Best Vegan Restaurants In Chicago, Illinois

Best Vegan Restaurants In Chicago, Illinois

Best Vegan Restaurants In Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, the bustling metropolis known for its iconic architecture, vibrant arts scene, and deep-dish pizza, has become a haven for food lovers of all dietary preferences.

In recent years, Windy City has witnessed a remarkable surge in the popularity of veganism, with a growing number of individuals embracing a plant-based lifestyle.

As a result, Chicago has responded with open arms, offering a plethora of exceptional vegan restaurants that cater to a diverse range of tastes and preferences.

In this article, we will embark on a culinary journey through Chicago's vegan landscape, discovering the city's top-notch restaurants that have embraced the art of plant-based gastronomy.

Join us as we explore the unique flavours, delightful ambiance, and passionate chefs behind these establishments, all of which contribute to making Chicago a thriving hub for vegan dining.

Let's dive into the world of vegan dining in Chicago and discover the incredible culinary experiences that await.

Exploring Vegan Practices And The Rise Of Veganism In Chicago

Exploring Vegan Practices And The Rise Of Veganism In Chicago

Veganism has recently gained significant traction in Chicago as a dietary and ethical choice. The city has witnessed a surge in individuals embracing plant-based lifestyles, leading to an increased demand for vegan options in restaurants, cafes, and grocery stores.

Chicago's vibrant vegan community and the city's dedication to sustainability have paved the way for the growth and popularity of vegan practices.

One of the driving forces behind the rise of veganism in Chicago is understanding animal agriculture's environmental impact.

Many residents are increasingly aware of animal agriculture's role in climate change, deforestation, and water pollution. As a result, they are actively seeking ways to reduce their ecological footprint by adopting plant-based diets.

The demand for vegan options has encouraged numerous restaurants in Chicago to incorporate plant-based dishes into their menus.

While several dedicated vegan establishments exist, even non-vegan restaurants have responded to the growing trend by offering vegan-friendly alternatives and labelling vegan options.

This inclusivity has made it easier for vegans and those interested in plant-based diets to find delicious and satisfying meals throughout the city.

Chicago is also home to various events and festivals centred around veganism. For example, the Chicago Vegan Food and Drink Festival showcases different plant-based vendors, allowing attendees to discover new products, taste innovative dishes, and connect with like-minded individuals.

Vegan Chicago and Chicago Vegans also provide resources, support, and information for veganism, including tips on transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle and recommendations for vegan-friendly establishments.

Furthermore, the city's commitment to sustainability has resulted in the growth of farmers' markets and community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, which provide access to fresh, locally sourced produce.

These initiatives support small-scale farmers and offer various plant-based ingredients for individuals looking to create their vegan meals at home.

In conclusion, Chicago has become a thriving hub for vegan practices and veganism.

The city's residents, restaurants, and organizations have embraced the concept of plant-based living, promoting sustainability and providing a welcoming environment for vegans and those interested in exploring plant-based options.

Whether dining out or cooking at home, Chicago offers many choices that cater to the growing demand for delicious, cruelty-free, and environmentally friendly food.

Best Vegan Restaurants In Chicago

Chicago, the vibrant city known for its rich culinary scene, has embraced the rising popularity of veganism with open arms.

With a growing number of individuals adopting plant-based diets, the demand for vegan options has led to the flourishing of numerous vegan restaurants throughout the city.

From cozy cafes to innovative dining establishments, Chicago offers vegan eateries catering to different tastes and preferences. Here are some details about vegan restaurants in Chicago:

The Chicago Diner

1. The Chicago Diner

The Chicago Diner is a renowned vegan and vegetarian restaurant that has been delighting diners with its plant-based comfort food for several decades. Here are some details about The Chicago Diner's menu, along with a selection of items they offer:

