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The best shops in Little Italy and University Village

Shop at small grocery stores, boutiques and comic book stores in Little Italy and University Village

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas
Market Fresh Books

Whether you're looking to browse through comics and games, check out a tattoo shop or want to head to a liquor store, Little Italy and University Village have quite a few shops that are worth checking out while you're in the neighborhood.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Little Italy and University Village

The Bottomline Boutique

You don't have to feel guilty about spending money when you shop at Bottomline Boutique in Little Italy. This nonprofit sells gently used clothing, shoes and accessories as part of Bridge to Success, which aims to help at-risk and low or no-income individuals find work by providing work-appropriate clothing and tips. Of course, if you want to give back yourself, you're always welcome to donate, too. 

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Little Italy, UIC

Conte di Savoia

Pining for an authentic bottle of olive oil? How about some fresh mozzarella imported straight from the old country? Conte Di Savoia has you covered. This small business carries all of the eccentric Italian imports you can’t find at your local chain grocery store, and at prices that are way more reasonable than the likes of Eataly. You'll also find a serious lineup of subs and paninis—a godsend for hungover locals.

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Little Italy, UIC

First Aid Comics

Walls of comics both new and old line the Taylor Street location of First Aid Comics. Find the latest edition of whatever your favorite is or grab swag like pins, coasters and figurines from favorite TV shows and movies.

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Little Italy, UIC
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Gentile's Bottle Shop

Flavio Gentile has two spots in the city for his “fine wine, cold beer and liquors”—this Taylor Street location and his Printer’s Row Wine Shop. At both you’ll find a wide selection of craft beer, small-batch spirits and, of course, lots of wine. We prefer this Little Italy shop because we can push up to the cherry-wood bar and start our weekend early with a generous pour at one of its Thursday wine tastings.

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Little Italy, UIC

Market Fresh Books

Shop aisle after aisle of used books in every genre imaginable at Market Fresh Books, or sell your used books—even textbooks—and get some serious store credit. You can also buy and sell DVDs, LPs and video games.

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Little Italy, UIC

Urban Renew

This consignment shop in Little Italy features women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories. Price points vary, with denim starting at around $18 and purses (including a selection of rehabbed Coach bags) going up to $250. Shop owner Deb Spyer has about 20 sellers on rotation, but she's always looking for more. (Sellers get a 45 percent profit once the item is sold.)

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Little Italy, UIC
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