The West Loop has meat-free options, but Veggie Grill is poised to become the first 100-percent vegan restaurant along Randolph Street Row in less than a week. The California-based fast-food chain plans to open its fourth Chicago location on Thursday, November 7 at 911 W. Randolph Street.
Overall, the shop is Veggie Grill’s 36th location, according to a news release — it’s America’s largest vegan restaurant chain. It debuted in Chicago in February 2018 in Lakeview. It also has Windy City locations in the Loop and River North.
But, just as McDonald’s leadership knew when its headquarters opened in April 2018 on Randolph Street, Veggie Grill officials know they need to showcase the brand in Chicago’s most prominent restaurant district. The chain recently debuted a new store design, and it will be on display on Randolph Restaurant Row. Veggie Grill West Loop is a 58-seat and 2,500-square-foot space.
Veggie Grill appeals to “junk food vegans,” the ones who frequently make social media posts on how to hack the Taco Bell menu. The chain serves Beyond Burgers. On the same block, a few doors west of the Veggie Grill location, passers-by will see signage that reads “cheat on meat” in front of Umami Burger. That chain serves the rival Impossible Burger.
Vegans and vegetarians can find other meat-free options in the area, but none are currently completely devoid of animal products. Bad Hunter and Duck Duck Goat’s vegan menus are popular. Indian restaurants Rooh and Jaipur offer plenty of veggie options. Soul Vegetarian is 100-percent vegan with a stall inside Chicago’s French Market.
But along Randolph Street, Veggie Grill will be a breath of fresh air for vegans and vegetarians who worry about cross contamination. Thursday is opening day for its new West Loop restaurant.