Andersonville is one of the most charming Chicago neighborhoods. Known for its Swedish heritage, the historic strip is located about eight miles north of downtown. As you walk along Clark Street, you feel as if you’re wandering along a perfectly quaint Main Street, USA.
The family-friendly neighborhood is much more progressive and interesting than just any small town shopping corridor, though, thanks to its proximity to the big city . . . and its iconic Swedish flag water tower. Here are some of the best spots to stop and shop as you uncover this unique section of the Windy City.
Books for Everyone
Each of the Chicago neighborhoods has its own personality, and you’ll begin to feel Andersonville’s as soon as you step into the iconic bookstore Women & Children First. The independent bookstore has been around since the 1970s, and as you browse the well-curated shelves, you’ll find an impressive selection, ranging from feminism to gay rights to lesbian fiction. Don’t miss the magazine selection, with its hard-to-find publications. Explore the children’s book area (their selection is fantastic!) and pick up a gift or two. Before leaving, be sure to peruse their selection of gay-friendly greeting cards for weddings and more.
Arts, Crafts, and More
Just a few shops up from Women & Children First is the Andersonville Galleria. Stepping inside is a bit like stepping into a labyrinth—and a bit like Etsy came to life. You’ll find floor after floor and booth after booth of high-quality handmade goods from local independent artists from around Chicago and the Midwest. If you’re looking for a unique souvenir or a gift, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from: perhaps a framed Chicago print, a luxurious knit hat, a classic piece of silver jewelry, or a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture? Warning: shopping here can occupy an entire afternoon. If you’ve worked up an appetite, head just a few steps north and you’ll see the Swedish Bakery across the street. Stock up on some European pastries and cakes. Let that sugar buzz power you through the rest of your shopping excursion!
Speaking of furniture, antique lovers will adore Andersonville’s selection. It’s one of the best Chicago neighborhoods for antiquing. Stop by Roost or Scout Chicago, and prepare to ooh and ahh over the gorgeous merchandising. Both stores offer an impeccably curated selection of furniture and home goods from mid-century modern to farmhouse chic. You’ll have just as much fun browsing the highly-edited stores as you do buying.
After a day of lugging around all those treasures, it’s always a good idea to end a shopping spree with a massage at a luxurious spa! You never know what you’ll discover . . . and that is exactly how you can sum up the shopping scene in Andersonville.