Sunday, July 31, 2011

city review: chicago

the left and right coasts get all the media love regarding vegetarian cuisine, but chicago can hang with the best of veg-friendly cities. combine great food with less pretense and you've got a recipe for a truly exceptional city. in short: we frickin love chicago!

this place is legendary. the one absolute "must" vegetarian restaurant to visit in chicago. eat the veggie reuben. you won't find a better one anywhere.

Chicago Diner on Urbanspoon

native foods:
one of our top-five places in the country. we could eat here every day for a month and never get the same thing. and it would be delicious every time. completely vegan, completely divine. and don't forget to order the lavender lemonade!

Native Foods Cafe on Urbanspoon

karyn was recently featured in vegnews, so you know this restaurateur is legit.  if you can't find something you like at one of these karyn's locations, you probably need to see a doctor.  if forced to choose, we'd probably opt for karyn's cooked simply because of price point, but we've been awfully impressed with everything we've tried at all locations.  we're particularly fond of the lightly dusted and fried veggie baskets.

Karyn's Cooked on Urbanspoon

yeah, this place is a far cry from chicago diner in terms of aesthetics, but their commitment to local, seasonal veg food will make you comfortable enough to look past the pretense.  and, anyway, dealing with pretense is hardly an annoyance when you get to sample ingredients as unique as those found at green zebra.  this is truly elevated vegetarian cuisine, and you're always going to find something surprising.

Green Zebra on Urbanspoon

yes, we know this is an institution of meatiness, but trotter's flagship is one of the best restaurants in the world, and his kitchen takes pride in using the finest local produce available.  they offer a vegetarian tasting menu for about 150 bucks a person, but it's sure to be the singular dining experience of your life.  or at least it better be.

coming soon: native foods
chicagoans are in for a real treat when california's best vegan chain comes to town this year.  native foods serves up incredible food, huge portions, and the freshest ingredients, and everything is priced reasonably.  we can't wait to see what they serve up in chicago!


  1. As as a vegan and former Chicago resident, I have to put Karyn's Cooked and Green as the go-to spots over Chicago Diner. Had too many "eh" meals at the latter, though when they are good they are very good. But Karyn's has always delivered and the raw desserts are killer.

  2. Is there a good raw restaurant in Chicago you would recommend?

  3. absolutely! check out "karyn's raw cafe":