk beauty products or the perfect note cards. Find the perfect present for a new bride, baby, or maybe even yourself.

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