Chicago Souvenirs: 15 Distinct Local Products to Bring Home
1. Frank Lloyd Wright Memory Game
Fans of Wright, young and old, will enjoy the Frank Lloyd Wright Designs Memory Game, which features 36 pairs of cards showcasing various shapes and designs Wright used in his art glass windows, carpets, skylights and more. The 2 ½-inch cards come boxed with a booklet that explains how each design was used. The game is available for $13.95 at The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio at 951 Chicago Ave. in Oak Park, a 20 minute drive outside the city. The museum shop is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you’re downtown, you can find the game at ShopWright at The Rookery at 209 S. LaSalle St., open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more Frank Lloyd Wright souvenirs and other fun gifts, check out the gift shop at the Chicago Architecture Foundation at 224 S. Michigan Ave., across from the Art Institute.
Address: 951 Chicago Ave
Daily: 10 AM - 5 PM
ShopWright at The Rookery
Address: 209 S LaSalle St
Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 6 PM
Chicago Architecture Foundation
Address: 224 S Michigan Ave
2. Chicago Skyline Snow Globe
Saks Fifth Avenue is located on the bustling Magnificent Mile shopping street at 700 N. Michigan Ave. Their hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Travel a block north to see the Water Tower, the only public building to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, now a city landmark and official visitor center. Walk 25 minutes east to reach Navy Pier, the Midwest's No. 1 tourist destination. At the intersection of East Grand and Lake Shore Drive, you’ll find dozens of restaurants, as well as shops where you can pick up another snow globe or other Chicago souvenirs. Navy Pier is also home to an Imax theater, the Chicago Children’s Museum and docks for cruise boat rides.
Address: 700 N Michigan Ave
Monday - Wednesday: 10 AM - 7 PM
Thursday - Saturday: 10 AM - 8 PM, Sunday: 11 AM - 7 PM
3. Tiffany Elsa Peretti Bean Pendant
Chicago’s Tiffany & Co store is located a mile north of Millennium Park at 730 N. Michigan Ave. They are open Monday through Wednesday for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. If you’d rather stay near the sculpture and splurge a little, enjoy a decadent dinner at Tavern at the Park, just across from Millennium Park at 130 E. Randolph St. Order the Cloud Gate cocktail, Grey Goose La Poire and champagne in a martini glass, garnished with the Tiffany necklace for $175.
Address: 730 N Michigan Ave
Monday - Wednesday: 10 AM - 6 PM, Thursday: 10 AM - 7 PM
Friday - Saturday: 10 AM - 6 PM, Sunday: 12 AM - 5 PM
Tavern at the Park
Address: 130 E Randolph St
4. 1930 Al Capone Special Edition Armored Cadillac Model
Visit the Chicago History Museum at 1601 N. Clark St. to see their Gangland Chicago exhibit, then pick up the special edition Cadillac model in the gift shop for $149.99. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. If you’re interested in Chicago’s gangster past, take the two-hour Untouchables tour, which visits Chicago’s most infamous sites from the ‘20s. Tours cost $30 and depart from the intersection of Clark Street and Ohio Avenue in front of the Rock ‘n Roll McDonalds. Call 773-881-1195 to make a reservation.
Address: 1601 N Clark St
Monday - Saturday: 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday: 12 AM - 5 PM
5. Chicago Ties
Wear it around the city and you won’t need to carry a map. For a more subtle, sophisticated Chicago tie, there’s Josh Bach’s Civitas ($47), which shows aerial details of the Windy City in an elegant blue or gray. Both ties are available at Enjoy, An Urban General Store, at 4723 N. Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln Square on the northside. The store is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It features hundreds of quirky items, including a large variety of Chicago-themed gifts, such as a Chicago flag zippered clutch for $20 or a Chicago city map baseball for $20.
If you think chocolate goes better with mint than meat products, venture down to 111 N. State St., once home to the iconic Marshall Fields, now Macy’s. Marshall Fields was famous for its Frango mint chocolate truffles, made in large melting pots on the 13th floor of the State Street store. Frango chocolates are now available at most Macy’s nationwide, but the 1-pound boxes of Frango Mints sold at Chicago-area Macy’s are exclusively made in Chicago by southside candymaker Cupid Candies. For more Chicago truffles and other sweet treats, visit Fannie May. The company got its start in Chicago in 1920 and has locations throughout the city, including 343 N. Michigan Ave. and 144 S. Dearborn St.
7. Garrett Popcorn
Garrett is no longer at 10 W. Madison St., but you can find them at 2 W. Jackson Blvd., open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 625 N. Michigan Ave., open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. They have multiple locations across the city, including in O’Hare Airport. For more classic Chicago popcorn and nuts, visit Nuts on Clark. Their caramel corn was rated the best in the country. They are located at 3830 N. Clark St. and are open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Address: 2 W Jackson Blvd
Monday - Saturday: 10 AM - 8 PM
Sunday: 11 AM - 7 PM
Address: 625 N Michigan Ave
Monday - Thursday: 10 AM - 8 PM, Friday - Saturday: 10 AM - 10 PM
Sunday: 10 AM - 7 PM
Nuts on Clark
Address: 3830 N Clark St
Monday - Saturday: 9 AM - 4 PM
8. Chicago Blues CD
Lose yourself in an 8,500-square-foot sea of music at Jazz Record Mart, the world’s largest jazz and blue record store. Pick up some Muddy Waters or a compilation album, or sample some Chicago jazz. The store is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. It is located at 27 E. Illinois St., a couple of blocks north of House of Blues, where you can catch a concert or enjoy the gospel brunch every Sunday. If you’re in the South Loop, stop by Buddy Guy’s Legends at 700 S. Wabash for some live music and to pick up one of Buddy’s albums.
9. Half Acre Beer Company Beer
Address: 4257 N Lincoln Ave
Tuesday - Friday: 12 AM - 8 PM
Saturday: 11 AM - 7 PM, Sunday: 12 AM - 5 PM
Goose Island Beer Co.
Address: 1800 N Clybourn
10. Sue Gold-Plated Ornament
Bring the famed dinosaur into your home with a Sue gold-plated ornament. The 24K gold-plated brass will catch the light in the window, or bring a bit of Chicago and prehistory to your Christmas tree. The 5 ½-inch-long ornament costs $14 and comes in an attractive box for the perfect gift. The Field Museum store at 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. has Sue merchandise for everyone, from Sue replica claws and teeth for a serious collector to a paintable Sue figurine kit for kids. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Christmas. While you’re on the museum campus, don’t miss the Shedd Aquarium or Adler Planetarium. Be sure to take in the lakeside view of the city, great for photo ops.
Address: 1400 S Lake Shore Dr
Opening Hours: 9 AM - 5 PM
11. Chicago World’s Fair Poster
Poster Plus has a wide variety of Chicago-themed posters, as well as original vintage and collectible posters. It is located at 30 E. Adams St., a block from the Art Institute. The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. The fairgrounds are now Northerly Island park, site of Adler Planetarium, and McCormick Place convention center. At the south end of Grant Park you can still see a statue of Christopher Columbus, which was donated by Chicago’s Italian-American community in conjunction with the fair.
12. Wild Blossom Mead
If you’re not up for honey wine, try Wild Blossom’s green apple Riesling. Bottles of mead start at $14.95 and are available at local wine retailers throughout the city, such as Fox and Obel Market at 401 E. Illinois St., open 6 a.m. to midnight, and Binny’s Beverage Depot at 213 W. Grand Ave., open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The mead is also available at select Chicagoland Whole Foods locations.
Address: 401 E Illinois St
Opening Hours: 6 AM to 12 PM
Binny’s Beverage Depot
Address: 213 W Grand Ave
Monday - Saturday: 9 AM - 9 PM
Sunday: 11 AM - 6 PM
13. Lego Willis Tower
Pick up the $25.99 kit in the Skydeck gift store. The Skydeck at 233 S. Wacker Drive is open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. April through September and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. October through March. Enter on the south side of the building on Jackson Avenue. If you’re on the Magnificent Mile, stop at the Lego Store on level 2 of Water Tower Place at 835 N. Michigan Ave. and allow the kids to enjoy the interactive play area. Young girls will love the American Girl Place located on levels 1 and 2 of the nine-level shopping complex. Water Tower Place is just steps from the John Hancock Building, the fourth tallest building in Chicago and the sixth tallest in the US. Lego kits for the Hancock Building are available at the retail counter of the observatory.
Address: 233 S Wacker Drive
Every Day from 9 AM - 10 PM April - September and from 10 AM - 8 PM October through March
Lego Store, on level 2 of Water Tower Place
Address: 835 N Michigan Ave
14. Sports Jerseys
For jerseys and all things Chicago sports, head to Wrigleyville Sports at 959 W. Addison, across from Wrigley Field. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Wrigleyville Sports also has a location inside Macy’s on State Street, if you’re in shopping mode and don’t want to leave the Loop. The Macy’s location is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
15. Koval Distillery Spirits
If you’re not into the hard stuff, Koval offers an array of aromatic and flavorful liquors, such as chrysanthemum honey, coffee and orange blossom. Koval liquor runs $24 for a 375 ml bottle. Koval is also known for its single-grain, single-barrel Lion’s Pride Organic Whiskey, available in rye, oat, millet, wheat and spelt. A 750 ml bottle costs $48. The distillery store at 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave. is open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Koval Spirits are also available at a variety of liquor stores around the city, such as Binny's Downtown at 213 W. Grand Ave. or Sam's Wine & Spirits at 50 E. Roosevelt Road in the South Loop.
Address: 5121 N Ravenswood Ave
Monday - Friday: 1 PM - 6 PM
Address: 213 W Grand Ave
Sam's Wine & Spirits
Address: 50 E Roosevelt Road
Other Interesting Souvenirs from Illinois
If traveling to Illinois is not on your immediate agenda, or you simply can't afford an extra space in your luggage, fortunately, these days, you can find a wide selection of authentic and truly interesting Illinois souvenirs online. Presented here are some of the Illinois products sought by foreign visitors, now available online for your convenience.
2. Chicago Steak Seasoning - Creamy caramel popcorn in one bite, flavorful and deliciously cheesy! Available in more than 10 flavors: Caramel, Cheddar, Perfect Duo (caramel and chHandmade in Chicagoland, this delicious combination of herbs and spices, with a touch of sea salt, is sure to add a great deal of flavor to your pizza, meat or seafood! Just rub it in and see your grilling livened up to give a whole new savory and mouthwatering dimension to your steaks, burgers, roasts, chops, meatloafs, vegetables or side dishes.
3. Old Town Oils - Firm favorites of Chicago for finishing pastas or drizzling over grilled vegetables; particularly strong if combined with vinaigrette or added to a salad. Other great uses include: bread dipping, bruschetta, hummus, vegetables, marinades, brownies, deserts, poultry seafood, meats, vegetable, hummus, baking, and more.
Walking Tours in Chicago, Illinois
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Travel Distance: 6.3 Km or 3.9 Miles
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