Eating a plant-based diet isn’t just healthy — it’s also better for the planet. Whether you’re entirely vegan, have an allergy or simply trying to reduce your meat and dairy intake, these Chicago-area spots serve up grub that will please everyone in the family.
If you’re craving seafood or chicken, but don’t want to stray from being plant-based, Urban Vegan has got your back. Their menu is full of tasty Thai dishes that replicate all of your favorite meaty flavors, from Spicy “Seafood” Soup with soy fish and shrimp to “Chicken” Satay with charbroiled marinated soy chicken. If your kids aren’t fans of international fare, they have Crispy “Chicken” Nuggets and french fries.
1601-1603 Montrose Ave., Chicago
While the menu at Handlebar isn’t entirely vegan, you can find a vegan version of basically every comfort food you’re craving. The restaurant’s popular brunch serves up items like the vegan chimichanga (made with seitan chorizo), and there’s dairy free queso, fried chicken seitan and soy sloppy joes to satisfy your taste buds at lunch or dinner.
2311 W. North Ave., Chicago
Similar to Handlebar, Chicago Diner does offer real cheese and eggs, but their vegan alternatives are just as appetizing. The restaurant’s breakfast options like Potato Tempeh Hash and Scrambled Tofu Deluxe with kale and quinoa will start your day on the right foot, or enjoy dinner fare like the diner’s famous Reuben sandwich, made with corned beef seitan. Their cookie dough peanut butter vegan shake is a must before you head home, too.
Various Chicago locations
Everyone can use a good grab-and-go spot to pop into on their lunch break (bonus points if that place happens to be healthy). Chicago Raw has an assortment of quick meal time goodies, like acai bowls, smoothies, zucchini noodles and vegan sushi. Plus, there’s a variety of yummy teas and lattes to give you a much-needed caffeine boost (Hot Cacao Latte, anyone?).
Various Chicago locations
The menu at True Food is seasonal, so you can be sure you’re getting the freshest, in-season produce available. The selections aren’t completely vegan, but many items are, like the Unbeatable Burger (topped with vegan mayo), Creamy Tomato Soup (made with coconut cream) and Butternut Squash Pizza (includes vegan almond ricotta). The restaurant also has a kids menu that’s allergy-friendly, to the delight of parents everywhere.
1 W. Erie St., Chicago
No Bones originated as a food truck, as evidenced by their casual, but flavorful West Coast-style eats and brightly colored decor. Even hardcore seafood lovers will gladly gobble up No Bones’ Fish n Chips, made from Panko-breaded tofu and Coastal Chowder with potatoes and oyster mushrooms. The restaurant also serves up a tasty brunch menu that features breakfast nachos and Tropical French Toast. Yum!
1943 W. North Ave., Chicago
Yes, vegan pizza is a thing (even in one of the pizza capitals of the world), and it’s totally delicious. Deep dish lovers, you can still get your fix here. The House of ‘Za offers a double decker pie filled with cashew mozzarella and homemade marinara. You can also choose from a full menu of different crusts and ingredients; from the plain “cheese” to Italian sausage seitan. If you’d rather dine on pasta, top your dish with cashew Alfredo sauce or indulge in lasagna, “chicken” tetrazzini or veggie-fied Bolognese.
1939 W. Byron St., Chicago
Tucked inside the Chicago French Market food hall, you’ll find this gem of a soul food restaurant. Not only is the entire menu here vegan, but it’s also free of refined sugars and flours. Popular items include mac and cheese, tofu quiche, jerk “chicken” and buffalo tofu. Regulars highly recommend the baked goods selection — especially the cinnamon rolls.
131 N. Clinton St., Chicago
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