Here are 12 of the many Chicago Souvenirs that you should consider buying when in the city:
1. Chicago Skyline Snow Globe
If you want something to remind you of one of the worst snowstorms that the city has ever seen, make your way over to Saks Fifth Avenue, a major luxury department store, to buy the Chicago Skyline Snow Globe. It is about 6 feet tall, costs about USD 40, and features the Chicago Theater, the Water Tower, the Marina City, the Willis Tower, and the Tribune Tower.
Where to find: Saks Fifth Avenue, 700 Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, United States
2. Josh Bach El Map Tie
Buying the Josh Bach El map tie would be an excellent idea to remind you of your time spent on the Chicago Transit Authority, which happens to be the second-largest transportation system in the country. The “El” stands for elevated since the train system is predominantly above ground, and the tie features the different lines of the CTA. It costs about USD 42 and is an excellent gift idea for someone who likes quirky ties.
Where to find: ENJOY Lincoln Square, 4723 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625, United States
3. Garrett’s Popcorn
Opened in 1949, Garrett’s Popcorn goodies are one of the best souvenir ideas whether you’re looking for something for yourself or family and friends. Available in a variety of sizes, you can choose from different sweet or salty popcorn flavors if you wish to get a taste of one of Chicago’s specialties. Some of the most popular flavors include CaramelCrisp, CheeseCorn, Buttery, Macadamia CaramelCrisp, amongst others. You can build your own tin and also buy chocolates here.
Where to find: Jackson & Dearborn, 27 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60619, United States
4. Elsa Peretti Bean Pendant
The Elsa Peretti Bean Pendant sold by Tiffany & Co. is an excellent choice for a souvenir since it represents a beloved sculpture in the city. A 9-millimeter-wide sterling silver bean is attached to a 16-inch chain that resembles the 33-by-66-by-42 feet Cloud Gate sculpture (also called “the bean”), Millenium Park. The structure was designed by Anish Kapoor and has since been made into a tiny pendant, which is sold by the major jewelry company for USD 100.
Where to find: Tiffany & Co., 730 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, United States
5. Chicago Blues CD
A major part of Chicago’s culture is its music, specifically the Blues. Getting yourself or your loved ones a Chicago Blues CD would allow you to experience the city’s rich Blue’s culture, which originated on street corners and has come to influence many popular singers and bands. You can find various CDs in the many music stores and listen to singers such as Muddy Waters, the father of modern Chicago Blues, Willie Dixon, Koko Taylor, Bo Diddley, and more.
Where to find: Jazz Record Mart, 27 E Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60611, United States
6. Katherine Anne Confections
If you can’t think of anything to get your friends and family from your Chicago trip, going to Katherine Anne Confections would solve the problem. The chocolates and caramel here are made from locally sourced ingredients. You can pick from a wide assortment of sweet treats such as bittersweet chocolate truffles (citrus, pomegranate, salted caramel), marshmallows (hot chocolate, vanilla bean, cinnamon sugar), caramels (salted bacon, classic vanilla, rosemary sea salt), etc.
Where to find: 2745 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647, United States
7. Lego Willis Tower
An absolute treat for those who love building Lego structures, the Lego Willis Tower would make for a wonderful souvenir. It is a miniature replica of the Willis Tower in Chicago, formerly known as the Sears Tower, which was once the tallest building in the United States and the world. It is about 9-by-3.1 inches, and there are detailed instructions in the kit on how to put together this model.
Where to find: Skydeck, 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606, United States
8. Optimo Hats
An interesting idea for a souvenir, Optimo Hats are classic Hollywood-style men’s hats that are hand-stitched using vintage Singer sewing machines. These hats are often worn by many actors, musicians, and artists. If you can’t seem to make up your mind about which hat to choose, you can always get one customized to suit your taste. Some of the popular collections include The LaSalle, The Manhattan, The Chicago, The Mundo, and The Belmont, amongst others.
Where to find: 51 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604, United States
9. Wild Blossom Mead
If you are interested in getting yourself or your friends and family a unique alcoholic beverage, the Wild Blossom Mead is the perfect option. It is a honey wine, considered one of the oldest alcoholic beverages that date back about 8,000 years, made by fermenting honey. Moreover, the mead is prepared by Wild Blossom Meadery & Winery using honey harvested from its own beehives.
Where to find: Binny’s Beverage Depot, 213 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60654, United States
10. Sue Gold-Plated Ornament
If you pay a visit to the Field Museum in Chicago, make sure to get yourself the Sue gold-plated ornament, which is about 5.5 inches long and costs about USD 14. It is a tiny version of 40.5-feet long Sue, the most complete and best-preserved T-rex skeleton discovered at the museum. It was open to the public in 2000 and named after Sue Hendrickson, a fossil hunter.
