They don’t call it the Gold Coast for nothing. This historic neighborhood, one of Chicago’s most affluent areas, is a popular destination for high-end shopping — particularly, the area around Oak Street. That’s where you’ll find charming, tree-lined streets dotted with luxury boutiques and couture showrooms, all just steps from Michigan Avenue.

Shopping on Oak Street

Right on Oak Street, you’ll find outposts for some of the world’s top designers, including:

  • Giorgio Armani
  • Prada
  • Chanel
  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Escada
  • Christian Louboutin
  • Hermes

The area is also home to several high-end jewelry designers:

  • Patek Phillipe & Rolex by Razny Jewelers
  • Harry Winston
  • Graff
  • Geneva Seal Fine Jewelry & Timepieces
  • Buccellati

Finally, find one-of-a-kind gems in Oak Street’s luxury boutiques:

  • Morgenthal Frederics
  • St. John Boutique
  • Wolford Boutique
  • Tod’s
  • Loro Piana
  • Vince

Nearby on Rush Street, you can stop into Christian Dior and Versace. And don’t miss the Yves Saint Laurent hidden inside the Waldorf Astoria Chicago on Walton Street. While you’re there, stop to admire the hotel’s glittering lobby chandelier, inspired by the vintage jewelry designs of Coco Chanel and Christian Dior.

The district is also known as a haven for spas. Pop into STIL Salon & Spa, Salon Lashe, Mireille’s Studio, Charles Ifergan, or CaTara Med Spa Catara for a luxurious treatment of to pick up some top-of-the-line beauty products.

Luxe lunch break

Multiple plates of food at Spiaggia restaurant in Chicago
© Spiaggia/Galdones Photography

If you want to linger at the Waldorf, where you’ll find two concepts from acclaimed Chef Michael Mina. Stop for a coffee and croissants at Petit Margeaux, the classic café and patisserie, or get the full extravagant experience at Margeaux Brasserie, a fine dining destination featuring elevated French cuisine. Nearby, the Museum of Contemporary Art houses the excellent Marisol restaurant, where plates come out looking like a work of art.

Other fashionable food options near the Gold Coast include French-Vietnamese cuisine at Le Colonial and fresh seafood and steaks at Hugo’s Frog Bar. Another great foodie stop: Cafe Spiaggia at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Oak Street, with Italian small plates and handcrafted pasta by Top Chef winner, Joe Flamm.

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Gold Coast sights

Musuem of Comtemporary Art

An Oak Street shopping trip will take you within just a few blocks of some of the city’s most popular downtown attractions, including:

TILT at 360 CHICAGO: The ultimate observation deck thrill ride is located on the 94th floor of 875 N. Michigan Ave., formerly the John Hancock Center.

Museum of Contemporary Art: Wander galleries filled with the latest in contemporary art and grab a bite at Marisol, the museum’s acclaimed restaurant.

Chicago Sports Museum: Test your skills against the world’s sports greats at this interactive museum, located on the 7th floor of Water Tower Place.

City Gallery at Historic Water Tower: This gem of a Gothic Revival building survived the Great Chicago Fire. Today, it’s home to fascinating rotating art exhibits.

Driehaus Museum: Relive Chicago’s Gilded Age at the former Nickerson Mansion, known as Chicago’s “Marble Palace.”

Newberry Library: Take a look at a vast collection of rare books, maps, music, and manuscripts, spanning more than six centuries at this architecturally stunning research library.