Things to Do: Shopping

Shopping in Hyde Park often involves books. With 12 booksellers within its perimeter plus an annual Children’s Book Fair, the neighborhood is a magnet for book lovers of all sorts.

Other standout shops in Hyde Park include Artisans 21, a cooperative gallery of handcrafted items located on 53rd Street; the Freehling Pot and Pan Company also on 53rd Street, a purveyor of gourmet cookware; the Fair Trader on 55th Street, a new store offering fairly traded goods from developing countries; and Toys et Cetera, begun in 1976 by a mother searching for creative and educational toys for her own children, in the Hyde Park Shopping Center.

The Co-op Market has closed, but taking its place as the neighborhood’s largest food store is Treasure Island, a small local chain of “European-style” grocery stores. There are several smaller food stores (Harper Foods and University Market on 57th Street and Village Foods on East Hyde Park Boulevard) and convenience stores as well. For fresh produce, head for Hyde Park Produce on 53rd Street or, from June through October, visit the Thursday Farmers Market outside Harper Court.

Not to be overlooked among Hyde Park’s unique shopping destinations are the stores connected with museums and other cultural attractions. Worth a look, for example, are the gift shops at the Museum of Science and Industry, the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Oriental Institute, and Robie House.

For more on shops and services in the neighborhood, please refer to the Chamber’s Business Directory.