  1. Burgers
    • Radical Reuben Burger: A vegan take on the classic Reuben sandwich featuring a grilled seitan patty, sauerkraut, vegan cheese, and Thousand Island dressing on a pretzel bun.
    • Buddha's Karma Burger: A hearty black bean and sweet potato patty topped with grilled onions, avocado, tomato, sprouts, and chipotle mayo on a whole wheat bun.
  2. Sandwiches
    • Country Fried Steak Sandwich: A breaded seitan steak topped with country gravy, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on a toasted ciabatta roll.
    • BBQ Bacon Ranch Chicken Sandwich: Grilled vegan chicken smothered in BBQ sauce, topped with vegan bacon, ranch dressing, lettuce, and tomato on a sesame bun.
  3. Salads
    • Asian Chop Salad: A refreshing salad with mixed greens, Napa cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, edamame, crispy wonton strips, and sesame-ginger dressing.
    • Buffalo Caesar Salad: Crispy romaine lettuce tossed in buffalo sauce, topped with vegan chicken, vegan Caesar dressing, and vegan Parmesan.
  4. Milkshakes
    • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Shake: A creamy blend of vanilla ice cream, chocolate chip cookie dough pieces, and almond milk, topped with whipped cream and a cherry.
    • Salted Caramel Pretzel Shake: A sweet and salty treat made with caramel ice cream, pretzels, caramel sauce, and almond milk, finished with whipped cream and a pretzel garnish.
  5. Desserts
    • Vegan Cheesecake: A rich, creamy, dairy-free cheesecake in various flavours like classic, raspberry, or chocolate.
    • Chocolate Peanut Butter Bomb Cake: Decadent chocolate cake layered with peanut butter mousse and topped with chocolate ganache.

Upton's Breakroom

2. Upton's Breakroom

Upton's Breakroom is a vegan eatery within Upton's Naturals, a well-known vegan food company. They offer a delightful selection of plant-based sandwiches, salads, and snacks. Their menu showcases innovative dishes made with Upton's seitan-based products. Here are some notable items you can find on their menu:

  1. Sandwiches
    • BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich: Tender jackfruit marinated in smoky barbecue sauce, served on a bun with pickles, slaw, and vegan mayo.
    • Italian Seitan Sandwich: Sliced seitan, sautéed onions and peppers, marinara sauce, and vegan mozzarella, served on a toasted baguette.
    • Chicago-Style Gyro: Seasoned seitan, tomatoes, onions, and vegan tzatziki sauce, served on pita bread.
  2. Salads
    • Caesar Salad: Fresh romaine lettuce, garlic croutons, vegan Parmesan cheese, and creamy Caesar dressing.
    • Thai Peanut Noodle Salad: Noodles tossed in a tangy peanut sauce, mixed with vegetables and herbs, topped with crispy seitan.
  3. Snacks
    • Chili Cheese Fries: Crispy fries topped with Upton's chilli, vegan cheese sauce, and scallions.
    • Buffalo Seitan Wings: Breaded and crispy seitan wings tossed in buffalo sauce, served with vegan ranch dressing.
  4. Sides
    • Loaded Nachos: Tortilla chips topped with Upton's chilli, vegan cheese sauce, guacamole, salsa, and jalapeños.
    • Kimchi Fries: Crispy fries topped with Upton's kimchi, vegan mayo, and scallions.
  5. Desserts
    • Soft-Serve Ice Cream: Creamy and delicious vegan soft-serve ice cream is available in various flavours.
    • Brownie Sundae: A warm brownie topped with a scoop of vegan ice cream, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream.

The Handlebar

3. The Handlebar

The Handlebar is a popular vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurant in the Wicker Park neighbourhood of Chicago. It offers a diverse menu with various delectable breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Here are some details about their menu:

  1. Breakfast
    • Vegan Breakfast Burrito: A hearty burrito filled with tofu scramble, black beans, potatoes, vegan cheese, salsa, and avocado. It is served with a side of vegan sour cream.
    • Tofu Scramble: A classic tofu scramble dish seasoned with herbs and spices, served with toast and your choice of side, such as vegan sausage or hash browns.
  2. Lunch And Dinner
    • BBQ Tempeh Sandwich: A mouthwatering sandwich featuring marinated and grilled tempeh smothered in tangy BBQ sauce. It is served on a bun with coleslaw and a side of fries or salad.
    • Lentil Burger: A flavorful lentil-based patty served on a bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and vegan mayo. A choice of fries or salad accompanies it.
    • Vegan Reuben: A vegan twist on the classic Reuben sandwich, made with marinated seitan, sauerkraut, vegan Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing, served on rye bread.
  3. Desserts
    • Vegan Brownie Sundae: A decadent dessert with a warm vegan brownie topped with dairy-free ice cream, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream.
    • Vegan Cheesecake: A creamy and delicious vegan cheesecake in various flavours like classic, chocolate, or seasonal fruit.

In addition to these menu items, The Handlebar also offers a variety of salads, small plates, and daily specials that showcase their commitment to fresh and flavorful vegetarian and vegan cuisine.

With its cozy atmosphere and diverse menu options, The Handlebar is a go-to spot for those seeking delicious and satisfying plant-based meals in Chicago.

