Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States, but despite its sprawling size, you’ll find the residents welcoming. Whether you’re a fan of fine art or live music, sandy beaches or quiet museums, you’ll find something to enjoy in Chicago.
The Chicago Diner
In fact, Chicago offers so many attractions that you’ll probably never have time to see them all. Focus on the major sights in the city centre and book a room in a convenient Chicago hotel. The biggest city in the Midwest, Chicago is a food-lover’s paradise; take the time to taste some of its vegan fare at these great restaurants, cafes and diners.
The Chicago Diner has been a Chicago institution for nearly three decades. You’ll find locations on Halsted Street and on Logan Square. Their Radical Reuben sandwich won the Vegetarian Time Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award for best Midwestern sandwich in 2008. If you’re craving vegan-style classic American cuisine, this is the place to find it.
The Loving Hut
The Loving Hut in Edgewater is a family-owned Asian-inspired vegan restaurant chain that can be found in several American cities. Try the vegetable dumplings, spring rolls or Korean barbeque burgers of textured vegetable protein, or indulge in the substantial Love Letter from the Earth salad made with sweet potatoes, apples, walnuts and beets.
MANA Food Bar
Though it does offer some vegetarian fare, the MANA Food Bar also provides plenty of strictly vegan options. Try the raw vegetable maki, the spicy sweet potato burrito or the vegan chilli. Enjoy indoor and outdoor dining or the take-out and delivery options.
Vegan Food Truck
The Vegan Food Truck offers vegan takes on classic American dishes from a food truck that runs Tuesday through Saturday throughout the city. Try tofu tacos, vegan Chicago cheese steak sandwiches, macaroni and cheese or maple-glazed barbeque wings. You can submit orders online or over the phone, or check the food truck’s location throughout the day via Facebook or Twitter.
Amitabul offers tasty Korean-inspired vegan food in a quiet setting for a modest price. Portions are quite large. Popular dishes include zesty noodles with vegetables, Tibetan tempeh curry and sweet curry noodles. The restaurant offers both eat-in and take-out options.
B’Gabs Goodies offers main dishes, meals and snacks at their location inside The Experimental Station. Mains include marinated mushrooms, meatless loaf, vegan burgers and burritos, veggie sandwiches, pad thai and daily pizza options. Sides, salads and snacks include corn salsa, onion bread, kale chips and carrot salad. Desserts include cinnamon buns, apple pie, scones and vegan cheese cake. B’Gabs also sells healthy groceries and lifestyle products at local markets including the 61st Street Farmers Market in Hyde Park.
This Indian food restaurant has served exclusively vegan fare since 2013. Sugar-free desserts and drinks are made with agave syrup, tofu sweeteners and coconut sweetener. Monday nights at Arya Bhavan are raw food nights; buffet dining is available on Friday night and all day throughout the weekend. All dishes are available gluten-free.
Stop in at Delicious Cafe for veggie sandwiches, vegan bagels and pastries, coffee and tea. Try the breakfast vegan English muffin with tempeh bacon and vegan cheese. The cafe offers a range of hot and cold drinks, including smoothes. You can use the free Wi-Fi here to catch up with folks back home.
Kitchen 17 serves an assortment of Mediterranean and American dishes in a deli-style atmosphere. Try the gluten-free loaded nachos, the not-chicken salad, the rosemary veggie burger or the gluten-free spicy black beans. They’re known for their homemade seitan. Take-out, delivery and dine-in options are available, and you can bring your own bottle of wine — there’s no corkage fee.
Raw, in the Chicago French Market at the Ogilvie Train Station and on Huron Street, is take-away or delivery only, but they offer a selection of organic and raw vegan drinks, snacks and meals. Those with nut-allergies will appreciate Raw’s emphasis on nut-free dishes. Try the vegan Caesar dressing, the all-in-one superfood smoothie, pizza, or mousse au chocolat. Fresh items are guaranteed to keep for five days. Raw food prep classes are available for groups of five or more.
Holidaymakers to Chicago will find a range of vegan dining options to complement the city’s many fine attractions. Try these several restaurants to get a real taste of the Midwest.
About the Author: Contributing blogger and lifelong vegan Madhuri Grewal has travelled throughout the United States and Canada.