The city of Chicago is famous for their deep dish pizza and fat hot dogs, making them New York City’s arch nemesis. Chicago is also famous for the crooning tunes of jazz music and being the home of famous gangster Al Capone, but more recently, it has ranked number three in the United States most populous vaping states. With an estimated number of 97,792 vapers amongst Chicago’s 2.7 million occupants, vape shops have popped up everywhere to meet the growing demand of vaping e-liquid, hardware, and accessories. In this local guide, I aim to make your cloud vaping journey more navigable as I highlight some of Chicago’s best vape shops. If you know of one that I’ve missed or should have added to this list, be sure to comment below and let me know! As an avid cloud chaser myself, I’m always on the lookout for fresh and exciting places to visit in my vaping adventures!
1. Level Vape
First up on our journey through Chicago’s vape shops is Level Vape. Google gives it a 4.8 out of over 100 reviews, so I was curious to see how the place was in person. The entire shop was clean and cheery, although a bit plain. I would have liked to see a bit more color on the walls and the furniture, but maybe the shop was going for a more professional look. The seats, bar stools, and tables were all made from hard metal, so it didn’t have the same inviting feel to stay a while but I found myself liking the calming atmosphere that the shop had. The staff was super friendly and helpful, and I was impressed with all of the hardware they carried, including one of my favorite mods (the Sigelei Fuchai). Their e-liquid selection was excellent, and I was able to try out some flavors before I made my final selection (Pound It by Food Fighter eJuice). One thing I was intrigued with was the amount of art that was displayed on the wall. All of the artwork was evocative and color-popping, almost like being in NYC’s Museum of Modern Art. There was an ATM in the corner for those customers who didn’t realize the establishment was cash only, which is super helpful when you realize you’ve happily spent a great deal of your money on vape supplies! This was a cool shop with great customer service, and with great customer service, you’ll be glad you stopped in!
2. Vape312 River West
Second on this list of Chicago local vape shops is Vape312 River West. One thing I was extremely impressed with was not just the service in store, but the owner’s online presence as well. Sometimes the reviews on Yelp, Google, etc. can be a bit daunting because you’re only hearing one side of the story. The owner of Vape312 River West was all too happy to write detailed responses to several of the negative Yelp reviews and clearly explained why the negative review was unfounded. After seeing such a dedication to honesty online, I was curious to see how my in-store experience would be. Upon walking through the doors, I got an immediate rock/metal vibe from the interior decor. Dark colored walls and tiles with a brick wall and bar stools lined up next to a marble countertop really made me feel like I’d accidentally walked into a bar. The staff was super friendly and knowledgeable, and I felt comfortable just hanging out. There’s a pool table located towards the back of the shop, and I enjoyed a friendly game with three other vapers in the shop. I thought the diamond-angled design of shelves was a really cool way to keep all of the shop’s eliquid, but it was impossible to tell which flavors were in stock. They have a TV screen that displays their e-liquid options, but I like being able to walk into the shop and see immediately what’s on hand instead of reading through a list, but hey, that’s just a personal preference. This shop was a great experience and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. All in all, this shop definitely deserves their 4.8 rating from Google, and I highly recommend a visit if you happen to be nearby!
3. Smoque Vapors
Third on our list of vape shops in the Chicago area is Smoque Vapors. If you’re looking for a shop that does professional and individual batches of homemade e-liquid, this is the shop to try! They have an entire blackboard filled with their house favorites, like Peacha Loupe, peppermint candy, and sugar cookie. They have an excellent selection of hardware as well, so if you’re in need of a new tank or upgraded mod, their friendly staff will gladly walk you through some options to find out which set-up is right for you. There were several couches clustered around a PlayStation, inviting you to hang out and play old-school video games while you bask in the vapor of several different flavors at once. The atmosphere was cozy and comfortable and had a basement feel that was welcoming. I was delighted to find an in-house mixing shop, and couldn’t wait to try out some of their concoctions. Peach has long been a favorite fruit flavor of mine, and this e-liquid was absolutely delicious. I asked them to make me a few of their house favorites, and I ended up walking out with several purchases. This was a great shop with tons of e-liquid options, and while their prices were a bit high ($11 for a 15mL and $19 for a 30mL), you have to remember that you’re not buying factory made ejuice that’s churned out by the thousands for vape shops across America. These e-liquids are unique and freshly made, so you’re paying for the experience as well the one-of-a-kind e-liquids. This shop was so much fun to be in, and I highly recommend a visit if you’re ever nearby. Google rates them a 4.5, but once you visit the shop yourself, you’ll realize the experience is worth the trip!
