Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in Chicago

May 29, 2018
by Zagat Staff

Considering this is a city known for steakhouses, it has a surprising number of great places to eat vegetarian. Here are the best.

True Food Kitchen
American · River North · $$

River North hosts the first Midwest location of this health-conscious chain serving a seasonal, vegetable-forward menu of pizzas, salads, grain bowls, sandwiches and entrees catering towards an anti-inflammatory diet. The airy, modern space features communal wood tables, green and white chairs and lots of natural light, plus a bar pouring fresh juices, cocktails, wine and beer.
Clever Rabbit
Ukrainian Village · $$

Set in Wicker Park, this hip restaurant and bar highlights creative vegetable dishes and signature cocktails along with mocktails and craft beer. The rustic-chic setting is low-lit and earthy, with a funky tiled bar, whitewashed brick and dangling light fixtures.
Lula Cafe
Logan Square · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

“Serving farm-to-table cuisine before it became popular,” this Logan Square “mainstay” is a “gold mine” for “exquisite,” “creative” New American fare (including an “amazing” vegetarian tasting menu) and “wonderful” cocktails; a “well-informed” staff works the “stylish” yet “laid-back” room where you “never feel rushed” – even when there are “huge lines” for the “fantastic,” no-reservations weekend brunch.
Chicago Diner
Vegan · Lakeview · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

A "vegetarian paradise" , this diner mini-chain "stays true to its mission" , providing "delicious" , eco-conscious eats (many of which are vegan too) plus "rich, flavorful" "milk-free milkshakes" ; there's a "cute staff" and the low-key atmosphere befits the budget prices, so "long lines" are the "only downside" for most.
Bad Hunter
American · West Loop · $$

This hip West Loop kitchen puts the focus on vegetables which come wood-grilled, house-smoked and even fermented on a seasonal menu capped off by inventive, sweet-meets-savory desserts. Low-alcohol cocktails and natural wines issue from the bar in the stylish, earth-toned setting replete with wood, stone, brick and leather.
Vegetarian · Wicker Park · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

Intense aromas " and " complex flavors " distinguish this " lively " Wicker Park Indian-Nepalese, where " inventive " dishes are " prepared with obvious care " and are also offered on a lunch buffet; the contemporary, red-walled space can feel " cramped " when it gets " hustling and bustling ", so fans suggest you " call ahead.
Duck Duck Goat
Chinese · West Loop · $$

Chef Stephanie Izard cooks creative Chinese fare – including dim sum, hand-pulled noodles, duck and goat dishes – at this buzzy West Loop outpost also serving an all-can beer list and crafty cocktails with Asian flavors. The striking AvroKO-designed space features ornate, distinctively decorated dining areas with banquettes, lazy Susan tabletops and exotic drapery, plus a bar made to look like an outdoor pavilion, and there's also a take-out window, Duck Duck Ta'Go.
Demera Restaurant
Ethiopian · Uptown · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

Fans swear "you can smell the sauces" cooking all the way from the Lawrence El stop at this "inexpensive" Uptown Ethiopian that offers a "nice variety" of "spicy meats" and veggie options served in "generous portions" and followed by coffee from house-roasted beans; the breezy space features "pleasant" outdoor seating and a "friendly" staff adds to the "fun atmosphere.
The Little Beet Table
Gold Coast

Small and large plates of vegetable-centric, gluten-free cooking and a few protein dishes are served at this modern Gold Coast health food cafe, a New York import also offering cocktails, wine, desserts and weekend brunch in an airy, industrial space with a small bar.
Mana Food Bar
Vegetarian · Wicker Park · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.4

“Creatively prepared” Eclectic-vegetarian small plates are so “delicious” “you don't even realize you aren't eating meat” swear fans of this Wicker Park veggie “heaven,” which also serves “delightful” cocktails; service is “friendly” and prices are “reasonable” too, plus, its formerly “small” dimensions have grown thanks to a coach house expansion.
Brunch · River North · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.3

There's "lots to try and share" at this "hip" River North Asian "winner" , where "stylish folks" dig into "exceptional" sushi and other "creative" , "well-thought-out" fusion fare, washed down with "tasty" cocktails; "communal tables" and a "fun" staff make the "beautiful" space "great for large groups" , and while it can get "a bit loud" , the "hubbub" is part of what makes it a "go-to spot.