The 13 Best Places to Eat Vegan in Chicago, Illinois
The Windy City is known for many things: World-class museums, all the dive bars, dedicated sports fans, a certain Great Lake, deep-dish pizza, and so much more. Surprisingly, this Midwestern gem also deserves some accolades for its plant-based food scene. Below we've rounded up 13 of our favorite spots that boast the best of the best veggie-forward fare to try out next time you're in Chicago.
Calling all: Asian food enthusiasts, as Sunda provides a unique fusion of dishes from all over the continent. From Japan to Thailand, China to the Philippines, and more, this eatery takes its inspiration from multiple food traditions and brings them into the contemporary dining sphere.
Plant Yourself: Since Sunda is located in the hopping River North enclave, it’s best to make a reservation ahead of time. Simply use the Open Table widget on the restaurant’s website. Groups of four or less just miiiight be able to nab a table, but anything larger than that should be sure to get a reservation.
Don’t Miss: Most of the dishes on the Vegan Menu, which changes seasonally, are knockouts. Most noteworthy, however, are the Dim Sum Shitake Edamame Dumplings full of umami goodness, the Sweet Potato Caterpillar sushi offering featuring funky fermented black garlic, and the ever-satisfying Green Curry Squash.
Order for the Table: The Burmese Tea Salad is a fun way to share an early course with your dining partners. Puffed rice and crispy shallots offer a delightful crunchy texture, and pickled beet strings provide briny goodness, and it’s all tossed in a homemade oolong-Tea dressing.
Leave Room For: The After Dinner Libations, which include a dessert-style wine or a coconut sake offering. Cheers!
Address: 110 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654
2. The Chicago Diner
Calling All: brunch enthusiasts and anyone interested in a non-stuffy, veggie-forward meal. With a tagline of “meat-free since ‘83”, this old-school, approachable haunt is perfect for a multigenerational dining experience or a catch-up meal with old friends.
Plant Yourself: With two convenient locations, Halsted and Logan Square, small groups can generally walk in with a short-ish wait time. (Please note, there’s only street parking at Logan Square but a dedicated lot at Halsted.)
Don’t Miss: You can’t go wrong with two show-stopping sandos, The Radical Reuben and the Spicy Crispy “Chicken” Sandwich. They both offer stick-to-your-ribs comfort food goodness.
Order for the Table: Thai Chili Wings, the king of appetizers at The Chicago Diner, are seitan “wings” with a lime and chili marinade, sesame garnish, and spicy dipping sauce.
Leave Room For: Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake (or the vegan shake of your preference). They. Are. So. Good.
Address: 2333 N Milwaukee Ave and 3411 N Halsted St Chicago, IL 60608
Calling All: Goop-enthusiasts aka Gwyneth Paltrow devotees (she was on a raw diet for years) and anyone looking for a dietary reset or healthy boost. Raw’s premise is that the high-quality ingredients aren’t heated over 118 degrees which helps retain all their nutritional benefits.
Plant Yourself: On a nearby park bench or on a walk with friends, because this establishment uses a grab-and-go model.
Don’t Miss: The Golden Milk Latte is a warm and tasty winner, perfect for battling the cold season in Chicago. Or, when you need a great way to get your greens, get the Grateful Greens juice under the “Juices & Elixirs” menu.
Order for the Table: Their spreads...sprouted hummus, hazelnut pesto, cashew sour cream, oh my!
Leave Room For: Any of the many desserts. It’s not often that a vegan spot can boast over ten dessert options!
Address: 51 W Huron St and 131 N Clinton St, #7 Chicago, IL 60661
4. Urban Vegan
Calling All: Lovers of Thai food, mom and pop ambiance, and discounts when you pay in cash. Urban Vegan is a Ravenswood area eatery that specializes in traditional Thai cuisine, the plant-based way.
Plant Yourself: It’s relatively easy to walk in here, so no need to make a reservation. Expect attentive, friendly service.
Don’t Miss: The Jungle Noodle is a super popular entree, and the Panang Curry is well-reviewed also.
Order for the Table: Veggie Puffs are reminiscent of the classic Indian Samosa and come with a cooling cucumber salad. Yum!
Leave Room For: Mango with Sweet Sticky Rice, a classic Thai dessert, sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Address: 1601-1603 W Montrose Ave Chicago, IL 60613
5. No Bones Beach Club
Calling All: who love a good beach hang, as the name rightfully implies. This tropical bar, a Seattle transplant, boasts a creative all-vegan menu with quirky cocktails. And, you can feel good about supporting this business that regularly donates and volunteers with our fine furry friends at local animal shelters.
Plant Yourself: Walk in for a breezy good time, no reservations needed. Weekends can get crowded, so don’t be surprised if there’s a wait.
Don’t Miss: Menu standouts include the Pineapple Teriyaki Drumsticks Jackfruit Flautas and Buffalo Tofu Salad. Also, a full-on 100 percent vegan brunch menu will not disappoint.
