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12 of our Favorite Vegetarian Restaurants in Chicago

Chicago Diner
Kitchen 17
Kal'ish
Handlebar
ALTHEA
Beatrix
Native Foods Café
Daisies
Paulie Gee's
Rangoli Indian Cuisine
El Faro
River Roast
Chicago Diner
Kitchen 17
Kal'ish
Handlebar
ALTHEA
Beatrix
Native Foods Café
Daisies
Paulie Gee's
Rangoli Indian Cuisine
El Faro
River Roast

Chicago is renowned for its heaping helpings of Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches, but we eat our vegetables, too. Indeed, the healthiest and most indulgent vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Chicago can be found in all sizes and shapes. Some are all-raw and organic, while others feature more indulgent animal-derived dishes.

Ten years ago, a new wave of vegetable-forward restaurants began to provide a new “happy middle ground” for people of all diverse upbringings to enjoy. Whatever kind of vegan or vegetarian meal you’re looking for, there’s a restaurant on this list that will satisfy your needs. Here’s a list of our favorite vegetarian restaurants in Chicago.

Photo Credit: Facebook

1. Chicago Diner

3411 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 935-6696

Chicago Diner, founded in 1983, is vegetarian from the outset. While the restaurant provides several options for its customers, everything on the menu is entirely vegetarian.

Vegetarian choices at this Chicago restaurant are all vegan, or else the menu can easily be modified to suit a vegan guest’s dietary needs. You will hear about how innovative and forward-thinking this place is from their motto, which says, “Meat-free since ’83.”
Guests will enjoy a wide range of vegetable burgers, including sweet potato, tofu, and other mushrooms- and black bean-based burgers. If you ever visit the place, make sure to try one of their delicious vegan milkshakes in multiple flavors, like vanilla chai or carrot cake.

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

2. Kitchen 17

613 W Briar Pl, Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 661-1757

Fancy Plants Cafe was founded by Kevin Schuder, who started as Kitchen 17’s coffee-and-pastry barista. He found Fancy Plants Cafe, which offers coffee, tea, pastries, gluten-free pastries, sauces, greens, and a fancy five-course dinner option on weekends (Saturday and Sunday).

Kitchen 17 is a BYOB eatery where guests can enjoy a vegetarian dessert of Middle Eastern and American dishes. The founder made various delicious food creations, including smoky seitan bacon, pot-baked cauliflower, and a pan-seared polenta cake. Customers have the opportunity to enjoy delicious classic choices like gyros and shawarma prepared from homemade seitan, as well as a delectable vegetable burger made from ground zucchini, onion, carrot, and rosemary.

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

3. Kal’ish

1313 W Wilson Ave. Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 293-7768

Given “a 100% animal-free zone” being listed, Uptown’s Kal’ish (which opened in 2017) is proud to be serving up flavorful and satisfying vegan foods. We make mouthwatering burgers, deli sandwiches, Mexican fare, ice cream, and pastries. Delicacies that you will love.

This beautiful and clean atmosphere offers a pleasant feeling of well-being where you can relax, talk with the warm and welcoming staff, and enjoy delicious food. Every time you have your diner in our restaurant, you will find the food been excellent.

Notably, Kal’ish offers a fully vegan breakfast that might be the best the city provides for Vegetarians and vegans. Kal’ish is an excellent place to visit if you’re in the mood for breakfast all day or want a burger. It’s just a short distance away from Wrigley Field and the bar scene. Therefore, if you’re looking for vegetarian variants of your favorite American classics, this location is fantastic.

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

4. Handlebar

2311 W North Ave, Chicago IL 60647
+1 (773)384-9546

If you’re in the frame of mind for great food, this is the spot for you. Handlebar supports fair trade in its coffee and local farmers for its products and is a place where we can fulfill your comfort food cravings with a vegetarian twist. This team has done an outstanding job of making vegan and vegetarian sweet treats.

Guilt-free dining in a fantastic outdoor area is made possible by the full-service bar and beer garden. The restaurant serves traditional American comfort food, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but its menu is free of gluten. Wicker Park is a perfect place to go if you are in the mood for Chicago-style comfort food.

Most guests go to the house-made ranch-studded fried avocado tacos, but they should not forget other vegetarian fares such as sweet potatoes. The garden receives many people even during the warm months since it is covered under a canopy of verdant trees and umbrellas.

 

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5. ALTHEA

700 N Michigan Ave 7th floor, Chicago, IL 60611
+1 (312) 525-3400

Are you looking for an elevated, plant-forward food experience? Althea gets you covered. Stunning views, ample natural light, and vibrant fresh produce are made possible by the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows. The menu, created by renowned chef Matthew Kenney, utilizes fresh, organic ingredients in carefully considered interpretations of foreign cuisines.

Every vegan dish is an art form at Kimchi Dumplings, Heirloom Tomato + Zucchini “Lasagna,” and Macadamia Nut Ricotta-topped Macaroni and Cheese, to name a few. This is your place if you want a fine dining plant-based experience. Don’t focus on your surroundings; just try to forget you’re sitting next to the men’s clothing section.

