From birthday cards to cakes, here's where to find everything you need to make your best pal or significant other's birthday memorable. Plus: picks for birthday dinners and gifts!
A great spot to pick up gifts for your favorite kitchen-phile or sign up to take classes like knife skills or cake-making.
A fun selection of makeup and bath products from all over the place - you'll find things you've never seen before.
Great macarons and other treats are available in this cozy spot.
A cute spot to meet a friend for a drink - I like the classic champagne and elderflower cocktails.
Of all the cupcakes in the city, these consistently rank in the top. Plus, cakes, cookies, bars, pies, and more.
Classic spot in Lakeview offers cakes, doughnuts, and other breakfast treats.
Stop in to pick up beautiful bouquets or send an arrangement to someone.
The gold standard of used bookstores—there's an excellent selection of titles and you'll want to get lost in the multi-level stacks.
Stop here to pick up a gorgeous card, printed invitations, or pretty stationery.
One of my favorite spots to spend the afternoon. There's a strong section of Chicago-focused books, a children's section, and a great little cafe.
Haute chocolate shop that sells wacky bars and other treats. Bacon chocolate!
I've loved every cocktail I've ever tried here, especially The Blinker, made with whiskey and raspberry.
You can build your own cupcake by mixing and matching cakes and frostings (I like the vanilla cupcake with brown butter frosting), or get one of the specialty cupcakes in flavors like cookies and cream and butterscotch.
The brunch is great - biscuits with jam, thick bacon, and complimentary beignets.
Small but solid liquor, wine and beer selections, tastings, and friendly staff make this spot a favorite.
This place can do no wrong - great beer and oysters and brunch. Also try: mussels, fish stews, and roasted chicken.
When you see someone with a clever tee around town, odds are it's from Threadless.
You could load up on cured meats, smears, and cheeses without even broaching the rest of the Mediterranean-influenced menu, but you'll definitely want to leave room for the milk-braised pork shoulder and mussels.
The cocktail menu is enormous, but you can just point and pick at random—every single one is going to be good. Also awesome: the brunch menu, fried cheese curds, an abundant cheese plate... I could keep going.
Cozy spot to settle in with a sandwich, croissant, or other baked treat.
A fantastic new brunch menu features soft scramble eggs with lobster, smoked salmon Benedict and waffles slathered with cookie butter. Make sure to get a champagne cocktail to start.
The newest doughnut shop, there are a handful of these around the city serving inventive rounds, like red velvet.
Get the amazing biscuits and then hit the jam and butter bar to add sweet and savory flavors. The pies are also awesome.
Lovely spot for dinner or brunch—the fried green tomatoes topped with an egg are delicious, and the grits are a must-order. Try the crab soup as well. If you sit on the porch in the winter, a plaid blanket on the back of each chair will keep you warm and cozy.
Maude's decor evokes the dark salons of Paris, and you'll get drinks and food to match.
A favorite - the duck sandwich is amazing, as is the selection of cheese and wine.
A cute little candy shop in Ravenswood, Amy's offers ice cream, vintage and new candies, and some of the best caramels you've ever had.