Beyond its many charming walk-ups, golden retrievers and strollers, Lincoln Park is also known for its soulless big-box chain stores. (Let's be real, though: Trips to the Container Store and REI are kind of awesome.) But the Lincoln Park shopping scene has plenty of high-end indie stores to blow your budget on, too, plus a surprising number of bargain shops. Get your fill of shoe stores, chic handbags, bike shops and discount clothes in Lincoln Park.
RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to the Lincoln Park neighborhood
The best shops in Lincoln Park
While you can count on finding your pharmacy basics (Tylenol, Band-Aids and the like) at this Lincoln Park apothecary, it’s not the shop’s bread and butter. Instead, the 2,000-square-foot storefront, opened by a former Parkway Drugs pharmacist, features everything from herbals and homeopathic supplements to MALIN + GOETZ cosmetics, plus shampoos, conditioners, styling tonics, fragrances for men and women, as well as a fully functioning pharmacy. You’ll even find hand-knitted dog sweaters among the mix, just so no one feels left out.
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. On the racks in the back are Three Dots shirts ($40–$80) and Babette skirts and jackets ($100–$500), plus Me and Ro jewelry ($76–$345).
It's beauty crunch time and you need to banish and conceal blackheads in one shot. Head to bluemercury, a combination spa and apothecary with outposts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Clean pores with a refining Power Facial ($220), then browse the collection of more than 50 domestic and imported skin-care and cosmetic lines. Brow styling, waxing and makeup application are also available.
Make yourself comfortable. It’s a phrase the mother-daughters trio behind this Lincoln Park shop takes very seriously. The new store is all about comforting the mind and body with women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories. We’re drawn to the gifty items, such as the messages in vintage bottles to be used instead of greeting cards ($7 and up) and a colorful hammock made from recycled ropes ($298).
Founded in 1973, Cycle Smithy began as a refurbished bicycle rental shop before transitioning into sales. Today, the shop supplies bikes to customers in Lincoln Park in addition to housing a collection of more than 50 vintage bicycles, some of which date back to the 1890s. Shop owner and bicycle historian Mark Mattei curates the two-wheeled rides on display, allowing visitors to see key evolutionary points in bicycle design throughout history.
On a crowded, zig-zaggy stretch of Clark, a seven-inch record with a piece of paper taped across it hangs in the front window of this shop. It makes owner Dave Crain's position quite clear. It reads: NO CD'S NEVER HAD 'EM!!! NEVER WILL!!! Lest you think this is some modern vinyl revival, keep in mind Dave has been selling wax here for years and years. It's a charming, friendly shop run of an omniverous music addict. New releases from Tame Impala, EDM 12-inches, used jazz, Lady Gaga, rare garage and so much more sit in stacks from floor to ceiling.
Located in a Lincoln Park brownstone, this charming shop offers a sophisticated and stylish collection of gifts and stationery, but is 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. Find the perfect present for a hostess, new baby or something special for yourself. Even better? The store gift-wraps.
At this Lincoln Park boutique known for personalized jewelry, you can customize your necklaces, earrings and bracelets with choice of style, metal and gemstone. Also a great place for "day of" bridal jewelry and bridal party gifts, in addition to engagement rings, wedding bands and fine jewelry.
Fox's is the ultimate treasure hunt—one never knows what they'll find each time they set foot in the Lincoln Park store. While the shop stocks everything in the name of women's wear, it carries particularly great investment pieces–leather handbags, coats or fur. Prices will give you only the best kind of sticker shock, which offsets the dressing room experience, akin to that of a girls locker room. (No curtains or doors here!) All in all, a must-do for any bargain lover.
This bohemian shop promotes the ease of being glamourous and green. The shop carries an array of consciously sourced clothing, accessories, home decor and gifts, many of which are imported from Morocco, Spain, Tibet and Bali, in addition to local American designers. On a given day you'll find items like vintage spindle candlesticks ($39), House of Harlow clutches ($196) or crocheted tunic dresses ($218).