The Best Malls in the Chicago Suburbs
Are you looking forward to a day of luxury shopping in the best malls outside Chicago? If so, you're in luck, as Chicago's suburbs are home to some incredible shopping malls.
Whether you want to discover a quirky new independent shop or want to grab dinner and catch a movie - the malls of Chicago have something for everyone.
Yet, you may not know where to go to find what you want due to the sheer volume of malls in the area.
That's why we've compiled a list of the five best malls in easier on you. Whether you're north, south, or west of the city - you aren't far from one of the malls on this list. Also, we've categorized each mall for what they do best. (luxury brands, quirky wares, dining, etc.)
Best for: Spending a day shopping for great deals
If you want to spend a sunny day shopping outdoors for great prices - you'll love Chicago's Premium Outlets. Located in Aurora, this outlet mall is west of the city on the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway.
It's a massive outdoor mall featuring beautiful architecture. There are plenty of lush outdoor areas to sit on a bench and take in the scenery.
There are plenty of great deals, making this one of the best outlet malls in Chicago's suburbs. Choice outlets include:
- A Nike Factory Store
- Polo Ralph Lauren
- Pac Sun
- Gap Outlet - Kids and Baby
- The Banana Republic
- Many others
If you want to refresh your wardrobe without breaking your budget, Chicago Premium Outlets is the mall for you.
Besides all the great shopping, there is a food court located in the mall's center. It gives shoppers the chance to sit back, relax, and refuel during a long day of finding great deals. Restaurants include:
- Asian Chao
- Maki of Japan
- Great Wraps
- Starbucks Coffee
- Tea Ninja
- Auntie Annie's Pretzels
Chicago Premium Outlets features ample parking - and it's all free. That means you won't have to worry about paying extra to park, and you shouldn't have trouble finding an open space.
Best for: Going antiquing and discovering quirky wares
Our next pick takes us north of the city to Heritage Trail Mercantile. What started as a feed & grain store has become an antique mall. It features stunning jewelry, antiques, furniture, and one-of-a-kind artwork. You'll adore this mall if you're more into antiquing and finding quirky art and furniture.
Stores include the new vintage clothing boutique, House of Holly. It gets its name from the beloved rescue dog that greets each customer. Inside, you'll find tons of vintage clothing in great shape.
The shops here are goldmines for art lovers and antique lovers. You'll find vases, china, furniture, picture frames, art, etc.
This is the mall to visit if you want to redecorate your home. You'll find all sorts of knick-knacks and decorations that you won't find anywhere else.
Hours of Operation and Parking
Heritage Trail Mercantile is open seven days a week for your convenience. They operate:
- Monday through Friday from 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
- Saturday from 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
- Sunday from 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM.
There is free parking located at the rear entrance facing Wilmette Avenue. It's a quaint location that doesn't get too busy, so you shouldn't have trouble parking.
Best for: Enjoying a full day of shopping and entertainment
Are you looking for a mall that can do it all? In other words, a mall with shopping, entertainment, and dining? If so, you'll want to head northeast of Chicago to the Woodfield Mall - the largest shopping center in Illinois. In fact, Woodfield Mall is one of the largest shopping destinations in the entire country.
It's a massive mall, so be prepared to do a healthy amount of walking. The good news is it's entirely indoors - so you'll stay in air conditioning the entire time.
There are many shops at Woodfield Mall - including luxury clothing brands. You'll find electronics, toys, cosmetics, sportswear, shoes, and more. No matter what you're looking for, you're bound to find what you need somewhere in Woodfield Mall. Choice stores include:
- Apple Store
- Armani Exchange
- Lush Cosmetics
- Many more
You'll also find plenty of options for entertainment at Woodfield Mall.
There's no shortage of things to do here should you get bored with shopping. You can visit the bowling alley to enjoy a quick game with friends. Or you can take in a show at the in-house comedy club. There's a play area, a game lounge, and Peppa Pig World of Play Chicago if you've got kids with you.
Best for: A day of luxury clothing shopping.
If you're staying near the O'Hare airport in Rosemont, it's worth visiting The Chicago Fashion Outlets. It's an enclosed outlet mall that has designer clothing brands. Not only that, but you can take in interactive visual arts, and there are plenty of restaurants.
This mall is home to 150 stores, so there are plenty of options. This is the mall to visit in Chicago's suburbs if you're after luxury clothing. You'll find the most designer brands as well as great deals.
Here's a glance at some of the stores you can find in The Chicago Fashion Outlets:
- Armani Outlet
- Bloomingdale's Outlet
- Boss Outlet
- Calvin Klein
- Claire's Outlet
- Dolce Regalo
- Forever 21
- Many more
As you can see, you'll have plenty of options for designer clothing stores. Not only that, but many of these stores are outlets, so they contain great deals and prices.
Best for: A day of shopping and dinner and a movie.
Our #1 pick goes to the second-largest mall in Illinois, the Oakbrook Center. It's another massive indoor mall with plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The mall features art installations such as the Prismatica Kaleidoscope Experience. It's a gorgeous interplay of lights, reflections, and colors.
It's reasons like that why visits to the Oakbrook Center transcend shopping and become something more memorable. There's also a movie theater inside the mall - making it the perfect spot for dinner and a movie.
Here's a glance at the shops you can find at the Oakbrook Center:
- American Eagle
- Barnes & Noble
- L.L. Bean
- Louis Vuitton
- Many more
Should your stomach start to rumble, it's time to head to the food court.
The District Food Hall is on level 2 and is near the movie theater - making it a great spot to grab dinner before a show. Here are some of the restaurants you'll find:
- Perry's Pork Chop Friday Lunch
- Nando's Peri-Peri Chicken
- Corner Bakery Cafe
- California Pizza Kitchen
- Longitude 87
- Blanco Cocina & Cantina
- DMK Burger Bar
- Many others
As you can see, there are plenty of dining options to satisfy many different tastes. Once you're done with dinner, you can catch a movie at the built-in AMC 12 Theatres.
Closing Thoughts: Best Malls in Chicago Suburbs
Illinois is no slouch when it comes to shopping malls. In fact, the state is home to some of the most extensive malls in the country. In particular, Woodfield Mall is huge and is an excellent spot for bowling, games, and comedy. Whether you want to discover antiques or spend a day shopping outside - these malls won't disappoint. If you're considering moving to the area, check out the 15 Best Western Suburbs of Chicago to Live In.
Posted by Rafael Velasco on