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Chicago Finds: A Guide to Vintage Shops in Andersonville

There’s nothing quite like wandering through aisles of an old vintage shop packed with old treasures, appreciating all the history and character and stories they have to tell. Or that insanely joyous feeling you get when you strike gold on a totally unique piece that’s about to get a whole new life in your home. Can we get an amen?!

We wanted to share with you some of our favorite vintage shops here on the Northside of Chicago, all of which happen to be in the antique mecca of the Andersonville neighborhood. Every store on this list is located within a half-mile stretch of Clark Street, so it’s easy to hit up a few (or all of them!) at once.

 

Brimfield

5219 N. Clark St.

They’re putting out some strong vibes over at Brimfield, and we’re into it. If you like a rustic/outdoorsy/masculine style, this place is an absolute must visit.

Its expert merchandising, with organized and creative displays, make it fun and easy to browse. Not to mention all the cool vintage stuff they have to look through. You’re bound to find unique accessories here, some functional (ice buckets, pillows, baskets), some decorative (postcards, pennants, tennis rackets). And you can always count on scoring a cocktail glassware set. They have them throughout the store in all shapes, sizes, and styles, along with other barware accessories. Custom reupholstery and building services are available here as well, and you can see some of their beautiful work on the shop floor in the form of mid-century modern chairs recovered in plaid Pendleton blankets.

Scout

5221 N. Clark St.

This little “urban antique shop” feels a bit more high end than some of the other places on this list, and for good reason.

Its wares are carefully curated with a keen eye for quality, functional pieces with clean lines and a slightly industrial edge. They feel thoughtful and timeless, making them easy to mix right in with your existing furniture and style. The other main attraction here is the local art available for purchase. On our last visit, we were drooling over these stunning cyanotypes. How gorgeous is that blue?! Even if your budget may not allow for everything in the store, it’s definitely worth a stop to browse.

Brownstone

5234 N. Clark St.

Stepping into Brownstone is like taking a trip right into Grandma’s basement, in the best possible way. This is thrifting at its finest.

We’re talking aisle weaving, pile digging, eagle eye hunting thrifting. But it’s worth it because there are well-priced treasures to discover within these unsorted walls. You’ll find lots of antique wooden furniture, including desks, hutches, cabinets, and dressers. Many are on the decorative side, but there are some clean-lined finds as well. Sprinkled throughout are also plenty of lamps, dishes, unique accessories, and chairs (on our last visit we spotted some cool mid-century bar stools). If you’re into refinishing or reupholstering items, this is a great place to shop – many of the pieces are in need of some love and new life. Between the kitschy floral dishes, oddities like naked mannequins, and well-used furniture in a slew of styles, you never know what you’ll score here.

Andersonville Antiques

5245 N. Clark

A tale of two floors, this one. Step in and you’ll find a beautiful shop floor full of gorgeous reclaimed/repurposed furniture.

Everything is bursting with character and history – the tag on each item lists the pieces that went into constructing it (the top is made with wood from here, the doors are created with windows from there). They offer custom building services as well, if you’re in the market for that. But if it’s found objects in all their original glory you’re after, and you’re more into rooting around through piles, you have to head on downstairs. Descend into the basement and you’re immediately struck with all. the. things. They have TONS of inventory you could spend forever looking through. And you’d enjoy every minute of it. While there is some well-curated industrial and mid-century furniture pieces anchoring each area, it’s the accessories on the shelves – some functional and some decorative – that steal the show. Lamps, speakers, barware, figurines, trophies, clocks, antique toys, typewriters, thermoses, kitchenware, branded items, and the list goes on. It’s like a real-life version of “I Spy” down there. One thing you can count on, though, is finding some really unique wall decor. They have a healthy supply of vintage posters, prints, advertisements, art, and signage.

Mercantile M

5409 ½ N. Clark St.

This sweet shop is on the smaller side, but it packs a punch. And at totally reasonable prices.

You’ll find quite a mixed bag of tricks here: furniture, lamps, kitchenware, and knick-knacks in a variety of styles. If you’re on the hunt for art, this is a great place to check out – vintage and unique artwork covers every wall of the store. Despite its hodgepodge of treasures, the floor is well kept and easy to browse. Inventory rotates quickly, so you’re sure to find something new with each visit.

Brown Elephant

5404 N. Clark St.

There are two things about this store to note right away: 1) All the proceeds benefit Howard Brown Health, so when you shop here it’s for a great cause. And 2) it’s housed in an old theater – its vaulted ceilings, decorative molding, and fading artwork on the walls make it a super cool setting to shop in.

 

The floor is open and well organized, and its large size allows for a robust inventory of big furniture like dining room sets, tables, and dressers. The real star here, though, especially in comparison to most of the other shops on this list, is the selection of seating. There are couches, sectionals, loveseats, and chairs galore. Some are ripe for reupholstering with stylish bones and dated fabric, and others could be plopped lovingly right into your living room on day one. Inventory here is fed solely by donations, so you’ll find a wide range of styles and lots of household items such as dishes and other kitchen supplies. Lower prices mean things move quickly, so check in often if you’re on the hunt for something specific.

Roost

5634 N. Clark St.

If your style tends towards rustic, farmhouse, or industrial, this is the place for you. Or if you simply enjoy looking through unique home goods, this is the place for you, too.

While there are some furniture pieces such as chairs and side tables floating around, the smaller accents and household items are the main draw. They have a lovely selection of ceramic ware around the store, as well as a surprising amount of garden items such as terra cotta pots. Some of our favorite things here are the unique storage accessories – we love imagining creative ways to use the plentiful buckets, baskets, jars, and crates.

Good Deal Garage

1552 W. Olive Ave.

Don’t be fooled by the exterior of this shop (it does sort of resemble an actual garage). Inside, it’s a massive warehouse-type place, and it’s piled high with antiques.

This is another one of those spots where you need to be prepared to roll up your sleeves, brush some dust aside, and dig. But it’s worth it, ‘cause there are some beauties buried up in here and they come at a great price. They offer some smaller items and miscellaneous odds and ends, but the majority of their inventory is furniture, and mostly wooden. Desks, tables, dressers, wardrobes, cabinets, chairs, you name it. Some of it has already been (rather brightly) painted or is repurposed, as the owners also refinish, restore, and build furniture. Either way, if you’re a DIY lover, you’ll easily find lots of projects and pieces to reimagine. When it comes to type of style, anything is fair game. You never know what you’re going to find here, and that’s what makes it so fun.

 

A guide to our favorite vintage & antique shops in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago. Great for tourists or for anyone looking for unique pieces!

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