Cassettes at Out of the Past Records. Credit: Provided

AUSTIN — The West Side’s bustling arts and culture scene means you can find solid holiday gift ideas to make the gourmand, nature lover or music aficionado happy.

From expanding Black shops to the long-awaited reopening of some businesses after COVID, there are more options this year to support entrepreneurs based in Austin, North Lawndale and Garfield Park.

Here’s where you can shop:

Momentum Coffee co-owner Tracy Powell standing in front of the mural at the North Lawndale location. Credit: Trey Arline/Block Club Chicago

North Lawndale

Momentum Coffee, 2644 W. Ogden Ave. Website.

The Black-owned coffee shop has expanded its presence on the West Side, including a location in North Lawndale.

For the coffee lover in your life, Momentum is offering a gift box ($60) stocked with its signature Kenetic coffee beans, a 12-ounce mug and a chocolate bar. Its $80 box adds a mini coffee grinder to the kit.

Whether it’s coffee, sweets, t-shirts ($19.99) sleek dad hats ($23) or tumblers with a map of Chicago ($39), there’s plenty of merch to represent the West Side shop.

Open 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday. 312-285-2606.

Lagunitas Brewing. Credit: Lagunitas/Facebook

Lagunitas Brewing Company, 2607 W. 17th St. Website.

The popular brewery reopened its West Side brewery earlier this year after an extended COVID break.

Walk-ins are always welcome at the taproom, but there’s plenty of “schwag” you can shop from online.

From a bottle opener ($6) to varying sizes of mason jar pint glasses ($3-$12), there’s no shortage of beer accessories to enjoy the latest Lagunitas drop. Customers can also find gifts like island shirts ($59), camp blankets ($99), and dog toys for your fur babies ($15).

And for your sober friends, there’s a 12-pack of Hoppy Refresher ($22), a sparkling hop water with no booze, sugar or gluten.

The brewery is open 5-9 p.m. Thursday-Friday, noon-9 p.m. Saturdays and noon-6 p.m. Sundays. 773-522-1308.


Credit: Provided

Bitoy’s Sweet Treats, 5957 W. Chicago Ave. Website.

The Black-owned shop is a gift guide favorite, as its assortments of popcorns, chocolates and cupcake cookies are an obvious choice for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Wanna get a bit of everything Bitoy’s has to offer? Their Sweet Lovers Basket ($29.99) comes with a Dipped Pecan Granny, two Pecan Turtles and a bag of Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies. You can even have it decorated for the holidays.

You can also let the Bitoy’s crew pick for you, with the Bitoy’s Best box of best-selling treats ($50), but you can’t go wrong with their popcorn snack collections ($30) and dipped apples ($36).

Store hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday. 773-417-3296

Gone Again Travel in the Austin neighborhood on May 24, 2021. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

Gone Again Travel and Tours, 5940 W. Chicago Ave. Website.

With the worst of the pandemic behind us, traveling has returned to a sense of normalcy this year. Gone Again Travel, the first African American-owned storefront travel agency on the West Side, offers a variety of travel packages.

Their most noteworthy offering is the Black Heritage Travel Experience that allows others from the city travel to trace their heritage. The agency also offers travel plans for weddings, business trips and family vacations.

Contact Gone Again Travel at 773-417-8808 or email at

Garfield Park

Honey harvested at the Garfield Park Conservatory Credit: Provided

Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave. Website.

The sunflower growing kit at Garfield Park Conservatory’s gift shop Credit: Provided

The iconic West Side nature complex boasts a wide variety of items at its gift shop, from honey harvested by conservatory staff ($8.99-$27.99) and t-shirts ($24.99) to dwarf sunflower seed kits ($17).

Annual memberships are also available, which grant early access to exhibits in the Artist’s Garden and gift shop discounts.

The conservatory is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Sunday.

The gift shop is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. 773-638-1766.

The entrance to Out of the Past Records. Credit: Provided.

Out Of The Past Records, 4407 W. Madison St., Website.

Whether it’s jazz, gospel, hip hop or blues you seek, Out of the Past Records has you covered for vintage and contemporary music.

Owner Maria Anderson boasts cassettes, CDs and vinyls new and old and stages giveaways on Facebook for artists ranging from Nas to Stevie Wonder. The West Side music store features an online radio station of the music offered inside as well.

Store hours are 11.a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays. 773-626-3878.

Bright Endeavors, Website

Chicago is known for its amazing entrepreneurial spirit, and organizations like Bright Endeavors demonstrate that brilliantly. The store is a social enterprise model run by the nonprofit New Moms, which offers young moms paid job training for future career endeavors. The best part: 100 percent of Bright Endeavors’ proceeds support programs providing housing, job training, college success and family support for young moms facing barriers caused by systemic poverty.

The online shop is based right here in Chicago and features handmade items crafted by local moms — like cozy soy candles — that make great gifts for the holidays. Spoil someone with the Bath Salt Discovery Gift Set, $30, or pass on the scents of the season with a Holiday Tin Candle Gift Bag, $22. 

A workshop at Dragonfly Gallery and Creative Spaces. Credit: Provided/Ivonne Cruz

Dragonfly Gallery and Creative Spaces, 2436 W. Madison St. Website.

The art studio has returned to East Garfield Park after a two-year COVID break, offering $40 art workshops for crafty folks.

It’s almost winter, so why not learn to make a winter mug? The ceramics workshop will help you create a pair of mugs for tea, coffee or hot chocolate, which the studio will glaze for you before you pick them up. No experience necessary.

You can also make a fused glass ornament, shaping the materials into a Christmas tree, gnome or other holiday-themed creations. The studio will add the finishing touches so you can hang them on your tree in time for the holidays.

Other classes include crocheting, book binding, paper making and paint-and-sip for singles and couples.

The gallery is open noon-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 773-512-6167

Previous gift guides:

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