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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Shop Local 2021: A Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, North Center, North Park, Albany Park And Irving Park Holiday Gift Guide

From paintings to toys, candles, cannabis and beer, shops in Lincoln Square and its surrounding neighborhoods are packed full of potential gifts.

Gene's Sausage Shop and Delicatessen's Midwest's best gift basket (left) and EXIT: The Catacombs of Horror a kit available at Timeless Toys that allows families to transform their home into a series of escape rooms.
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LINCOLN SQUARE — It’s the season to shop at local businesses to find that perfect gift for friends and family.

And there’s something for everyone on your list in the neighborhoods around Lincoln Square: Canna Bella Lux, a boutique head shop in North Center, has prerolled cone packs celebrating the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears, while Nature’s Trace, a micro-farm in Irving Park, offers handcrafted soaps.

Block Club Chicago rounded up a few neighborhood gift options.

Here’s what you can buy:

Albany Park

Credit: Provided.
A. Favorite Design holiday card.

A. Favorite Design, 4432 N. Kedzie Ave. Website.

Albany Park’s A. Favorite Design has a selection of unique holiday cards at its brick-and-mortar shop and online. In addition to a selection of seasonal cards ($5), the shop carries an assortment of festive gift wraps ($8.50-$18) and cards to show off your Chicago pride ($5).

A. Favorite Design is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursdays and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 773-412-0891. Instagram.

Twisted Hippo, 2925 W. Montrose Ave. Website.

Twisted Hippo co-owners Marilee and Karl Rutherford have a fondness for “weird but awesome” beers like the Bee’s Sleaze (four-pack for $12), a Midwest common-style beer brewed with honey, and the King Crimson’s Puffin (four pack-for $14), an apricot rhubarb Gose-style beer.

Twisted Hippo’s beers have labels designed by different artists featuring Pinkelsworth “Pinky” T. Hipposford, the brewery’s mascot. In addition to brews, fans can buy shirts ($20.95) featuring Pinky, magnets ($6.95 ), fine art prints ($13.95) and more.

Twisted Hippo is open 4-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, noon-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday and noon-8 p.m. Sundays. 708-844-7768. Instagram.

North Park

Above Average Candle Studio, 3414 W. Foster Ave. Website.

This appointment-only studio offers candle-making classes ($65-$220) and sells vegan soy candles ($20.50) with scents like peach cobbler, cookies and cream and strawberry milkshake. Room and linen sprays ($7.50) with scents like crisp fall air and winter blanket can also be bought.

Above Average Candle Studio is appointment-only. 773-657-5507. Instagram.

Credit: Provided.
The Sweden Shop sells 100 percent wool mittens made in Norway.

The Sweden Shop, 3304 W. Foster Ave. Website.

This unique shop specializes in Scandinavian items like Norwegian wool mittens ($59), Nyåkers gingersnaps ($2.95) and Lars wild Swedish lingonberry preserves ($8.95).

The Sweden Shop is open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. 773-478-0327. Facebook.

Irving Park

ERIS Brewery and Cider House, 4240 W. Irving Park Road. Website.

ERIS Brewery and Cider House’s beers and ciders are available at retail locations across the city. But ERIS’ home base is still the only place to buy pint glasses ($5.50) or a trucker hat ($20) and other apparel for fans of the award-winning Irving Park cider house. Gift cards ($20) also are available.

ERIS Brewery Cider House is open 4-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, noon-11 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays. 773-943-6200. Instagram.

Credit: Provided.
The North Pole is a limited edition soap available this year.

Nature’s Trace, Online shop

Rachel Sloan, a small-batch soapmaker, uses honey and beeswax from her hives on a Chicago micro-farm in Irving Park. 

Sloan formulated her recipes to create a hard, long-lasting bar with a strong lather, nourishing ingredients and soothing scents.

This season, Sloan has limited-edition soaps like North Pole ($8) and Nova Scotia ($8) inspired by seeds or stems Sloan finds on hikes or from customer ideas. Themed gift sets ($19.90-$38) include Sloan’s soaps alongside coffee and teas.

Available for shipping. Curbside pickup is available. Instagram.

The Pursuit Supply Company, 4316 W. Irving Park Road. Website.

This Irving Park shop offers classes, camera repair and film processing and equipment for people interested in home brewing and analog photography.

Some of the classes offered are an introduction to solargraphy ($5), the art of long exposure photography to capture the sun moving across the sky, and how to brew beer ($35).

The shop also sells vintage cameras, such as a Kodak Brownie No.1 Premo Junior Model B ($75) and a Vintage Argus coated Cintar Rangefinder ($20), alongside equipment to brew beer.

The Pursuit Supply Company is open noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 312-985-6652. Instagram.

Lincoln Square

Credit: Provided.
A bit of Burt’s Bees holiday gift set is available at Merz Apothecary.

Merz Apothecary, 4716 N. Lincoln Ave. Website.

Chicago pharmacist Peter Merz opened a small drugstore on the North Side in 1875. The business moved to its current storefront in Lincoln Sqaure in 1982 and later expanded into the storefront next door.

