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Veggie Grill, America’s Largest Vegetarian Chain, Opens First Chicago Restaurant

Take a tour of this veggie safe space

Veggie Grill’s Italian meatball sub is a Chicago exclusive.
Barry Brecheisen
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

The owners of Veggie Grill are excited about the opening of its first Chicago location as the California-based chain debuted its 29th location on Thursday morning near the corner of Broadway and Diversey. It’s the first of as many as eight Veggie Grills pegged for the Chicago area. It’s a fast-casual setting with a menu of veggie burgers, spicy protein tenders that taste like Buffalo chicken wings, salads, and more.

While the restaurant may look a bit like a fast-food spot, management insists they’re a cut above. The stores manager points out they actually simmer the sauce for the aforementioned Buffalo wings instead of just pouring the sauce out of a bottle and tossing them. The food’s made to order and runners will bring seated customers their items. The menu changes seasonally, but Veggie Grill’s staples remain. While the chain plans on opening more locations, they will deliver via GrubHub for those who can’t wait. There’s a tortilla press on premises and they serve Korean-style tacos. They’ve broken out the giardiniera for the Chicago-only Italian meatball sub, and there’s another Chicago debut: avocado toast.

Vegans and vegetarians are expected to wait long lines but the restaurant wants to build a wide customer base. The CEO calls conscious omnivores “veggie positive,” describing an open mindedness in trying to reduce or eliminate meat consumption. At the same time, Veggie Grill is doing outreach with its core consumers, working with local vegetarian and vegan groups to develop a strong relationship.

Take a walk through the space and check out some food photos below. Veggie Grill’s first Chicago location is now open.

Veggie Grill, 614 W. Diversey Parkway, (773) 868-1863, open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

The space is bright and inviting.
There’s a counter ledge and plenty of communal seating.
Veggie Grill officials don’t want to be confused with an assembly line concept as its food is cooked to order.
Customers make their drink and dessert orders at the pay station.
A wall with the words “Veggie Grill” in orange above a condiment stand.
The beverage station.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
The order station has two cashier usually.
Veggie Grill debuts its new urban design.
The Rustic Farm Bowl (farro, grilled mushrooms, roasted yams, braised cannellini beans, broccoli pesto, roasted tomatoes, red pepper sauce).
Barry Brecheisen
Mediterranean Supergreens Salad (falafel, hummus, harissa dip, tomato-cucumber salad, lemon vinaigrette, grilled za’atar flatbread).
Avocado toast is a Chicago exclusive (grilled sourdough bread, avocado, fresh spring peas, tomato, sunflower seeds, extra-virign olive oil, sea salt, micro greens).
The Italian meatball sub is a Chicago exclusive.

Veggie Grill

204 North Wells Street, , IL 60606 (312) 658-1338 Visit Website