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Best Eyebrow Shaping

Only one woman in town can say she’s gotten Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, and Teri Hatcher on their backs: Cheryl Renella, Channing’s owner. She’ll study your bone structure before tweezing (not waxing!) a perfect arch. It’s $100 for the first shaping and $75 for maintenance. Not willing to wait for an appointment with the brow … Read more

Best Butcher Shop

They don’t make them like Gepperth’s anymore, which is a shame, because the tiny 109-year-old store may offer the perfect meat-shopping experience. You’ll find protein galore, from housemade Sheboygan-style bratwursts to vacuum-sealed elk patties, all of impeccable quality. Longtime owner Otto Demke (above) will slice your order himself.

Best Men's Hat Store

Blessedly, some things never change: Optimo’s master hatters still craft fedoras, top hats, derbies, and porkpies by hand and with a vintage sewing machine, attracting loyal customers such as Jay-Z, Johnny Depp, and Jack White. Prices range from $395 for an off-the-shelf Milan straw hat to several thousand for a custom topper.

Best Salon for Black Hair

Yes, Huetiful’s stylists are skilled, but what really makes Chicagoans rave is its NanoSmoothing treatment ($175). The hair-strengthening process eschews the usual harsh chemicals in favor of a protein supplement that’s infused into strands using steam. Ask for Tasheara Neshell, who’s styled the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Viola Davis, and Tika Sumpter.

Best High-End Mani-Pedi

This chain—which has Allure’s seal of approval and a rabid following among ladies who lunch—will keep your nails looking reliably flawless. But what separates it from the pack is the luxurious extras. A manicure that comes with hot neck rolls, a leisurely hand massage, and complimentary access to such amenities as a steam room and … Read more

Best Hair Color for the Money

Don’t expect to be pampered at this stark salon. Instead, come for veteran colorist Kim “K.P.” Peterson, who’s so in demand that you may have to call in sick for an appointment. She’s a whiz at highlighting (from $115) and will give you Kelly Osbourne lilac if you insist—but only if it’s possible to do … Read more

Best Baby Gear Store

Welcome to one-stop shopping for top-of-the-line stuff your baby will puke on. Service is exemplary: For example, employees will gladly assemble your new $1,100 Stokke Xplory stroller, a Norwegian marvel of infant-toting engineering, for free. They’ll even give you a loaner if it ever needs a tune-up. 

Best Haircut for the Money

It’s easy to see why the cool kids (Tavi Gevinson, Jeff Tweedy) favor this understated Logan Square salon: The chatty, funky stylists can pull off everything from chic low-maintenance styles to showy sculptural dos. Cuts are $75 for women and $65 for men—and when you walk in the door, you get your pick of a … Read more

Best Children's Clothing Store

Granted, a $295 cashmere onesie isn’t for everyone (unless your name is North West). But these French-made clothes, which include baby-blue girls’ trenches and structured boys’ blazers, are refreshingly free from glitter-laden goofiness. With exactly six stitches per centimeter, invisible hems, and hand embroidery, they’re practically couture.

Best Acupuncturist

The trusted acupuncturist to the Lululemon set, Grainne (pronounced GRA-nya) McKeown isn’t just a wizard with needles. She also custom mixes herbal remedies (which only about a quarter of acupuncturists are trained to do), teaches meditation, and advises on lifestyle changes to support your health. Treatments start at $85 a session.