Ground Control

4. Ground Control

Ground Control is a popular vegan gastropub in Chicago's Logan Square neighbourhood. Its creative menu and wide selection of craft beers have become a go-to spot for vegan dining and craft beer enthusiasts. Here are some details about their menu:

  1. Small Plates And Starters
    • Buffalo Cauliflower: Crispy cauliflower florets tossed in a tangy buffalo sauce, served with vegan ranch dressing for dipping.
    • Loaded Nachos: A delicious plate of tortilla chips topped with vegan cheese, black beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, jalapeños, and vegan sour cream.
    • Spinach Artichoke Dip: A creamy and flavorful vegan dip made with spinach, artichoke hearts, and vegan cheese, served with toasted bread or tortilla chips.
  2. Tacos And Sandwiches
    • Jackfruit Tacos: Soft tortillas filled with seasoned jackfruit, avocado crema, pickled onions, and fresh cilantro. Served with a side of tortilla chips and salsa.
    • BBQ Seitan Sandwich: A hearty sandwich featuring BBQ-glazed seitan, tangy coleslaw, and pickles, served on a bun with a side of fries or salad.
    • Impossible Burger: A vegan twist on the classic burger, made with an Impossible Burger patty, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and vegan mayo. Served with a choice of fries or salad.
  3. Mains
    • Eggplant Parmesan: Breaded and fried eggplant slices topped with marinara sauce, vegan mozzarella, and fresh basil. Served with a side of spaghetti or garlic bread.
    • Vegan Mac and Cheese: Creamy and cheesy vegan mac and cheese made with plant-based ingredients and topped with breadcrumbs.
  4. Craft Beers
    • Ground Control offers an extensive selection of craft beers, including a rotating tap list featuring local and regional breweries. They curate a diverse range of beer styles, from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, providing options that pair well with their flavorful vegan dishes.

With its enticing menu of jackfruit tacos, buffalo cauliflower, and more, along with a wide selection of craft beers, Ground Control provides a unique and enjoyable dining experience for vegans and beer enthusiasts in the vibrant Logan Square neighbourhood of Chicago.

Majani Soulful Vegan Cuisine

5. Majani Soulful Vegan Cuisine

Majani Soulful Vegan Cuisine is a family-owned vegan restaurant in the South Shore neighbourhood of Chicago. With its focus on Southern and Caribbean-inspired dishes, Majani offers a unique culinary experience that highlights the flavours and traditions of soul food. Here are some details about their menu:

  1. Main Dishes
    • Jerk Tofu: Marinated tofu grilled perfectly with a flavorful blend of Caribbean spices, served with rice, beans, and plantains.
    • BBQ Cauliflower: Tender cauliflower florets are roasted and glazed with tangy BBQ sauce, served with collard greens and cornbread.
    • Soul Food Platter: A generous platter featuring a variety of plant-based soul food favourites, such as fried “chicken” (made from seitan or tofu), mac and cheese, candied yams, and cornbread.
  2. Sides And Accompaniments
    • Collard Greens: Slow-cooked collard greens seasoned with herbs and spices for a rich and comforting flavour.
    • Sweet Potato Fries: Crispy sweet potato fries seasoned with a blend of spices, perfect for snacking or as a side dish.
    • Fried Okra: Breaded and fried okra pods offer a crispy and flavorful addition to your meal.
  3. Desserts
    • Sweet Potato Pie: A classic Southern dessert made with a flaky crust and a creamy, spiced sweet potato filling.
    • Vegan Cheesecake: A luscious and creamy cheesecake in various flavours, such as classic, strawberry, or chocolate.
  4. Beverages
    • Majani offers a selection of refreshing beverages, including freshly squeezed juices, iced teas, and specialty lemonades.

Majani Soulful Vegan Cuisine prides itself on serving delicious plant-based versions of Southern and Caribbean dishes, showcasing the richness and diversity of soul food flavours.

With dishes like jerk tofu, collard greens, and plant-based soul food platters, Majani offers a taste of comfort and tradition in a vegan format, catering to both vegans and those looking to explore the flavours of Southern and Caribbean cuisine.

