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Photograph: Courtesy The Good Old Days

The best antique stores in Chicago

Chicago's best antique stores stock everything from nostalgic knick-knacks and 1920s chandeliers to top-notch furniture

Written by
Jess Keys
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If Chicago's extensive list of vintage and thrift stores didn't satisfy your thirst for yesteryear, the city's antique stores certainly will. These shops boast an extensive selection of antiques for any budget—home goods, great clothing, quality timepieces and, yes, even some antique taxidermy. (You know, in case you were in the market.) Whether you're a browser or collector, enthusiast or amateur, there are plenty of treasures to be found at these antique stores. 

Best antique stores in Chicago

  • Shopping
  • Design and interiors
  • West Loop
  • price 1 of 4

This monthly, European-style vintage market sets itself apart with one word: variety. There's something for everyone (with monthly indoor-outdoor dates May through September and indoor-only markets the rest of the year). We're talking furnishings, vintage clothing, jewelry, collectibles and more in booths separated into categories within the market: Chicago Antique Market, Indie Designer Market and Modern Vintage. 

  • Shopping
  • Antiques
  • North Center

Situated on what used to be an antique-lover's row, Good Old Days is one of the few spots that still remain after 40-plus years in the biz. That's probably because the family-owned and operated shop is simply one of the best—we dare you to walk in without finding some sort of buried treasure. (Literally buried it will likely be.) Head downstairs to sift through the basement for the best finds and lowest prices, but don't leave without heading upstairs, either. This store specializes in everything from antique stained glass to furniture at every price point, old-school radios, barware, neon signs, old advertisements and black and white photos. 

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  • Shopping
  • Antiques
  • North Center

When you walk into Father Time, you’ll immediately notice the sound of about 100 ticking clocks coupled with oldies playing on the sound system. Just as the name suggests, this shop is all about restoring vintage and antique clocks and watches—it just so happens to be the Midwest's largest restorer and retailer, to be exact. You might pay more here than you on eBay, but the quality and experience is unparalleled. All timepieces come with a one year parts and labor warranty. 

The Golden Triangle
  • Shopping
  • Antiques
  • River North

The Golden Triangle offers a rich blend of modern and ancient furniture specializing in Asian and European antiques. This River North shop also provides a broad range of services from reupholstery, repurposing and modifying pieces, to design assistance for interiors.

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  • Shopping
  • Antiques
  • North Center
  • price 3 of 4

This shop presents a good mix of antique furniture, artwork (mostly paintings), vintage lamps, jewelry, global furnishings and tons of one-of-a-kind trinkets. Everything is displayed nicely, so you don’t have to do too much digging to find the antique treasures the owners have curated from around the world—think crystal elephant sculptures ($425), an early 20th-century Chinese vanity mirror ($350) or a 1920s card catalog cabinet ($599). 

The Gold Hatpin
  • Shopping
  • Jewelry
  • Oak Park
  • price 3 of 4

In the market for something a little different? You're guaranteed to walk out with a one-of-a-kind piece at this vintage shop inside the Oak Park Antique Mall. While the shop specializes in antique engagement rings and wedding bands, everybody can find something in its $3 budget section. Not into "something old?" They can also design you "something new."

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Antique and Resale Shoppe
  • Shopping
  • Antiques
  • Edison Park
  • price 2 of 4

This vintage shop claims to stock 15,000 square feet of inventory. That number alone is pretty impressive, but what makes it really interesting is the fact that the store is only 1,200 square feet. You'll have to see for yourself as you wander through vintage costume jewelry, clothing, purses, home decor items and more.

  • Shopping
  • Antiques
  • Uptown
  • price 2 of 4

Woolly Mammoth specializes in items that were, um, previously living? Or as they like to say, "resurrected from the past." What does that mean exactly? Well, you'll find antique taxidermy for starters. Plus, lots of anatomy items, medical stuffs, skull bones (of all kinds), skeletons, military and funerary items, art and so on. It's hard to say just what you'll find when you open the door, but one thing is for sure—it's always a ridiculously creepy-cool adventure.

Best furniture stores in Chicago

  • Shopping
  • Antiques

The best furniture stores in Chicago have everything you need, with the perfect statement pieces offering up a hefty dose of both style and function. The best new shops are also fun to peruse, no matter whether you can usually be found at vintage stores, thrift stores or have a more modern sensibility.

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