4. Puffit Smoke & Vape Shop Kratom CBD
Fourthly on local vape shops in Chicago is Puffit Smoke & Vape Shop Kratom CBD. Google rates this shop a 4.2, but keep in mind that this is both a smoke shop and a vape shop, meaning that everything you can smoke has a place on the shelf here. The shop has a fantastic vibe, smoke and vape products stuffed into every possible corner of the shop. A huge display of e-liquid featuring some of the most popular flavors in e-liquid history, such as Red’s Apple eJuice, Candy King, and Vapetasia. This shop also has a fantastic collection of bongs, including some adorable Star Wars droids that I wanted to buy just to display rather than use! The shop also carries a wide selection of vaping hardware, CBD products, and rolling papers, ensuring that whatever you’d need in your daily cloud chasing adventures is in stock and ready for purchase. Normally I’m a little wary of smoke shops but this shop pleasantly surprised me with all that it had to offer. The staff was courteous and answered my questions thoroughly, but this isn’t a place where you can come in and try out the ejuice before you buy it, nor can you really hang out in here due to there being so much product in a rather small space. But if you ever need some hardware or e-liquid in a pinch, then this shop will be a lifesaver and an excellent trip to make if you’re looking for a quick in-and-out visit.
5. Cloud Vapor Lounge
We’re nearly there! Number five on our Chicago vape list is Cloud Vapor Lounge. Number five on our Chicago vape list is Cloud Vapor Lounge. I love when I see all three of my favorite things in one title: clouds, vapors, and a place to enjoy them! Google gives the shop a 4.7 rating, so I headed to check it out. The moment I walked through the doors, I was greeted by the sight of not one, but TWO billowing cloud machines that filled the room with puffy vapor. I’ve heard of shops being foggy before, but wow, this place was literally filling the room up with clouds. There was a great deal of color in the shop as well, from yellow countertops, blue walls, tons of LED lighting, plushy white chairs, and black leather sofas. What I loved most about this shop was the collection of e-liquid. They had multiple walls and counter space devoted to hardware, accessories, and ejuice, both traditional and CBD. I appreciate when a shop takes the time to keep their vaping supplies stocked and ready for any and all customer needs. The staff was super friendly, very knowledgeable, and extremely personable when I asked some questions about drippers, rebuildable materials, and which CBD products they carried and preferred. The whole shop was clean, friendly, and made me want to hang out, which is such an important atmosphere to have in a vape shop. They definitely deserve their 4.7 rating from Google, and I highly recommend this shop to anyone looking for a shop that keeps just about everything in stock for your daily cloud chasing adventures. On a side note, their picture of Edgar Allan Poe vaping with the words “Vape Nevermore” is a must-see for yourself if you’re like the classic horror novels like The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart, and my personal favorite, The Cask of Amontillado.
6. Vape Daze
Number six on our list of vape shops in Chicago is Vape Daze. Google rates them a 4.8, and they certainly deserve it. I was definitely dazed by all of the smoke and vape products that they carried: rows of ejuice, containers of CBD edibles that you can buy by the pound, glassware (all made by local artists), hardware, rolling papers, and tins of tobacco. This place had a very underground feel to it with the graffiti instead of traditional paint on the walls, gray floors, and fluorescent lights in the ceiling. I really enjoyed just browsing around all that Vape Daze had to offer, which is a sizeable feat when you consider all of the cloud chasers that the shop caters to. While this wasn’t a typical vape shop that invites you to hang out and stay awhile, it fits the bill for people looking for a vape shop to get their supplies and head out, quick and easy. The staff was helpful and courteous and made sure that I found the products I was looking for. One thing I liked about the shop was that it was spacious and there was room to walk around. Sometimes in smoke/vape shops, it’s crammed full of products so you’re almost afraid to walk around lest you bump into something or someone. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and will definitely be back again.
7. Hot Vapes
And last but certainly not least in our list of Chicago vape shops is Hot Vapes. Google gives them a 4.6 rating, so I was curious to go check them out. A blazing sign spelled out the name of the shop as soon as I walked in, and I was greeted by the sign of a glass display case with various hardware that seemed a bit sparse but still useful if you’re looking to buy your first vaping setup. The staff was super friendly and knowledgeable about all the hardware and e-liquids they had, and I was eager to sample some of their lesser-known e-liquid brands. Lucky for me that I went on Tuesday, as that’s their “happy hour” where they offer a whopping 30% off their e-liquids and 10% off of their hardware. Ejuice is one of those things that always varies from shop to shop and can get quite expensive if you want the larger bottles of premium brands. I loved the red walls and the comfy couches that lined the back wall, making this a great place to go and relax for a few hours if you needed a peaceful place to think, watch movies on a laptop, or meet new people. My favorite aspect of the place was the picture of Marilyn Monroe vaping, so if you’re in the area, definitely swing by and see that funny portrait for yourself!
Seven has long been our lucky number of vape shops, and I’m proud to say that I’ve discovered several delightful vape shops that I hope you’ll enjoy. Vaping is a hobby, and what better way to enjoy your hobby than by meeting new vaping friends and exploring the beautiful city of Chicago, Illinois? While it’s certainly no secret that there are more than seven shops available in this sprawling city, I’ve tried to shed some light on shops I thought were absolutely delightful. If you know of a shop that should be included and wasn’t, I’d be honored to check it out and include it in this list of shops in the Chicago area. As always, vape happy my friends, and may your vape tank never be empty and your clouds always plentiful!