Chicago is a vegan-friendly city with a wide variety of vegan restaurants from raw to soul food to choose from. It’s hard to round-up all the best vegan food Chicago has to offer, but these are five of our favorite vegan dishes you can enjoy in the Windy City.
Is Chicago home or are you planning to visit Chicago? Stay tuned — Vegans, Baby and some local Chicago partners are working on some very cool projects in 2020.
5 vegan dishes to order when you’re in Chicago
Chicago Deep Dish Vegan Pizza at My Pi
No trip to Chicago is complete without a Chicago pizza (or Dog or Italian Beef, but we digress). We discovered the local favorite My Pi Pizza on an afternoon where we were full. But, alas, as we said, no trip to Chi-town is complete without the pizza, so we did what any other vegan foodie would do and stopped in and ordered a small vegan Chicago pizza. For less than $20, this small vegan pie can serve two — although we pretty much ate all of it solo because it’s that good. It comes smothered with a tomato sauce made with vine-ripened San Marzano tomatoes and a family recipe herb blend, a top a thin layer of Daiya cheese. This deep dish crust (doughy and perfect with crispy edges) takes about 25 minutes to bake and it’s worth the wait. And, on Sundays you can swing by and order up just a slice of the vegan pizza (but it’s hard to just eat one). Bonus: you can get My Pi shipped anywhere in the country so if you’re like us and need Chicago deep dish in your life even when you’re not in the city, you can get it delivered to your door. 2010 N. Damen Ave.
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts at Flora Fauna
This River North restaurant serving a mix of Latin America, South America and Southeast Asia fare offers some fantastic vegan options and a low ABV cocktail program. We loved everything we tried at Flora Fauna (the vegan fried rice is a must), but our absolute favorite was the caramelized Brussels sprouts. These crispy sprouts come with fried shallots and are tossed in a kicky kimchi vinaigrette. 11 W. Illinois St.
Pineapple Teriyaki Wings at No Bones Beach Club
The menu at the all-vegan No Bones Beach Club is a celebration of vibrant flavors and popular dishes veganized. The bright fast-casual restaurant (with locations in Portland and Seattle, too) offers comfort food at its best — boisterous and delicious. Led by restaurateur and recipe-creator MacKenzie DeVito, this popular vegan restaurant in Chicago serves up a menu that guarantees deliciousness. But, with so many things to choose from, it’s hard to narrow it down. So, do the smart thing: order the gluten-free Pineapple Teriyaki drumsticks tossed in housemade sauce and topped with grilled pineapple and toasted sesame seeds, served with a sriracha aioli dipping sauce that packs a punch to share; as well as entrees to sample with everyone at the table. Save room for dessert and a cocktail, too. 1943 W. North Ave.
Fried Bacon Mac at Upton’s Breakroom
Originally started as an actual breakroom for employees of the all-vegan natural food company, Upton’s Naturals, today the small Upton’s Breakroom is open to the public. With a diverse menu featuring Upton’s popular seitan meats, guests here can try local favorites like its take on everything from its Italian Beef to tacos, burgers, BBQ and brunch. Whatever you do, be sure to order the fried bacon mac, with each grilled to order. They also have soft serve, cookies and more. 2054 W. Grand Ave.
Giudiaca at Casati’s Modern Italian
The vegan-friendly Casati’s Modern Italian in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, this family-owned restaurant has a vegan menu that is huge. We loved every dish we had (and for two people we put down a lot!) but the show-stopped was the restaurant’s Giudiaca. A typical Roman Jewish dish, the dish features delicate deep-fried artichoke that have been soaked in water and lemon juice and had the hard outer leaves removed. Also, be sure to try the restaurant’s pinsa, their version of pizza that is made with an organic flour mix of rice, soy and wheat and 80 percent water. 444 W. Fullerton Pkwy.
Diana Edelman is the founder of Vegans, Baby. She previously lived and worked in Thailand working for an elephant sanctuary and has traveled around the world speaking about the realities of elephant tourism, being a positive activist and entrepreneur at events including TBEX, SEED Food + Wine, VegFest Puerto Rico, VegFest Toronto and more. Diana is a proud partner with the James Beard Foundation and curates their Vegas Vegan Dinner series at the famous James Beard House, as well as the vegan activation, The Farm Stand, at Las Vegas’ Life Is Beautiful festival.