Where to find: Field Museum Store, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605, United States
11. Frank Lloyd Wright Memory Game
A sort of informative game, fun especially for those who love architecture, the Frank Lloyd Wright Memory Game costs about USD 14 and includes 36 pairs of cards. The 2.5-inch cards feature the different designs or shapes used by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright in his skylights, carpets, art glass windows, and other architectural elements. In the box is a booklet which contains information about when and how these designs were used.
Where to find: The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, 951 Chicago Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302, United States
12. Chicago World’s Fair Poster
The World’s Fair, formerly known as “A Century of Progress International Expositions,” is a major part of the city’s history, and getting the numbered limited edition Chicago World’s Fair poster for USD 79 would be wonderful. The fair was first set up in 1933 and then 1934 and featured the city’s architectural, technological and scientific developments, along with the first Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Graf Zeppelin’s German airship, and more.
Where to find: Poster Plus, 30 E Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603, United States
13. Vosges Chocolate
Looking to find something that captures Chicago’s love for chocolates and pork? Vosges chocolate is the best option; the chocolatier is known for its chocolate mixed with tiny pieces of hickory-smoked bacon. Mo’s Bacon Bar, which is sold for USD 7.50, is 45 percent deep milk chocolate with bacon pieces, while the Bacon + Chocolate Gift Box, sold for USD 69, has milk and dark chocolate candy bars, flying chocolate pigs, bacon toffee, as well as Mo’s Bacon + Chocolate pancake mix.
Where to find: Fannie May, 343 Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601, United States
14. 1930 Al Capone Special Edition Armored Cadillac Model
For anyone interested in the underworld of America’s tryst with gangsters, getting the 1930 Al Capone Special Edition Armored Cadillac Model would be great. This USD 149.99 souvenir, 9-by-3-by-3 inches, is a mini replica of Al Capone’s (Scarface) “Fortress on Wheels,” which was a 1930 Cadillac V-16 Imperial Sedan. The original car was customized to fit the most notorious gangster's needs in the country’s history and featured bulletproof windows, police sirens, and run-flat tires.
Address: Chicago History Museum, 1601 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614, United States
15. Sports Jerseys
It wouldn’t be a trip to Chicago if you come back without sports jerseys; it was voted the Best Sports City thrice! The city is home to 5 professional teams, and you get to customize any jersey or get one with your favorite player’s name. Whether you like the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Bears, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago White Sox, or any other, there are jerseys for every team. They are sold at different prices, so you could end up paying anything above USD 50.
Where to find: Wrigleyville Sports, 959 W Addison St, Chicago, IL 60613, United States
16. Old Town Oil
An excellent choice for souvenirs, oils from Old Town Oil is a favorite among locals since various flavors come in. You can opt for one of the many olive oils, avocado oil, sesame oil, or balsamic vinegar. There are gift boxes as well, which come with two bottles of any of the oils or vinegar, and these can be used for many purposes such as drizzling over grilled vegetables, salads or pasta, and adding to dippings, hummus, brownies, marinades, meats, and much more.
Where to find: Old Town Oil, 1543 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610, United States
17. Chicago Steak Seasoning
Chicago is extremely popular for its steak, and it should come as no surprise that there are a variety of steak seasonings designed to go with the meat. You could always pick out a Chicago steak seasoning; there are many flavors like cheddar, caramel, Perfect Duo, and more. These can be used on steaks and hamburgers, pizzas, meatloaves, vegetables, chops, and others. There are grocery stores that sell different brands of seasoning, and you can also get them online.
Where to find: Urban Accents, 4043 N Ravenswood Ave #216, Chicago, IL 60613, United States
18. Half Acre Beer Company Beer
Consider getting some Half Acre Beer Company beer if you can’t think of any other souvenir! The first brewery in Chicago to can beer is beer, which is brewed and packaged onsite. For USD 8.99, you can choose between the Daisy Cutter, Over Ale beer, or Gossamer, which come in packs of 6. Moreover, you can choose your preferred beer to put in a 64-ounce growler for USD 16 or pick from one of their seasonal specials.
Where to find: Half Acre Beer Company, 4257 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60618, United States
19. KOVAL Distillery Spirits
KOVAL Distillery was established in 2008 and had since been creating its own spirits. The word Koval translates to either “blacksmith” or “someone who does something out of the ordinary,” and their whiskeys would make for excellent souvenirs. While they offer various liquors like coffee or orange blossom, their Rye Chicago Whiskey is a classic. It is a 750 ml single-grain white whiskey bottle, which is sold for USD 38.
Where to find: KOVAL Distillery, 4241 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60613, United StatesChicago is an extremely diverse city with a rich culture and history. There is no shortage of souvenirs to find that represent this very diversity, and these are available at various price ranges. Make your way to one of many stores that sell some popular souvenirs and get yourself a memento of your Chicago trip.