 

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6. Beatrix

519 North Clark Street, River North, Chicago, Illinois, 60654, USA
(312) 284-1377

For somebody who does not eat meat, there is always something for you. To serve the main meal of the day, plates of quinoa cakes are set out that are crowned with poached eggs, and you’ll want to snack on burrata cheese that we have prepared with oven-dried tomatoes and an eggplant steak that has been lightly sprinkled with garlic. When you’ve done your business at the meeting, please take a moment to visit the coffee and pastry counter. Here you can find such delights as honey-butter cinnamon rolls, candied orange scones, and butterscotch oatmeal cookies.

Beatrix provides stellar breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner choices, and it is hard to leave this café for the rest of the day. Eat the light and fluffy lemon pancakes or the chia cereal bowl in the morning, as both will help you start your day on the right foot. During dinner, you’ll discover some dishes where vegetables are the main ingredient, such as the farro and pea risotto cooked with asparagus or the eggplant steak that features as one of its components. They have three locales around the area and four market places where you can get your food on the go.

 

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7. Native Foods Café

1518 E Harper Ct. Chicago, IL 60615,
1484 N Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 489-8480

When you think of vegetarian restaurants in Chicago, there is no doubt about where you can go: it’s Native Foods Cafe. Foods offer fast, inexpensive meal options such as Thai chili Brussel sprouts and full entrees such as orange cauliflower with fried brown rice as a nationally popular, fast-casual vegetarian restaurant.
No matter what you eat here, the food still tastes fresh and flavorful. The restaurant has you covered if you want to order nachos or tacos, or if you’d like something easy, like soup or chili. You will enjoy the atmosphere and decor at the completely vegan restaurant chain.
Every location is accessible, safe, and offers unique features. The eatery provides foods such as lentil soup, curry, steak, chili burger, brownie, chocolate chip cookie, and sweet potato fries.

To sum up, vegetarian restaurants Chicago have the most delicious meals that get you covered all the time. Once, it was impossible to be a vegetarian or vegan in Chicago, but it’s no more the case. Not just vegetarians and vegans, but even the most daring omnivores can enjoy Chicago’s diverse vegetarian and vegan establishments designed to fit their style.

Photo Credit: Facebook.com

8. Daisies

2523 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

773-661-1671

Daisies is a vegetable-focused and pasta-driven restaurant that has been dominating the Chicago vegetarian scene since 2017. They utilize seasonal and farm-fresh ingredients all across the board so every bite feels healthy and fulfilling. You can get the beet salad with roasted shallot, blue cheese, and hazelnut butter. Or go more robust and get gnocchi with pickled cherries, burnt cabbage, pistachio, and fontina cheese. 

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9. Paulie Gee’s

2451 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

773-360-1072

Everybody enjoys a slice of pizza. Paulie Gee’s has so many vegetarian options and even a few specialized vegan ones. The Lady Lola Light fuses Asian and Italian cuisine and has Italian tomatoes, vegan kimchi, serrano peppers, green onions, black and white sesame seeds, and soy chili glaze to add an Asian kick. The In Ricotta Da Vegan has Italian tomatoes, house made vegan fennel sausage, post-oven house-made cashew ricotta dollops, baby arugula, and extra-virgin olive oil. If you want something on the lighter side, get The Gates of Eden salad with seasonal greens, gorgonzola cheese, house candied pecans, sliced red onions, dried cranberries, bosc pear, red wine vinaigrette.

Photo Credit: Nice Local

10. Rangoli Indian Cuisine

2421 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

(773) 697-7114

Rangoli brings a modern interpretation to classic Indian dishes thanks to their insistence on only using high quality fresh ingredients. Indian cuisine already has so many vegetarian options, so you have plenty to order. The Gobi Manchurian is a favorite: cauliflower florets golden fried and sauteed with garlic, ginger, and spring onions with a hint of soy sauce. Or you can munch on a classic veggie samosa filled with mashed potatoes and peas. Once you’re ready for your entree, enjoy the Bagara Baingan: hot and spicy eggplant cooked with peanuts, sesame, tempered with curry leaves, mustard seeds and whole red chillies.

Photo Credit: Enjoy Illinois

11. El Faro

3936 W. 31st St Chicago, IL 60623

(773) 277-1155

Mexican food is the ultimate comfort food, so meat eaters and vegetarians alike can find dishes for them at El Faro. You can get staples like veggie tortas and chile relleno (a poblano pepper stuffed with cheese and rice) as well as a veggie burger and their wholesome juices. 

Photo Credit: Facebook.com

12. River Roast

315 N LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60654

(312) 822-0100
River Roast puts a spin on British food with a ton of tasty veggie options. Everything is so fresh and delicious you’re best off going family style so you can split several things. Start with the mushroom toast, topped with roasted Shimeji mushrooms, scallions, and herb aioli. Then get the cheese board overfilled with honey, fruit preserves, nuts, and your choice of either three or five cheeses. After that, check out the Delicata Squash roast, also including roasted seasonal vegetables, wild rice, and pepitas. 

 

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on March 11, 2021 and last updated on December 24, 2021. Please refer to restaurant websites and social media pages for the most up-to-date information.