Order for the Table: Dranks is the name of the alcohol menu section. Sample winners like the coconut mojito with friends.
Leave Room For: Who says brunch can’t end with dessert? The Tropical French Toast is a fun way to end a solid brunch, or really any meal.
Address: 1943 W North Ave Chicago, IL 60622
6. Alice & Friend’s Vegan Kitchen
Calling All: Vegans and non-vegans alike. Founded in 2001 by Alice Lee, this all-vegan spot makes it easy to love plant-based living. The restauranteur’s goal was to create a laid back, vegan wonderland, and she certainly delivered.
Plant Yourself: Anywhere in this cozy eatery, no reservation needed. Please note that the small size means there may be a wait for tables.
Don’t Miss: The Walnut “Shrimp” is creamy and inventive, the Golden Breeze is a yummy twist on classic Vietnamese vermicelli, and the Korean-inspired Run Away Potato soup is charmingly served in a hot stone bowl.
Order for the Table: Fried Rice makes for an easy side dish to share with your dining partners and goes well with many of the main entrees.
Leave Room For: Their huge menu of sweets rotates with the seasons, but some excellent dessert choices are the Green Tea Cheesecake, Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Bar, Raw Tiramisu, and Cookie Dough Soy Ice Cream.
Address: 5812 N Broadway Chicago, IL 60660
7. Pick Me Up Cafe
Calling All: who crave vegan comfort food classics. This longtime favorite spot has been serving up veggie-forward food since 1997 and has still got it.
Plant Yourself: Post up anywhere in this bright, funky space, just be aware that they don’t take reservations, so plan on waiting during peak brunch time.
Don’t Miss: For appetizers (called “Munchies” on the menu), Vegan Nachos hit the spot and Fried Pickles are sure to delight. In the entree realm, the Vegan Moo Free Pizza is tasty and also has a cutesy name. For weekend brunchers, the Vegan Benedict is a home run.
Order for the Table: The ooey gooey decadence of the Vegan Mac and Cheeze should be shared with your group.
Leave Room For: The shakes, all of which can be made vegan for a small upcharge. There’s a full coffee bar available too, for those who need a pick me up.
Address: 4882 N Clark St Chicago, IL 60640
8. Bloom Plant-Based Kitchen
Plant Yourself: Bloom Plant-Based Kitchen prepares food that will amaze the customers. This Chicago eatery wants its customers to leave with a better understanding of how delicious foods can be good for the environment and for your health. The restaurant – claiming to know it's up against the stiff competition – specializes in creating plant-based meals that will entice anybody.
Order for the Table: From Poutine with mushroom ragu and dairy-free pimento cheese to Saffron Risotto tossed with cashew pecorinos, Bloom’s menu is a prime example of vegan expertise.
Don’t Miss: While the dinner menu receives most of the acclaim, make sure to visit Bloom for Sunday Brunch. The plant-based menu offers everything that people need from an indulgent hangover meal without ant animal products.
Be Sure to Try: The Patty Melt is made with a housemade almond-quinoa-mushroom burger patty topped with aji Amarillo cheese, pickles, lettuce, and tomato. Most notably, the Shrooms & Waffles is Bloom’s experimental take on a classic chicken and waffles dish. Topped with spicy maple syrup, there isn’t a breakfast anywhere else in Chicago this unique.
Address: 1559 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
9. Majani Soulful
Take Note: Located in South Chicago, this low-key vegan hotspot is the perfect lunch restaurant. Founded by husband and wife team Tsadakeeyah Ben Emmanuel and Nasya Emmanuel, Majani Soulful is a fast-casual vegan eatery dedicated to blending soul food and African traditions. The owners opened the plant-based restaurant to provide nutritious, vegan food to a typically underserved community in Chicago. This vegan restaurant provides an extensive menu that will entice any customer, featuring Chick’n Sandwiches made from a spicy plant-based protein and Jerk Tofu that packs a flavorful punch.
Plant Yourself: Majani Soulful is a restaurant that requires revisiting. The menu is appetite-inducing from the beginning to the end. From the Soul Tacos to the Soup Bowls, the husband-and-wife team has created a mouthwatering menu that gives customers a healthy mixture of familiarity and plant-based experimentation. For the first visit, try the Vegetable Gumbo and Yellow Rice for a big bowl of comfort food. But on the second visit, make sure to check out some of the Burgers and Wraps, especially the Jerk Tofu Sandwich with a side of vegan mac and cheese.
Address: 7167 S Exchange Ave, Chicago, IL 60649
Plant Yourself: Despite serving meat and dairy options, Demera ranks as one of the top vegan and plant-based spots in Chicago. The Ethiopian restaurant located in the heart of Uptown Chicago earns its place on the list because of its expansive vegan menu. The vegan menu will make customers feel like they’ve walked into an exclusively plant-based restaurant with 10 specialized Ethiopian dishes to choose from. The casual Ethiopian eatery is the perfect spot for a quick lunch or a dinner party, providing options for any dietary preference. Make sure to order a cup of house-roasted coffee after your meal or visit for some traditional music on the weekends.