Some of its holiday gifts this season include the Roland pine candle and soap gift set ($18), A Bit of Burt’s Bees holiday gift set ($4.99) and the Papiers Fantaisie holiday soap set ($27).

Merz Apothecary is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. 773-989-0900. Instagram.

Timeless Toys, 4749 N. Lincoln Ave. Website.

Harry and Martha Burrows opened the store in 1994 at 4749 N. Lincoln Ave. in the heart of Lincoln Square as an oasis for children and families. The shop is focused on toys that help develop a child’s imagination.

This year, the shop has an axe-throwing kit for children that has foam axes that can be used indoors or outdoors ($24.99). Families who love puzzles can check out EXIT: The Catacombs of Horror ($24.99), a kit that allows families to transform their home into a series of escape rooms.

Timeless Toys is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays. 773-334-4445. Instagram.

Gene’s Sausage Shop and Delicatessen, 4750 N. Lincoln Ave. Website.

Let Gene’s take the hassle out of the holiday with its gift basket options. You can grab an artisan smoked ham sampler ($40), Gene’s Taste Of Bavaria ($50) and a Midwest’s best basket ($70). They feature a collection of goodies from local farm and family businesses.

Gene’s Sausage Shop and Delicatessen is open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays. 773-728-7243.

Laurie’s Planet of Sound, 4639 N. Lincoln Ave. Website.

For more than 20 years, Laurie’s Planet of Sound has sold vintage vinyl records alongside new music, quirky movies and other oddball items.

This season, drop by to pick up a red vinyl pressing of Jerry Goldsmith’s original soundtrack for the film “Total Recall” ($50.99). This 20th anniversary edition of the soundtrack is limited to 450 pressings.

Laurie’s also has Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings’ “It’s A Holiday Soul Party” on a candy-cane-colored vinyl pressing ($20.99) that features Hanukkah and Christmas originals as well as soulful renditions of holiday favorites.

Customers who buy $50 or more at the indie record store will get a free tote bag with their purchase.

Laurie’s Planet of Sound is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. 773-271-3569. Facebook.


Credit: Provided.
Koval’s production distillery, 4241 N. Ravenswood Ave., has an on-site retail store.

Koval Distillery, 4241 North Ravenswood Ave. Website.

When Koval opened in 2008, it was the first distillery to open in Chicago since the end of Prohibition. Fans of the distillery’s artisan single-barrel aged spirits may enjoy the whiskey trio gift pack ($51), which features Koval’s most popular rye, four-grain and bourbon-style spirits in a 200-milliliter format.

Fans of gin may enjoy Koval’s other trio gift pack ($42), which features the botanical flavors of the distillery’s dry, barrel-aged and cranberry gins.

Koval’s on-site store is open 2-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 2-8 p.m. Fridays and noon-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 312-878-7988. Instagram.

Hazel, 1835 W. Montrose Ave. Website.

Hazel features handcrafted jewelry, cards, flowers and other unique gifts — plus free wrapping — at its boutique Ravenswood shop.

This season’s gift bundles include a Bike Bundle ($48) and B—-es Get Stuff Done Bundle ($36) with an oven mitt, survival tools and more, among other stocking stuffers.

Hazel is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. Click here for special holiday hours Nov. 26-Dec. 23. 773-769-2227. Instagram.

Ponnopozz, 4839 N. Damen Ave. Website.

Chicago-based artist Adrianne Hawthorne’s sells her own art, textiles and fabrics alongside the work of local creators at the Ravenswood boutique that doubles as her studio.

Surprise family with a colorful print of Hawthorne’s art ($25), an enamel mug featuring cats ($30) or a holiday ornaments paint-by-number card kit ($40).

Ponnopozz is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. 773-654-3025. Instagram.

Credit: Provided.
A print of “Venus in Her Lair” by artist Janet Hil is available at Bon Femmes.

Bon Femmes, 4917 N. Damen Ave. Website.

Omotola Akinbiyi’s shop highlights women artists and transitioned from an online shop to a brick-and-mortar store in Ravenswood earlier this year.

Akinbiyi’s shop carries a variety of art prints ($22-$32), a sunglasses and heel hair pin set ($28) and gifts cards ($25), among other items.

Bon Femmes is open noon-5 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. Instagram.

North Center

Credit: Provided.
Enjoy a warm drink with a kushy twist with Canna Bella Lux’s roast and toast ceramic mugs.

Canna Bella Lux, 4357 N. Lincoln Ave. Website.

Tiffany Woodman opened Canna Bella Lux as a welcoming boutique for people interested in recreational cannabis.

This holiday season, Woodman is offering pre-rolled cones celebrating the Chicago Cubs ($14) and Chicago Bears ($14), an assortment of roast and toast ceramic mugs ($24.99) and the Happy Herb Kit ($15).

Canna Bella Lux is open noon-7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday-Monday. 773-697-8953. Instagram.

Did we miss your favorite neighborhood spot? Not to worry! Add it to our Block Club reader guide, which will come out in early December.

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