Where To Shop In The Chicago Loop

 In Culture, Guide

While the Chicago Loop may be best known as a bustling international tourist destination, travelers and locals who take a closer look will discover some of Chicago’s most unique small shops, tucked away between the prominent department stores and Millennium Park’s world-class museums.

Spend a day exploring everything The Loop has to offer, starting with these nine eclectic stores offering everything from artisan cheeses to jewelry to vintage cameras.

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Photo credit: Merz Apothecary

Merz Apothecary
Founded in 1875 as a corner drugstore, shopping at Merz is like stepping from a portal into turn-of-the-century Europe. Merz selects each product carefully, focusing on quality skin care, bath, aromatherapy and other personal care products that use natural ingredients.

Before your Millennium Park picnic, stop by Pastoral’s Loop location for artisan cheese, charcuterie and fresh bread. Their friendly cheesemongers can recommend a delicious local cheese and the perfect bottle of wine to go with it.

Chicago Architecture Foundation Store
Located inside the Architecture Foundation’s museum, this shop is a failsafe place to find unique gifts for design-lovers. Favorites in their collection include Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Art Deco coasters and a Bauhaus coloring book for kids.

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Photo credit: Central Camera Company

Central Camera Company
This third-generation family-owned shop sells “all things photographic.” A hot spot for camera enthusiasts, Central Camera has vintage and new cameras, in addition to accessories, memory cards and even darkroom equipment.

North & Hudson
Most of the casual, comfortable women’s clothing sold at North & Hudson is designed and manufactured right inside their Block Thirty Seven store. Can’t find what you’re looking for on the rack? North & Hudson is open to collaboration, allowing customers to design their own apparel.

Les Néréides
A standout shop amidst Chicago’s Jeweler’s Row, Les Néréides offers impossibly fun and chic costume jewelry with a good dose of whimsy. If you’re still a child at heart, this is the spot to shop for jewelry.

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Photo credit: Dial Bookshop

Dial Bookshop
This brand-new bookshop, run by the same folks who operate Pilsen Community Books, opened for business in November 2017 inside the historic Fine Arts Building. A cozy shop that looks out over Millennium Park, Dial offers thoughtfully chosen new and used reads.

Reckless Records
Founded in 1989, Reckless Record’s location in the Loop is the place to go when you’re in desperate need of new music. Reckless buys and sells CDs and vinyl, and their staff is always full of great music recommendations.

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Photo credit: Florodora

Found inside the historic Monadnock Building, Florodora is a charming boutique offering women’s apparel and shoes that are vintage-inspired yet entirely modern.

Cover image photo credit: Sawyer Bengtson

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