Chicago is known for its food scene, but that goes for more than just its restaurants. Kitchen stores abound in Chicago beyond the big-box chain stores like Sur La Table. These five local specialty kitchen stores have a little special something about each one of them. Whether you’re planning to throw a dinner party and need a hard-to-find dish or you’re looking to stock up on kitchen gadgets, these stores have just what you’re looking for.
Northwestern Cutlery Supply
810 W. Lake St.
Chicago, IL 60607
Located right in the heart of the meat packing district of Chicago, this specialty cooking store is like a candy store for chefs, professional and otherwise. Stock up on just about any kitchen gear your heart desires, from knife sets to cake and pastry tools. Smokers are also available for sale. While many of these items can be bought online, this is a place any chef should experience. Plus, while you’re there perusing all of the gadgets and kitchen toys, you can get your knife set sharpened too.
Woks ‘N’ Things
2234 S. Wentworth Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
Head to Chinatown if you’re looking to stock up on kitchen supplies to make, and enjoy, Chinese food. While you’ll be able to recognize some items for sale — from chopsticks and sushi mats to tongs and woks — Woks ‘N’ Things also features a few oddities that you’d be hard-pressed to find in other specialty kitchen stores. While there are only a few aisles here, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the wide array of choices. But have no fear; the owner or one of the employees will happily show you around.
613 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60654
For unique vintage tableware, check out this Near North Side gem. Nearly everything it sells was originally produced for use in hotels, country clubs and restaurants around the world. Today, the store stocks china dinnerware, hotel silver, kitchen towels, discoveries from flea markets and more. There’s even some fun vintage items for kids, although they’re more home decor pieces than kitchenware. Many of the pieces are unique and one of a kind, so if you see something you want, grab it. Chances are it won’t be there the next time you peruse.
Freehling Pot and Pan
1365 E. 53rd St.
Chicago, IL 60615
From professional-grade kitchen supplies like knives and pans to lower-cost paper goods and an array of knick-knacks, this Hyde Park kitchen store offers a wide selection to its guests. It’s also a great place to shop if you’re planning on throwing a dinner party. That’s because its array of aprons, tablecloths and even candles easily beats out big-box competitors. Freehling also offers an assortment of gourmet food items, including coffee and tea.
Crosell & Co.
900 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
Be inspired in this Magnificent Mile home entertainment and decor shop, which features high-end dinnerware, tableware, drinkware and, of course kitchenware, from baking dishes to biscotti canisters. All items are decorative as well as useful, and if you don’t see an item either in store or online, just let an employee know and he/she can happily order it for you. Many pieces are handcrafted, and others are imported from all over the world, making every piece a wonderful addition to your kitchen and dining room. Wedding registries and gift certificates are available here, too, as just about anything would make a fabulous gift.
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Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.