Chicago, IL and online
If you're one who likes to spend lunch at a cafe, Chicago's First Slice Cafe is a good choice, especially if you like to end your lunch with a slice of pie (and really, who doesn't?). Located in the Lillstreet Art Center, the cafe shares a space with the gallery store where you can find one-of-a-kind dishes and serving pieces made by artists who have come through the center. We found several eye-catching pieces on a recent visit, including a stunning soup terrine by Michigan artist Mark Williams, bright patterned linens, and delicate salt and pepper shakers. We spent a good amount of time browsing the wall of mugs and cups, any of which would make our afternoon tea something really special.
If you're looking for something specific, just ask the gallery store staff. There are more items stored in the back and they'll most likely let you take a peek. And be sure to take a walk upstairs where many artists have individual galleries. This selection is really just scratching the surface. If you find yourself inspired to create something yourself, the center offers a wide range of classes.
A select number of items are available for sale on the gallery's web site.
Related: Fresh Meals with a Purpose: First Slice
(Images: Joanna Miller)