Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
Dec 8, 2012 04:24 PM


Never ceases to amaze me: I think I have all the veg and veg friendly restos scoped out, and a new one pops up to prove me wrong!
Just read about Zealous. It's not strictly veg, which is good for our mixed group.
Has anyone been?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. >> a new one pops up to prove me wrong!

    You know that Zealous has been around for a long time, right? (18 years, according to their website.) I went there a long time ago, when Taus first opened Zealous in west suburban Elmhurst. I remember thinking it was excellent at that time; I just haven't been back since he opened his location in River North 11 years ago.

    Incidentally, I don't think of Zealous as being any more vegetarian-friendly than most other restaurants. Most restaurants have a few vegetarian dishes on the menu, enough to satisfy most vegetarians.

    3 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      nxtasy, with great and all due respect for your invaluable help over the years, a "few vegetarian dishes" are not necessarily "enough to satisfy." I don't have any interest in going to dinner and being forced to choose between a limited number of perhaps uninspired options.

      What I found on the Zealous menu (more specifically, the veg tasting menu) were some dishes which sounded quite interesting and which I would like to try.

      I don't live in Chicago, altho' I visit often, so the restaurant's 18 year tenure was not known to me, nor is it particularly relevant to my ongoing search for restos which provide interesting veg and non-veg options.

      I hope you understand my perspective and thanks as always for your kind input.

      1. re: mrsdebdav

        Well, I hope you didn't take offense from my comments, as none was intended.

        Zealous is, IMHO, one of many restaurants that operates "under the radar", that doesn't get a lot of media coverage or attention on forums like Chowhound. And that may be more a function of the limited number that can get some attention, rather than anything wrong with them. I've had numerous visits to restaurants that I have never tried, or haven't tried in a long time, where I've been mightily impressed. My point here is, yes it's been around for 18 years, and while I can't give a recent report, for all I know it's still great and I would encourage you to try it and see how you like it.

        And of course I meant no disrespect for restaurants with more options (and more interesting options) for vegetarians. More options for everyone is *always* a good thing!

        If you go to Zealous, please let us know how you like it! (In the meantime, I'm adding it back to my list of restaurants to try/return. Unfortunately, that list never seems to get shorter!)

        1. re: nsxtasy

          Oh my goodness, why would I take offense? I was only trying to explicate my thinking, and your response shows you totally got what I was saying.

          Chicago is such a terrific food city, but as happens everywhere, a small percentage of restos tend to receive the preponderance of attention. To your very good point, it's the under the radar places, new and old, that I find more appealing, especially when their veg options show creativity, originality (and, one hopes) prove to be tasty!

          I always look forward to reading your posts. You are an asset to the Chi resto scene and, especially, to Chowhound.

    2. wow I had assumed this place had gone (I need to get back to Chicago more often). I did eat there once, uhh 10 years ago, so too long ago to be relevant today, but the food (then) was great and the service was very good, attentive but not hover-ish.

      they were very accommodating so I could see how they'd toss-up things for vegs or vegans. "oh you don't eat dessert? next time we'll serve another appetizer" okie-doke.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hill food

        Thanks for your post, hill food. Friendly and accommodating service is so important to the overall dining experience, at least for me.

      2. A new one is officially opening tonight. Grace is the new high-end restaurant from Curtis Duffy, formerly executive chef at Avenues. They have two tasting menus, each around 9 courses, and both are shown on their website at One of the menus is almost entirely vegetarian. (Click on the two boxes at the top to switch between the two menus.) I've heard it's $165-185 or so per person, and that's for the tasting menu before beverages or tax/tip.

        Incidentally, Everest has been around for a long time and has had a vegetarian tasting menu. For a while it wasn't shown on their website but it has returned:

        1. Unfortunately, you've only got a couple weeks left to try Zealous:

          1 Reply