Native Foods Café

6. Native Foods Café

Native Foods Café is a popular chain of vegan restaurants with locations in Chicago, offering a diverse menu of plant-based comfort food. Here are some details about their menu:

  1. Burgers And Sandwiches
    • Native Burger: A classic vegan burger made with a house-made Native Patty, topped with caramelized onions, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Served with a choice of side, such as fries or sweet potato fries.
    • BBQ Brisket Sandwich: A hearty sandwich featuring house-made seitan brisket slathered in BBQ sauce, topped with pickles, caramelized onions, and mayo. Served with coleslaw and a choice of side.
    • Bistro Steak Sandwich: A satisfying sandwich made with marinated seitan steak, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, arugula, and horseradish cream on a baguette. Served with a choice of side.
  2. Bowls And Salads
    • Buddha Bowl: A nourishing bowl filled with quinoa, kale, seasoned tofu, roasted veggies, avocado, and a creamy tahini dressing.
    • Greek Salad: A refreshing salad with mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onions, and vegan feta cheese tossed in a tangy Greek.
    • Soul Bowl: A comforting bowl featuring seasoned Native Seitan, black beans, brown rice, steamed veggies, corn, and avocado crema.
  3. Desserts
    • Oatmeal Crème Pie: A nostalgic treat with two soft oatmeal cookies sandwiching a creamy filling.
    • Peanut Butter Parfait: Layers of creamy peanut butter mousse, chocolate ganache, and crushed peanuts, creating a decadent dessert.
  4. Beverages
    • Native Foods Café offers a variety of beverages, including fresh juices, organic lemonades, iced teas, and vegan milkshakes.

With its extensive menu of vegan burgers, sandwiches, bowls, salads, and indulgent desserts, Native Foods Café provides a wide range of options for plant-based comfort food lovers.

Their convenient locations in Chicago make it easy to enjoy their delicious and satisfying offerings in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

Veggie Grill

7. Veggie Grill

Veggie Grill is a well-known chain of vegan restaurants with a location in Chicago. Their menu features a variety of delicious plant-based options, including burgers, sandwiches, salads, sides, and desserts. Here are some details about their menu:

  1. Burgers And Sandwiches
    • Beyond Burger: A juicy plant-based patty from Beyond Meat, topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and Veggie Grill's signature sauce. Served on a bun with a choice of side.
    • Santa Fe Crispy Chickin' Sandwich: A crispy breaded plant-based chicken patty topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado, and spicy mayo. Served on a bun with a choice of side.
    • Rustic Farm Bowl: A hearty bowl featuring grilled plant-based chicken, roasted seasonal vegetables, super grains, and a creamy herb sauce.
  2. Salads
    • All Hail Kale Salad: A refreshing salad with kale, red cabbage, corn salsa, agave-roasted walnuts, and a tangy lime-cilantro dressing.
    • Quinoa Power Salad: A protein-packed salad with quinoa, kale, red cabbage, roasted beets, sprouted almond mix, and a creamy avocado dressing.
  3. Sides
    • Sweetheart Fries: Crispy sweet potato fries sprinkled with sea salt.
    • Cauli-Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes made with cauliflower for a healthier twist.
  4. Desserts
    • Chocolate Chip Cookie: A classic chocolate chip cookie made with plant-based ingredients, providing a sweet treat to end your meal.
    • Carrot Cake: A moist and flavorful carrot cake topped with creamy vegan frosting.
  5. Beverages
    • Veggie Grill offers a range of beverages, including fresh fruit juices, organic lemonades, iced teas, and sparkling water.

With its diverse menu of vegan burgers, sandwiches, salads, sides, and delectable desserts, Veggie Grill provides a satisfying and convenient dining option for plant-based food lovers.

Whether you're craving a juicy Beyond Burger or a refreshing kale salad, Veggie Grill offers a variety of flavorful choices to satisfy your cravings in a welcoming and casual setting.

Conclusion To The Best Vegan Restaurants In Chicago


Chicago is a vibrant city with a thriving vegan dining scene. With an increasing number of people embracing veganism and a growing demand for plant-based options, the city has seen the rise of numerous vegan restaurants catering to different tastes and preferences.

These vegan establishments focus on providing delicious and flavorful plant-based dishes and prioritize using high-quality, sustainable, and locally sourced ingredients.

Many offer creative and innovative takes on traditional dishes, showcasing vegan cuisine's versatility and culinary possibilities.

Moreover, the vegan restaurants in Chicago often have a warm and welcoming atmosphere, making dining experiences enjoyable for vegans and non-vegans alike.

They provide a space where people can come together to enjoy delicious food that is good for their health, the environment, and animal welfare.

I trust you enjoyed reading the Best Vegan Restaurants In Chicago article. Please stay tuned. There are more blog posts to come very shortly.




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