I’ve lived in Chicago for 10 years and I still LOVE coming downtown to shop and spend the day on Michigan Ave. Although I do prefer coming during the week because I really do just enjoy walking around, I know many of you are only able to come down to visit either on the weekends, holidays, or during a vacation. So, I put together a guide of what to do, suggestions on where to shop and where to eat to get the most of seeing all of Michigan Avenue.
*Make sure to download my FREE Chicago Shopping Tour eBook filled with everything to see and do on Michigan Avenue and the Gold Coast neighborhood.
Before you go
You will probably need coffee before you shop. Since you want to start your day around the Wrigley Building area (400 N Michigan Avenue) you can walk a block or two across from The Shops at Northbridge, take a right at Grand Avenue to Stan’s Donuts for a cup of coffee and an amazing donut. Trust me, these donuts are so popular and they are the best donuts in the city. I’m such a fan! I also suggest that you make reservations if you can for lunch and dinner using Open Table. Things can get really busy on the weekends and during the holidays. I know it’s hard but you should also time yourself in the stores so you have enough time to see and do it all. On my checklist, I have also suggested the best stores for you to shop at.
You can see more on my checklist but for morning shopping I suggest to go to Nordstrom/North Bridge Mall, Forever21, Gap, Loft, and TJ Maxx because they are all relatively close to each other. I also linked a map on my checklist for you to see all the stores and a directory.
For lunch, I suggest Pierrot Gourmet at The Peninsula which doesn’t take reservations. But it’s an adorable side street cafe, that has a great outdoor patio if the weather is nice. I’m a big fan of the PG Shrimp Salad, it’s one of my favorites. They have great soups, and sandwiches and a lunch combo of a soup, salad, sandwich. They also offer tea in little teapots, coffee, and cocktails. If you are looking for a nicer lunch you can head inside of The Peninsula and go to Shanghai Terrace and have lunch on their rooftop garden. It’s pricey, but the food is amazing and I love the cocktails. If you are looking for Amercian type food with a cozy atmosphere and great people watching. Then I would suggest RL Restaurant, a little farther north at Michigan Ave and Chicago Ave.
Again these are on my checklist, but I suggest for the afternoon to shop at Zara, Banana Republic, Topshop, Uniqlo, and H&M. Also, if you didn’t know H&M also has an H&M home on the top floor which is really cool. Be sure to stop into Ghiradelli for a free piece of chocolate for a little pick me up! If you need more coffee, there’s a Starbucks in Uniqlo and I would suggest ending the afternoon with a cocktail.
I have a few really great suggestions for places I love to go for cocktails and I have been to all of them. The Drake Hotel has a little speakeasy bar downstairs which is really cozy. Perfect for a chillier or overcast day. I love going into the Drake anyway because it’s a beautiful hotel and really famous to Chicago. This is a little touristy but it’s Michigan Ave and if you haven’t been it’s fun to go to the lounge at The Hancock Building on the 96th floor. Try to get there early so you can get a seat by the window. If you want to go to a rooftop for cocktails you can go to either NoMi Garden at the Park Hyatt or if you want to head back North you can go to Upstairs at The Gwen. It’s a more chill rooftop (which I actually really like) and they do have prosecco popsicles!
You might also like A Girl’s Guide to the Gold Coast in Chicago
If you have time for dinner maybe you could go to one of my lunch places I suggested for dinner. Or you can have dinner at True Food Kitchen which is newer to Chicago. It’s a very bright and fun place and they have great healthy options. I also love Lao Sze Chuan. It’s a famous Chinese restaurant in Chicago (there’s also one in Chinatown) and I would suggest for food getting the Tony’s chicken and the crispy lemon shrimp. I also love the lychee martini!
Download a Girl’s Guide to a day on Michigan Ave.
I hope you have the best time shopping on Michigan Ave! You can contact me via email or Twitter if you have any questions!
Free Download: Save a copy of this checklist I made:
A Girl’s Guide to a Day on Michigan Ave.