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A variety of dishes and drinks spread out on a table.
Doc B’s Restaurant + Bar has a full dose of healthy dishes.
Doc B’s Restaurant + Bar

The Best Healthy Restaurants in Chicago

“Nutritious” doesn’t have to mean “tasteless”

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Doc B’s Restaurant + Bar has a full dose of healthy dishes.
| Doc B’s Restaurant + Bar

It's the start of a new year and some Chicagoans may be hitting the gym hard. To supplement the workouts, a change in diet may also be part of the equation. But just because certain foods come with possible health benefits doesn't mean they have to be devoid of flavor. The following restaurants are both healthy and delicious, so folks don’t have to be limited in options when dining out. The latest additions to the list include Thai eatery I’m Vegan, raw specialist Uncooked, and vegan Mexican restaurant Healthy Substance.

As of January 3, the city has mandated that those ages 5 and up be fully vaccinated and masked at public places indoors while not actively eating or drinking. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may still pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Amitabul

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Opened in 1995, Amitabul has been enlightening diners about nutritious eating for decades. Chef Bill Choi, who learned techniques and recipes from his mother and grandmother as an adolescent in Korea, cooks Buddhist Korean cuisine using organic ingredients. His vegan dishes are made without oil, salt, or sugar and include options such as mandu dumplings, vegetable pancakes, kimchi bibimbap, spicy noodle soup, grilled curry tofu, and a stir fry dubbed “Dark Side of the Moon” — veggie and rice noodles mixed with mushrooms and black bean-miso sauce. Online orders can be placed here.

A plate of dumplings.
Healthy Korean dishes shine at Amitabul.
Amitabul [Official Photo]

Pokiology

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It’s been several years since the poke craze hit Chicago and locals are still in love with the Hawaiian specialty. There are many shops around town to get diced raw fish but Pokiology stands out as one of the best. Build a bowl by choosing a base of rice and/or salad and proteins such as salmon, spicy tuna, shrimp, or tofu. Then add a variety of toppings and a sauce to finish it off. The extensive selection of ingredients means there are plenty of combinations to try. Additional Pokiology outposts are located in Roscoe Village and Little Italy. Online ordering is available here.

Loving Heart

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Placing an emphasis on fresh and raw ingredients, this small Uptown cafe whips up dishes that are mostly organic and 100 percent vegan. Customers can expect flavorful wraps, burgers, salad bowls, smoothies, desserts, and more — all made from scratch. Online ordering is available here.

I’m Vegan

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Fresh and healthy spins on familiar Thai staples are the focus of I’m Vegan. Everything is vegan-friendly, of course, and diners will find options like steamed bao buns filled with panko-crusted avocado; garden spring rolls with tofu; stir-fried cashew; curry with eggplant; and steamed banana or taro with sticky rice. Classics such as tom yum soup and pad Thai can also be supplemented with soy chicken or duck. And the portions are generous. Online ordering is available here.

Left Coast

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As the name suggests, this fast casual spot delivers West Coast-inspired fare. Juices, smoothies, and other drinks like kombucha on tap pair with salads, grain bowls, and wraps. There’s a second location in the Loop. Order online here.

A plate of avocado toast.
West Coast eats come to the Midwest at this Lakeview spot.
Left Coast [Official Photo]

Doc B's Restaurant + Bar

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While the menu boasts burgers, ribs, and chicken sandwiches, it’s also easy to order something healthy-ish at this Chicago-based chain. The Wok Out Bowl is a favorite that offers the choice of protein, sauce, and either rice, noodles, or quinoa. Finished with veggies and chopped cashews, it’ll satisfy many types of diets. There’s a second Doc B’s outpost in River North. Online orders can be placed here.

A bowl of stir fry.
The stir fry bowls are a popular choice at Doc B’s.
Doc B’s Restaurant + Bar [Official Photo]

RealGood Stuff Co.

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Originally a smoothie chain, RealGood Stuff Co. added hot foods to its arsenal when it opened a River North location. Guests can complement their juices with customizable green and grain bowls, sandwiches, toasts, frozen yogurt, and more. Additional locations are in Lincoln Park, Old Town, and Lakeview. Online ordering is available here.

Chicago Raw

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For those trying out a liquid diet, this raw shop supplies everything to help the process, including smoothies containing greens, fruits, and doses of vitamins and antioxidants. More substantial bites are available in the form of acai bowls, salads, sandwiches, flatbreads, and more.

True Food Kitchen

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River North welcomed the first Chicago location of this Phoenix-based chain in 2016. The menu — built on Dr. Andrew Weil’s self-described anti-inflammatory diet — features an array of seasonal juices, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, and more. And though kale salads are ubiquitous these days, True Food’s version stands out: Tuscan kale mixed with Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic, and lemon. Order online here.

LYFE Kitchen

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Most dishes at LYFE Kitchen are fewer than 600 calories. The menu accommodates gluten-free and vegan diets but those without restrictions should try the crispy baked chicken breaded in panko. It’s served atop Brussels sprouts, cotija cheese, and lemon pepper aioli. Online ordering is available here.

Sweetgreen

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Salads are often a safe bet for a nutrient-laden meal. This chain from Washington D.C. adds some excitement to the mix by offering an impressive spread of locally-sourced ingredients for diners to choose from. Instead of the same old Caesar, build a bowl packed with interesting items like spicy sunflower seeds, za’atar breadcrumbs, roasted sweet potatoes, curry roasted cauliflower, and roasted sesame tofu. Additional outposts are located in the Loop, West Loop, Hyde Park, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, and Andersonville. Order online here.

A bowl of salad.
Salad giant Sweetgreen is full of fresh options.
Sweetgreen [Official Photo]

Beatrix

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Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise’s all-day eatery has five locations around Chicagoland, which is great news for anyone trying a different approach to eating. Classic comfort foods, including meatloaf and pasta are elevated with healthy twists, like bolognese with chicken instead of beef. Online ordering is available here.

Uncooked

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Always on the move or don’t have the time to sit down to a meal? Then head to this grab-and-go spot for a host of healthy prepackaged foods and beverages. Run by Chicago Raw co-founder Carole Jones, her son Jeremy Jones, and her daughter-in-law Kaitlyn Jones, Uncooked specializes in raw, plant-based dishes that are also gluten-free and sustainably sourced. Highlights include cacio e pepe with kelp noodles, watermelon radish ravioli filled with mozzarella, and veggie sushi rolls. Online ordering is available here.

Protein Bar & Kitchen

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With multiple Protein Bar outposts scattered around the downtown area, a quick and nutritious meal is never too far away for office workers. The Chicago-based chain is a popular destination for lunch, offering filling protein shakes and bowls. Globally-inspired creations include the “Mexicali” (chicken, corn, black beans, cheddar, salsa, kale, spicy tomatillo lime sauce, chipotle Greek yogurt) and the “Spicy Korean” (Beyond Beef meatballs, cucumber, spinach, pickled red onion, cauliflower rice, pickled carrot, sweet and spicy chili sauce). Online orders can be placed here.

Native Foods Cafe

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Salads and grain bowls are reliable standbys for a nutritious diet, but every now and then the craving for a good old fashioned burger (or at the very least a faux one) hits. Native Foods Cafe’s menu is entirely vegetarian, and the gastropub burger is both scrumptious and less greasy than the competition: a veggie patty topped with plant-based provolone, tomato bacon jam, onion rings, and vegan mayo. Additional outposts are located in the Loop, Wicker Park, and Lakeview. Online ordering can be done here.

Healthy Substance

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“The vegan side of Mexico” draws folks to this family-owned spot in Garfield Ridge. The lineup features tamales, burritos, tacos, nachos, gorditas, and more, plus meatless versions of chorizo, carne asada, and al pastor. Online orders can be placed here.

B'Gabs Goodies

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Nutrition-focused specialties aren’t abundant on the South Side, which is why Gabrielle Darvassy opened this vegan oasis in 2014. Her inventive menu ranges from buckwheat pancakes to a nacho salad with sunflower seed “meat.” Juices and smoothies are also a major component of the cafe, as are raw “goodies” like lemon squares and coconut haystacks. Online ordering is available here.

Majani Restaurant

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Over at Majani in South Shore, owners Tsadakeeyah and Nasya Emmanuel serve soulful vegan cuisine. The African-influenced restaurant was born out of the couple’s catering experience, and their recipes include a “crab cake” sandwich made with baked tofu, oyster mushroom tacos, and barbecue cauliflower. A second Majani outpost is located in One Eleven Food Hall. Online orders can be placed here.

Amitabul

A plate of dumplings.
Healthy Korean dishes shine at Amitabul.
Amitabul [Official Photo]

Opened in 1995, Amitabul has been enlightening diners about nutritious eating for decades. Chef Bill Choi, who learned techniques and recipes from his mother and grandmother as an adolescent in Korea, cooks Buddhist Korean cuisine using organic ingredients. His vegan dishes are made without oil, salt, or sugar and include options such as mandu dumplings, vegetable pancakes, kimchi bibimbap, spicy noodle soup, grilled curry tofu, and a stir fry dubbed “Dark Side of the Moon” — veggie and rice noodles mixed with mushrooms and black bean-miso sauce. Online orders can be placed here.

A plate of dumplings.
Healthy Korean dishes shine at Amitabul.
Amitabul [Official Photo]

Pokiology

It’s been several years since the poke craze hit Chicago and locals are still in love with the Hawaiian specialty. There are many shops around town to get diced raw fish but Pokiology stands out as one of the best. Build a bowl by choosing a base of rice and/or salad and proteins such as salmon, spicy tuna, shrimp, or tofu. Then add a variety of toppings and a sauce to finish it off. The extensive selection of ingredients means there are plenty of combinations to try. Additional Pokiology outposts are located in Roscoe Village and Little Italy. Online ordering is available here.

Loving Heart

Placing an emphasis on fresh and raw ingredients, this small Uptown cafe whips up dishes that are mostly organic and 100 percent vegan. Customers can expect flavorful wraps, burgers, salad bowls, smoothies, desserts, and more — all made from scratch. Online ordering is available here.

I’m Vegan

Fresh and healthy spins on familiar Thai staples are the focus of I’m Vegan. Everything is vegan-friendly, of course, and diners will find options like steamed bao buns filled with panko-crusted avocado; garden spring rolls with tofu; stir-fried cashew; curry with eggplant; and steamed banana or taro with sticky rice. Classics such as tom yum soup and pad Thai can also be supplemented with soy chicken or duck. And the portions are generous. Online ordering is available here.

Left Coast

A plate of avocado toast.
West Coast eats come to the Midwest at this Lakeview spot.
Left Coast [Official Photo]

As the name suggests, this fast casual spot delivers West Coast-inspired fare. Juices, smoothies, and other drinks like kombucha on tap pair with salads, grain bowls, and wraps. There’s a second location in the Loop. Order online here.

A plate of avocado toast.
West Coast eats come to the Midwest at this Lakeview spot.
Left Coast [Official Photo]

Doc B's Restaurant + Bar

A bowl of stir fry.
The stir fry bowls are a popular choice at Doc B’s.
Doc B’s Restaurant + Bar [Official Photo]

While the menu boasts burgers, ribs, and chicken sandwiches, it’s also easy to order something healthy-ish at this Chicago-based chain. The Wok Out Bowl is a favorite that offers the choice of protein, sauce, and either rice, noodles, or quinoa. Finished with veggies and chopped cashews, it’ll satisfy many types of diets. There’s a second Doc B’s outpost in River North. Online orders can be placed here.

A bowl of stir fry.
The stir fry bowls are a popular choice at Doc B’s.
Doc B’s Restaurant + Bar [Official Photo]

RealGood Stuff Co.

Originally a smoothie chain, RealGood Stuff Co. added hot foods to its arsenal when it opened a River North location. Guests can complement their juices with customizable green and grain bowls, sandwiches, toasts, frozen yogurt, and more. Additional locations are in Lincoln Park, Old Town, and Lakeview. Online ordering is available here.

Chicago Raw

For those trying out a liquid diet, this raw shop supplies everything to help the process, including smoothies containing greens, fruits, and doses of vitamins and antioxidants. More substantial bites are available in the form of acai bowls, salads, sandwiches, flatbreads, and more.

True Food Kitchen

River North welcomed the first Chicago location of this Phoenix-based chain in 2016. The menu — built on Dr. Andrew Weil’s self-described anti-inflammatory diet — features an array of seasonal juices, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, and more. And though kale salads are ubiquitous these days, True Food’s version stands out: Tuscan kale mixed with Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic, and lemon. Order online here.

LYFE Kitchen

Most dishes at LYFE Kitchen are fewer than 600 calories. The menu accommodates gluten-free and vegan diets but those without restrictions should try the crispy baked chicken breaded in panko. It’s served atop Brussels sprouts, cotija cheese, and lemon pepper aioli. Online ordering is available here.

Sweetgreen

A bowl of salad.
Salad giant Sweetgreen is full of fresh options.
Sweetgreen [Official Photo]

Salads are often a safe bet for a nutrient-laden meal. This chain from Washington D.C. adds some excitement to the mix by offering an impressive spread of locally-sourced ingredients for diners to choose from. Instead of the same old Caesar, build a bowl packed with interesting items like spicy sunflower seeds, za’atar breadcrumbs, roasted sweet potatoes, curry roasted cauliflower, and roasted sesame tofu. Additional outposts are located in the Loop, West Loop, Hyde Park, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, and Andersonville. Order online here.

A bowl of salad.
Salad giant Sweetgreen is full of fresh options.
Sweetgreen [Official Photo]

Beatrix

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise’s all-day eatery has five locations around Chicagoland, which is great news for anyone trying a different approach to eating. Classic comfort foods, including meatloaf and pasta are elevated with healthy twists, like bolognese with chicken instead of beef. Online ordering is available here.

Uncooked

Always on the move or don’t have the time to sit down to a meal? Then head to this grab-and-go spot for a host of healthy prepackaged foods and beverages. Run by Chicago Raw co-founder Carole Jones, her son Jeremy Jones, and her daughter-in-law Kaitlyn Jones, Uncooked specializes in raw, plant-based dishes that are also gluten-free and sustainably sourced. Highlights include cacio e pepe with kelp noodles, watermelon radish ravioli filled with mozzarella, and veggie sushi rolls. Online ordering is available here.

Protein Bar & Kitchen

With multiple Protein Bar outposts scattered around the downtown area, a quick and nutritious meal is never too far away for office workers. The Chicago-based chain is a popular destination for lunch, offering filling protein shakes and bowls. Globally-inspired creations include the “Mexicali” (chicken, corn, black beans, cheddar, salsa, kale, spicy tomatillo lime sauce, chipotle Greek yogurt) and the “Spicy Korean” (Beyond Beef meatballs, cucumber, spinach, pickled red onion, cauliflower rice, pickled carrot, sweet and spicy chili sauce). Online orders can be placed here.

Native Foods Cafe

Salads and grain bowls are reliable standbys for a nutritious diet, but every now and then the craving for a good old fashioned burger (or at the very least a faux one) hits. Native Foods Cafe’s menu is entirely vegetarian, and the gastropub burger is both scrumptious and less greasy than the competition: a veggie patty topped with plant-based provolone, tomato bacon jam, onion rings, and vegan mayo. Additional outposts are located in the Loop, Wicker Park, and Lakeview. Online ordering can be done here.

Related Maps

Healthy Substance

“The vegan side of Mexico” draws folks to this family-owned spot in Garfield Ridge. The lineup features tamales, burritos, tacos, nachos, gorditas, and more, plus meatless versions of chorizo, carne asada, and al pastor. Online orders can be placed here.

B'Gabs Goodies

Nutrition-focused specialties aren’t abundant on the South Side, which is why Gabrielle Darvassy opened this vegan oasis in 2014. Her inventive menu ranges from buckwheat pancakes to a nacho salad with sunflower seed “meat.” Juices and smoothies are also a major component of the cafe, as are raw “goodies” like lemon squares and coconut haystacks. Online ordering is available here.

Majani Restaurant

Over at Majani in South Shore, owners Tsadakeeyah and Nasya Emmanuel serve soulful vegan cuisine. The African-influenced restaurant was born out of the couple’s catering experience, and their recipes include a “crab cake” sandwich made with baked tofu, oyster mushroom tacos, and barbecue cauliflower. A second Majani outpost is located in One Eleven Food Hall. Online orders can be placed here.

Related Maps