WEST SIDE — Want to shop close to home this season? We have some fun gift ideas for West Siders.
Beyond The Limit, 7316 W. Irving Park Road in Dunning, bills itself as a music store and T-shirt shop, and they've got the nearly 1,000-T-shirt collection (including Bob Marley and Mötley Crüe onesies, $18.99) to prove it. But we're especially smitten with the store's collection of second-hand, old-school board games. From classics like Monopoly, The Game of Life and Sorry to some more curious finds like Christmas Bingo or Home Improvement ("The Handy Man Game!"), these gifts are a steal at $5 each.
For the sweet tooth in your life, head to Superior Nut and Candy, at 6620 W. Irving Park Road in Dunning. The collection of nuts, candy and chocolate is truly impressive, and even includes nostalgia candies like wax bottles (three for 25 cents) and flying saucers (12 for $1). New this year are gourmet chocolates with sea salt: Dark chocolate vanilla, milk chocolate English toffee and milk chocolate vanilla caramel are all $10.99 per pound. Play it safe with pre-packaged sampler trays of nuts and such ($7.99 to $12.99) or dream up your own sampler pack — Superior Nut sells empty trays for under $2.
Owner Fallon Johnson opened Annie Bell Fragrances, 3 S. Austin Blvd., just three months ago, but she's been hand-making soy scented candles and aromatherapy soaps for much longer. Stop by the Austin store to test-smell the wide range of natural and vegan-friendly candles, oils and soaps. Johnson says a hot seller and one of her personal favorites is the grapefruit and mangosteen soy candle ($10.50 for 8-ounce, $13 for 12-ounce). Get in the holiday spirit with a bar of goat's milk soap ($5.75) in frankincense and myrrh, or in a different holiday spirit with a bar in dragon's blood.
You wouldn't guess there's a professional-level poker store tucked inside a 7-Eleven on Diversey Avenue, but that's where Chicago Poker Store finds its home. Get some expert advice from owner Fred at 6440 W. Diversey Ave. in Belmont Cragin, where you can buy everything from card decks ($17 to $30) to a $349 poker table. (Yep, it's all in the store). Put together a custom chip set (around $70) or snatch up some blackjack or craps accessories for your favorite gambler.
Forget Eataly — head to Little Italy on Harlem and check out the adorable Pasta Fresh. The store at 3418 N. Harlem Ave. in Dunning makes all of its pasta and sauces on-site, "using Old World recipes that have been passed down for generations." Get packaged sauces or olive oil for the gift — and maybe leave with your own delicious dinner in the mean time.
Listen to all the great gift ideas in the neighborhoods here: