As a small business owner, I know how important Christmas can be to retailers. Below, I am sharing my favorite local spots in Chicago. If you are still looking for that last minute Christmas gift, these are great options! If you are not from Chicago, feel free to comment below and share your favorites in your hometown.
This adorable store in the center of the city is an escape from everything. The minute you walk through the door, you are instantly transported to France. You can get lost looking at their book selection, giftables, and teas. When I am looking for a gift for a Francophile, I always head here first because I know I will find something. They do run a great online shop as well if you can't make it to Chicago. If you pop in, tell Karl I say hi!
I am a chocoholic and the chocolates from Vosges are some of my favorites. They are made right here in the heart of the city. You can purchase truffle collections, toffee, and chocolate bars. My favorites are the peppermint candy cane bar, caramel marshmallows, and toffee. If you need a last minute gift, they have two boutiques in the city (Downtown and Lincoln Park) as well as two locations at O'Hare so if you forget a gift you can pick up something last minute in the airport. They also run a great online store so you can ship these to you if you can't make it to Chicago.
For the Foodie in your life, I just love this store. I could get lost for hours finding cookbooks of all kinds. There is so much to discover in this shop located right in Lincoln Park. They host great events with authors like Lindsey Tramuta of "The New Paris" and they even have baking classes. There is a Bûche de Noël class on December 23 and there are still spots open.
I don't know if I have ever met people more enthusiastic about cheese. The cheesemongers here have knowledge like no one else. They also know the history behind the cheesemakers of every cheese, try and ask them! Pastoral really takes the time to support independent and small cheese makers from around the world. They can build an amazing cheese plate for you too. If you are headed to a Holiday Party you can pick up cheese or ship a cheese of the month gift which is also available online.
I have been shopping here for years. They have a room in the back that is filled with Francophile gifts ideas and books. I love getting lost in here on an afternoon. They have gift ideas of all price points including these adorable Rifle Paper Coasters that I haven't seen until now. It is right across from Vosges and around the corner from Read it and Eat so you can hit all three!