BRIDGEPORT — Let the North Siders think they have the best gift shops around. You know better.
Here are some of our gift picks for Bridgeport-area shoppers.
The old ballpark may be gone for good, but artist Danilo Cuevas has immortalized it forever with a series of Comiskey Park paintings ($17.95 to $59.95). Suitable for framing and perfect for your favorite Sox fan, the paintings are available at Hardscrabble Gifts, 3333 S. Halsted St.
If you've spent any time at all in Bridgeport, you'll know that it's unlike any other neighborhood in the city — and possibly in America — which is why this Vegas-style coffee mug ($10) makes a perfect gift for its proud residents. Available at Jackalope Coffee and Tea House, 755 W. 32nd St.
The "sausageologists" at Bobak's in Archer Heights, 5275 S. Archer Ave., claim their Maxwell Polish sausages, with a proprietary blend of beef, pork and spices, is the city's best. Available in 4-pound packs ($19) in-store or online. Bonus: they'll ship 'em across the country for hungry Chicago ex-pats.
Lauren Bushnell arrived in Back of the Yards in 2012 and soon started cranking out expertly baked bread, scones and cookies in her wood-fired oven at The Plant. To get your hands on some of her Peerless Bread and Jam products, including unique seasonal jams like Pear Bay and Rhubarb and Beer, you'll have to trek to the indoor farmers' markets at Lincoln Park's Green City Market or the 61st Street Market. And it will totally be worth it.
The DIY team at Marz Community Brewing, a small-batch Bridgeport brewery, have found a niche using offbeat ingredients — Yuzu fruit, Roobios tea, oak-smoked malt — to create adventurous, delicious craft beers ($8.99 and up). Pick up a 22-once bomber bottle at Maria's Community Bar and Packaged Goods, 960 W. 31st St. and select liquor stores throughout the city.
Bridgeport artist Leo Perez takes his style cues from graffiti street art and comic books. Occasionally, he makes some of his superhero illustrations ($30) available in local stores, including the batch of colorful creations on sale at Hardscrabble Gifts. Perfect for comics fans of all ages.
Give the gift of good food. Door to Door Organics, a nationwide grocery delivery company, just opened its major Midwest distribution hub in Bridgeport, which means the bounty of local produce, responsibly raised meat and other feel-good groceries can arrive at your doorstep even quicker. Subscriptions (starting at $26) are available online.
These illustrated books ($19.95) won't teach your kiddos the "dese," "dose" and "deres" of Chicago lingo, but they will offer up some colorful, instructional tales and lessons, all set against the backdrop of the world's greatest city. Available at Hardscrabble Gifts.
Listen to all the great gift ideas in the neighborhoods here: