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A round green vegetarian dish. Chris Peters/Eater Chicago

Where to Find Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants in Chicago

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While Chicago retains its reputation as a predominantly steak-and-potatoes kind of town, the city has in recent years seen an explosion in thoughtful approaches that show due respect to the immense possibilities of vegetarian and vegan cuisine. That’s good news for all kinds of diners, and potentially the environment, too. Whether one is looking to simply reduce meat consumption, cut it out entirely, or dine out with a companion who is hashtag plant-based, the choices are now plentiful.

Explore Eater Chicago’s map of the top spots for vegetarians and omnivorous groups around town.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Taste of Lebanon Restaurant

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A neighborhood staple for more than a decade, Taste of Lebanon has earned a loyal following among vegetarians and omnivores with reliably delicious lentil soup, falafel that’s crisp and light, and meat-free stuffed grape leaves that all travel well.

The Chicago Diner

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Meat free since ’83, this beloved diner is always near the top of any vegetarian-friendly list. Its signature Radical Reuben is loaded with corned beef seitan, grilled onions, peppers, sauerkraut, vegan thousand island dressing, and cheese on marbled rye.

Yummy Yummy Asian Cuisine

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This cozy, no-frills pan Asian hole-in-the-wall is lauded for both its reasonable prices and top-notch vegan dishes, which are so numerous that they merit a separate menu from the omnivorous selection. Vegetarians can eat themselves silly on Sichuan wontons, scallion pancakes, Mongolian seitan, mapo tofu, and much, much more.

Lula Cafe

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The OG farm-to-table restaurant maintains its commitment to not only using local produce but also showcasing them in an assortment of veggie-forward dishes. A six-course vegetarian tasting menu is offered nightly and changes seasonally to include dishes like buckwheat gnudi, mushroom and risotto dumplings in beet dashi, and cauliflower in brown butter hollandaise.

James Beard Award-winning chef Zach Engel and his team at Galit have created a restaurant destination in Lincoln Park, earning the allegiance of vegetarians and omnivores alike with a menu of modern, stylish Middle Eastern cuisine. Exciting meat-free hits include lion’s mane mushroom schnitzel (black-eyed peas, capered peaches, kale) and carrots with Bulgerian feta and hazelnut duqqa.

Paulie Gee's

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Not only does Brooklyn’s famous Paulie Gee’s make vegetarian pies, it also has a dedicated vegan section on the menu. Don’t miss the Greenpointer (mozzarella, arugula, olive oil, lemon juice, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano).

Casa Yari

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For over a decade, Casa Yari chef and owner Yari Vargas has shown by example that Latin American fare has a lot to offer vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike. Those who eat meat can opt for a traditional churrasco dinner or caderas en coco, while diners who don’t can choose a vegan alternative to nearly every dish. Pollo Con Tajadas, for example, is offered with fried oyster mushrooms instead of chicken, and jibaritos are available with crispy eggplant or jackfruit.

Daisies

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Owner and chef Joe Frillman puts a strong emphasis on quality, sourcing ingredients from his brother’s nearby farm. There’s beauty in simplicity and all of Daisies’ pastas shine in that regard. For vegetarians and meat eaters alike, the chitarra with sun gold tomatoes, pecorino, and olive oil is exceptional.

A chef’s counter beside an open restaurant kitchen. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Irazu Costa Rican Restaurant & Catering

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A Bucktown staple, Irazu is a rare Chicago spot for Costa Rican dining that manages the challenging task of appealing both to groups and those who are eating alone. Meaty favorites are plentiful and happily flanked by an entire menu section of vegetarian specialties such as chile relleno, paella, tacos, and burritos.

Handlebar

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Comfort food takes on a vegetarian twist at this West Side dive. Among the most popular items are the fried avocado tacos stuffed with cabbage slaw, tomatoes, refried beans, housemade ranch, brown rice, and salsa verde.

Bloom Plant Based Kitchen

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Chef Rodolfo Cuadros (Amaru) has managed to infuse the menu at Bloom with a kind of infectious joy — an experience that omnivores don’t always associate with meat-free dining. The dishes are exciting, even audacious, and will certainly make for animated conversation at the table. Every item on the menu is vegan and gluten-free, with standouts including sun-dried tomato sashimi (crispy gohan, truffle avocado, kabayaki, serrano chili) and banana blossom crab cake (preserved lemon emulsion, smoked chili aioli, arugula). Patrons can also find Bloom at a stall inside Uptown’s XMarket Vegan Food Hall.

KFire Old Town

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This quick-serve Korean restaurant has plenty of options for vegetarians and those avoiding gluten. They make good use of Korean marinades with seared Impossible patties which taste like kalbi. There’s also a soy mushroom plate that’s delicious. The restaurant has plenty of configurations to accommodate plenty of diets making it a wonderful lunch option. Also, check out the original in Logan Square.

Can't Believe It's Not Meat

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Laricia “Chef Fab” Chandler made a big splash with her vegan and vegetarian fast food spot when it first debuted in 2019 in Hyde Park. That energy has remained strong with the company’s expansion into Gold Coast and south suburban Orland Park, where patrons beat a path for meat-free hits like Bang’n Buffalo Shrimp, Philly cheesesteak burgers, and Italian meatball subs.

Opart Thai House - West Town

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A consistent haven for vegan and vegetarian diners, Opart Thai House gracefully walks the line between Western tastes and ambitious surprises that reward those willing to try something new. These include the spicy Peanut Sauce Lover stir fry, available with meat or tofu.

Torchio Pasta Bar

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Vegetarians and omnivores can agree on one thing: pasta rules. Torchio Pasta Bar in River North ensures that all kinds of diners have a chance to get in on the carb-heavy fun with opulent plates of fettucini (roasted shiitakes and creminis, parmesan truffle cream, friend panko-breaded burrata), cacio e pepe, and rigatoni with taleggio cream and truffle oil.

Indienne

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In 2022, Indienne swept with great aplomb into Chicago with a duo of tasting menus — vegetarian and omnivorous — from chef and co-owner Sujan Sarkar. Noted for a distinctive style that draws on Indian and French cuisines, Sarkar rapidly earned the restaurant a Michelin star. The dishes change with the seasons, and as of winter 2024, meat-free submissions include Dahi (lentil doughnut, tamarind, mint, raspberry) and Paneer (pistachio, fenugreek, Makhani Variations black dairy dal, garlic naan).

A fancy dining room at Indienne. Chris Peters/Eater Chicago

PLANTA Queen

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Canadian chain Planta Queen takes a deep dive into the world of meat-free dishes with Asian influence, offering an upscale outpost for fans of vegan sushi, wok-fried noodles, fried rice, dumplings, and more. It’s also open for brunch, lunch, and happy hour in River North.

Bonci Pizzeria

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Internationally lauded pizzaiolo Gabriele Bonci’s eponymous Roman-style pizzerias have evolved quite a bit since he first landed in Chicago in 2017, with a larger selection of vegan options among the areas of significant growth. West Loop diners can try three types of vegan pies — arrabbiata, spicy eggplant, and mushroom rosa. An outpost on the border of Lincoln Park and Lakeview also features vegetarian creations like lemon ricotta and potato mozzarella.  

Yvolina’s Tamales

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Tamales are plentiful on the South Side but Chicagoans should make an effort to seek out this Pilsen shop. Mother and daughter Marcelina and Yvonney Hernandez are producing arguably the best ones in town and they come stuffed with a variety of fillings — such as eggplant, spinach, soy, and poblano pepper — and covered in mole.

Veggie House

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Mongolian soy beef and salt & pepper pumpkin are some of the dishes served at Veggie House. While many Chinatown restaurants have bountiful vegetarian options, Veggie House is exclusively vegetarian with some vegan options. That means bring on the delicious mock meats. Mushroom and tofu lovers will have plenty of options,

Haidilao Hot Pot Chicago

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Chinese hot pot heavyweight Haidilao has a reputation for dining room theatrics (read: robot food runners) and a wide selection of premium ingredients that ensure there’s something for everyone. Vegetarians can fill their pots with leafy greens like Chinese cabbage, coriander, and crown daisy, as well as several types of tofu skin, hand-pulled noodles, and different kinds of mushrooms.

Zaytune Mediterranean Grill

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The flavors of the Mediterranean are on offer at this counter-service joint in Bridgeport. The falafel here is a stellar version — light, fluffy, and fried to order. It can also be enjoyed in the form of a grilled wrap, platter, or salad bowl.

El Faro

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This longtime healthy Mexican spot has something for everyone. Sure, there’s carne asada and al pastor for meat eaters but vegetarians can dig into a veggie Cubana torta made with soy chicken, sausage, and bacon alongside chipotle sauce, an organic egg, and more.

A casual Mexican restaurant. Jack X. Li/Eater Chicago

Cedars Mediterranean Kitchen

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A lively and casual Mediterranean spot with three decades of experience under its belt, Cedars is the definition of a crowd-pleaser. The falafel is fresh and crisp (it’s available in a wrap with mango chutney, spicy harissa-tahini, and fries) and the “humble lentil soup” is aromatic and satisfying.

Two South Shore residents are providing a vegetarian oasis for South Siders. Owners Tsadakeeyah and Nasya Emmanuel are cooking a wide range of African and South American recipes that have been honed from the couple’s catering business. The BBQ cauliflower — lightly battered and fried with a bold sauce — is a crowd-pleaser.

Soul Veg City

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This legendary vegan restaurant, formerly known as Soul Vegetarian, has a unique story and history on Chicago’s South Side. Many swear by the ‘BBQ Twist,’ a meatless guilty pleasure made with soybean seitan and slathered in a tangy barbecue sauce.

An ordering counter inside Soul Veg City. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Taste of Lebanon Restaurant

A neighborhood staple for more than a decade, Taste of Lebanon has earned a loyal following among vegetarians and omnivores with reliably delicious lentil soup, falafel that’s crisp and light, and meat-free stuffed grape leaves that all travel well.

The Chicago Diner

Meat free since ’83, this beloved diner is always near the top of any vegetarian-friendly list. Its signature Radical Reuben is loaded with corned beef seitan, grilled onions, peppers, sauerkraut, vegan thousand island dressing, and cheese on marbled rye.

Yummy Yummy Asian Cuisine

This cozy, no-frills pan Asian hole-in-the-wall is lauded for both its reasonable prices and top-notch vegan dishes, which are so numerous that they merit a separate menu from the omnivorous selection. Vegetarians can eat themselves silly on Sichuan wontons, scallion pancakes, Mongolian seitan, mapo tofu, and much, much more.

Lula Cafe

The OG farm-to-table restaurant maintains its commitment to not only using local produce but also showcasing them in an assortment of veggie-forward dishes. A six-course vegetarian tasting menu is offered nightly and changes seasonally to include dishes like buckwheat gnudi, mushroom and risotto dumplings in beet dashi, and cauliflower in brown butter hollandaise.

Galit

James Beard Award-winning chef Zach Engel and his team at Galit have created a restaurant destination in Lincoln Park, earning the allegiance of vegetarians and omnivores alike with a menu of modern, stylish Middle Eastern cuisine. Exciting meat-free hits include lion’s mane mushroom schnitzel (black-eyed peas, capered peaches, kale) and carrots with Bulgerian feta and hazelnut duqqa.

Paulie Gee's

Not only does Brooklyn’s famous Paulie Gee’s make vegetarian pies, it also has a dedicated vegan section on the menu. Don’t miss the Greenpointer (mozzarella, arugula, olive oil, lemon juice, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano).

Casa Yari

For over a decade, Casa Yari chef and owner Yari Vargas has shown by example that Latin American fare has a lot to offer vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike. Those who eat meat can opt for a traditional churrasco dinner or caderas en coco, while diners who don’t can choose a vegan alternative to nearly every dish. Pollo Con Tajadas, for example, is offered with fried oyster mushrooms instead of chicken, and jibaritos are available with crispy eggplant or jackfruit.

Daisies

Owner and chef Joe Frillman puts a strong emphasis on quality, sourcing ingredients from his brother’s nearby farm. There’s beauty in simplicity and all of Daisies’ pastas shine in that regard. For vegetarians and meat eaters alike, the chitarra with sun gold tomatoes, pecorino, and olive oil is exceptional.

A chef’s counter beside an open restaurant kitchen. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Irazu Costa Rican Restaurant & Catering

A Bucktown staple, Irazu is a rare Chicago spot for Costa Rican dining that manages the challenging task of appealing both to groups and those who are eating alone. Meaty favorites are plentiful and happily flanked by an entire menu section of vegetarian specialties such as chile relleno, paella, tacos, and burritos.

Handlebar

Comfort food takes on a vegetarian twist at this West Side dive. Among the most popular items are the fried avocado tacos stuffed with cabbage slaw, tomatoes, refried beans, housemade ranch, brown rice, and salsa verde.

Bloom Plant Based Kitchen

Chef Rodolfo Cuadros (Amaru) has managed to infuse the menu at Bloom with a kind of infectious joy — an experience that omnivores don’t always associate with meat-free dining. The dishes are exciting, even audacious, and will certainly make for animated conversation at the table. Every item on the menu is vegan and gluten-free, with standouts including sun-dried tomato sashimi (crispy gohan, truffle avocado, kabayaki, serrano chili) and banana blossom crab cake (preserved lemon emulsion, smoked chili aioli, arugula). Patrons can also find Bloom at a stall inside Uptown’s XMarket Vegan Food Hall.

KFire Old Town

This quick-serve Korean restaurant has plenty of options for vegetarians and those avoiding gluten. They make good use of Korean marinades with seared Impossible patties which taste like kalbi. There’s also a soy mushroom plate that’s delicious. The restaurant has plenty of configurations to accommodate plenty of diets making it a wonderful lunch option. Also, check out the original in Logan Square.

Can't Believe It's Not Meat

Laricia “Chef Fab” Chandler made a big splash with her vegan and vegetarian fast food spot when it first debuted in 2019 in Hyde Park. That energy has remained strong with the company’s expansion into Gold Coast and south suburban Orland Park, where patrons beat a path for meat-free hits like Bang’n Buffalo Shrimp, Philly cheesesteak burgers, and Italian meatball subs.

Opart Thai House - West Town

A consistent haven for vegan and vegetarian diners, Opart Thai House gracefully walks the line between Western tastes and ambitious surprises that reward those willing to try something new. These include the spicy Peanut Sauce Lover stir fry, available with meat or tofu.

Torchio Pasta Bar

Vegetarians and omnivores can agree on one thing: pasta rules. Torchio Pasta Bar in River North ensures that all kinds of diners have a chance to get in on the carb-heavy fun with opulent plates of fettucini (roasted shiitakes and creminis, parmesan truffle cream, friend panko-breaded burrata), cacio e pepe, and rigatoni with taleggio cream and truffle oil.

Related Maps

Indienne

In 2022, Indienne swept with great aplomb into Chicago with a duo of tasting menus — vegetarian and omnivorous — from chef and co-owner Sujan Sarkar. Noted for a distinctive style that draws on Indian and French cuisines, Sarkar rapidly earned the restaurant a Michelin star. The dishes change with the seasons, and as of winter 2024, meat-free submissions include Dahi (lentil doughnut, tamarind, mint, raspberry) and Paneer (pistachio, fenugreek, Makhani Variations black dairy dal, garlic naan).

A fancy dining room at Indienne. Chris Peters/Eater Chicago

PLANTA Queen

Canadian chain Planta Queen takes a deep dive into the world of meat-free dishes with Asian influence, offering an upscale outpost for fans of vegan sushi, wok-fried noodles, fried rice, dumplings, and more. It’s also open for brunch, lunch, and happy hour in River North.

Bonci Pizzeria

Internationally lauded pizzaiolo Gabriele Bonci’s eponymous Roman-style pizzerias have evolved quite a bit since he first landed in Chicago in 2017, with a larger selection of vegan options among the areas of significant growth. West Loop diners can try three types of vegan pies — arrabbiata, spicy eggplant, and mushroom rosa. An outpost on the border of Lincoln Park and Lakeview also features vegetarian creations like lemon ricotta and potato mozzarella.  

Yvolina’s Tamales

Tamales are plentiful on the South Side but Chicagoans should make an effort to seek out this Pilsen shop. Mother and daughter Marcelina and Yvonney Hernandez are producing arguably the best ones in town and they come stuffed with a variety of fillings — such as eggplant, spinach, soy, and poblano pepper — and covered in mole.

Veggie House

Mongolian soy beef and salt & pepper pumpkin are some of the dishes served at Veggie House. While many Chinatown restaurants have bountiful vegetarian options, Veggie House is exclusively vegetarian with some vegan options. That means bring on the delicious mock meats. Mushroom and tofu lovers will have plenty of options,

Haidilao Hot Pot Chicago

Chinese hot pot heavyweight Haidilao has a reputation for dining room theatrics (read: robot food runners) and a wide selection of premium ingredients that ensure there’s something for everyone. Vegetarians can fill their pots with leafy greens like Chinese cabbage, coriander, and crown daisy, as well as several types of tofu skin, hand-pulled noodles, and different kinds of mushrooms.

Zaytune Mediterranean Grill

The flavors of the Mediterranean are on offer at this counter-service joint in Bridgeport. The falafel here is a stellar version — light, fluffy, and fried to order. It can also be enjoyed in the form of a grilled wrap, platter, or salad bowl.

El Faro

This longtime healthy Mexican spot has something for everyone. Sure, there’s carne asada and al pastor for meat eaters but vegetarians can dig into a veggie Cubana torta made with soy chicken, sausage, and bacon alongside chipotle sauce, an organic egg, and more.

A casual Mexican restaurant. Jack X. Li/Eater Chicago

Cedars Mediterranean Kitchen

A lively and casual Mediterranean spot with three decades of experience under its belt, Cedars is the definition of a crowd-pleaser. The falafel is fresh and crisp (it’s available in a wrap with mango chutney, spicy harissa-tahini, and fries) and the “humble lentil soup” is aromatic and satisfying.

Majani

Two South Shore residents are providing a vegetarian oasis for South Siders. Owners Tsadakeeyah and Nasya Emmanuel are cooking a wide range of African and South American recipes that have been honed from the couple’s catering business. The BBQ cauliflower — lightly battered and fried with a bold sauce — is a crowd-pleaser.

Soul Veg City

This legendary vegan restaurant, formerly known as Soul Vegetarian, has a unique story and history on Chicago’s South Side. Many swear by the ‘BBQ Twist,’ a meatless guilty pleasure made with soybean seitan and slathered in a tangy barbecue sauce.

An ordering counter inside Soul Veg City. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

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