clock menu more-arrow no yes
The Chicago Diner
Facebook

19 Great Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants in Chicago

Deliciousness powered by plants, carbs, and cheeses

View as Map
The Chicago Diner
| Facebook

While Chicago remains a predominantly steak and potatoes kind of town, there are plenty of restaurants providing delicious meat-free alternatives. And yes, that means no fish as well. The following 20 spots give vegetarians more respect than a bland pasta or an uninspired salad. New additions to this year’s list include plant-based diner Kal’ish, tamale expert Yvolina’s Tamales, and Logan Square’s Ground Control.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Kal'ish

Copy Link
1313 W Wilson Ave
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 293-7768
Visit Website

Owners Andy and Gina Kalish have created indulgent, crave-worthy fare without the use of meat at their plant-based diner. The popular Clucker Crisps are comprised of a garbanzo bean and gluten seitan mixture and seasoned with garlic, onion, and paprika. They’re available as a basket or in a sandwich.

2. The Chicago Diner

Copy Link
3411 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 935-6696
Visit Website

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.

3. Lula Cafe

Copy Link
2537 N Kedzie Blvd
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 489-9554
Visit Website

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.

4. Daisies

Copy Link
2523 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 661-1671
Visit Website

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.

5. Paulie Gee's

Copy Link
2451 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 360-1072
Visit Website

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).

6. Ground Control

Copy Link
3315 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 772-9446
Visit Website

It lacks the popularity of Chicago’s other famed foods but the jibarito certainly deserves attention. Though the Puerto Rican sandwich is traditionally made with steak, vegetarians can get a non-meat variant at this Logan Square spot. Here, housemade seitan is topped with poblano, onion, garlic, greens, tomato, garlic mayo, and American cheese in between slices of fried plantain.

7. Rangoli

Copy Link
2421 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 697-7114
Visit Website

Most Indian restaurants have an array of veggie options and Rangoli is no exception. The extensive meat-free menu includes bagara baingan (spicy eggplant).

Yelp

8. Handlebar

Copy Link
2311 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 384-9546
Visit Website

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.

9. Clever Rabbit

Copy Link
2015 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 697-8711
Visit Website

Fresh and seasonal ingredients are the focus at this veggie-forward restaurant and vegetarians should have no problem finding something to their liking. The $50 crudite platter is a splurge but arrives with enough delights to feed an entire table and justify its cost.

10. The Little Beet Table

Copy Link
845 N State St ste 101
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 549-8600
Visit Website

This New York import strives for healthy, gluten-free choices that center on vegetables. Instead of a traditional chickpea hummus, Little Beet Table makes its version with cauliflower and dresses it with sorghum, seeds, red onion, and dill.

11. Beatrix

Copy Link
519 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 284-1377
Visit Website

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise’s all-day eatery is now up to three locations, and that’s because it pleases on many fronts. Whether folks are looking for quick and casual, healthy, or vegetarian-friendly, there are plenty of choices. On the lunch menu, the mushroom and quinoa burger with Swiss cheese and baby kale is a standout.

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises [Official Photo]

12. River Roast

Copy Link
315 N LaSalle Dr
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 822-0100
Visit Website

Diners shouldn’t let the lineup of juicy meats fool them; River Roast has enough options to accommodate all diets. The menu’s most notable herbivore-friendly entrée is dubbed ‘Boatload of Veggies’ and features a poblano pepper stuffed with roasted seasonal vegetables.

13. Bad Hunter

Copy Link
802 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 265-1745
Visit Website

Heisler Hospitality’s plant-centric eatery has blossomed into a Restaurant Row powerhouse. Chicagoans have embraced executive chef Dan Snowden’s cooking and shown that it’s not just a meat and potatoes kind of town. A majority of veggie burgers are sad imitations that miss the mark, but the Bad Hunter burger is a bombshell. It packs two black bean patties sandwiched by oozy cheddar, tomato jam, onions, lettuce, and mustard aioli. Even carnivores will agree it’s a revelation. Note: Bad Hunter is currently closed after a fire.

14. Yvolina’s Tamales

Copy Link
814 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 731-3167
Visit Website

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.

15. Zaytune Mediterranean Grill

Copy Link
3129 S Morgan St
Chicago, IL 60608
(773) 254-6300
Visit Website

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.

16. El Faro

Copy Link
3936 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60623
(773) 277-1155

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.

