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Apr 25, 2010 09:34 AM

Out-of-Towners looking for good vegetarian food

We are visiting Chicago in May and are planning our eating extravaganza --- specifically, we are looking for good and interesting vegetarian fare. Places we've been and loved are the Green Zebra (of course!) and Cafe Lula. We'd love to get some ideas on new places to try, anything from diners for brunch (is the Handlebar any good?) to adventuresome for dinner (I read about someone getting a veggie tasting at Moto). Any suggestions?

Green Zebra
1460 W Chicago, Chicago, IL 60622

Moto Restaurant
945 W Fulton, Chicago, IL 60607

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  1. Soul Vegetarian East is a vegan restaurant somewhat off the beaten track, but generally well thought of. See the Chicago Tribune's Metromix

    and a Utube video from the PBS show "Check Please"

    Soul Vegetarian East Restaurant - Chatham/Avalon Park - Chicago, IL 60619 | Metromix Chicago

    Soul Vegetarian East
    203 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619

    1 Reply
    1. re: lina14

      I left off the link to the Utube video. Here, I hope it is.

      1. Charlie Trotters has a wonderful vegetarian tasting menu. I'm not familiar with Moto's tasting menu.

        Green Zebra and Cafe Lula are great choices.

        All that being said, don't limit yourselves to vegetarian only restaurants. I can't think of one of Chicago's finer restaurants that doesn't have excellent vegetarian options that are, in my opinion, frequently better than the offerings at many of the city's strictly vegetarian restaurants.

        Don't overlook ethnic fare, including Thai (Sticky Rice, TAC and Spoon Thai being among the best) and Mexican (Frontera, Mexique, Mixteco among many).

        Spoon Thai
        4608 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

        Charlie Trotter's
        816 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60614

        Green Zebra
        1460 W Chicago, Chicago, IL 60622

        Moto Restaurant
        945 W Fulton, Chicago, IL 60607

        1529 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

        3 Replies
        1. re: chicgail

          Mediterranean Grill in Lincoln Square is a nice spot for veg-heads. I have heard that ROTI downtown has the best falafel around, but I can't speak from experience on that one.

          Mediterranean Grill
          4609 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

          1. re: sadie.finn

            Roti is really growiing on me, good stuff...yes, the menu is very veggie friendly! It's sort of like a Middle Eastern Chipotle, only not as casual.


            The food court at the Whole Foods Market on Kinzie and North Avenue is fabulous...far more options at this location! Plus there's a full bar/pub and a live music on some days. Veggie options galore there!


            1. re: StreetFed

              >> the Whole Foods Market on Kinzie and North Avenue

              I think you mean on *Kingsbury* just south of North.

        2. i love amitabuls on north milwaukee. it's a little bit of a hike, but it's worth it. really good soup (the cure-all soup), korean vegetable pancakes, kimchi noodles, stir fry, etc.

          i like hai yen for vietnamese food up on argyle because i find them to be the most considerate and helpful when tailoring dishes to be vegetarian and vegan. i really do like tank, but depending on my waiter/waitress, they are not very helpful with ensuring that dishes are vegetarian.

          i love coco pazzo and have had some really great veggie dishes there. good wine, yummy beet salad, i had a gnocchi dish that they modified to be vegetarian.

          i haven't tried double li restaurant in chinatown, but i hear great things. it is a sichuan restaurant. i'm hoping that it will be easy to ask questions about the food to ensure that it is vegetarian.

          i love going up to devon for indian food. i love the floating idli at udupi palace. but, there are so many other great vegetarian places up there.

          bleeding heart bakery (belmont/damen) has really good vegan bakery items (cupcakes, scones, cake balls, etc etc).

          i had an amazing all vegetarian dinner at topolo. really really really good.

          for brunch, i enjoy the black bean cakes at wishbone restaurant up in lakeview. it has a lot of southern style food. i usually get black bean cakes, grits, corn muffin.

          good luck! i've had a really easy time finding great vegetarian food in chicago.

          1. This may be too far north but Blind Faith Cafe in Evanston is fantastic--especially the vegan chocolate cake with some Intelligencia coffee after your meal.