Top spots in Chicago serving up vegan and vegetarian eats

One of favorite things about living in Chicago is the sheer variety of options a person has when it comes to restaurants. If you’re in the mood for Chinese food, you have way more to choose from than that one neighborhood joint, which is often the case for a lot of other places in America. Here, you can enjoy anything from a fancy, James Beard award-winning “concept” to your favorite mom-and-pop shop and everything in between. Plus, with on-demand delivery services like Door Dash, Grubhub and Caviar, you don’t even have to leave home to order up something delicious that caters to your dietary preferences. Which is great, because sometimes dragging your toddler out to dinner is the last thing you want to do (second to actually having to make dinner).

My husband, son and I are all pescatarians (we eat fish and seafood but not meat) so the restaurants we tend to frequent most are those that offer more than one seafood or vegetarian option on the menu. Luckily, that’s true for way more places than it was 10 years ago, and if you like ethnic food, well then, your options around Chicago just tripled.

Here are some of our favorite places to find vegetarian and vegan food around Chicago:

Handlebar

Wicker Park/Bucktown

2311 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

My husband and I have been going here since 2003. Back in the day, we biked here for beer specials and hangover food. These days, we go there for their outdoor patio seating and everything else. Specializing in vegan and veggie comfort food, this place has become our go-to to order for pick-up when grabbing food for the road on the way to some place with less veggie options.

Our favorites: the Buffalo ‘Chicken’ Wrap with a side of Smoked Gouda Mac or Black Bean Maduro.

Ground Control

Logan Square

3315 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

When this place popped up in Logan Square a few years ago, I could not wait for it to open. Sporting a sidewalk café, this neighborhood restaurant offers brunch, lunch, dinner and drinks with a wide-variety of options for veggie and vegan customers.

Our favorites: the Avocado Pineapple Salad and Jibarito sandwich with seitan.

Victory’s Banner

Roscoe Village

2100 W Roscoe St, Chicago, IL 60618

If you haven’t tried breakfast here yet, put it on your summer to-do list. There’s a kids menu and a ton of breakfast options to choose from. They also have a little sidewalk café in the summertime.

Our favorites: any one of their egg dishes and the “Award-winning” French Toast.

Mana Food Bar

Ukranian Village

1742 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622

This restaurant features an entirely veggie-friendly menu with vegan safe options and a Korean influence. Admittedly, it was more doable to go here when our son was smaller, but it’s still a great spot for date nights. Plus, the sliders are an obsession of mine. There’s a small sidewalk area for seating in the summer months.

Our favorites: you have to try the Brown Rice & Mushroom Sliders.

Heartland Café

Rogers Park

7000 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60626

Part grocery and part restaurant, this place gives off feel good, hippie vibes and has an outdoor patio café area. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with plenty of veggie options, and you can pick up a few groceries on your way out.

Our favorites: the Heartland Burger with house-made seitan or Vegetable Gratin.

Bad Hunter

West Loop

802 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

Definitely a date-night restaurant and plan-in-advance option, but so worth it. This places features a veggie-centric menu with low-alcohol cocktails (they also make a killer mocktail).

Our favorites: The menu changes daily, but you won’t be disappointed in what they come up with.

The Chicago Diner

Logan Square

2333 N Milwaukee Ave.

773-252-3211

Halsted

3411 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657

773-935-6696

This place is the o.g. of veggie/vegan hot spots and the Logan Square location is super kid-friendly. There’s little I can say that hasn’t been said before, but if you need help planning your strategy for a no-fuss family meal, check out these tips from Josannah.

Our favorites: Special Recipe Wings, buffalo or BBQ style and the Radical Reuben. Also, don’t skip the Cookie Dough Peanut Butter Vegan shake.

Native Foods

Wicker Park

1484 North Milwaukee Avenue

Chicago, IL 60622

Hyde Park

1518 East Harper Court

Chicago, IL 60615

Lakeview

1023 West Belmont Avenue

Chicago, IL 60657

The Loop

218 South Clark Street

Chicago, IL 60604

Available at multiple locations with some offering outdoor seating, this place is an easy, no-fuss, kid-friendly way to get your vegan/veggie food fix. I like it so much that I had my husband pick it up for me and bring it to the hospital the day I delivered our baby.

Our favorites: Sesame Kale Macro Bowl and Soul Bowl.

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