17. Nana

Copy Link
3267 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 929-2486
Visit Website

With a heavy emphasis on local and organic products, Nana is a Bridgeport favorite for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Avocado fries served with chipotle-lime aioli are a (slightly) healthier alternative to fried potatoes.

18. Majani

Copy Link
7167 S Exchange Ave
Chicago, IL 60649
(773) 359-4019
Visit Website

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.

19. Original Soul Vegetarian

Copy Link
203 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619

This legendary vegan restaurant 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.

1. Kal'ish

1313 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

Owners Andy and Gina Kalish have created indulgent, crave-worthy fare without the use of meat at their plant-based diner. The popular Clucker Crisps are comprised of a garbanzo bean and gluten seitan mixture and seasoned with garlic, onion, and paprika. They’re available as a basket or in a sandwich.

1313 W Wilson Ave
Chicago, IL 60640

2. The Chicago Diner

3411 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657

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.

3411 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60657

3. Lula Cafe

2537 N Kedzie Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647

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.

2537 N Kedzie Blvd
Chicago, IL 60647

4. Daisies

2523 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647, Chicago, IL 60647

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.

2523 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Chicago, IL 60647

5. Paulie Gee's

2451 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

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).

2451 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

6. Ground Control

3315 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

It lacks the popularity of Chicago’s other famed foods but the jibarito certainly deserves attention. Though the Puerto Rican sandwich is traditionally made with steak, vegetarians can get a non-meat variant at this Logan Square spot. Here, housemade seitan is topped with poblano, onion, garlic, greens, tomato, garlic mayo, and American cheese in between slices of fried plantain.

3315 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

7. Rangoli

2421 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Yelp

Most Indian restaurants have an array of veggie options and Rangoli is no exception. The extensive meat-free menu includes bagara baingan (spicy eggplant).

2421 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

8. Handlebar

2311 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

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.

2311 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

9. Clever Rabbit

2015 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622

Fresh and seasonal ingredients are the focus at this veggie-forward restaurant and vegetarians should have no problem finding something to their liking. The $50 crudite platter is a splurge but arrives with enough delights to feed an entire table and justify its cost.

2015 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622

10. The Little Beet Table

845 N State St ste 101, Chicago, IL 60610

This New York import strives for healthy, gluten-free choices that center on vegetables. Instead of a traditional chickpea hummus, Little Beet Table makes its version with cauliflower and dresses it with sorghum, seeds, red onion, and dill.

845 N State St ste 101
Chicago, IL 60610

11. Beatrix

519 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises [Official Photo]

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise’s all-day eatery is now up to three locations, and that’s because it pleases on many fronts. Whether folks are looking for quick and casual, healthy, or vegetarian-friendly, there are plenty of choices. On the lunch menu, the mushroom and quinoa burger with Swiss cheese and baby kale is a standout.

519 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654

12. River Roast

315 N LaSalle Dr, Chicago, IL 60654

Diners shouldn’t let the lineup of juicy meats fool them; River Roast has enough options to accommodate all diets. The menu’s most notable herbivore-friendly entrée is dubbed ‘Boatload of Veggies’ and features a poblano pepper stuffed with roasted seasonal vegetables.

315 N LaSalle Dr
Chicago, IL 60654

13. Bad Hunter

802 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

Heisler Hospitality’s plant-centric eatery has blossomed into a Restaurant Row powerhouse. Chicagoans have embraced executive chef Dan Snowden’s cooking and shown that it’s not just a meat and potatoes kind of town. A majority of veggie burgers are sad imitations that miss the mark, but the Bad Hunter burger is a bombshell. It packs two black bean patties sandwiched by oozy cheddar, tomato jam, onions, lettuce, and mustard aioli. Even carnivores will agree it’s a revelation. Note: Bad Hunter is currently closed after a fire.

802 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607

14. Yvolina’s Tamales

814 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

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.

814 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608

15. Zaytune Mediterranean Grill

3129 S Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60608

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.

3129 S Morgan St
Chicago, IL 60608

Related Maps

16. El Faro

3936 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60623

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.

3936 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60623

17. Nana

3267 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608

With a heavy emphasis on local and organic products, Nana is a Bridgeport favorite for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Avocado fries served with chipotle-lime aioli are a (slightly) healthier alternative to fried potatoes.

3267 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608

18. Majani

7167 S Exchange Ave, Chicago, IL 60649

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.

7167 S Exchange Ave
Chicago, IL 60649

19. Original Soul Vegetarian

203 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619

This legendary vegan restaurant 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.

203 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619

Related Maps