Though Garrett Popcorn Shops have spread across the country and the globe, they’ve been a Chicago institution ever since the first store opened at 10 W. Madison Street in 1949. There are 12 locations in the Chicagoland area, twice that of the rest of the U.S. combined, so you’re never far away from picking up some of their signature gourmet popcorn. The Garrett Mix, a blend of the CaramelCrisp and CheeseCorn recipes, is the most popular.
First opened in Lake View in 2001, Foursided now has three North Side locations and is the place for high-end and handcrafted Chicago-themed gifts, greeting cards, and souvenirs. Chicago gifts include skyline and flag necklaces, posters and prints of iconic buildings and locations, deep dish and hot dog bibs, and various bags, pins, badges, and stickers. Cool and artistic gifts not relating to Chicago are also available.
Owned and run by mother-daughter team Janet and Leanne Scanlon, Hardscrabble is Bridgeport’s premier boutique gift shop, selling a variety of Chicago-centric jewelry, art, and clothing, a lot of which is made by local artists and designers. What sets it apart is that many of its custom and personalized gifts, including t-shirts, mugs and more, are made right in the store, and they can print while you wait.
Hardscrabble Gifts, 3335 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 773 696 9574
If you’re looking for a natural and handcrafted gift that’s uniquely Chicago, head over to West Loop to Abbey Brown Soap Artisan. As well as a range of gift sets, it offers a creative line of specialty Chicago soaps and candles, featuring soaps in cool “L” system packaging, from Blue Line Soap to Red Line Lip Balm, Great Lake Maritime Soap made with sand from the lakes, and a tomato and basil scented Deep Dish Little Italy Candle.
Abbey Brown Soap Artisan, 1162 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 738 2290
Know you’ll be craving that deep dish as soon as you leave? Plan ahead by having one shipped to your house. The good folks at Giordano’s partially bake and freeze them, and provide instructions on what to do from there. Packages of two, four or six pizzas are available, as are heart-shaped pizzas for that special someone, and Giordano’s can ship them anywhere in the U.S. Don’t forget the “I got stuffed in Chicago” oven mitt and apron set that you definitely need.
The amazing success of Chicago’s NHL franchise, the Blackhawks, in the early 2010s led to an expansion of the flagship store near the river on Michigan Avenue in 2014. Located on the ground floor of the beautiful 333 N. Michigan building, handily owned by Blackhawks owners the Wirtz family, you can find an unrivaled range of merch and memorabilia, including game-worn jerseys and collectibles alongside the regular clothing and accessories.
Blackhawks Store, 333 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 759 0079