Edgewater Candles has opened a store at 1050 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Credit: Courtesy Edgewater Chamber of Commerce

EDGEWATER — The Far North Side has some of the best candle, board game and oddity shops in the city.

There is no shortage of ways to shop local on the Far North Side this holiday season. This year’s gift guide has something for everyone on your gift list.

Check out the selections below.

Rogers Park

Armadillo’s Pillow is stuffed to the brim with rare books, jewelry and other unique gifts. Credit: Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago

Armadillo’s Pillow, 6753 N. Sheridan Road. Facebook.

The used book store vibes are immaculate at Armadillo’s Pillow, where you can pick up an acoustic guitar and strum while browsing for books. The shop is filled to the brim with classic and rare books at all price points — a signed copy of French feminist writer Simone de Beauvoir’s “The Second Sex” (1979) is $200. There are also plenty of vintage figurines, old printing press keys and jewelry. The store’s co-owner sells her homemade earrings for $10.

Open noon-8 p.m. Sunday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays.

Two of Rogers Park’s best gift shops are neighbors on Sheridan Road. Credit: Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago

ChiTown Magpie and Third Coast Comics, 6443 N. Sheridan Road. ChiTown Magpie Facebook, Third Coast Comics website.

Two of Rogers Park’s best gift shops share a front door in a Loyola-owned building on Sheridan Road. ChiTown Magpie is a small gift shop that stocks plenty of Chicago-themed items, including a kitchen town with an embroidered skyline ($19) and a Chicago pencil case ($14.50). Next door is Third Coast Comics, where owner Terry Gant will point you to the hottest graphic novel or new comic. DC Comic’s “Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons” is a best seller ($30), while fans of noir or pulp novels might like “Reckless” ($25).

ChiTown Magpie is open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. Third Coast Comics is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday.


Dice Dojo even has an advent calendar board game. Credit: Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago

Chicagoland Games: Dice Dojo, 5500 N. Broadway. Website.

Dice Dojo is the board game capital of Chicago. The combination retail shop and game cafe stocks every conceivable board game: classics like Chutes And Ladders ($10), indie role-playing games, multiple iterations of the popular train-baron simulator Ticket To Ride (original version $60) and games based on popular media, including “Dune” ($60) and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” ($60). You can play games you’ve purchased or try one of the store’s demo games on the cafe side of the business.

Hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays.

Edgewater Candles has opened a store at 1050 W Bryn Mawr Ave. Credit: Courtesy Edgewater Chamber of Commerce

Edgewater Candles, 1050 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Website

Edgewater Candles has been producing locally made goods since 2016. After selling at street festivals and farmers markets, the business opened its first store in January on a historical Edgewater retail corridor. The shop has dozens of scented candles on display, from the seasonal Mistletoe Evergreen ($28 for large candles) and the masculine Woodsmoke to the surprise bestseller Tomato Leaf.

Edgewater Candles is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.


Woolly Mammoth is as much a museum of curiosities as it is a gift shop. Credit: Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago

Woolly Mammoth, 1513 W. Foster Ave. Website.

One of Chicago’s most morbidly fascinating stores is just off the main stretch of Andersonville’s famed small business district. Woolly Mammoth is as much a museum of curiosities — skeletons, taxidermy animals with deformities, shell casings from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre — as a purveyor of one-of-a-kind gifts. Stuffed animals that are cute in an uncanny valley way start at $28. Chicago-centric gifts include a vintage pennant that reads “Mayor Byrne’s Summertime Chicago” ($17) and a coffee table book on the Century of Progress Exposition ($50).

Woolly Mammoth is open noon-5 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

Rare Form, 5438 N. Clark St. Website.

Rare Form is an art deco concept store that mixes vintage with vintage-inspired home goods and gifts.

Business owner and art historian Emma Lewis collects prints which inspire the concept of her stationery and art brand The Twentieth, combining the best of 1920s illustration with contemporary feminist language and a good dose of sarcasm. 

European goods can be found in the shop as well, including sweets from France, printed goods from the UK and jewelry made by women-owned small businesses. 

Rare Form is open Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 11:30 a.m.- 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.

RAYGUN, 5207 N. Clark St. Website

Zaaaaap! That’s the sound of being struck by the brilliant idea of heading to RAYGUN in Andersonville for the perfect gift. The largest unionized clothing chain in America, RAYGUN is a printing, design and clothing company owned and operated by “extremely attractive Midwesterners.” 

Gifts that showcase Midwestern pride include union-printed T-shirts ($25), mugs and pint glasses ($15), postcards and greeting cards ($2-5) and much more.

RAYGUN also offers bulk custom printing, wholesale products, and custom website creation, printing, and fulfillment — meaning your gift can go far beyond the norm!

Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. 773-654-3157.

Andersonville Galleria has a gift for virtually everyone on your list. Credit: Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago

Andersonville Galleria, 5247 N. Clark St. Website

This legendary Andersonville store is as close as a one-stop-shop for your holiday needs as the city has. Andersonville Galleria houses dozens of craft makers and vendors over three floors and has served as a launching pad for local businesses like Rare Form. For hyper-local gifts, try framed prints of local landmarks the Green Mill and Aragon Ballroom ($40) or a candle poured into a vintage Old Style bottle ($20).

Andersonville Galleria is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays.

Vase + Vessel in Andersonville offers a curated collection of home accents, houseplants, gifts and works of over twenty local artists. Credit: Vase + Vessel

Vase & Vessel, 5135 N. Clark St. Website, Instagram

There’s no cozier time of year than the winter, so why not deck the halls? Vase & Vessel provides a curated collection of home accents, houseplants, gifts, and works of over 20 local artists and makers. A major part of the business’s mission is to support small and emerging brands, meaning they have several smaller brands that are exclusive to the store. Stop by to find a one-of-a-kind gift — from 5-7 p.m. each Friday in December, the shop is featuring special events and discounts in the store.

Check out the handmade ceramics vases, bowls, planters, spoons and candleholders by Chicago artists ($12- $150) as well as extra-soft lambswool scarves ($45) and merino wool and cashmere blankets ($88-175) from Irish mill McNutt of Donegal.

Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12-5 p.m. on Sunday. 773-250-7058.


The spirits selection at Provisions Uptown. Credit: Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago

Provisions Uptown, 4812 N. Broadway. Website.

Provisions Uptown is known as a bottle shop with an elevated selection of wine, beer and spirits, but it doubles as a gift shop selling locally made soaps, festive kitchen towels and pantry staples. It also offers a good selection of bar equipment, making it easy to pair a bottle of 2021 Goose Island Bourbon County Barrel Stout ($82) with a bar starter kit ($50). There’s also a Provisions Rogers Park.

Provisions Uptown is open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sundays. Hours for the Rogers Park location are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday-Monday.

Home decor shop Hearthstone & Terrace has plenty of high-minded gifts, including a sculpture ($69.95) and accent lamp ($219). Credit: Hearthstone & Terrace

Terrace, 1329 W. Wilson Ave. Website

The shop, previously called Hearthstone and Terrace, is known equally as a home goods store and plant shop, using its sizable outdoor patio to house its botanicals. There are plenty of gorgeous area rugs (from $59), tasteful home accessories like coasters cut from agate rock ($12 each), and air plants, ferns and other greenery ($45).

Terrace is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays.

Previous guides:

Do you want your business added to our gift guide? Sponsored spots are still available! Email zack@blockclubchi.org for more information.

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