The land of hipster dive bars and organic, fair-trade coffee also has one of Chicago's most vibrant shopping scenes. Far from the cookie-cutter chain stores you'll find on Michigan Avenue, Wicker Park and Bucktown offer trendy boutiques, vintage clothing stores, record stores, thrifty gifts and a lot more, all with plenty of quirks and personality.
RECOMMENDED: Wicker Park and Bucktown guide
Best Wicker Park and Bucktown shops
Saint Alfred is the patron saint of learning, and the expert staff at this Wicker Park boutique will gladly school you on the latest styles. Although it doesn’t offer customization, St. Alfred’s features limited-edition and collaboration lines such as Yohji Yamamoto for adidas and Japanese import Visvim.
Walking into this floral boutique offers a breath of fresh air, literally. Far from your average florist, Elizabeth Cronin decks the space in everything from wild flowers to extraordinary succulents, mixed in with home decor à la faux stuffed moose heads and citrus-scented candles.
Owned by a pair of, yes, BFFs, this new bike shop works diligently with customers to find the best bike for them. It offers Bianchi, Giant and Public bikes, as well as clothing for commuters and casual cyclists. Tune-ups and repairs are also available, as are group riding sessions. Serious female cyclists will dig the BFF Racing team.
We all know perfectly soft T-shirts are hard to come by. Offering exactly that—plus a full line of men’s and women’s clothing—is Marine Layer, the first outpost of the San Francisco–based brand outside of the West Coast. Inside, you’ll discover pieces cut from custom-blended cotton so comfy you’ll want to layer them all year long.
Need to kill some time while waiting to get into Big Star? Visit this nearby lifestyle boutique featuring apparel and accessories as well as apothecary and home items. Owner Susie Lee stocks the shop with popular brands such as French line American Retro, U.K.-based Lazy Oaf and domestic line Courtshop. By the time you make it to Big Star, you might need an extra seat for your purchases.
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. We challenge you to find a corner that isn't Instagram-worthy.
Curated with the fashion-conscious, city-dwelling dude in mind, Mildblend offers a robust selection of premium denim brands (think Iron Heart, Naked and Famous and Pure Blue Japan) alongside shoes, bags and grooming products. The store also does expert repairs and alterations to ensure those baby blues fit just right.
This legendary used bookstore—one of Chicago's oldest and largest—stocks three floors' worth of books from floor to ceiling. Also, local poet Larry Sawyer has booked one of the best free poetry series in the Midwest here for years, and in Myopic’s top-floor space, the readings are even sunnier.
With a focus on organic, of-the-moment blooms, Pistil & Vine is a fresh destination among the city’s flower shops. Stop and smell the, yes, roses, hydrangea, anemones, calendula, tulips and more that fill the space, or request future orders for casual to formal occasions. While you’re there, take a peek at the eclectic assortment of home décor and gifts for sale.