Top 5 vegan spots in Chicago

In a city most known for its carnivorous options, it's hard to recognize the other (equally delicious) culinary experiences the city has to offer, especially when it comes to the vegetarian & vegan scene.  Chicago is so much more than deep dish pizza & hot dogs. It's a slew of all different types of food inspired by the melting pot of cultures that make up the city: Ethiopian, Indian, Asian, & Middle eastern are just a few to name- each of them offering something for everyone- including us plant-based eaters. 

I had only been to Chicago once before going vegan... So this time around it was a completely different experience.  After 2 straight days of restaurant hopping and countless conversations with locals, I was finally able to narrow down a list of my favorite vegan spots, including the ones I wish I was able to visit with more time. 

1. Ground Control 

This Vegetarian restaurant offers an eclectic menu with vegan & gluten free options.  Meat eaters: do not be alarmed.  This place is a neighborhood favorite even for the carnivorous.  

What you're getting: Po Boy, Baja Tacos, Jibarito.... and everything else on the menu. 

3315 W. Armitage Ave. 
Chicago, IL 60647 | Logan Square
Hours: Dinner: Sunday, Tuesday-Saturday 
Closed Monday 
Open late: Friday & Saturday till 11

2. Mana Food Bar

The menu here reads something like a travelogue. The chefs search the globe for inspiration before crafting their vegetarian, vegan & gluten-free dishes, which include portabella mushroom burgers, horseradish-spiked mac & cheese, and tamales stuffed with pumpkin jalapenos.  Did I mention this place is credited by Michelin?  Last year this spot was named a "Bib Gourmand" restaurant- a fancy term for restaurants that offer exceptional food at moderate prices. 

Tip: Don't leave without trying their Sake cocktails.

1742 W Division St.
Chicago, IL 60622 | West Town/Wicker Park

3. Kitchen 17

Alright so I know what you're thinking... You came to Chicago and you feel deprived if you skip out on deep dish pizza? HAHAHAHAHAHA think again. 

100% vegan, 100% delicious.  Oh, and did I mention they have Gyros? #icandiehappynow

Kitchen 17 - 613 W Briar Pl
ChicagoIL 60657 // Lakeview area

4. Chicago Diner 

This place is a Chicago favorite, so it's no question it's on my list of my favorite vegan restaurants.  They've been "meat free since 83" serving up some of the best, if not THE best comfort food (vegan style of course) in town.

*** Personal Pick: Truffle Mushroom Lentil Loaf- a blend of mushroom and lentil casserole topped with a white truffle mushroom sauce served with veggies & roasted potatoes.  MOUTH WATERING. 

5.  Kim & Carlo's Hot Dog Stand 

Do you honestly think I would let you experience Chicago without their famous hot dogs? Absolutely not. Kim & Carlo's is not only the best place to score a killer veggie dog, but also a favorite for those who prefer the meat as well. It's a win-win for everyone!