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12 Best Vegan Restaurants in Chicago

vegan dish at chicago illinois vegan restaurant

Delve into the plant-powered culinary scene of Chicago as we unveil the city’s premier vegan restaurants, where innovation and diverse flavors redefine the vegan dining experience. From cozy cafes crafting delightful vegan comfort food to upscale eateries pushing the boundaries of plant-based cuisine, Chicago’s vegan offerings are as diverse as its neighborhoods. Each restaurant on our curated list is a celebration of cruelty-free gastronomy, promising a delightful fusion of creativity and health-conscious indulgence. Whether you’re a committed vegan or a curious diner ready to explore, join us in savoring the top vegan destinations that elevate plant-based dining in the Windy City. Get ready to indulge in mouthwatering bites that showcase the culinary artistry and ethical choices defining Chicago’s vibrant vegan culinary landscape.


The Chicago Diner

Multiple locations
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The Chicago Diner Chicago
Source: Instagram

The Chicago Diner is a must-visit for vegans. It’s a small business that has been going strong since 1983. The diner is located near the Ida B. Wells-Barnett house. The Chicago Diner is known for its vegan comfort food. Their motto is offering great comfort food without the meat. They have plenty of items on the menu that will keep you coming back for more. One of my favorites is the taco salad that comes with a Southwest-dressed salad mix, tomato, onion, corn, black beans, and chorizo-style seitan. I topped it off with their chocolate chip cookie dough shake. This place is sure to please even the pickiest eaters with all the go-to comfort foods listed on their menu.


Handlebar

2311 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
773-384-9546
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Handlebar Chicago
Source: Instagram

The Handlebar is a vegan restaurant that serves locally sourced food items. They are located near the Logan Square neighborhood which has an eclectic array of shops and restaurants. The restaurant is bike-themed with decor that looks like a garage/mechanic shop. The restaurant menu features vegan comfort food, but not just for vegans. They want to appeal to a broad audience. The Handlebar has been known for handcrafted cocktails and vegan food menu items that aren’t just good but great! The handle-smash burger and fries are some of my favorites. It’s made with their house-made black bean patties with Chao cheese, caramelized onion, lettuce, and pickles served on a brioche bun.


Urban Vegan Thai Cuisine

1601-1603 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60613
773-404-1109
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Urban Vegan Thai Cuisine Chicago
Source: Instagram

The Urban Vegan Thai Cuisine is a vegan Thai and Asian restaurant located in the Lincoln Square area. The food served here is a treat for vegans who crave outstanding Thai cuisine or just love a great meal. The decor is exquisite, with a full bar and a lovely outdoor patio with plenty of tables to enjoy alfresco dining on a sunny day. I enjoyed their Wonton Noodle Soup, which included flat noodles, bean sprouts, broccoli, and dumplings served in a warm tasty vegetable broth. I also loved the Green Curry. It was filled with coconut milk, green beans, Asian eggplant, fresh basil leaves, zucchini, red bell pepper, and Thai chili which were all mixed into the curry sauce. The curry has a lot of great flavors that enhance your taste buds.


Kitchen 17

2554 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
312-391-8654
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Kitchen 17 Chicago
Source: Instagram

Kitchen 17 is a vegan restaurant that serves food that’s not just meant to be eaten but enjoyed. It’s located near the Chicago and Northwestern Powerhouse. The modern industrial decor of this place was very inviting. I felt comfortable right away. They have a full bar with tasty drinks to choose from. The menu has many dishes ranging from salads to sandwiches and pizza. When I went there, I was craving a salad. I ordered their buffalo chicken salad with spinach and breaded and fried chicken seitan. I ordered that with a side of cauliflower wings. Both dishes were delicious. The next time I visit, I want to try their mac and cheese.


Sunda Chicago

110 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654
312-644-0500
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Sunda Chicago Chicago
Source: Instagram

Sunda Chicago is a vegan restaurant that serves Asian fusion cuisine. It’s located near the Douglas Tomb State Historic Site. The decor is very modern and elegant, with a mix of dark wood, glass partitions, and a beautiful view of the Chicago skyline from their outdoor patio. It has several great menu items, even for those who are not vegan or vegetarian. They have an array of sushi rolls available and other Asian fusion dishes inspired by Indian, Korean, Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese flavors. My favorite dish was the panda signature sushi roll. It came with shrimp tempura, tobiko, scallions, sriracha, cream cheese, tempura crisp, and unagi and wasabi sauce.


Alice & Friends’ Vegan Kitchen

5812 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60660
773-275-8797
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Alice & Friends’ Vegan Kitchen Chicago
Source: Instagram

Alice & Friends Vegan Kitchen is a vegan restaurant that serves gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, egg-free, and soy-free dishes. It’s located near the Sheffield Neighbors Association in the Edgewater area. The atmosphere is casual with an open layout where you can see what’s being made behind the counter. Even though it’s a casual place, the staff and atmosphere make you feel like you’re eating at a fine-dining restaurant. My favorite dish from there was the mushrooms wonderland. It was topped with portobello, shiitake, oyster, and king trumpet mushrooms in a delightfully creamy sauce. I want to try their raw tacos filled with zucchini noodles and walnut taco meat the next time I visit.

