13 Best Vegan Restaurants in Chicago
Chicago is known for its deep dish pizzas and Chicago-style hot dogs, but if your vegan taste buds yearn for variety, don’t fret. Chicago’s got you covered. From Korean Seoul food to Black soul food, there’s a variety of vegan cuisines throughout Chicagoland.
After 2 years of living in and eating my way through the Chicago area, I’ve explored just about all of the vegan restaurants that Chicago has to offer. So if you’re looking to dine at the best vegan restaurants in Chicago, you can’t go wrong with any of these 13 vegan spots and honorable mentions.
1. Plant Based Junkie
1635 1/2 E 87th St. Chicago, IL 60617
Y’all…. The Fire Bird “Chicken” Sandwich at Plant Based Junkie was so good that it left me speechless! Words can’t fully do it justice anyway, but let me give it a shot.
The patty has a realistic chicken texture that is juicy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and perfectly seasoned throughout. I’ve been vegan so long that I thought I was just trippin’, so I went back for seconds with a friend. Same verdict: it’s the best chicken patty that either of us has ever had, animal-based or vegan.
I can’t even explain why or how a vegan chicken sandwich is so juicy like this, so you just have to believe me and go try it for yourself!
2. Sam & Gertie’s
1309 W Wilson Ave. Chicago, IL 60640
The self-proclaimed world’s first vegan Jewish deli, Sam & Gertie’s, features a whole heap of options ranging from breakfast bagels to babkas.
So if you’re in Chicago and jonesin’ for house-made bagels (including wheat-free options), vegan lox, or a vegan version of traditional Jewish deli sandwiches, you’re in luck! That is, if you can swing by during their limited hours during the morning to early afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays.
If you miss them during their weekend hours, try their other vegan restaurant, Kal’ish (honorable mention), located right next door.
3. Libby’s Corner
Check their Instagram to see where they will be poppin’ up
Libby’s Corner is the type of pop-up that captivates your eyes and taste buds, even amongst a dozen other vendors.
Seeing a menu that lists items like Jerk Chixken, BBQ Ribs, Cornbread, Red Beans & Rice, Greens, and Mac and Cheese had me intrigued. Smelling and seeing the bomb food in those catering containers had me sold!
I tried the Jerk Chixken Dinner, their signature dish, and let me tell you…. That thinly sliced Jerk Chixken had me shook! It was tender, juicy, and well seasoned. I’m not going to pretend to be a jerk seasoning expert, so don’t come lookin’ for me if it’s not to your liking, but the jerk flavor for me was on point!
4. Arya Bhavan
2508 W Devon Ave Chicago, IL 60659
Devon Avenue in Chicago is home to an iconic strip of Indian markets, shops, and restaurants. Nestled in the sea of already vegan-friendly Indian restaurants on Devon lies the 100% vegan Arya Bhavan.
Now I love me some Indian food, so I frequent Indian restaurants whether or not they’re 100% vegan. But when I saw that Arya Bhavan has a vegan version of dairy-based items like mango lassi, garlic naan, and Palak Paneer, I went buck wild and enjoyed every bite and slurp of it.
To top it all off, all of their food is made of ingredients free from MSG, GMOs, artificial flavors, refined sugar, and saturated fat.
700 N Michigan Ave 7th Floor Chicago, IL 60611 (inside Saks)
Althea, one of Matthew Kenney’s many vegan restaurants across the globe, is positioned smack dab in the middle of the Saks Fifth Avenue on Michigan Ave in Chicago. Their menu has you covered from brunch down to dinner & drinks with items like Baked French toast, Barbacoa Tacos, Spicy Udon Noodles, and Coconut Cream Pie.
I feel like a bootleg food critic for saying this, but the most impressive part for me was that each dish was so beautifully plated with visually appealing color schemes. Each plate was so pretty that it could have all tasted like dirt and I still would have still asked the waitstaff to give my regards to the chef. Luckily for us all though, the food actually tastes amazing too!
The restaurant also has a very open and soothing ambiance. I don’t think I’ve ever been to such a quiet restaurant before, and I wasn’t even mad at it.
6. Kitchen 17
3132 N Broadway Chicago, IL 60657
If you’re in the city and looking for a vegan Chicago-style pizza, Kitchen 17 is where it’s at!
Since you’re in Chicago and ordering a deep dish (Chicago style) pizza, you might as well throw some spicy giardiniera on there too, and order the Fully Loaded deep dish. It includes soy sausage, spinach, onion, black olive, and spicy giardiniera (it’s a big thing in Chicago, so why not try it!) and their mouth-watering house-made cheese.
If you’re not feelin’ deep dish, they also offer pan and New York-style pizzas. If you’re not feelin’ pizza, their menu also includes items like burgers, sandwiches, salads, and desserts.
If you’re not feelin’ any of that, I just don’t know what to tell you! Check out my Vegan Deep Dish Pizza in Chicago post for deep dish and other styles of pizza around the city.
7. Soul Veg City
203 E 75th St Chicago, IL 60619
Soul Veg City is the new name for Original Soul Vegetarian, which is a Black-owned restaurant that has been providing vegan food to the people since the early 80s!
Soul Veg City has a lil summin’ summin’ for everyone. Want to grab something quick? Try their extensive hot bar. Want a meal made to order? Check out their menu full of appetizers, handhelds, entrees, smoothies, and desserts.
