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 Post subject: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:41 am 
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I'll be in Chicago with my husband and our two friends for a week in October. Please feel free to delete this or redirect me, but I couldn't find a thread with the obligatory Chicago vegan eats. Suggest, please! Less obvious places are especially welcome, because they're harder to find on Google & Happy Cow.


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:49 pm 
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Check out Ground Control. It's new-ish and small and cute! (And get the banh mi!)


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:07 pm 
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If Brian sees this, he's going to fall all over himself telling you to eat at Native Foods.

Upton's Breakroom!

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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:20 pm 
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Chicago Diner!!!!

Dimo's pizza on North and Milwaukee has crazy vegan slices like Mac & Cheeze, Philly Seitan, or BBQ with French Fries.

I liked brunch at Karen’s on Green.

Agree with Upton's Breakroom.

The Wormhole Coffeeshop has Fritz's pastry doughnuts which are pretty crazy intense.

Actually all of wicker park is crazy with the vegan food. I eat more seitan when I go to Chicago than I do in a month here.

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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:23 pm 
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Oh oh oh... SOUL VEGETARIAN. It's kinda far south, but worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:42 pm 
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Hollie wrote:
Oh oh oh... SOUL VEGETARIAN. It's kinda far south, but worth it.

agree! And if you can't make it you can buy their mac and cheese and their bbq at whole foods.

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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:39 pm 
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I second Dimo's pizza! It's amazing - though they only sell Vegan Pizzas by the slice on Tuesdays (i think), so be prepared to order a whole one on any other day.

The HUGE Whole Foods Market on North Avenue and the Green City Farmers Market are also must-visits imho.


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:08 pm 
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I like the suggestions so far. I also love the Handlebar (also in Wicker Park), Ethiopian Diamond (maybe my favorite restaurant in Chicago, definitely my go-to "special occasion" place since it's a bit farther away from me), Amitabul if you want some truly delicious food that is a break from seitan and fried things.

Pick Me Up is an oldie but goodie if you're looking for the best vegan french toast in town. (I like it better for breakfast/brunch than I do for dinner though.)

If you like local craft beer, Revolution Brewery has a delicious vegan sandwich that has plantains and tofu on it, though not a ton of different vegan options.

Lots of people like La Quesadilla.

Also depending on your budget and if you want to splurge one night, Green Zebra is pretty delicious.

I would personally skip any of the Karen's places. I used to go to them with my partner's family because his picky dad liked them pretty well, but these days there are so many better options. I would also skip Loving Hut. There are some good dishes there but if you only have a week, then meh.

There are lots of vegetarian places on Devon, with one mostly-vegan place, Arya Bhavan, that has an almost completely vegan lunch buffet and will do a vegan thali plate with like, coconut raita and stuff. Sometimes I feel like that place is a little hit-or-miss, some dishes will be completely delicious and others will be fine, but not amazing, so I like doing the buffet or thali where even if some aren't as good, you can eat a bunch of the really good ones.


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:09 pm 
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Also if you go to the Native Foods in the Loop, West Loop, or Hyde Park you can admire my painting work! (not the Wicker Park or Lakeview locations though.)

If you do go to the huge North Avenue Whole Foods, they frequently have by-the-slice vegan pizza that is two huge slices for $6, definitely the best vegan pizza deal I've ever seen!


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:49 pm 
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VeggieNextDoor wrote:
I second Dimo's pizza! It's amazing - though they only sell Vegan Pizzas by the slice on Tuesdays (i think), so be prepared to order a whole one on any
in wicker park it's definitely every day. I think the others are different.

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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:16 pm 
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I second/third/fourth chicago diner. soul veg. the massive whole foods.


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:02 pm 
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Adding my votes for:
Chicago Diner for yummy greasy American vegan eats, and amazing milkshakes! Also great for brunch. They do have some not so greasy foods too.

Ethiopian Diamond! All their vegetarian options are vegan. If you are the only veg person at your table, get the vegetarian sampler. If there is a second veg person, or someone else happy to eat veg, order the sampler and the vegetarian chick pea "fish", which is amazing, but they won't make it part of the sampler.

Amitabul! We just went there last weekend for the first time and my omni spouse was almost as excited as I was. It's all vegan korean. We loved the dumpling appetizer and the noodle dish with nuts. We weren't that thrilled with the tofu yung. The desserts we ordered (red bean cake, which was red bean mochi; and chestnut cookie) were very tiny. Even if you are stuffed, they are not enough to share.

Not yet mentioned:
Joy Yee's in China Town for bubble tea. They have some good food too, but if you are in China town hit one of the Lao restaurants and get the mock chicken appetizer.

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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:46 am 
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Lou Malnati's is apparently able to make pizza vegan with no cheese. I haven't tried this personally so I can't vouch for it, and they won't custom make them for shipping like this, but if you're not a daiya lover anyway it might be worth checking out.. I keep meaning to try it when I'm in town.

