vegetarian friendly restaurants?
Hi! My husband and I are travelling to Chicago from Toronto- and we are both vegetarian- we tend to prefer veggie friendly places as opposed to all vegetarian places, because all veggies places often tend to be a bit bare bones, and non-gourmet for our liking!
i have heard that the Green Zebra is great, but any other suggestions would be welcome!
Chicago has several good Ethiopian options, all of which are very veggie friendly: Ethiopian Diamond (6120 N. Broadway), Ras Dashen (5846 N. Broadway), and Addis Abeba (1322 Chicago Ave., Evanston). Victory's Banner in Roscoe Village is a good choice for breakfast or lunch (2100 W. Roscoe); Lula in Logan Square (2537 N. Kedzie) is great for breakfast, lunch & dinner. There are also many excellent Thai restaurants (discussed extensively on this board) and Indian restaurants (most on Devon Ave.) that offer lots of vegetarian options. Enjoy.
I'd also recommend the Handlebar Cafe in Bucktown/Wicker Park (2311 West North Avenue, http://www.handlebarchicago.com) for yummy, unique veggie fare. I don't think they're open for lunch or breakfast during the week. Leona's is good in a pinch. They are a chain but they do have a number of vegetarian options, can be found throughout the city and are open late (www.leonas.com). Heartland Cafe in Roger's Park has many vegetarian options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's very casual with live music on the weekends (www.heartlandcafe.com). Reza's has a few locations and has a lovely, relatively inexpensive lunch buffet with many options (www.rezasrestaurant.com).
Don't rule out Frontera grill- they usually have a few vegetarian dishes - also one of my favorite appetizers they will make vegetarian - queso fundido - just ask the to hold the chorizo -
Blind Faith Cafe in Evanston may be to your liking, it's completely vegetarian and though it's been a while since I've eaten there I remember it being pretty good: http://www.blindfaithcafe.com/
Chicago Diner is also completely vegetarian, if you enjoy "mock meats" it may be worth trying. I personally like it but I can see why most meat eaters don't see the point.
Russian Tea Time near the Art Institute/Symphony Center is outstanding...I was shocked at the number of options and how good they are.
I second the Frontera Grill suggestion, but if you want something a bit more gourmet there's Topolobampo.
People rave about Blackbird, but I've never been--they seem to have one veg option. If you're visiting after 9/15 I'm eating lunch there so I can give you some info, but I'm sure others will speak highly of it.
There is an Indian neighborhood on Devon Avenue that has rows of restaurants. I've only been to four in that area, but my favorite is Tiffin which is at 2536 W. Devon Ave.
There's a chain of places all over downtown called Cosi that is veg friendly, but the service there is consistently terrible, so I'd avoid it.
Coco Pazzo (300 W. Hubbard) has excellant pastas and salads. They are also extremely friendly about substitutions, and have been willing to make many of their dishes for me without meat. Once when the chef didn't think that the dish would be good without meat, he sent the server out with samples of three other meatless dishes me to try, so I would have a good experience.
Vermillion (Hubbard and State) is Indian-Latin fusion. There are some really interesting vegetarian options, including a plaintain burger (lunch only) that I LOVE. The food is great, but I've had some problems with service there.
If you want straight-up Indian, but don't want to go all the way up to Devon, I really like Gaylord's (678 N. Clark).
I also second the recommendation for Blind Faith. Their paella is the best vegetarian paella I've had.
I recently went out with a couple veggie friends to May Street Market on the corner of Grand and May St. They had two good veggie entrees and a quite a few soups, appetizers, and salads, including the exceptional Maytag Blue Cheesecake appetizer. Everyone was pleasantly suprised. Service a little slow, but otherwise great, and a very interesting, well priced wine list.
wow- thanks for all your suggestions everyone- looks like we've got a lot of good eating ahead of us!
I'll be sure to report back.
Chris- re Blackbird, we are in town the weekend of the 15th- but perhaps we can compare reviews if we end up making it there
SuzMico- wow- Vermillion sounds excellent- plaintain burger- yum. We'll have to make a point of going for lunch!
thanks again all!