Support small businesses by shopping locally for your holiday gifts. When you shop local you can find unique gifts instead of whatever thing all the big box stores and major online sites are shilling, plus you help to keep your community vibrant.
Below are just some of the stores in Edgewater and Andersonville that have great potential gifts. Not in the area? Don't have time to shop during normal business hours? Many of these shops also sell online.
- Toys Et Cetera, 5311 N Clark St - High quality toys, and they do a great job wrapping. You can also order online and have things shipped to you or pick them up at their store.
- Red Balloon, 5407 N Clark St - A charming collection of clothes and small toys. I wish I could get one of these in my size.
- Green Genes, 5111 N Clark St - For eco-friendly (but also darn cute) clothes, toys and baby gear.
- The Wooden Spoon, 5047 N Clark St - High quality kitchenware and cooking gadgets. All Le Crueset cookware is 15% to 40% off during November.
- City Olive, 5644 N Clark St (New location) - A wide selection of gourmet olive oils and vinegars plus specialty foods and related products.
- Piatto Pronto, 5624 N Clark St - They manage to stock a wide variety of mostly Italian specialty foods in their small store. They're also a deli, so it's a good place to grab a sandwich if shopping is making you hungry.
- Co-op Hot Sauce, 6338-40 N Clark St - Although manufactured in the neighborhood your best bet for buying these delicious sauces and spice blends is online.
- Gift certificates to local restaurants are also good to give. Some of my favorite local restaurants are listed here.
For coffee lovers
- Metropolis Coffee, 1039 W Granville - Shop doubly local by purchasing locally roasted coffee at a local shop, or you can order online.
- The Coffee Studio, 5628 N Clark St - This charming coffee shop sells another locally roasted coffee, Intelligentsia, by the cup or bag. They also sell loose-leaf tea and a variety of mugs and other beverage-related accoutrements.
For those who enjoy adult beverages
- In Fine Spirits, 5418 N Clark St - Carefully selected wine, craft beer and spirits, including selections from the nearby Koval and Few distilleries.
For your four-legged friends
- Jameson Loves Danger, 5208 N Clark St - JLD to those in the know. A newly opened shop for dogs and cats. They also do grooming. I wonder if I can go to "Woof & Wine Wednesdays" if I don't have a dog? Hmm....
- Bark Bark Club, 5943 N Broadway - Healthy treats and quality toys for dogs and cats are available on site or online. A portion of all proceeds from their online store goes to their partner charities. Bark Bark Club also does grooming, dog walking, doggie daycare and boarding.
For book lovers
- Women & Children First, 5233 N Clark St - Support the endangered species known as the independent bookseller. Plus, you can support local school children. Shop December 1-9 and 10% of their proceeds will go to support Peirce Elementary. They will have teachers' wishlists so you can buy a book to donate if you choose to as well.
For comic book lovers
- Third Coast Comics, 6234 N Broadway - Come just for the comic books or for one of their unique events. Past gatherings have included "Drink and Draw and Knit" and "Karaoke and Pancakes." Check-in on FourSquare for discounts and specials.
- AlleyCat Comics, 5304 N Clark St (Rear) - Tucked away down a narrow alley this little shop feels like a setting out of one of the comic books it sells.
- Graham Crackers Comics, 5433 N Clark St - A large selection of comic books, graphic novels, posters and t-shirts.
For those who like to play
- Chicagoland Games, 5550 N Broadway - A varied collection of board games, role playing games and collectible card games for all types of game geeks.
For those who love the earth
- Green Sky, 5357 N Ashland - Fun gifts that are also eco-friendly.
For fashion lovers
- Mr. and Mrs. Digz, 5668 N Clark St - A boutique featuring items from local artists as well as vintage and well-curated consignment items for men and women.
- Milk Handmade, 5137 N Clark St - A women's boutique specializing in small run, handcrafted clothing and accessories.
- Presence, 5216 N Clark St - Fun and funky clothes and accessories.
- Broadway Antique Market, 6130 N Broadway - You may not plan to wrap up any midcentury modern furniture to put under the tree, but if you bypass the stairs to the furniture showroom and go toward the back of the store to the right there are cases of jewelry that would make any fashionista drool.
For the crafty
- Windy Knitty, 5653 N Clark St - Buy a knitter some yarn you like, and if you are lucky you'll get a scarf in return.
- Sifu Design Studio, 5044 N Clark St - If you are a crafter yourself you can get store credit for your unwanted stash yarn.
For lovers of all things tartan
- Brimfield, 5219 N Clark St - This antique store always stocks a lot of interesting items including an overwhelming number of plaid items. If my husband had an unlimited budget to furnish and stock a man cave he would just buy everything in this store.
For Swedes and Swede-ophiles
- Swedish American Museum Store, 5211 N Clark St - You do not need to buy admission to the museum to shop their collection of charming gifts. My kids love the toys. Go on December 1 & 2 for Julmarknad, their annual Christmas bazaar, for even more holiday items plus food and entertainment.
For fans of the female form
- She Art, 1519 W Foster - Their woman-themed fine art may be out of your gifting budget, but they also have jewelry and prints.
For the person who has everything
- Woolly Mammoth Antiques & Oddities, 1513 W Foster - Shopping doesn't get more unique than this bizarre collection of items. This shop is bound to have a surprise for the quirkiest people on your holiday shopping list. Even if you don't buy, it is definitely fun to look.
- T-Shirt Deli, 1482 W Berwyn - Perhaps taxidermied animals are a little more uniqueness than you are ready to give. How about making a custom t-shirt featuring lettering, decals or your own design?
- The Haymaker Shop, 5507 N Clark St - You may not have the budget to buy their locally crafted furniture as gifts, but they have smaller handcrafted items as well. They also have Chicago Magazine's "Best Reusable Shopping Bag."
- Foursided, 5061 N Clark St - Much more than just a framing shop, they always have a fun assortment of gifts, cards and posters.
For Christmas decorations
- Gethsemane Garden Center, 5739 N Clark St - During the holidays the garden store is stocked with beautiful ornaments and other Christmas decorations. While you are there get a fresh cut Christmas tree, pine boughs, wreaths or a sprig of mistletoe for your own decor.
For those who appreciate helping those in need
- Care for Real, 5339 N Sheridan - Edgewater's food pantry offers holiday cards in a variety of designs to commemorate gifts of $10 and up made in the recipients' honor. Gift cards can be purchased here. Or just make a direct donation to this organization that has served the Edgewater community for more than 40 years. Donate online here.
For a holiday gift list that includes all of the above
- Andersonville Galleria, 5247 N Clark St - This collection of more than 90 merchants has jewelry, candy, paintings, posters and so much more. You can find a lot of neat things in one location.
For shoppers who love the thrill of hunting for treasures in resale shops
- Green Element, 6241 N Broadway - Green Element emphasizes the environmental benefits of resale.
- The Brown Elephant, 5404 N Clark St - Shop and support the Howard Brown Health Center.
- Edgewater Antique Mall, 6314 N Broadway - Space is tight because this place is packed with so much stuff. You're bound to find something good.
- Euphoria Resale Boutique, 6237-6241 N Clark St - A new shop full of interesting knick-knacks, furniture and fashion.
- Brownstone Antiques and Collectibles, 5234 N Clark St - Honestly, I usually go here looking for furniture, but they have smaller items as well. They sell things in various states of repair, so if you are handy and creative you could find a bargain to fix up.
And there are more stores as well. Shop Edgewater and Andersonville, and stay for a bite. We've got great food too.