The Staff
of Valet.
Indie City
"I've got a day to myself during an upcoming Chicago trip, and planned to do some shopping for clothes and gifts. I'd like to avoid the standard national chains. Any suggestions for some off-the-beaten- path places?" - Sharif, Richmond, VA.

Five years ago, it may've been difficult to find much style off the gleaming corporate stores spanning Michigan Avenue. But now a slew of independent boutiques are showcasing the Windy City's eye for style.

Click around the map for some of our top shops. »

  • Need a centralized lunch spot? Foodlife is the perfect place. It is to food courts what Mr. Chow is to Chinese takeout. Located in Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave.

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