Chicago Vegan Food Guide

I took a trip to Chicago this past April and for some crazy reason, I forgot to write a blog on it! So here I am, a few months later, still remembering how delicious and unique the food was there.

I loved Chicago so much. Amazing food, beautiful city, awesome architecture, and great shows & musicals! Below were all the places I went to, which are a mix of all veg and veg-friendly places.

Chicago Diner

Chicago Diner was my very first stop in Chicago because let’s be real… it’s the best. When you walk in you’re greeted with some cute decor, comfortable booths, a bar, and really friendly staff!

I got their classic “Radical Reuben” sandwich and the Thai Chili Seitan Wings. Wow! The Reuben was so delicious and had such a strong resemblance and taste to non-vegan Reubens. I can imagine people not being a fan of mock meat not enjoying this dish, but if you’re like me and love meat made from plants, then that sandwich is for you.

The Thai Chili wings were sticky, spicy, crispy, and saucy! They came with a chipotle ranch dipping sauce which added a great kick to it. I was super impressed with how well Chicago Diner makes plant-based meats with seitan. Confirmed that this place is a must when you go to this city!

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Kitchen 17

Who doesn’t love a cheesy pizza for dinner? Stopped by Kitchen 17 and got half cheese, half seitan pepperoni pizza. It was awesome heading in here, as everything is 100% vegan! Love ordering at places where you don’t need to worry about any modifications.

I will say, this wasn’t my favorite pizza. Unsure if it was the sauce or something else, but it needed more of a kick. The seitan pepperoni was tasty but I was expecting a little bit more. Overall though, I would recommend this spot! In the future I’ll probably try their sandwiches or Mac & Cheese pizza!

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No Bones Beach Club

I tried No Bones Beach Club last year at New York’s Vegandale festival, and ever since then I had been counting down the days to go to one of their brick & mortar locations. Lucky for me, their Chicago one was super close to my Air bnb!

We got the fried eggplant spears to start which came with delicious sauces, a fried avocado & tofu benedict (that sauce!), and the jackfruit flautas. Everything was incredible! I love a good brunch and sometimes they can be hard to find here in Boston, so this was an amazing treat. The entire atmosphere is so cool as well — you really do feel like you’re in a tropical place with their fruity drinks and decor.

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For all the mock chicken fans, Kalish is for you! This was a really fun & casual spot to check out. You order at the counter and there were plenty of seats. You can choose baskets with seitan & fries, sandwiches, burgers, grilled cheeses, and more!

I decided to get their sweet & sticky “Clucker Crisp” basket and a vanilla confetti cupcake for dessert! This wasn’t my favorite fried seitan meal, as it did have an after taste that wasn’t the best. But it was still really tasty! The cupcake had some of the best frosting I’ve ever tasted. I was impressed to see how many variations of desserts they had.

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Pick Me Up Cafe

This cute diner is certainly not all vegan by any means, but I did have one of the best vegan breakfasts here! Pick Me Up Cafe has a very impressive vegan selection, no matter what meal of the day you’re looking for. This is a great spot to go to for a strong start to the morning with people who have all different preferences and diets.

I got the vegan benedict which came with an English muffin, tofu squares, homemade hollandaise sauce, veggies, and a side of home fries. Even though the tofu was not a scramble, this was beyond delicious! I was really impressed with how thick and tasty the sauce was. All of the flavors paired so nicely together. Having this with a cup of hot coffee was the perfect rainy morning for me!

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Handlebar has been on my list for quite some time, specifically for their vegan chimichanga. And that is exactly what I got when I finally went! This giant meal is perfect if you’re starving! Filled with tofu scramble, seitan, veggies, beans, and rice. Also was topped with vegan queso, salsa, and guac. YUM!

This steaming hot chimichanga could definitely be split between two people. But if you’re determined like I am, you can certainly order one for yourself. Handlebar is not all vegan, as they do still serve fish and dairy. Despite this, this spot is still perfect for vegans looking for unique & comforting meals.

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Wasabi Chicago

I actually didn’t have this ramen spot on my list, but when it was pouring rain in Chicago, this was a great spot to run in to that was super close to our Air bnb. This place only had a couple of vegan options, but I’m glad I went!

I got the vegan ramen bowl which also had some Upton’s Naturals seitan in it. It was spicy, filling, and the perfect dinner before we went out to a musical. I could eat ramen and noodles all year round, so if you’re looking for something hot and spicy no matter the reason, this place may be for you!

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Upton’s Breakroom

Upton’s may sound familiar to you, as a lot of their products can be found at local supermarkets! Chicago is lucky, because they Upton’s Naturals production office & restaurant! I only had the chance to pop in after dinner time, so I decided to get some sweets!

It can be tough to find vegan soft serve, so when I saw that Upton’s had a cinnamon flavor, I knew I had to get it. So creamy, thick, and flavorful. The staff was incredibly nice, and til this day I do regret not getting some sandwiches and meals to go!

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Stan’s Donuts & Coffee Chicago

If you’re like me and prefer a donut over a smoothie bowl for breakfast, then you’ll like checking out Stan’s Donuts! They only had two vegan options, but they were really great, especially paired with their cold brew coffee, which is some of the best coffee I’ve had.

I got their vegan sugar donut and then went back again for the vegan cinnamon sugar donut (yes, they are different!) I personally am a bigger fan of glazed donuts, but these were also tasty and a fun way to start the day!

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