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Upton’s Breakroom

2054 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60612
312-872-7838
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Upton’s Breakroom Chicago
Source: Instagram

Upton’s Breakroom is a vegan restaurant that serves American cuisine. It’s located near the Goose Island Brewery in the West Town area. The menu shows great creativity with unique dishes like Italian wedding soup and ch’eesy bacon mac. I enjoyed their bacon ch’eesy mac made with penne pasta, cashew cheese, smoked tofu bacon, and green onion in a creamy sauce. It has a cheesy homemade flavor to it that was satisfying. The next time I visit, I want to try their chick tortilla soup. I saw another customer order it, and it looked and smelled like heaven.


Majani Soulful Vegan Cuisine

7167 S Exchange Ave, Chicago, IL 60649
773-359-4019
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Majani Soulful Vegan Cuisine Chicago
Source: Instagram

Majani Soulful Vegan Cuisine is a vegan Ethiopian restaurant that specializes in traditional dishes. It’s located near the Oak Lawn area near Chicago Midway Airport. The atmosphere is inviting with artwork on the walls, dim lighting, and an indoor-outdoor flow. Even though it was raining outside, I still felt comfortable sitting inside because of how cozy it felt. My favorite dish there was the oyster mushroom soul tacos. They were served with crispy oyster mushrooms topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and fresh guacamole. I also ordered sweet potato cookies that were a great dessert addition to the tacos. The tacos were so good that I’m ordering them again on my next visit to Chicago.


Beatrix

Multiple locations
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Beatrix Chicago
Source: Instagram

Beatrix is a vegan restaurant that specializes in farm-to-table dishes. It’s located near the Bucktown area near Wicker Park. They have a wide array of dishes on their menu, including sandwiches, salads, and smoothies. We visited Beatrix for breakfast. I started with a power green fresh-squeezed juice with kales, romaine lettuce, celery, pineapple, and mint. I ordered the ten grain oatmeal with dark cherries. It was cooked to perfection and had a variety of flavors that all blended well together. It was topped with dark brown sugar and toasted almonds. It felt like comfort food even though it was very clean.


Healthy Substance Vegan Restaurant

6852 W Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60638
773-306-2808
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Healthy Substance Vegan Restaurant Chicago
Source: Instagram

Healthy Substance Vegan Restaurant specializes in American cuisine. It’s located near the Garfield Ridge area in Chicago Heights. The atmosphere is casual, with an order-at-the-counter setup and booths to enjoy. I ordered a Caprese sandwich. It contained grilled zucchini, sauteed spinach, roasted red pepper, tomato, mozzarella pesto spread, and toast seasoned with garlic butter. I also ordered a side of rice pudding that reminded me of how the house would smell when I got home from school when my mother made it. It was creamy and full of flavor.

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True Food Kitchen

1 W Erie St, Chicago, IL 60654
312-204-6981
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True Food Kitchen Chicago
Source: Instagram

True Food Kitchen is a vegan restaurant that specializes in various dishes, including Mexican and Italian. It’s located near the River North area in Chicago. The atmosphere is more upscale, with white tablecloths and candles on each table. My favorite dish there was the vegan double cheeseburger. The patties were house-made with portobello, walnut, beet, pickled onion, tomato, and vegan cheddar served on a flaxseed bun. I also ordered the flourless chocolate cake that came with vanilla ice cream. The dessert was so good that I ate it slowly to enjoy it more.


Chicago Raw

51 W Huron St, Chicago, IL 60654
312-664-2729
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Chicago Raw Chicago
Source: Instagram

Chicago Raw is a vegan restaurant that specializes in seasonal organic dishes. It sits near the River North area of downtown Chicago. The atmosphere is very modern, with white-clad tables and dim lighting. For breakfast, I ordered an acai bowl topped with fresh berries, granola, bee pollen, hemp seed, goji berry sauce, almond butter, and coconut flakes. I’ve had acai bowls before, but this one inspired me to make my own at home because the combination of ingredients worked perfectly together. I also tried their tiramisu made with almond and coconut and topped with maca powder.

Why Trust Us?

When it comes to local restaurant recommendations, we pride ourselves on being a reliable and trustworthy resource. Our suggestions are not just based on our personal experiences, ensuring a more authentic and well-rounded perspective, but also on extensive online research. We diligently searched the internet and reviewed 5 credible sites and blogs, including Chicago.eater.com and Theinfatuation.com. 

We compiled all the findings in one location and sorted them by the frequency of mentions to ensure you receive top-notch recommendations. We strive to present you with a curated list of establishments that truly stand out, allowing you to enjoy the best dining experiences possible. 

Interested in the sources we consulted? Check out the list of all 5 sites we referenced below this paragraph, offering transparency and an opportunity for our readers to explore further. Our commitment is to deliver trustworthy and unparalleled recommendations, helping you make informed decisions on your culinary journeys.

https://chicago.eater.com/maps/best-vegan-and-vegetarian-restaurants-chicago
https://www.theinfatuation.com/chicago/guides/vegan-food-restaurants-chicago
https://secretchicago.com/chicago-best-vegan-options/
https://www.happycow.net/best-vegan-restaurants/chicago-illinois
https://vegananj.com/the-best-vegan-food-i-ate-in-chicago/

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

Follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, Quora, Google Guide and Facebook.