UPchicago Holiday Gift Guide

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For the True Chicagoan

  • Chicago Beer Bars Maps
    Chicago super-couple Phil Thompson and Katie Lauffenburger created these colorfully illustrated maps of some of the city’s greatest drinking establishments. The poster presents 14 of the best-known and best-loved of Chicago’s beer bars. An excellent gift for a beer lover in Chicago. Or a Chicago lover who enjoys a nice cold one every once in a while.
  • Custom Art “L” Signs by CitizenShay
    This local artist creates distressed “L” signs that make original and funky wall hangings for any apartment or house. Dubbed “affordable art for the people,” these art pieces are truly unique, and are perfect for the Chicago enthusiast.
  • Chicago Neighborhoods Poster by Ork
    These screen-printed posters make great gifts. Outlining over 70 of Chicago’s beloved neighborhoods, the grid layout and unique design truly captures the city’s character and adds to any room’s decor. Check ’em out! (A variety of other cities are available, too… though we don’t know who would want anything other than Chicago.)

  • Garrett Popcorn
    Who doesn’t love a big ol’ tin of deliciously popped popcorn? A combo of several styles is sure to win the heart of… well, anyone! Take it an extra step and get the Chicago Mix: a perfect blend of CaramelCrisp® and CheeseCorn™. Yes, please!
  • Lettuce Entertain You Gift Cards
    Gift the gift of good food. And drink, atmosphere and service… We’re talking about the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant empire that permeates Chicago’s dining scene. With 35 restaurants to choose from, including fine-dining and burger joints, this no-hassle gift is perfect for the hungry Chicagoan. A special bonus: until December 30, you’ll receive an extra $25 gift card for every $100 in cards you buy.

For the Fashionista

  • Art Effect
    A longtime Lincoln Park staple, Art Effect boutique sells one-of-a-kind
    Art Effect has been a go-to for Lincoln Parkers for years, proving what a nitch they have filled in the neighborhood. You can find everything from designer threads to unique housewares to jewelry. This should be an easy stop for your women friends, mothers, and mother-in-laws.
  • M2 Boutique
    A haven for the accessories-obsessed, M2 Boutique allows the chic Chicagoan girl to stay trendy and stylish without the burden on your wallet. High quality handbags, clutches, jewelery, and other accessories make the perfect gift for the lady in your life.
  • Click Shoes
    There’s nothing like the click-clack of a brand new pairs of stilettos. Visit this shoe boutique for a wide range of (mostly) reasonably priced footwear. They’ve everything from night-on-the-town CFMs to Reef flip flops. What’s not to love?
  • Lori’s Shoes
    As the “Sole of Chicago” Lori’s has what women are really craving in terms of the latest styles of shoes. They have a knowledgable and friendly sales staff that are always willing to help. They always have great sales lining the outer walls organized by size, but the inside current fashions are where its at. They also have a great selection of purses and accessories.

For the Man in Your Life

  • St. Alfred
    They’ve got great gifts for your man like limited edition Nike kicks and a great selection of clothes. Located on Milwaukee, this men’s boutique has been around since 2005 and serving the neighborhood well since then. Does your man need a wordrobe update? This is the place to start.
  • M4 Men
    With everything from cufflinks to vintage-inspired sports apparel (got a Big Ten lover? Come on over) this place caters to the slightly metro-sexual minded man. They’ve got designer jeans, button-downs, and ties if you’re looking for nicer finds.
  • Halo for Men
    Halo is an upscale barber shop with a modest yet gratifying environment designed for the urban male. Get the man in your life a gift card for “The Man,” their signature hair cut and style service and maybe throw in a $1 or 10 extra for a per minute chair massage and/or hand & forearm massage. Check out their menu for a full list of services and descriptions. Halo for Men is located in seven different Chicago neighborhoods making it convenient to indulge.

For the Kiddos

  • FAO Schwarz Pop-Up Stores
    Sadly, Chicago is no longer home to the massive kiddy playland known as FAO Schwarz. But during the holiday season, fear not, a few temporary stores make their way into town. Santa must be so thankful…
  • The LEGO® StoreThis is exactly how it sounds, a store full of legos! A great place to buy for the kiddos as well as take them for a little shopping. They won’t be able to take their eyes off the lego creations!
  • Bullfrogs & Butterflies
    For the tiny trendsetter, this local children’s boutique carries all kinds of brands and products, dubbing itself the “Children’s Lifestyle Store.” You’ll find it in the Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhood. There’s also an online store for us lazy shoppers.
  • Building Blocks Toy Store
    With locations in Wicker Park and Lakeview, this local funhouse isn’t your average toy store. With shelves and shelves … and shelves … of toys and a gaggle of toy-loving employees, Building Blocks is a child’s dream come true. Shop local, but still find all the big brands your kids love.

For the Pup

  • Three Dog Bakery
    Let’s be real. You dog is not dying for a new pair of rainboots and a matching rainjacket this season. All he wants are some delicously tasty treats. Give ’em what they want — check out this kickass all-natural local dog bakery.
  • Wiggleyville Pet Boutique
    This pet “lifestyle boutique” isn’t your average pet store. Almost all products are local, and the focus is on your pet’s happiness and overall wellness. You’ll find everything you need here to give your pups a positive lifestyle which promotes their health and well-being.
  • Barker & Meowsky
    This “paw firm” has everything you need for your dog or cat. They have grooming services as well as unique toys, collars, leashes, treats, beds, and more. They also have gift certificates available.

Eco-Conscious Gifts

  • Little Green Baby
    Want your tot to be socially aware and eco-friendly? Shop for your little one at this Lincoln Square spot. They deal only in fair trade and natural materials, so you can rest assured your child is getting the very best and doing the very best.
  • Threads for Thought
    If clothing is what you’re going to buy your friends or family this season, why not buy them sustainable clothing made from organic material. And the stuff is cute! They donate part of their proceeds to charity and treat their workers fairly too. Can’t beat that. Available at Urban Outfitters, Macy’s & Nordstrom
  • The Green Grocer
    This West Town neighborhood grocery sells organically grown and locally produced food products and specialty items. You can also grab a delicious lunch while shopping for great gifts. This is the perfect place to look for the foodie in your life.

About UPchicago Team

Urban Philosophy is a way of thinking that you develop when you’re a true city person. Whether you’ve spent your whole life living in Manhattan, or you just moved from small-town Iowa to the city of Chicago, the longer you stay, the more you come to understand what it means to live in a city. Our Urban Philosophy is that no matter who you are, where you are from, and what your likes and dislikes may be, there’s something for everyone in city life.

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