1 Moth

2008 N. Damen Ave., Bucktown
Tablescape type:Zen-meets-hygge
The goods:Japanese and Nordic designs, sourced during owner Catherine Becker’s travels abroad. “Both cultures emphasize simplicity and are inspired by nature,” she says. Moth is the sole U.S. shop carrying many of these wares, from sleek trays by the Danish collective Clib Klap to volcanic-ash-glazed rice bowls by the Kagoshima-based One Kiln Ceramics.
Don’t miss:Made-to-order vessels by Japanese ceramicist Nobue Ibaraki resembling ancient relics ($65 to $165)

2 GPTetrev Pottery

159 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park
Tablescape type:Farmhouse chic
The goods:Rustic dishes by studio owner Gabriel Tetrev, who, at the ripe age of 21, has been a potter for 11 years. Each of his earth-toned pieces, most with slightly rugged finishes, carries individual touches of its maker’s hands. “What you eat off every day should be special,” he says. “The dollar plate is really quite a bad thing.”
Don’t miss:Shot glasses glazed down to centimeters above their bases ($10 each)

3 Modern Cooperative

1500 E. 53rd St., Hyde Park
Tablescape type:Southwestern boho
The goods:Casual crockery, with a focus on Chicago artisans. Owners Tiffany Paige and Mike Biersma scout out ceramics that range from the zany (terrazzo-inspired incense holders by Canada’s Nightshift Ceramics) to the refined (stoneware milk and sugar sets by local Rekha Srinivasan).
Don’t miss:Crazy Cat Lady Ceramics mug with floral-embellished portraits of the Obamas ($45)

4 Neybir

2246 W. Grand Ave., West Town
Tablescape type:Quirky minimalist
The goods:Tableware in mostly neutral tones. Upgrade your meals with statement pieces like Virginia Sin’s sparse candleholders or Andrew Molleur’s black-and-white marbled serving bowls. Each object is handpicked by boutique owner Kimberly Postma, who’s drawn to uncommon textures and matte finishes.
Don’t miss:Whimsical mugs from Philly’s Brian Giniewski, with glazes dribbled down their sides like icing ($55 to $60)