Point is, you can’t go wrong with the food, and the service is just as great. All this, and I haven’t even gotten to my favorite part about Soul Veg City: the sense of community. Being in the space, it’s very clear that this restaurant is a South Side Chicago community staple that has been bringing Black people together over vegan for decades.
Side note: If you’ve been around the Atlanta vegan scene, you might be thinking that the name Soul Vegetarian sounds mighty familiar. That is because there are two Soul Vegetarians in Atlanta that had a lot of the same menu items as the Chicago-based Original Soul Vegetarian.
7167 S Exchange Ave Chicago, IL 60649
756 E 111th St Chicago, IL 60628
2537 S Wabash Ave Chicago, IL 60616
Majani, which means “Green Leaf” in Swahili, is another long-standing Black-owned and operated vegan restaurant with roots on the South-side of Chicago.
The husband and wife owners of Majani had a mission to bring fresh dining options to their underserved, but well-deserving community. It’s definitely safe to say that they’ve done that and much more as they offer fresh ingredients grown by 6 local farmers across all 3 of their locations, two of which are on the South Side.
You can’t go wrong with the popular BBQ cauliflower, but be sure to try out Black Eye Pea Fritters. They’re perfectly crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. Dip those bad boys in the mango habanero sauce and thank me later.
9. The Black Vegan
2300 S Kenzie Ave. Chicago, IL 60623
As the only Black vegan in my friend group, I couldn’t help but chuckle and say to myself, “same sis… same” when I first saw that a restaurant called The Black Vegan opened up in Chicago.
Now if there’s one thing a Black vegan is going to do with their food, they’re bout to season it DOWN! Just look at my picture of the Vegan Shrimp Gyro on the left. Cracked pepper and herbs everywhere!
I’m a sucker for bomb house-made products, so the owner stole my heart with her house-made shrimp! I even called her after my meal to let her know!
6207 N Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL 60646
I typically don’t order a plate full of veggies when I eat out, simply because I know that I can just make my own at home. However, I make an exception for Amitabul. Chef Bill, the owner, is just able to work some flavorful magic with his food that I can’t match.
I’m not gon’ lie, the first time I ordered the Zesty Noodle, I wasn’t expecting much. With that first bite though, the flavor slapped me in the mouth and I’ve had some act right ever since!
Even more impressive is that Chef Bill doesn’t cook with any salt or oil. Just pure colorful, flavorful, and healthy Korean Buddhist food.
2566 N Clark St Chicago, IL 60614
Fons, which has at least proclaimed itself as America’s first plant-based empanadas shop, offers 9 different savory and sweet empanada flavors. Their empanadas take you around the world on a flavor journey with options like Asian Lumpia, Jackfruit Ropa Vieja, and Margherita, just to name a few.
Not only do their empanadas cover a range of cuisines, but they also cover the span of the rainbow with their naturally colored doughs. The empanadas themselves are good, but the garlic sauce takes the savory ones to another level
12. Stand – Up Burger
204 North Wells St. Chicago, IL 60606
604 W Diversey Pkwy. Chicago, IL 60614
Stand – Up Burger is a vegan burger joint that offers burgers, shakes, and fries. They use Impossible for their burger patties, as do lots of restaurants nowadays.
They use Miyoko’s cheddar cheese, which is a nice touch because I don’t see restaurants using it as much as some other brands. Miyoko’s is a brand that I love, but often skip out on when I’m being cheap.
The brioche bun is what makes the burger though. I’ve learned that I have a thing for brioche buns, so I’m just going to accept that for what it is and keep Stand – Up Burger as my Chicago brioche connect.
13. Upton’s Breakroom
2054 W. Grand Ave Chicago, IL 60612
You may be thinking that the Upton’s brand sounds familiar. That may be because Upton’s Naturals products are offered in grocery stores across the US. If you like their store-bought products, you should definitely make your way to Upton’s Breakroom while you’re in Chicago!
Their menu includes options ranging from a Bahn Mi to Korean Tacos, donuts, Nachos, and the classic “Chicago Style” Updog. It doesn’t look very impressive in my picture, but I really appreciated the actual Updog itself.
It has a realistic algae-based casing that I haven’t experienced on a vegan hot dog before. If you’re looking to try a Chicago-style hot dog while you’re in the city, I definitely recommend trying the one at Upton’s Breakroom!
13 Best Vegan Restaurants in Chicago: Honorable Mentions
Some of my favorite restaurants in Chicago are actually vegetarian instead of full vegan, so I had to call them out separately. Don’t get it twisted though, you should definitely still check them out!
- Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat – 1368 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615 and 24 Orland Square Dr, Orland Park, IL 60462
- Black-owned vegetarian restaurant that basically has a vegan menu with dairy cheese optional. The original location in Hyde Park is a block away from the historic location of Barack and Michele Obama’s first kiss. So grab some bomb food AND visit the Baskin Robin’s where the magic first began for the Obamas!
- The Chicago Diner on Halsted will always have a special place in my heart as the first place I ever ate at in Chicago! I was blown away by their milkshakes and Radical Reuben! The Chicago Diner is another vegetarian spot that is mainly vegan but offers dairy cheese.
Map of the 13 Best Vegan Restaurants in Chicago
Green markers = 13 Best Vegan Restaurants in Chicago
Yellow markers = Honorable mentions