Shopping and sipping with the Holiday 'Hood Hounds

HolidaysRoscoe VillageCookingLifestyle and Leisure

Have you met the Holiday 'Hood Hounds? They're metromix readers who love exploring their neighborhoods and really know how to get into the holiday spirit--and they've been sharing their inside tips with you for the past three weeks. This is their last appearance, but before they go, they're spilling on their favorite neighborhood spots for shopping and sipping.

David Golanty
Shopping 'n' sipping in: Lakeview
Christmas tree looking a bit barren? Check out TwoSided, an alternative for those who can't bear to brave crowds at nearby Century Mall. Ornaments range from beaded garlands to small shiny penguins. Bare under the tree too? This store has gifts you won't find elsewhere, such as slang flashcards ($13) and paint-by-number masterpieces kits ($19.95-$24.95). Now the warm-up: Scoot south to cozy standby La Creperie. Decorated for the holidays, it also has crepes such as creme de marrons ($7), smothered in chestnut cream sauce. Plus, the wine, beer and spirits list is surprisingly chic; snuggle up to pear brandy ($7).

Jill Logiudice
Shopping 'n' sipping in: Bucktown/Ukrainian Village
If there's one thing Bucktown ladies know, it's shopping and sipping. Start at Akira to get that whole shopping-for-yourself thing out of the way. Then, for others: Nothing says "fa-la-la-la-la" like embroidered skull pillows or cast-iron antler candlestick holders. Find both at new home store Willow, south of Bucktown in Ukie Village. Whew! Exhausted from all that shopping? Hoof it to Hot Chocolate, where you can choose from six kinds of hot chocolate ($5 each) or opt for champagne ($8-$11 per glass) and warm brioche donuts with hot fudge ($8). You'll be one happy reindeer, guaranteed.

Nkisi Robinson
Shopping 'n' sipping in: West Loop
I can never escape the "one-for-you, one-for-me" policy when gift shopping. So where better than to indulge than Bennett Wine Studio? Owner Liesel Bennett will share her knowledge of each hand-selected bargain bottle in her shop. (Bottles average $9 to $20). Need a break from wine? Trek a bit beyond the West Loop to The Beer Bistro. The beer list caters to the discerning palate, and this spot offers up the best $2 burger in the city on Tuesday nights. They've got plenty of seasonal selections, too. Try the always-popular Anchor Christmas Ale ($4.50).

Rhonda Pettaway
Shopping 'n' sipping in: Roscoe Village
Roscoe Village is the perfect place to shop for all of the unique people in your life. For the fashionista on your list, try retro-chic Shangri-La Vintage. For the audiophile, there's Hard Boiled Records, which is straight out of "High Fidelity." Know an art lover? Head to Sacred Art for affordable masterpieces--from paintings to matchbooks--all by local artists. After a long day of shopping, my favorite stop is Four Moon Tavern, a local actor and artist hangout. The owner/bartender is friendly and chats with the patrons, and the holiday decorations abound. You'll find food and drink specials every day of the week, including a tasty Sunday brunch.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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