Shop Local

Hunt for one-of-a-kind finds at unique boutiques across Illinois.

in Eat & Drink, Activities
December 13, 2017

| words

Grab new treasures and a bite to eat at these Illinois destinations that pair distinctive shops with memorable restaurants.

Libertyville's Downtown

This north-of-Chicago suburb’s main drag is a ribbon of shops and eateries.


The Craft Beer Store: Mix and match custom six packs (or buy individual bottles) of 200-plus varieties of beer, plus a tap room and tasting events.

Head down a side alley to find the entrance of Firkin in Libertyville.

Curtis Frame Back Alley Gallery: Original works—paintings, prints, ornaments, jewelry and more—from local artists on display in a gallery attached to a custom-framing shop.

The Serendipity Shop: Handbags, women’s clothing (including one-of-a-kind T-shirts), jewelry and gifts in a shop operated by a grandmother-mother-daughter trio.

Take a Break

Firkin: Head down a side alley to find the entrance, then try sausages and artisanal cheese from regional purveyors, plus burgers and a vast beer list.

Geneva's Historic District

Vintage storefronts and Victorian-style houses line South Third and neighboring streets in this town 40 miles west of Chicago.


The Gift Box: Since 1947, Scandinavian imports, including tableware, textiles, clogs and traditional food items like lutefisk (frozen). 

The Little Traveler: More than 35 rooms of fashion, home decor, children’s clothing and fair-trade products, plus an on-site cafe.

S G Geneva—Scentimental Gardens: Antiques from around the world, plus plants and home and garden decor.

Take a Break

Chianti’s: Hearty Italian dishes served in small or large portions all day, plus views of the historic courthouse.

Woodstock's Town Square

The filming site of the movie Groundhog Day, this northern Illinois town offers up lots to do.


Burseth Farm: Soaps, bath bombs, lotions, masks and even caramels made with milk from the local farm’s alpine goats.

Material Things Artisan Market: Works for sale might include handmade books, fiber art, fused glass, jewelry and more.

Read Between the Lynes: Indie and kids titles, plus best sellers, fresh-brewed coffee and a section of food items like honey.

Take a Break

Ethereal Confections: Artisan bean-to-bar chocolate, plus a cafe offering coffee, cocktails, desserts and small plates.

Chicago Favorites

Browsable neighborhoods include Wicker Park, Logan Square, Armitage and Southport avenues, among others.


Small-batch sweets in a cute Loop spot.

Komoda: Cards, books, jewelry, toys and soaps, plus unusual finds in Smith Park.

Neighborly: Tote bags, throw pillows, kitchenware, art prints and kids’ items (like Chicago-flag onesies), most by indie makers, in Ravenswood.

Space 519: An upscale general store with women’s fashions, home decor and gifts (a block off North Michigan Avenue).

Take a Break

Whimsical Candy: Small-batch sweets (like chocolate-dipped nougat-caramel La-Dee-Dahs) in a cute Loop spot.

Naperville's Downtown

You’ll find high-end chain stores in the central district of this western suburb, but plenty of local places to like as well.


Little Luxuries: Rustic meets elegant with home decor, candles, custom floral design and gifts.

Peace: Yoga-inspired boutique featuring mindful items such as natural body products, eco-friendly clothing and crystals, plus an essential-oils bar.

Twisted Olive Imports: More than two dozen varieties of olive oil, plus balsamic vinegars (including signature aged varieties), gourmet olives and a selection of wines.

Take a Break

The Craftsman by Two Brothers: Three stories, three options—a market cafe, a farm-to-table tavern or a high-end cocktail bar. Featuring local Two Brothers beers and coffees.

Galesburg's Seminary Street

Buildings dating from 1880 to 1920 line brick-paved streets in this college town’s downtown area, northwest of Peoria.


Calico Cat—A Gift Boutique: A wide variety of games, greeting cards, candles, clocks, birdhouses, chocolates and other gifty fare.

Mother Goosebumps: Specialty children’s items: on-trend clothing, books, accessories (like hair bows) and toys, including super-soft plush animals.

Dovetail Rivet and Stitch: Works such as pottery and metal art by local and national artists displayed gallery-style.

Take a Break

Landmark Cafe and Creperie: Crepes served either as entrees or dessert, plus a full menu, including the popular spinach bisque.

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