Vegan Dining in the Windy City: A Vegan Chicago Guide

Guest article by Elizabeth Buckman

Vegan Chicago - Vegan Dining in the Windy City

It's not all deep-dish pizza and hot dogs — there are vegan options all over Chicago. From local neighborhood spots to tourist classics, there are any number of ways to be a vegan Chicago foodie.

You just have to know where to look. Whether you're just starting out on your vegan journey, you're looking to incorporate more sustainable and compassionate eating habits into your life, or you've been eating plant-based for years, these spots will make dining out a breeze.

Vegan Chicago Eats

Lou Malnati’s

various locations
lunch + dinner

Chicago is known for its deep-dish pizza. If you are traveling with other people, this is likely at the top of their list of things to eat while visiting.

Luckily, the deep-dish dough does not contain butter, despite being described as “buttery” on their website. The house salad (ask for no meat and no cheese) with a deep-dish veggie pizza (no cheese, please!) is the answer to checking a Chicago classic off of your list.

Lula Café

2537 North Kedzie Blvd Chicago, Il 60647
breakfast + brunch + lunch + dinner

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The avocado terrine with yuzu, serrano chile, poppyseed & basil is available for dinner!

Uma publicação partilhada por Lula Cafe (@lulacafe) a

Lula Café sits in the heart of the vibrant Logan Square neighborhood, which is northwest of downtown and has a great music, art and food scene. The menu is seasonal and has many vegetable-forward dishes.

It’s always a relief to be able to order something exactly as it is on the menu and not ask for substitutions. So when the opportunity to have a few things to choose from sans modifications arises, I can’t help but get excited. Try the ginger miso tofu vegetable scramble.

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The Chicago Diner

Halsted and Logan Square locations
breakfast + brunch + lunch + dinner

All options are vegan or are easily made vegan. Their motto “meat free since ‘83” tells you how forward-thinking this place truly is. Classic comfort foods are made in vegan-friendly versions, from “wingz” to poutine. They don’t take reservations, but they’re open until 10pm on weekdays and 11pm on weekends. Don’t forget to order a vegan shake!

Ryhana’s Cuisine

2253 West Taylor Street (Between S Oakley Blvd. & Ogden Ave.), Chicago, Il 60612
lunch + dinner

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A city secret! Ryhana’s is a small Indian and Pakistani buffet with dine-in seating and quick take-out. Daal fry and mixed veggie curry are must-haves among the vegan Indian dishes. You can easily order for family-style eating or pick a combo for yourself.

The warm and cozy entrees have just the right amount of kick to satisfy a craving and satiate your hunger. All spices are ground in house, and they use locally sourced ingredients. This is a great spot to order from with friends if you don’t want to leave your home or hotel.

Bad Hunter

802 W. Randolph St. Chicago, IL 60607
lunch + dinner

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Bad Hunter is located in the West Loop on Randolph Street right in the mix of noteworthy restaurants, and for good reason. Their interior alone is a reason to visit — lush plants, bright white walls, and soothing wood tones make you feel as though you are in a garden, no matter what season it is.

Don’t miss this gem on Restaurant Row. Lovely cocktails and creative plant-based dishes have vegans, vegetarians and omnivores pleased!

Bullhead Cantina

1143 N. California Ave. Chicago, IL 60622
dinner + drinks + weekend lunch

This taco joint in Humboldt Park has multiple vegan taco options. Grilled beets are a fresh twist on the menu, accompanied by roasted portobellos and spicy avocado. Located in a cool spot with lots of seating, a great drinks menu and friendly staff, you will not leave disappointed. 

This casual spot is perfect before an evening out or on a Sunday afternoon. Remember to ask for no sour cream, and start with chips and guac or their house made salsa. Add a margarita and you’re all set!

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Handlebar

2311 W. North Avenue
breakfast + lunch + dinner

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If you’re looking for a place to have great food you can feel good about, this is the spot. Handlebar brews fair-trade coffee and gets its produce from local farms. They have mastered vegan and vegetarian comfort food.

With a full-service bar and beer garden, you can enjoy guilt-free dining in a great patio space. They have a gluten-free menu and serve comfort classics for brunch, lunch and dinner. Head to Wicker Park and get ready to start craving everything on the menu. 

Left Coast Food + Juice

2878 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
breakfast + lunch + dinner

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Juice, smoothies, fresh coffee, wraps, greens and grains round out this menu to perfectly compliment a sunny Chicago day or brighten up a frosty winter one. With a plethora of vegan options both hot and cold, you will be sure to find something you like here.

Swing by on your way to work, after a workout class, or on your way to a friend’s house. This is a place where you can cozy in and sit for a while or grab and go to fit your schedule. Definitely one to keep on your roster or check out if you haven’t already!

Elizabeth Buckman - vegan Chicago

Elizabeth Buckman

Hi, I’m Elizabeth! I live in the Denver area with my husband and two Aussies. I’m figuring out the vegan and plant-based thing one meal at a time. I know small changes can make a big difference and big differences can lead to substantial change. Follow along at @buckmanabode on Instagram as I trial-and-error my way through new recipes and daily life.

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About Wendy Werneth

Intrepid traveler, vegan foodie and animal lover. I uncover vegan treasures all around the world, so you can be vegan anywhere and spread compassion everywhere.

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