The area of Lincoln Square and Ravenswood is full of pleasant surprises when it comes to shopping, whether you're looking for one of the best bookstores, record stores or even furniture stores. The next time you're in the neighborhood, make a day of shopping at all of the best local shops.
RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Lincoln Square and Ravenswood
Best shops in Lincoln Square
The terrarium craze isn’t winding down anytime soon and, luckily, this shop offers options in low-maintenance plant decor. In addition to terrariums (starting at around $30), the Ravenswood store also features other home-accent items such as vases and prints.
When it comes to bookstores, this place defines class. Not only can you browse books while sipping wine, but the staff recommendations are just what you want them to be: varied and idiosyncratic. Catch young area writers here each month as part of Local Author Night, and be sure to check the website for the shop's full list of literary events.
Shop for all your kitchen needs, with retail products that are hand-picked and tested by the chefs. While you're at it, sign up for one of the Chopping Block's many classes, whether you want to learn more about gnocchi or want to impress your friends with your knowledge of wine.
This Lincoln Square gift store has a bit of everything, but a strong focus on gag, humor and novelty gifts. Stock up on gags like a hand buzzer or whoopee cushion, or perhaps a friend will appreciate the gift of bacon toothpaste. You'll also find greeting cards, books, arts and crafts and plenty of toys.
This Ravenswood store stocks all the hits, from great gifts in 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.
Now this is your classic indie record shop, the place to hit when you discover a new band on NPR or college radio and want to own the physical product. Apart from the usual records and CDs, Laurie's sells pop culture items such as Johnny Cash action figures, Alf stuffed animals and even a little Social Distortion skeleton guy.
This more than century-old, family-owned apothecary is known to carry the city’s largest collection of natural and luxury soaps under one roof. The Chicago staple is filled to capacity with goods from all over the world—fine facial products, lotions, soaps, candles, homeopathic remedies, perfumes, teas, and pretty much any other "feel good" product you can think of, as well as necessities for the home.
You might bring your kid along to Quake Collectibles, but you're secretly going to relive your childhood. While it also carries modern toys, the store's real bread and butter is the best of the glory days: old-school Transformers, G.I. Joe, throwback Star Wars action figures, Strawberry Shortcake, Pez (yep, remember those?) dispensers, vintage lunch boxes, and so much more.
This Lincoln Square outpost of the Savory Spice Shop franchise features a wide selection of herbs, salts, seasonings and other spices, available by the jar or by the ounce. Feeling adventurous? Try a pinch of the Trinidad Scorpion chili, aka the world’s hottest pepper.
This is a Lincoln Square haven for educational fun, classic wooden toys, books and a charming array of puppets. Think hand puppets, finger puppets and even life-sized versions.