Eating Out Vegan — Chicago Edition

 Photo by Aaron Bean

Photo by Aaron Bean

 
 

MINDWELL is based in Chicago, and lucky for us, it’s a very vegan friendly city — you just have to know where to look. We scoured the many Chicago neighborhoods to create a list of the best joints to eat out vegan. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend or need a new place to grab brunch with friends, eat your way through the Windy City with this handy guide to all things delicious and plant-based. We break it down below by neighborhoods.

 

Rogers Park

Known as one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Chicago, Rogers Park is home to a wide array of ethnic food with many naturally vegan selections — think Indian, Ethiopian, Nigerian and more!

Arya Bhavan

What: a 100% vegan Indian restaurant that also features raw Indian dishes

Must try: Saturday vegan buffet to try all their amazing creations

 

Logan Square

Ground Control

What: Casual and eclectic vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free fare

Must try: Head here for brunch and try the sweet potato hash with tofu patties and Daiya cheese with an order of fried green tomatoes

 

Casa Yari

What: A fusion of Puerto Rican and Honduran Cuisine

Must try: Volcan mofongo (volcano shaped garlicky plantains topped with vegetables or jackfruit) and Coconut Flan

 

Wicker Park

Handlebar

What: A Bicycle-themed joint serving local food and fair-trade coffee

Must try: Fried pickles with vegan ranch and black bean maduro

 

Bucktown

Quesadilla La Reina Del Sur

What: Mexican vegetarian cuisine featuring soy-based versions of classic Mexican meats such as pastor, chicharron, chorizo and carnitas with vegan and gluten-free options

Must try: Nachos with asada with lots of salsa verde and tofu cheese, barbacoa tacos, tamales verdes or oaxacañas, and horchata to drink

 

Ravenswood

Amitabul

What: Vegan Korean food made without added oil or salt

Must try: House-made fermented soy sauce, miso, hot sauce and kimchi

 

Over Easy Café

What: The perfect brunch spot

Must try: Spicy tofu scramble with house-made vegan chorizo

 

Andersonville

 Tweet

What: Situated next to Big Chicks bar, this restaurant is full of neighborhood pride with eclectic art and good vibes. Cash only!

Must try: Breakfast burrito Numero Cinco, “Vegan’s delight”

 

Downtown

Chicago Raw (French Market and River North)

What: Grab and go raw vegan snacks and meals

Must try: Collard greens wrap, turnip ravioli with cashew cheese and the spirulina grapefruit smoothie

 

The Burbs

There are some great gems just outside the city limits that are worth a train ride for the good eats and to get a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

 

Evanston

Blind Faith Café

What: Globally inspired vegetarian food

Must try: Vegan Caesar salad, Macrobiotic plate and Lemon Seitan

 

Buffalo Grove

Melted Co.

What: A totally vegan spot in the burbs

Must try: Impossible Burger

 

Schaumburg

Bisi African Restaurant

What: Nigerian cuisine with lots of vegan options

Must try: Asaro with bell pepper sauce (yam porridge), efo riro soup with fufu, moi moi bean cakes with shitto, jollof rice, and dodo (plantains)

 

noteworthy Fast Casual

You can also find tasty vegan food at several popular fast casual spots in the city. The following gems have several locations in Chicago and around the country so it’s good to have them on your list and keep them in mind when you’re on the road.

 

Veggie Grill

Where: The Loop (with other locations in California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Seattle, and Washington)

What: A newcomer on the fast-casual vegan scene in Chicago

Must try: Buffalo Wing Salad

 

True Food Kitchen

WhereRiver North (with many other locations nationwide including AZ and CA)

What: A fine dining experience with many innovative vegan options

Must try: Grilled Artichoke and Pesto Pizza

 

Native Foods

Where: The Loop, Wicker Park, Hyde Park, Lakeview (with other locations in California, Oregon and Colorado)

What: Delectable all vegan fast-casual cuisine

Must try: Native Foods’ sauerkraut is super yummy! Try it on the Sesame Kale Macro Bowl and the Reuben. Wash it all down with lavender lemonade. And don’t forget the vegan dessert.

 

No Bones Beach Club

Where: Opening soon in Chicago (with other locations in Portland and Seattle)

What: A vegan tiki bar from the west coast that’s opening soon in Chicago

Must try: Jackfruit nachos and buffalo cauliflower

 

Eating out vegan in Chicago is both a fun way to explore the city, and just plain delicious. When visiting a restaurant that’s not completely vegan, be sure to check out how the rice, beans and soups are prepared. It’s always smart to double check you’re getting the vegan versions of the dishes they offer.

 

Now go out and eat!

 
Bridget Henley