Order for a Crowd: When visiting Demera, make sure to bring a sizeable party, because every single one of the ten vegan dishes is delicious. The Demera menu is built to share. Try the Misir Wot (Split Red Lentils in Rich Berbere Sauce) and the Dinich Wot (Chopped Potatoes Stewed in Rich Berbere Sauce). If you want something a little less spicy, check out Gomen (Collard Greens). You can also order the Bayaynetu for 1 with a sampling of every vegan option. All the meals come with house-made injera – the signature Ethiopian fermented flatbread.
Address: 4801 N Broadway Chicago, IL 60640
Plant Yourself: Wherever you can find Matthew Kenney’s name, it is guaranteed that you will enjoy your plant-based experience. Kenney’s experimental vegan cuisine is exactly that: an experience. Between taste and presentation, Althea is a culinary experiment located in the middle of the Magnificent Mile, featuring a stylish interior and panoramic views. Althea is definitely pricey, but this upscale dining experience is worth the high price point.
Take Note: Althea’s menu features many of Kenney’s signature dishes alongside a healthy amount of fresh interpretations of traditional dishes. The plant-based menu emphasizes that its ingredient lists come from thoroughly sourced distributors, ensuring that the food is nutritionally and sustainably motivated. For dinner, make sure to check out the Kelp Noodle Cacio E Peppe, organized with a cashew black pepper cream tossed with sugar snap peas, olives, and pea sprouts.
Don’t Miss: From Kimchi Dumplings to Almond Udon, Althea’s dinner menu is difficult to beat, but Kenney’s Brunch and Lunch options are designed to impress. Try the Fried Yuba Sandwich made from Phoenix Bean Yuba and topped with avocado, Gotham Greens Butter, lettuce, tomato, and spicy aioli. And if you haven’t had enough by the end of your meal, check the dessert menu for a slice of Chocolate Truffle Cake or a Casse-Cou Bon Bon.
Address: 700 N Michigan Ave. 7th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611
12. Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat
Don’t Miss: Laricia Chandler Baker (better known as Chef Fab) opened Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat in 2019 with flexitarians on the mind. The plant-based menu features an extensive list of familiar comfort food classics including burgers, hot dogs, and even pizzas with a plant-based twist. Chef Fab used her food knowledge to provide affordable and mouthwatering vegan and vegetarian options to encourage people to reduce their own meat consumption.
Plant Yourself: Whether grabbing take out from the Hyde Park location or sitting down for lunch in Old Town, Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat caters to every customer. The plant-forward eatery provides plant-based variations of fast-food classics including the Big Mik – a plant-based variation of McDonald’s Big Mac complete with the option for vegan cheese.
Order for a Crowd: Chef Fab’s delectable menu is probably most known for the burgers, vegan chicken sandwiches, and plant-based Bratwurst, but there is plenty to share on the menu as well. Order the Bang’n Buffalo Chick’n Pizza or London Supreme Pizza for fully plant-based pies that are difficult to find across Chicago. Topped with vegan cheese and housemade vegan meats, everyone can enjoy. Also, make sure to try an order or the Bang’n Buffalo Shrimp, World Famous Chik’In Nuggets, or Loaded Fries to share.
Address: 1368 E 53rd St. Chicago, IL 60615 and 1143 N Wells St. Chicago, IL 60616
Don’t Miss: Amitabul is located on the Northwest fringes of Chicago, but this modest Korean restaurant is a must-visit. Meaning “awakening.” Amitabul has been serving plant-based cuisine since 1995, recreating Korean classics with a healthful twist. Chef Bill Choi and his brother, Dave, have incorporated the techniques and teaching from their mother and their grandmother into their plant-based restaurants. Choi uses these techniques to ferment the miso, Kimchi, hot sauce, and even soy sauce in-house.
Plant Yourself: There’s an abundance of impressive vegan dishes on Amitabul’s menu. Chef Bill promises that every menu item is made with love and care, and he means it. The menu features several Korean sushi rolls including the Spicy Kimchi Maki and the Jade Maki Sushi filled with various vegetables such as cucumber, avocado, and spinach. Make sure to check out the specials for the Buddha Bop served with herbs, roots, veggies, and a signature sauce.
Take Note: Chef Bill’s plant-based menu is constantly evolving. While the notable chef maintains some classic dishes including Bi Bim Bop, his dishes keep customers excited with every visit. His restaurant specializes in introducing people to a blend of Korean and Western cooking through plant-based eyes. The resulting menu is a stunning product of Chef Bill’s dedication to plant-based foods.
Address: 6207 N Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60646