When I was in town over the holidays we at at Demera (Ethiopian), and everyone thought it was delicious. I've had good meals at Green Zebra (honestly I liked the delicious brunch a lot better than their tasting menu, though they turn the tables over faster at brunch).. Oh, and my friend who used to be a chef at Graham Elliot claimed that if someone showed up there asking for vegan food that they'd make them something good, and it sounds awesome. Vegan meals he's mentioned making to me sounded delicious! Unfortunately I never got to test that theory before he stopped working there, but omni friends seemed to really have great experiences.

I hesitate to even mention this because I never know whether they're REALLY making things veg*n at omni Thai restaurants, but assuming you want to ask a ton of questions or take the risk, Joy's Noodles & Rice is phenomenal and they *claim* to make things veggie when you ask. I have sort of a don't ask too many questions approach with Thai food a lot of times.


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:11 am 
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Everything sounds good! I've added most of these to my very long list.


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:15 am 
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Does Pick Me Up do breakfast all the time or just weekend brunch? I think breakfast is going to be our biggest challenge during the week.


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:20 am 
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Rhizopus Oligosporus wrote:

Amitabul! We just went there last weekend for the first time and my omni spouse was almost as excited as I was. It's all vegan korean. We loved the dumpling appetizer and the noodle dish with nuts. We weren't that thrilled with the tofu yung. The desserts we ordered (red bean cake, which was red bean mochi; and chestnut cookie) were very tiny. Even if you are stuffed, they are not enough to share.


A friend I haven't seen in a while texted me yesterday and we made plans to go to Amitabul next Sunday! I can't wait.


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:23 am 
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creep wrote:
Does Pick Me Up do breakfast all the time or just weekend brunch? I think breakfast is going to be our biggest challenge during the week.


I just read something online that said "You can order breakfast anytime the cafe is open." Woo!


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:26 pm 
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You can definitely do breakfast any day at Pick Me Up. (Or night!) Handlebar and Chicago Diner also have great breakfast options (every day until 3, I believe, at both of them.) Ground Control just started having weekend brunches in the past couple months, but I haven't been for brunch yet, but they're definitely not open for breakfast on other days. Don't forget about vegan donuts at Fritz Pastry. Also for a lighter breakfast (and COFFEE!) you can have breakfast sandwiches at Delicious Cafe which is delightful and vegan-owned. Speaking of coffee, if you like fancy lattes you should check out Ipsento, even though I don't know if they have any (or any good) vegan food items. They make their signature latte with steamed coconut milk (and cold milk, so I always ask for almond) and cayenne and it's awesome. I've also enjoyed eating some breakfast at Meli Cafe if you don't just want to cycle through those same breakfasts.

Places that have have vegan breakfasts but which have let me down and that I don't want to go back to anymore are Flying Saucer and West Town Bakery. :( (However, if you go there and it's awesome, report back!)


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:40 am 
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When I was looking for a breakfast place to stop before my trip a couple weeks ago, I checked out the breakfast menu at Flying Saucer and there were very few vegan options and zero things I wanted to eat. I'd never been there, but looking at that menu made me never want to go.

Any specific dishes at Amitabul I shouldn't miss? I'm going Sunday and I have much excite.


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:57 am 
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My favorite is the Buddha's 3 Luck. I love those chewy rice cakes! I also had their green juice recently and it was delicious. Sometimes I go there for kimchi soup if I'm sick.


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:24 am 
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I didn't get to go to Amitabul. My friend who had the plans with was MIA until about 10 minutes after I'd made alternate plans since I hadn't heard from her.

It's okay, though, because I got to go to Ground Control again.


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:15 pm 
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If you do go to the giant Whole Foods, stop by the wine department and say hello (my nametag just says KK)! Also, the grocery department brought in the Treeline cheeses a couple months ago, and I'm obsessed, even though they're pricy.

Infinity-ing Chicago Diner (I'm partial to the one on Milwaukee), Handlebar & Fritz Pastry. Fritz also has their donuts at Wormhole in Wicker Park. Also, Northdown at Lincoln and Belmont has tasty vegan bar food (mac & cheeze, vegan burger, etc) and lots of amazing beers. Pastoral has a killer vegan sandwich called the Nutty Grinder. And I agree on skipping the various Karyn's, but if you go to any of them, definitely go to Karyn's on Green. Green Zebra is better.

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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:23 am 
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The options at that Northdown place look great. I'm a sucker for bar food.


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:47 pm 
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Has anyone here eaten at Arun's Thai Restaurant? Fodor's calls it possibly the best Thai restaurant in the country, and yelpers say it's vegan friendly. It's listed on Fodor's as $$$ expensive and on Yelp as $$$$, and I'm trying to find out just how much it costs to eat there.


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 Post subject: Re: must-eat in Chicago
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:11 am 
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creep wrote:
The options at that Northdown place look great. I'm a sucker for bar food.


My friends Tom and Kate own Northdown! You're right, it's definitely bar food. If you get the pork frites to share along with your individual meals, you are guaranteed to have way too much food. (Which is either a bad thing or a good thing)

Their cashew cheese sauce is only really good when it's hot, so you gotta eat real fast.


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